Form Riflestocks Chieftan custom stock - test & review
- Credit: Archant
Mark Camoccio tests the brand new Chieftan stocks from Form Riflestocks - an impressive custom stock made from hardwood laminate
You can divide airgun shooters into those who never lose sight of the fun aspect, and others who get bitten by the performance bug. If you fall into the latter camp, the chances are that you’ll have toyed with the idea of custom woodwork at some point, for fitting a custom stock to our favourite airgun is a sure-fire way to push performance to the limit. Factory furniture is all very well, but it is inevitably made for Mr Average, with compromise at every turn.
On test here is one of the brand new Chieftan stocks, made by British brand, Form Riflestocks, and they have built up an enviable reputation from their Devon-based operation over the last few years. CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CNC machinery means their products are produced to impressively accurate tolerances, and when we take into account that everything is formed from finest hardwood laminate, sourced from Finland, we are forced to sit up and take notice. The technical credentials of laminate are well known and as the most stable form of wood, it lends itself perfectly to the basis of a gunstock blank.
The Chieftan is available to fit some of the most popular rifles (listed below), and I chose to fit one to an Air Arms S500 PCP. As for the fitting process, it really couldn’t be simpler; just unscrew the one large stock bolt on the underside of the factory stock, using an Allen key, lift out the action and drop it straight into the Chieftan. Replace the bolt and gently tighten – er – that’s it!
The main stock in the HFT version here, is supplied in what Form term ‘ebony laminate’ as standard, and there’s a choice of contrasting colour for the cheek piece; red, blue, green, or ebony laminate. Custom colours can be specified for the main stock, but expect to pay around £100 extra. The HFT version came with an adjustable cheek piece, but it can also be ordered as fully adjustable, with an adjustable butt section, too. Take this route, and the length of pull can be altered by an impressive 3.5 inches. If you think you might need more, or a shorter stock altogether, then it’s worth a phone call to discuss any special dimensions. It might be possible, but will be priced accordingly.
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I love the soft Limbsaver butt pad, and the pistol-grip configuration, with palm shelf and contours, it’s a lovely piece of work. It’s so comfortable that I won’t even moan about the lack of a vertical thumb shelf. Adjusting the cheek piece is via the slick, push-button, quick adjuster, and here, all the components are made by Form themselves. Just press, alter the height, and release. Perfect eye/scope alignment is just seconds away, with no tools needed. In short, it’s superb!
There’s an accessory rail under the fore end, and all stocks come fitted with a neat plugged Spartan adaptor point for a bipod to be attached. At this point, if you haven’t encountered Spartan products, let me shed light. They are an upmarket UK producer of bipods and fittings, that uniquely, use a strong magnet to locate. Quick, simple and beautifully made, and an optional extra here as expected. As an HFT specified stock, it makes sense that a hamster/ palm rest is also available as an optional extra, and this slides into the accessory rail to the desired point, is tightened in place, then adjusted for height and tightened. Get this rigged up, and handling is phenomenal. Elevated shots – no problem!
Catering for lairy HFT shooters, I think the contrasting brightly coloured cheek looks the part, too, and the mature shooting position afforded, with the extended, nicely deep, standard fore end, is everything we need to promote control, and perfect shot placment.
If you want to be less flashy, then the new Hunter version will shortly be available, in a choice of two colours – Forest laminate or Walnut laminate. Here, the cheek will be the same colour as the stock, too. It will be minus the accessory rail, but it will have sling swivels fitted along with the same Spartan mounting point.
In either guise, the Chieftan from Form is a mouthwatering prospect. Admittedly, these stocks don’t come cheap, but the quality, finish features and configuration are simply excellent.
- Form Chieftan HFT Version with Adjustable Cheek Piece £525, Fully Adjustable £625
- Form Chieftan Hunter Version with Adjustable Cheek Piece £499, Fully Adjustable £599
- Interchangeable cheek piece £65
- Hamster/ palm rest £110
- Custom colour options- approximately £100 extra
* Available to fit: Air Arms S400/ 410, S500/ 510 models, TX200’s, Weihrauch HW100 derivative models/ HW77 &97, and BSA R10
Contact UK Distributor: Raytrade Tel 01635 253344 www.raytradeuk.co.uk
Form Rifle Stocks www.formriflestocks.co.uk