Follow-up gun test: GRS PCP Sporter stock
PUBLISHED: 13:55 31 July 2017
The editor details what he's discovered after a month of testing the GRS PCP Sporter stock
It’s always nice to be proved right, but it’s far nicer to learn something useful along the way. I’m happy to state that I’ve had both of those good things going on during this follow-up test, but the downside – there’s always a downside – is, my obsession with proper gun fit has intensified beyond all shame and decency. I’m now a full-on evangelist and there’s no stopping me, I’m afraid. I can only hope this particular obsession never collides with the one I have about spring guns, or there’ll be a rip in the time-space continuum … or something.
Anyway, one obsession’s plenty for this month and believe me this one’s worth studying, because no matter what sort of air rifle shooter you are, it affects you. Whether you choose to respond or not is entirely your decision, but at least obsessives like me are clueing you in. Stand by to absorb what I think is some absolutely essential information.
Fit isn’t the finish
I’ve trained as extensively as time allowed with the GRS PCP Sporter adjustable stock, and thanks to its excellent design and the Air Arms S510 action it holds, I’ve been recording a level of success that has pleased me and impressed those who looked on. Not the most modest statement, but the fact is this rifle stock and that action make a fantastic combination, which helps coax from me whatever ability I may have.
I now feel as ‘at home’ with that stock as I do with stocks I’ve had made for me, and the reason for that is the ‘something useful’ I mentioned in my intro.
I’ve discovered that it’s not only vital for a stock to fit the shooter’s build and preferred technique, it’s just as important for that stock to be able to accommodate changes in that build and technique, and for the shooter to fully embrace this.
I’m not the same person I was when I campaigned on the field target circuit throughout the late 1980s and ‘90s. Pretty much everything has changed and most of it not for the better. Yet, with a stock that can be altered to cope with those changes, I can still shoot to a standard that puts a satisfied smirk on my fat old face.
It’s all about adaptability, but it’s so important not to confuse this with compromise. Compromise is our mortal enemy and should be resisted whenever possible. Of course to resist it, you need to recognise it, so it’s now time to recognise our enemy.
A far cleverer man than I once referred to compromise as ‘a stalling between two fools’. I was impressed and you should be, too. A less witty but equally apt description would define compromise as simply ‘making do with what we have’, or the even more precise, ‘making the best of a bad job’. It’s not ideal, then, and perfection isn’t always available, but that shouldn’t stop us trying to
Every time you use a rifle with a stock that doesn’t fit, you bring compromise to your shooting. You’ll either be hunched around your rifle, if the stock is too small, or reaching for the trigger if you’re too small for the rifle. This unfit relationship spreads its compromise to your trigger technique, your ability to relax and control muscle tension, and it undermines confidence as the effect of the compromise spreads. Thus, before the first shot is fired, you’re already accepting second-best and that’s never a good thing.
Equipment such as this GRS stock dials away that compromise, and keeps it away as our handling needs evolve. As already mentioned, that ‘evolution’ of our handling is a key factor, because even a stock that used to fit perfectly will become a vehicle of compromise if you don’t let it track your changes. For this to happen, requires almost constant assessment of your shooting technique and specifically, how your rifle supports and assists it.
I’m talking about a monthly check that what used to fit perfectly, still does, and if it doesn’t, then changes have to be made. These alterations can be tiny, or even not required, but by constantly checking you’ll stay one step ahead of that hideous compromise.
Here’s how to do it
The FT and HFT crew need no advice from me, but we mere mortals can carry out a simple evaluation that takes seconds, and is so easy you can do it with your eyes closed. Just make sure your rifle is in ‘safe’ mode – uncocked, unloaded and pointing in a proper place – then, close your eyes, put the rifle to your shoulder and, keeping your eyes firmly closed, relax into your ideal shooting stance.
Once fully relaxed, with all traces of tension and compromise flushed from your system, open your eyes. Everything should be in perfect position; trigger hand ideally placed, eye-scope alignment spot on and the butt pad sitting square in the shoulder. If compromise has snuck in, take immediate action to evict it by making the appropriate adjustments.
New mindset required
This works for all stances, so do be thorough and run your anti-compromise program for every shooting position you use. Then, be bold enough to change things as required. Finally, rid yourself of the mindset, ‘it’s worked OK for years, so I’ll leave it be.’ What has really happened is that you’ve accepted compromise for years and managed to do OK despite it.
This hasn’t been much of a follow-up test, at least as far as forensically examining the product goes, but I’m happy that the greater message has been delivered. That GRS PCP Sporter stock is an incredible product and the finest example of what a properly designed rifle stock can bring to your shooting. All I can say is, if being the best you can be matters to you, and if you can afford one – get one in your life as soon as you can.
Discover more at www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk.