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Rifle stock terms

B.B. Pelletier

I’m doing the blog just for myself. That’s not entirely true; I’m really doing it to save my sanity. When I answered a recent question about a common stock shape, I wondered what the internet might have to say on the subject, so I Googled the term “Monte Carlo.” One tactical site showed a stock without a Monte Carlo comb but with a high rollover cheekpiece, and they were telling people that the high rollover cheekpiece they were showing was a Monte Carlo shape! If that’s the best the internet can do, it’s time we explained a few simple and somewhat common rifle stock terms.

Stock terms
Let’s learn the right names for the parts of a stock.

These are the correct terms for the parts of a buttstock.

Monte Carlo
The Monte Carlo stock is characterized by a high comb that drops to a lower line near the butt. A former ruler of Monte Carlo popularized this shape in the mid-20th century when scopes came into widespread use. This shape has an advantage for scope use because it raises the cheek and eye up to better alignment with the scope.

Though it’s less common than it was in the 1950s, it is still possible to have a Monte Carlo stock profile without a raised cheekpiece. The stepped comb is what makes it a Monte Carlo.

This is the most common form of Monte Carlo stock. The raised cheepiece is combined with the Monte Carlo profile.

A raised cheekpiece is a projection of the stock on the side where the shooters face touches the stock. Cheekpieces can be very low or extremely high, with the Tyrolean cupped cheekpiece found on some German/Austrian offhand target rifles being perhaps the highest of all. A cheekpiece can be combined with a Monte Carlo comb, or it can be on a rifle with a conventional comb, however at this time it is very common for the cheekpiece to extend out from the Monte Carlo comb.

This stock has a raised cheekpiece without the Monte Carlo profile. This profile with the dropped comb is called the Bavarian style. It’s not Monte Carlo because the comb isn’t high in front and it isn’t stepped in the back, it just gently slopes down.

Bavarian stock
A Bavarian-style stock usually has a low cheekpiece, but is characterized by a drop in the line of the comb as it approaches the butt. When Robert Beeman first examined German airguns before he began importing them to the U.S. in the mid-1970s, he found many with Bavarian-style stocks. He imported them in the beginning, but his R-series guns were the same guns restocked with a more Western-style stock having a straight comb or a Monte Carlo comb.

This was a brief look at stock shapes and terms. I don’t want to bore anyone with stuff like this, but there is more to show, such as the various types of checkering, stippling and so on. If there is interest, I will do more reports like this.

29 thoughts on “Rifle stock terms”

  1. Markus and Turtle,

    I’m glad you liked it. As to forearms, there are beavertail, semi-beavertail, splinter and some others that have no name I am aware of. There are things like the schnabel end cap, as will.

    I may do more on stocks and I’d like to do something on checkering patterns, as well. But let’s wait to see what other people think.


  2. Checkering patterns would be nice. I have recently started a checkering project on one of my stocks. Very tedious work. Assuming all goes well, and so far it has, I will do some more checkering on custom stocks.

  3. BB,

    The scopes book would be interesting, but I believe a more general book, with all your blog writing, would have so much more appeal to the general airgunner. I know it does for me. I found this blog rather recently and I’m in hog heaven discovering all the writings you’ve already done…it’s like discovering buried treasure. A straight publishing of all your blogs would be a delight as well as quick to put together, but including your readers’ replies and yours to them would be far better, though more tedious to go through perhaps to take out the dross. I guess you’d need to get Pyramid’s permission, since technically they own the content. But then Pyramid could sell it, as well as amazon, Borders, etc.

    My 2 cents-worth.


  4. dear bb
    nice blog. im 14 and new to the world of airguns. my gun experience up to this point has been fairly limited due to my parents descression. i ventured into airsoft a year ago and an now dissapointed at the accuracy after learning airguns cuold pul of such tight groups. anyhoo i have begged to my parents and things are now looking better for an air gun. my parents are paranoid abot identity theft so my only real option is to go in store. sorry let me get to my question. i was in the local Sports Authority and learned they had 2 .22 BENJAMIN 392 by Benjamin Sheridan for only 90 bucks. im somewhat sceptical because it looked like it had been repackaged or remanufactured. my questin is if someone returned this gun would it be fine to buy after being remanufactured. i mean do you think i would have more trouble with this than i would with a new one.also is .22 an exeptable caliber for plinking and targets or would.177 be better?

  5. Anonymous 14 yr old

    The 392s that Sports Authority sells on the internet are $155 dollars. So you might be right about these being repackaged rifles. But there’s not necessarily anything wrong with a reconditioned rifle.

    I’d be sure to ask a sales person whether they’re actually remanufactured, or were returned by someone, or damaged in shipping. You can ask to look at them too.

    Make sure to determine whether you can return the rifle if there’s a problem.

  6. Benjamin 392,

    A remanufactured gun has been examined by the fasctory and returned to new condition. It has the same warranty as a new one.

    A .22 is more expensive because the pellets cost more. That said, I would go for it. The price is fabulous!


  7. Hi B.B.,

    “The scopes book would be interesting, but I believe a more general book, with all your blog writing, would have so much more appeal to the general airgunner…”

    I agree almost 100% with Joe’s comments. While the Google search on your blog works pretty well I can’t even remember how many times I’ve wished you and Pyramyd AIR were offering, at a nominal fee, an organized (by topic) annual booklet/compilation of your articles!

    On the other hand, I must agree with you. A book dedicated to the peculiarities of using telescopic sights on various kinds of airguns is sorely needed.

    Heck, correctly mounting/using open and peep sights ain’t easy when one doesn’t fully understand various sight pictures, airgun pellet ballistics, the effect of barrel droop, etc., etc.

    And, yes, I’d like to read as much as you want to write, about air rifle stocks!


  8. speaking of books..

    You might be interested in LuLu – they’re a publishing and distribution service, but don’t require a minimum print run.

    i.e. You could upload the pages of this blog, do a bit of layout, and have it bound and printed. I’d priced a 200 page paperback in B/W for about $8.50 a copy, 100 pages is $6.50.

    They also provide some retail integration and IIRC internet sales through Amazon.

  9. Norica airgun are Spanish and are approximately the same quality as Gamo. BSA rifles are one of the two finest brands made in the UK. They are equivalent to Weihrauch in quality. BSA barrel are one of the two finest in airgunning, with Lothar Walther being the other. Of course that list doesn’t include Anschuts and FWB because they typically don’t supply barrels as an OEM, except for a few Anschutz contracts.


  10. BB

    I was thumbing through the misc. accessories on the website, and came across the Beeman Pell seat. It claims to fix the irregularities in the skirt of each pellet. Does these irregular skirts cause that much more drag, and turbulance in the pellet? I was wondering if maybe you could go over different skirt types/lengths, and how they are supposed to affect performance. Also, does this product even work that good?


  11. BB,

    One more quick question. I have decided on a Beeman GH950. According to Pyramid Air’s specs, this gun has a relatively light trigger pull at just 1.5lbs. It is made by Norica, and has “12 groove” rifling. From my little knowledge of firearms, the more grooves, and rate of twist a gun has, the more accurate it should be. Would this be a decent gun for hunting Squirrels?

  12. Cheekpiece risers,

    Curiously, one just fell out of a box in my garage! It was made and sold years ago. They aren’t popular items, so they come and go.

    The one that has stuck around the longest is the lace-on type made for the M1 Garand, for snipers in WWII. It’s been in continuous production all my life.

    Try looking for it at



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