The stock is an essential functional element of a rifle – but the optical and haptic qualities must also be right. To achieve this Merkel uses the best walnut woods of each category.
It is not only the task of the stock to provide the rifleman with a supporting structure for shoulder, cheek and hands. The butt stock also absorbs the repulsion power of the shot. The dimensions and the design of the stock affect the precision, appearance and the aesthetics of the rifle – as well as its ergonomics.
It is a question of bringing the cast, drop, length of the stock wrist and the stock into equilibrium. This requires great skill on the part of the stock maker. The functional dimensions are transferred to the unprocessed stock by means of the state-of-the-art machines before experienced craftsmen get to work on the stock. Iron and wood are perfectly aligned by hand. This can sometimes takes several hours.
Then comes the stock finish: the surfaces of the stock woods are perfected. The stock is watered and ground and the process repeated until open pores are no longer visible. The stock can then be finished in either silk-matt, gloss or pore-filled. This is followed by oiling, which accentuates the finest nuances of the grain.
Standard stock shapes
In the last centuries, diverse standards have characterised themselves, which allow the shooter to individually adjust their rifle. This firstly affects the stocks geometry, the pistol grip, the butt plate and the cheek piece as a connector of stock and cheek. The standard stock measurements have universally proven themselves in different hunting situations, but still nothing beats the good feeling which occurs when doing a trial fitting at a specialised shop, at the gunsmiths or in the Merkel manufacture.
Finest walnut wood from trees up to 300 years old, gives the Merkel stocks their unique expression. The best wood originates form the high regions of the Caucasus, where cold, long winters reign, which cause trees to grow slowly. This shows in the character of the wood. It is not only very resilient, but is also charming through a very fine, strong wood grain. Hunting rifles are offered in eleven quality wood classes. In exclusive cases, Merkel offers their customers the possibility, to choose the blank for the stock themselves – however, to do this, a date has to be arranged.
The custom stock is the high art of stock making – especially at the moved shot with rifle or shotgun, this plus in ergonomics pays out. The stock makers of the Merkel manufacture take the measurements with a try gun together with decades worth of experience and create a unique, individual stock.