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Old 05-10-2007, 08:54 PM
Hipshot
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Black Tactical How-To



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I recently modded a Ruger 10/22 factory carbine stock into a Black Tactical stock and featured it in this thread over on the Ultimate 10/22 forum. I just showed the finished rifle, but a lot of the guys expressed an interest in a How-To, so here it is.

Edited to add: This design evolved into three versions. Here is a link to the thread where I showed the finished rifles.

Here are a couple of pictures of the finished rifle.




I started with a Ruger factory 10/22 carbine takeoff stock. As this picture illustrates, the mods are simple and straight forward. Cut away the grip and some of the under side of the buttstock, add a pistol grip, and fill in the top of the comb with bondo. The stock takes on a whole new personality with a minimal amount of actual changes.


Draw the cut lines on the stock. The vertical cut for the notch is located 8-7/8" from the centerline of the takedown screw hole on my drawings. I recommend making it a bit shorter and then fitting the the grip later.


I traced the profile of the carbine stock on to a piece of paper, then selected a profile for a pistol grip and overlaid it on the carbine pattern. Check out this thread for some ideas of the various shapes available. If you look closely at the drawing you will see that I tried several before settling on the current version.

Last edited by Hipshot; 03-12-2009 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:55 PM
Hipshot
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Forming the Grip

I made the grip by gluing up two 3/4" thick pieces cut from a short piece of 1" x 4" poplar. I expect that any hardwood will work okay.


Lay out the cut as indicated in this photo on an 11" long 1" x 4". If you use a power miter saw, set it to 30 degrees.


Mark the center location for a 7/8" hole. This will form the web of the grip. You could also just cut it out along with the rest of the profile.


I used a forstner bit. I believe you would be okay to use a paddle bit. Just drill half way through and flip the board over and finish up from the other side to prevent splitting out. You can see that I screwed the two pieces together in the waste wood area.


Trace the pattern of the grip off your drawing, cut it out and transfer it to your work piece. Carefully line up the top and the hole you just drilled.


I cut the profile on a scroll saw. On the low end, you could get by with a coping saw and cut it out by hand....slow but do-able. Otherwise, a bayonet saw with a narrow blade might be a good option.


Glue and clamp the two pieces together. I recommend Gorilla glue.


After you take it out of the clamps, you will need to even up the edges a bit. I used a spindle sander, but other options include using a wood file, sandpaper wrapped around a dowel, or a drum sander in a drill press. Take the time to true up the profile.


It should look like this when you are through.

Last edited by Hipshot; 05-10-2007 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:56 PM
Hipshot
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Cutting the Notch

While the glue is drying on the grip you can start getting the stock ready. I cut away the lower end of the grip just to get it out of the way.


Draw a square line across the stock at the notch and carefully cut down to the intersection of the horizontal layout line.


Begin removing the waste with a rasp and a file. There is really not much wood here...it goes pretty fast.


You need to take it down level with the belly of the stock. Use a short piece of scrap material as a gauge....check often. When you get close, switch to a wood file or a sanding block with course paper. This is what it will look like when you are done. This is a critical joint, so try to be accurate. Take as much time as you need to get it right.


Test Fit the Grip & Inlet for the Trigger Guard

Set the grip in the notch and mark the height for the bottom cut.


If you have selected a grip pattern that engages the back of the trigger guard, you will need to inlet it a little bit for clearance. Make two shallow cuts centered on the grip and 1/2" apart. Clean out the middle. I used a dremel with a sanding drum, but you could also use a coping saw, a chisel, or make multiple sawcuts and chip it out. Temporarily mount the action in the stock to check the inletting of the grip.


This actually goes pretty fast is is not very hard to do. Just keep test fitting until it clears the TG.


Temporarily attach the grip with 3" bugle head screw. Hold and clamp the grip in place. Mark the angle and location on the outside of the stock as a guide to assure proper placement. I used a 1/8" drill. It won't be long enough, but it will go all the way through the wrist of the stock and into the grip. Remove the grip and finish the hole. Now use a 5/32" drill to enlarge the hole through the stock. Countersink the hole so the head of the screw will be flush.


Reposition the grip and drive in the screw. The enlarged hole through the stock should let the screw draw the grip in tight.

Last edited by Hipshot; 05-10-2007 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:56 PM
Hipshot
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Recontour the Buttstock

This part is pretty straight forward. Just make a straight line from the toe of the butt to the web of the new grip and round over the lower edge of the stock. Access to the underside of the stock will be much easier if you remove the new grip. That's why we didn't glue it already.


Draw a centerline on the stock for reference and round over the lower edge.


You can take it down this far before reattaching the pistol grip.


I know you are going to do it anyway, so I might as well tell you to go ahead and mount the action to see what it looking like at this stage of the game.

Last edited by Hipshot; 05-10-2007 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:57 PM
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Attach and Shape the Pistol Grip

The new grip is 1-1/2" thick. It needs to have 1/8" removed from each side so it's down to 1-1/4". You can do it before attaching the grip or afterwards. The very top of the grip stays at 1-1/2" thick, so don't just plane down the whole thing. The top edge fairs into the stock and also provides added gluing area.


Reattach the pistol grip, using the 3" screw and glue this time. When the glue has set up, apply bondo to the voids on the sides of the grip and begin building up the comb above the grip. This should be done in layers.


I like to use Bondo Ultimate. It's light weight, works easily and sets up fast. It's available at Walmart and most auto parts stores....around $12 or $13 a quart. That's enough to do several stocks, so if you need to cut costs, maybe you can split it with a buddy. Mix up small batches. It's been my experience that if you mix up about half of what you think you need, you still have too much. Work fast...it sets up in about 4 minutes, depending on the amount of hardener you add.


Here are a few pictures showing how I shaped the grip and contoured the bondo around the comb. I left the sides of the grip flat and just rounded the back and the front edges. I did add a shallow groove for the trigger finger.






This profile shot shows the layout line for the groove.


The trigger finger groove. Continue adding layers of bondo to the top of the comb and refining the lines.


You might as well put the action back in it and check it out again. Notice that I built up the comb quite a ways back. The factory stock gets quite narrow at the front of the comb. I also rounded over the squarish top of the comb and faired it back into the squared top of the butt.

Last edited by Hipshot; 05-10-2007 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:57 PM
Hipshot
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Finishing Up

As an afterthought I decided to square off the nose of the barrel band knob....sort of give it that utilitarian military look.


I cut off about 1/2" and rounded the edges slightly.


Did I mention sanding? I use 100 grit to remove the file marks. As you sand, keep alert for booboos that need a little more attention. Use the file again if necessary. It's a lot faster than trying to sand out an imperfection. After I was satisfied with the 100 grit, I gave it a once over with 150 grit. I planned to apply a textured finish, so any further sanding effort is wasted.







If you plan to add sling swivel studs, it's better to do it before applying the finish.


Trouble Shooting

There is not really much to go really wrong on this mod. I did make a second stock just to see how long it would take me using any machines available to me and already knowing what I wanted. Well, in my haste I got the notch a little off....so here is how I fixed it. The real essence of woodworking...how to fix booboos.


....and here is how it looks now.


I don't have any pictures of the only other thing that can go wrong....a misplaced hole. If the hole for the pistol grip attachment screw gets off, just drill it out to about 3/8", insert a plug and redrill....a trick I manage to use all too frequently. It works well under butt plates too.

Priming

It's been my experience that no matter how well I detail and sand, after I apply the primer I always find some more places that need attention. Don't hesitate to file, sand or add bondo....whatever it takes to get it right. A little more time and patience here will give you a professional looking stock that will be much more pleasing to you in the future.

Here is what I had to redo on this stock.


Three coats of Rust-Oleum Textured black.....ready to go plinking.


Fast, easy, and cheap. I've got about $12.25 in the mods to this stock.

Last edited by Hipshot; 05-10-2007 at 11:34 PM.
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  #7  
Old 05-10-2007, 08:59 PM
Hipshot
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Pics of My #2 Build

I decided to mod another stock just to see how long it would take me and if I could make any improvements. I did manage to fit the grip to the trigger guard a little better. Other than that, they are pretty much identical. It took me right at 10 hours plus maybe an hour sanding to complete the second stock. I still haven't applied a finish.

Here are some ways to speed up things a bit. I used a dremel with a sanding drum to shape most of the grip. You need a little bit of experience using that thing or it will get away from you. Notice that I thinned down the grip to 1-1/4" thick on a drum sander prior to mounting.


I sanded down the stock with a random orbital sander. These things will cut very fast so keep it moving and don't make any flat spots.


True up the bottom of the buttstock with a sanding block and course paper. Check it with a straight edge often. Switch to 100 grit for a smoother finish.


The factory stock is quite narrow towards the front of the comb. Build it up with bondo. This picture shows that I still need to add more.


A picture showing the closer fitting of the grip at the rear of the trigger guard.


A few more shots showing the profiles.








Comparing the factory barrel with sights to a 16-1/4" barrel.

Last edited by Hipshot; 05-10-2007 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:28 AM
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Hipshot,

I am just so impressed by your work. And more than just the outcomes, I also mean your methods, the careful planning, and finally, your amazing documentation of the entire effort. It is extremely generous of you.
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:02 AM
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Nicely done.......I want one and it has nothing to do with "Tactical". It is just a nice stock design. I can hardly imagine a better "Knock about" or "Truck gun" design.
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:19 AM
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It is screaming for a tac sol 16"
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:20 AM
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stock design

Well done nice and easy instructions , I will have to have a go at that . Dave
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:04 PM
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I'm impressed.

CWG
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:31 PM
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Now thats talent..... Awesome job! Very impressive.
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Old 05-11-2007, 02:17 PM
Hipshot
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Thanks

Thanks to everyone for the compliments. I hope a lot of you guys can give this mod a tryout. I'm with Vincent in thinking that this would make a great "knock about" stock on the "practical" end of the spectrum, and you "tactical" guys can start adding accessories. .

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I'm impressed.

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Claude,

Coming from an extremely talented professional such as yourself, I consider that to be a supreme compliment. Thank you, sir.
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Old 05-11-2007, 02:40 PM
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Thumbs up W O W !

That is one BEAUTIFUL stock job!! Makes me wish I had access to woodworking tools. But, since I don't I'll just drool over the pictures of yours and wish. A really great design idea and very complete instructions. THANKS!!!!!
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