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Air Guns What a difference a stock makes: Part Five

What a difference a stock makes: Part Five

HW 30S and new stock
The Steve Corcoran-made custom HW 30 stock.

What BB did
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Background
  • How does it do?
  • The test
  • First target
  • Second target
  • Blew up
  • Was it worth it?
  • Summary

Today I report on the custom stock Steve Corcoran made for my HW 30S. There is more in today’s report than just a look at a pretty stock, because pretty is as pretty does. So, make a double pot of coffee or tea. This might just be a two-doughnut day!


You may recall that this all started when I realized that I could not see the open sights on the new HW 30S I bought. On April 21, 2021 I said, All throughout this test I had a hard time maintaining my sight picture. I really felt that if I had a rear peep sight I could shoot better. That wasn’t the test today, though, so I toughed it out. But at some point in the future I do want to try this rifle with a rear peep sight. However that won’t be next.”

I said that in 2021. In May of this year (2023) I said this about the HW 30S, “Okay, if the Diana 35 is not the right rifle for BB, what is? Well, I knew I had the Weihrauch HW 30S that I bought new and tested for you extensively a few years back. Many readers said the 30S was the rifle I should consider, but when I said I would consider it one of our readers, who’s name I can’t recall, told me to heft the 30S and see if I can see the front sight. Yeah — I can see the front sight. In fact when I hoist the 30S to my shoulder naturally I can not only see the entire front sight but also about two inches of the barrel in the notch of the rear sight! In other words, the comb of the HW 30S stock is too high! What to do?”

Those remarks were in reference to finding one airgun in my pile that I could count on for pests. I wanted one with open sights and a known best pellet and I wanted a rifle that shot where I aimed — OFFHAND!  In that same report I also said this,Well, in the report titled, Should I? I floated the idea of either me modifying the HW 30S stock myself or having a custom rifle stock made for it that is more like the stock Weihrauch used to put on the rifle. That way is the most costly, but I end up with the air rifle I want rather than some ultramodern tacticool monstrosity created for couch commandos.

My decision was to go the custom stock route. I contacted Steve Corcoran and he is currently considering my request. A conventional (read that as old school) rifle stock is not his normal product, but he told me he would give it a try.”

That was what started the series What a difference a stock makes. I did buy a used HW 30S stock of the older style in the interim and that was the stock I had on the rifle for the Part 4 report.

HW 30S older stock mounted
The HW 30S barreled action is in the older stock. The new style stock is below.

I had ordered the custom stock from Steve Corcoran before the reader told me about the old-style stock that was for sale, so I kept my order open. I figured it would be nice to see how a custom stock shapes up against the older style stock Weihrauch used to sell.

I told Steve what my problems were with the newer-style Weihrauch stock and apparently I’m not the only person with this problem. Several readers have said they have difficulty seeing the rear sight with the new-style stock. Weihrauch says they have tested it and don’t have any trouble with seeing both open sights, but I can Gumby-up and say the same thing! I want a stock that fits me conventionally for a rifle I plan to depend on.

I didn’t want a stock that looks like an electric guitar, which is the bulk of what Steve makes because that’s what shooters want today. But he can make anything and we discussed what I needed. The picture at the top of this report is what he produced.

How does it do?

I installed the barreled action in the new stock and have to tell you it fit like a hand in a glove. In fact, it was so tight I thought it might not go in, but in the end it fit perfectly. But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. We all want to know how this new stock tastes/holds.

I hoisted it to my shoulder. Lo and behold, the sights are in perfect alignment. So, Weihrauch, a stock doesn’t have to look like a sniper stock to work. It can look traditional and do the job quite well.

But just looking through the sights isn’t the whole story. How does this stock support BB Pelletier when he stands on his legs and shoots with open sights?

The test

The test was five shots per bull from 10 meters. I shot offhand with my left leg against a chair. It touched the chair just above the left knee to slow the wobble. I held the rifle the same way I held it in the Part 4 test — I held the butt tight into my shoulder and rested the forearm lightly on the palm of my off hand, way out at the end of the stock. I waited until the front sight was where I wanted it and then deliberately pulled the trigger.

I shot the JSB Exact Heavy pellet, because testing showed it is the most accurate pellet in this air rifle. On reader RidgeRunner’s recommendation I bought a leather Wilkens pellet pouch that I can keep with the rifle so I always have the best pellet when I need it.

First target

The first group was five shots in 2.612 inches at 10 meters. Ooops! I won’t show you the group, but trust me — it was bad. That’s not an improvement. What went wrong?

Build a Custom Airgun

Second target

I started shooting the second target the same way I shot the first. But it wasn’t what my hands wanted to do. On both shots I had to correct my off hand that wanted to balance the stock in front of the trigger guard like I was shooting a 10-meter target rifle. Those two shots dropped down and away from the bull I aimed at.

Then I thought — why not try shooting it that other way? This is a different stock; maybe it wants to be held like this.

The next three shots went into a group that measures 0.19-inches between centers. I used a dime as the comparison coin, but these three shots deserve a trime.

HW 30S target
Five shots are in 1.253 inches between centers but the three I shot using a 10-meter hold are in 0.19-inches!

Blew up

After seeing that group, I blew up. I was done for the day. But now I know that this Steve Corcoran custom stock works very well! It doesn’t make the rifle any more accurate, but it seems to make it easier for me to be accurate with the rifle. Does that make sense?

Was it worth it?

Most of you won’t go the custom stock route. And this is probably the last custom stock I will have made, though I do still need a nice stock for my TX200 Mark III.

I spent $460 on this stock, including shipping. That’s more than I paid for the rifle, so from that standpoint you might not think it was “worth it”.

On the other hand, I’ve also invested money in a tuning kit for this same rifle, and a used older-style stock to see whether the HW 30S is the right pest rifle for me to shoot offhand, plus a handmade leather pellet pouch from the UK to keep the one best pellet with the rifle, so the price rises up even higher.

I now have an air rifle that I can use to dispatch pests at a moment’s notice. Sure, I could have done the same for a lot less money invested (CZ/Slavia 634?), but look at what I now have. Talk about an heirloom! In my opinion it was worth every penny I spent on this project.


This has been one of the most fun blog series I have ever written. Best of all, you got to watch

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

49 thoughts on “What a difference a stock makes: Part Five”

  1. Hey B.B.

    I learned a long time ago that “one size fits all”, never does.
    Now the real question is, can you see though a scope if you mounted it to your new stocked HW 30?
    Now you need a Williams peep and a Rowan setback trigger.

    With your standing wobble, how is your 10M pistol shooting coming along??


    PS what is the length of pull? Is the action glass bedded?

    • Yogi,

      I haven’t kept up with the 10-meter pistol practice as I had hoped.

      The pull is 14-3/4-inches.

      The action is not glass bedded, but the fit is glove-tight.


  2. How is this new stock for “grippyness” on a hot Summer day? Each of my wood stock rifles has the typical fish scaling at the trigger and forearm to maintain my hold. Do you use some sort of magic resin? I realize that using the artillery hold we want the rifle to move, but using my perspiration soaked hand just doesn’t seem to work that way. Beautiful stock by the way and I’m glad you like it. I’m truly a believer in old-time wood stocks. Orv.

  3. BB,

    I guess I’m lucky the modern HW30S factory stock works just fine for me.

    This new stock looks great though.

    Airghandi has similar issues (he can shoot the HW30S but it’s not ideal) and he has had custom stocks built as well:


    Yes, those were more expensive than the rifle as well, but who cares?

    1. The HW30S is basically a mini sniper rifle and punches above its weight
    2. It’s a hobby and those don’t need to make sense.

    I really like wood as a material… I’m still considering putting wooden scales on my Victorinox Work Champ and Swiss Champ knives (possibly with modifications so I can still insert the accessories like the toothpick, tweezers and pen).

    P.S.: Can we get a higher-res shot of the new stock?


      • Tom,

        How different is it from the artillery hold? When I shoot off hand I am conscious of the fingertips of my left hand acting only as a shelf for the fore end with my left elbow on my chest (making me wish that I could easily add a hamster). Due to my short upper arm I have to lean backwards to keep my left elbow stable. My right hand is trying to control the rifle without pulling it back to my shoulder excessively. My feet are positioned comfortably with no tension. Left foot towards target and right foot angled around 45 degrees away from the target. I can only maintain this position for less than a minute before I have to admit that my back hurts and I have lost my concentration and take a break.

        If a makeshift rest is available I would of course use it by gripping it with left hand and resting the rifle on back my hand I suppose. The major difference is that this time I’m leaning forward.


    • He does not use a 10 Meter hold. If he did his off hand elbow would be jammed into his side and he would hold the rifle nearer to the trigger guard. The way B.B. described it, he hold the rifle way out there nearer to the muzzle. This causes his wobble. 10 M guns are muzzle heavy, the HW 30 is not. Maybe add a muzzle weight? Also, 10M shooters hold their heads straight up, not crouched forward.


      • Yogi,

        The off hand position is certainly something not much used by Tom as he is always trying to remove himself as a short to demonstrate the accuracy of the guns he is testing. In off hand shooting it is definitely the shooter being tested.


  4. BB,

    Nice stock! Yes, we need more about it.

    Thanks to a gentleman in New Zealand, I have a nice set of grips made by Steve for my 2240, which I bought just for those grips. If you are fortunate enough to convince Steve to make a stock for you, you will not regret it.

  5. What a coincidence BB!

    A while ago you “enabled” me and I bought the .22 Air Arms S510 XS that I’ve wanted for quite a while. Bought online with no opportunity for touchy-feely, I found afterwards that the shape of the comb on the walnut stock did not suit my (skinny) face and I couldn’t get a good/consistent cheek weld.

    Being very fussy about how a rifle fits I considered making a custom adjustable (contrasting dark) walnut cheek piece for it. While looking at pictures of adjustable stocks for inspiration I was impressed with the laminated stock.

    Contrary to my normal DIY habits, I ordered the laminated stock and it arrived yesterday… I can fully relate to your blog title: What a Difference a Stock Makes! IMHO, a properly fitted stock is critical to getting the best accuracy and this was what I needed.

    A “quick” test to adjust the stock ended up with me emptying a whole can of pellets! Fun stuff!

    I’m really pleased with the laminated stock – it feels right and looks great, but the you know that because you have the same airgun.


    • Hank,

      I assume the reason you have not shown us pictures of this stock is because they will be in your upcoming guest blog? hint, hint, enable, enable… 🙂


          • Roamin,

            The beauty and the elegance of the AA stocks was what first attracted me to them. Practical performance hade me buy a Weihrauch HW100 at the time.

            I eventually came back to the S510 (thanks for that nudge BB 🙂 ) and I got the walnut stock (shown below) that I admired, unfortunately it didn’t fit me.

            To bad as it had a lot of highlights in the grain that would have really popped under a couple of coats of varnish.

          • Roamin,

            As far as “electric guitar” stock goes I think that the Air Arms laminate stock is pretty tame relative to the “Christmas colors” stock on my FWB 603 10 meter airgun.

            It’s taken me years to get used to the red/blue/green/blue/red color scheme on that stock that reminds me of Christmas wrapping paper LOL!

            Fortunately, for gaudy stocks, tactical stocks and bottle guns I can’t see the stock when looking through the sights.

            I still much prefer traditional furniture on my rifles but I can’t ignore the performance of the modern airguns and find my tolerance for tacti-cool increasing (my Panthera IS A BEAST!).

            Progressive as I may be in my old age, until they offer true laser weapons, there’s no place for StarWars designs in my gun cabinet – though I am hoping to get a (real) light-saber. 😉


  6. BB,
    I think you’ve had more fun with this project than might be allowed under normal circumstances :).
    Your Corcoran stock is beautiful, this fellow really knows his business! The shape and the detailing are gorgeous. I bet you smiled like the Cheshire Cat after you cinched up the last screw and gazed upon it.
    A terminology question: would the style of this new stock be called a Monte Carlo, because of the raised cheekpiece and the drop before the heel?
    Looking forward to more. Enjoy!

  7. That’s a looker and if it helps you be a better shooter, more power – no pun or suggestion intended – to both of you. Don’t second-guess yourself about the spending; if you’re able to indulge a bit, do it. Can’t take it with you. Ask King Tut.

    Fortunately for FM, the new-style stock does not seem to make his mediocre shooting abilities worse, so gonna stick with it.

  8. B.B., that’s a beautiful stock, and it certainly is helping you to be more accurate off hand, as you wanted. Win–win!

    Let me stir the dark side pot a bit, however. In a recent blog report you said this: “The RAW MicroHunter is a wonderful precharged pellet rifle. It makes me a better shooter.” So which would be the better go-to pesting shooter, the HW 30S or the MicroHunter?

  9. “In my opinion it was worth every penny I spent on this project.”
    I concur with that assessment; and your custom stock is a work of art…gorgeous! 🙂
    Blessings to you

  10. Nice eye candy today.
    Shooting “OFF HAND”. We don’t hear much about slings these days, but I can hold, shoulder and aim, my 10 lb. Diana Mauser K98 springer with one hand using a sling. I’m sure it would help with offhand shooting.

    A small QD screw in attachment might not mess up the looks of the stock too much.

    I remember we talked about using a sling and how it may affect the artillery hold behavior, but it may be worth a try on a rifle that already has sling mounts. Perhaps some adapting may be needed?

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