Ysterhout Dot Net

Stiffening the Hogue Stock for Howa

Howa rifles with synthetic stock ship with a Hogue rubber stock. This stock has a flexible fore-end, and most people just discard it for a better one.

The stock is made of a hard plastic, overmoulded with rubber. For most people who use the rifle for hunting, the stock is adequate. When a bipod is attached to the fore-end, the limitation of the stock due to flex becomes apparent.

With a bipod attched and in use, the fore-end is so flexible that it is impossible to keep the crosshairs still.

Everyone who has tried to stiffen this stock and keep the barrel free-floated has only improved the stiffness marginally, and I expect all who tried that way will have eventually replaced their factory stocks, because partially stiffening the fore-end does not eliminate the jittery cross-hairs shooting off a bipod.

I decided to go a different route : totally eliminate flex with a full length bedding job.

Full length bed ? Yes. You may now ask why, seeing as everything is free floated these days, and free floated is perceived as being inherently more accurate.

This is how I see it :

That is the premise on which the full length bedding of the Hogue rubber stock is performed. The stock is plastic and rubber - impervious to distortion by atmospheric heat and humidity. The material the stock is made from means it is moulded to shape, therefore it will not have any high-spots from manufacture to affect the barrel.

A side-effect of this full length barrel bed in a synthetic stock is the dampening of barrel vibration between successive shots. Barrel vibration is a thing - many precision shooters use a barrel tuner to minimise it.

Last Updated 7 Oct 2023 at 10:17:37