Disclaimer: I am not a gunsmith and so if you fancy doing anything like this, either seek professional advice or proceed at your own risk! Any advice gratefully received!
I have had to reshuffle stocks, which meant my T3 SS Varmint was going to have to go back into the factory Tupperware job. I wasn't keen on that since the gun shot a lot better in a Roedale RCSII and had been a contender in tactical style comps. These comps can involve shooting from all manner of positions and are not forgiving of bendy stocks.
I was on a tight budget so the $99 Boyd's Varmint thumbhole laminate appealed. Of course, by the time you pay $69 shipping and £26 parcel farce and duty, it comes to just under £130.
The finish was pretty good but the integral recoil lug looked a bit slap dash. On fitting the stock, the barrel was sitting to the right of the barrel channel, though still free floated. Loosening and tightening the bolts revealed some movement of the action/barrel, suggesting the action was under some stress. In fact, the original bottom-metal (plastic) deforms easily when the bolts are tightened, sufficient to cause feeding problems and difficulty with mag release/engagement.
Since I would need 10 rnd capacity, I decided to change the bottom metal to Third Eye Tactical's offering, which accepts the AICS mags I use. The stock requires some inletting for the bottom metal to fit- definitely not a drop-in option!
Before bedding the action or fitting the bottom metal, I wanted to explore where the recoil lug was contacting the action. A coating of soot revealed the contact was at the upper rear surface- not ideal (remember, the lug is in the stock, not attached to the action!)
While enlarging the holes for the pillars I offset them a little, so that the action could sit slightly further rearwards in the re-inletted stock. This was confirmed with another soot-test:
The rifle was bedded and the bottom metal inletting completed. A bit of trial and error to get the mag height right for correct feeding and then I bedded the bottom metal in that position (dummy round):
I now had a functioning, finished firearm:
I wanted to make the stock ambidextrous, so cut out and re shaped the thumbhole:
Less gaudy carpet:
The barrel is now nicely centred and free-floated, there is no "squish" when tightening the action bolts and I have a reliable 10rnd mag in an inert, comfy ambidextrous stock. Job done.
Now I just need to get out on the range to see if she shoots like she did in the RCS II stock.