How is a tactical rifle stock different than a stock for a hunting rifle?
A tactical rifle is used under stress, usually when all other measures have failed and human lives are in danger. At the critical moment, all components must work flawlessly, every time. This prime consideration flows through all the decisions a stock designer must make when developing a tactical stock.
A tactical rifle must be rugged. Unlike a hunting rifle that you buy at a discount store and keep in a closet 51 weeks a year, a professional tactical rifle is a working tool used every day. A tactical rifle might be dragged through swamps, bounced around in jeeps or helicopters, and jostled by ordinance concussions. It must endure conditions that would turn ordinary hunting stocks into firewood. What’s more, it can be in the field for weeks on end –– miles away from a neighborhood gunsmith.
A tactical rifle is heavier than a hunting rifle. Its stock must be a rigid platform for the thick bull barrels, large optics, night vision equipment, and bipod attachments than can stress a lightly constructed stock, alter contact points and skew shots.
A tactical stock is a robust stock. When the adrenaline is flowing, every heartbeat seems to move the crosshairs by a foot. Some military units even add more weight to the stock to dampen movement from the pulse, as well as to reduce recoil.
For a large organization, interchangeability of parts under field conditions becomes important. Most organizations find that their barreled actions swapped among McMillan’s precision CNCinletted stocks shoot just as accurately as when they are individually glass bedded. Ergonomic design trends for tactical rifle stocks have their roots in equipment developed for top competitive events, such as the Olympics or national matches. Additional input comes from close partnership with the elite marksmanship units using the stocks, such as the special forces teams of the Marines, FBI, Navy and other agencies.
A tactical rifle is often issued to a number of different shooters. Many units prefer stocks that offer adjustability for different body types and shooting styles. Through the use of three different cheek piece options and three different butt system options, McMillan’s tactical stocks are highly adjustable to a shooter’s physique and shooting position.
Changes in weather can twist a wood stock, ruining a rifle’s accuracy. Long before fiberglass stocks became the rage in hunting rifles, the military recognized the material’s superiority for adverse weather conditions. The professional marksman must have absolute confidence a shot will go where aimed. Unlike wood or some “synthetic” stocks, McMillan’s hand-laid fiberglass construction is unaffected by water, weather, heat, cold, humidity, and atmospheric pressure.
More information on McMillan’s line of tactical stocks is available on the McMillan website at www.mcmillanusa.com. Stocks can be purchased through your local gunsmith or by calling McMillan at (623) 582-9635.