Some of you are confused about carbon fiber, graphite, the Hunters EDGE and EDGE Tech stocks. I don’t blame you. We sometimes assume people know something just because it is so familiar to us. I have been working in this business since 1975 and all of the above seem to be second nature to me but I do understand why you as potential customers are clamoring for more information. This is my way of sharing some of the information I think is most critical.
Carbon Fiber/Graphite. These two terms are synonymous. Graphite cloth, which we use is also carbon fiber cloth and vice versa. It is most commonly used because of its tremendous stiffness to weight ratio. Very early in our transition we started using graphite strictly to increase the stiffness of a given stock. When removing ‘x’ amount of fiberglass cloth and replacing it with the same weight of graphite cloth, we could make a given section, like the forend or the pistol grip of the stock, much stiffer. This came in handy when making benchrest stocks which perform better with a stiffer forend. Also, our high power prone stocks benefitted from a stiffer forend and pistol grip which were subjected to a lot of twist and torque while the shooter was slung in.
As the craze for light weight hunting rifles increased, we researched just how much graphite we could use in conjunction with how much fiberglass. At first, we were only comfortable using a hybrid of the two materials. Fiberglass offers significant strength in areas where graphite does not, and vice versa. Graphite is real stiff but will break under pressure whereas fiberglass has great flexural strength and although it will bend but not break, it can use some help in the stiffness department. As the testing progressed we used more graphite and less fiberglass until we made a stock completely out of graphite.
Once we had proven to ourselves that we could make a 100% graphite stock,which model stock to offer it in was the question. I had been working on a new design benchrest stock and one of the goals was to make a stock that weighed less than our standard McMillan Light Varmint Benchrest stock. Though the old standard benchrest stock had been used with great success for almost 30 years, I felt there were several ways I could change the design to make a better stock for competition. With a 100% graphite stock in the new design we had the perfect model with which to start. We named this stock the EDGE which was an acronym for “Evolutionary Design, Graphite Engineered.” It weighed in at 22oz and became one of the most sought after stocks in both NBRSA and IBS benchrest competition.
Though we could make a stock weigh 22 ounces, it was a benchrest stock and never really subjected to the stress a hunting stock might have to withstand, so we needed to do more research. To make a truly light weight hunting stock, we decided to start from scratch as we did the EDGE. We designed a stock with a slim forend and wrist with a straight comb and no cheek piece. A pleasing design but nothing extra to add weight. When a stock was made using 100% graphite cloth and a special fill, we called it the “Hunters EDGE”, playing on the trademarked name used for the benchrest stock. When a stock was made in this mold using strictly fiberglass and a standard fill, we call the stock a Remington Compact.” The Hunters EDGE weighed 24-26 ounces with a 1” Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad and sling swivel studs. And much to our surprise, it was plenty strong enough in every way for us to be comfortable including our Unconditional Lifetime Warrantee with each stock.
Customers liked the idea of a stock weighing 24-26 ounces, but many wanted to know if we could make any other stocks that weighed that amount. They all had their favorites, McMillan Hunter, Remington BDL or the Weatherby Mark V stock, but they wanted them made with graphite. In an effort to make it easy to communicate their desire to have a standard stock made, using the same materials as the Hunters EDGE, we decided to call the process EDGE Tech. So when ordering a stock, say a McMillan Hunter, and you want it to be as light as possible, you would order it with EDGE Tech and we know exactly what that means. No need to say anything else. There you have it, as much information I can share with you about this stuff, without boring you.