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Air Guns › What a difference a stock makes: Part Six

What a difference a stock makes: Part Six

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

What BB did
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • Walnut
  • The hold
  • The grip
  • Grip cap
  • Left grip panel
  • Palm swell
  • Brass stock screw bushing
  • Summary

Today we take a detailed look at the Steve Corcoran custom stock for my HW 30S. I was impressed by the number of comments that asked for more detail, and here it is.


The wood is walnut. I asked Steve for an unfigured piece with a relatively straight grain and that’s what he gave me. I wanted strength, and straight-grained walnut has that with lighter weight than other hardwoods like beech.

The hold

Reader Siraniko asked me to describe how I held the rifle when I switched over and shot the tiny group on target two. A picture is the best way to describe it.

HW 30S hold
This is what I mean by a 10-meter target rifle hold. The forearm is resting on my thumb and index finger. The elbow of that arm is pressed against my left side. That may look difficult but this is a lightweight rifle and walnut is a lightweight hardwood. This is the hold that produced that tiny group.

HW 30S hold detail
Here is that hold in detail. My thumb is in the hollow for the forward trigger guard bolt.

The grip

Steve spent a lot of time on the grip of this stock. After consideration I have decided that this is the reason why I felt the rifle needed to be held like a 10-meter target rifle. My right hand grabs this grip and wants to continue holding it. Reader Hoppalong Doc asked if the stock was grippy. This grip makes it so.

HW 30S grip 1
My right hand wraps around the grip and my thumb goes up the groove.

HW 30S grip 2
This view shows the grip stippling better.

Grip cap

Steve puts a trademark grip cap on the stocks he makes. You can see the edge of that cap in the two photos above. Reader Derrick asked to see details of the cap, so let’s see that now.

HW 30S grip cap
The grip cap has Steve Corcoran’s trademark.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Left grip panel

The panel of stippling on the left side is smaller because it’s just there for the fingertips.

HW 30S left grip panel
The left grip panel.

Palm swell

I asked Steve for a slight palm swell on the right side and he gave it to me. This is another reason this grip feels like a 10-meter target rifle grip and another reason the grip feels “grippy.”

HW 30S palm swell
This view looks almost straight down on the grip and the slight palm swell on the right side can be seen.

Brass stock screw bushing

Another custom feature Steve added was a brass stock screw bushing in the forearm. He fitted it flush with the wood, which makes it stand out.

HW 30S bushing
The forearm screw bushing is fitted flush with the wood.

There. Now you see the details of this stock. The only detail I can’t show is the barreled action’s tight fit. You just have to take my word for that.


This is what you get with a custom stock from Steve Corcoran. Of course there are many features he offers I didn’t show because I asked for a rather plain sporting stock. To see what he offers you need to check out his website.

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.

35 thoughts on “What a difference a stock makes: Part Six”

  1. B.B.

    Looks good and I’m sure fits even better.
    Do you know what the stock was finished with? Looks a little glossy in the photos. That might be the lighting however…

    I’m sure you enjoyment of the HW 30 just went up exponentially!


    • Yogi,

      The wood is finished in a matte finish with the wood completely sealed, so the shine you see is lighting. I tried to overcome that but the wood is so smooth it still caught the light.


  2. Steve does great work, it’s one of those buy once, cry once things.

    But if you have an airgun you really like, and intend to keep, get one of his stocks, you will no longer like the airgun, you will LOVE it.


    Happy Friday everyone.

  3. BB
    Great stock, I wish I could find a way to get one.
    Under your photo holding the rifle it says
    “The firearm is resting on my thumb and index finger.” Maybe you meant forearm?

  4. Wow, what a gorgeous stock. Steve is very talented and the details remind me of some of the work a very talented luthier friend does on his guitars. And the 10-meter rifle hold you showed is similar to how Kirsten held her rifle when shooting an egg at 300-yards. I can tell that you are very proud to have that work of art. Congratulations!

  5. BB,

    Thanks for the details!

    Steve does very nice work! As someone who dabbles in stock making I can appreciate the subtleties in finished product.

    Interesting that you asked for straight grained walnut. I always ask for the wildest grain – with knots if possible – that really adds character and uniqueness to the stock.

    Some of my most interesting stocks were made from coarse pallet-wood. People are starting to appreciate that source of materials. 🙂


  6. That picture of your hold technique is worth over 1000 words to FM, BB. He will try that at the next HW30 backyard shoot. As stated previously, beautiful stock, beautifully crafted.

  7. Gorgeous stock BB, congratulations. Steve does indeed very fine work, I am tempted.

    Now, with a stock that fits for handheld shooting, what is next for the rifle? Perhaps a peep or rather ghost ring sight?


  8. Hi BB
    One thing about your stance that may improve the grouping is leaning back instead of forward. On another topic, pesting, if done at night I find the use of a red dot very helpful. For some reason you rarely encounter red dots paired with airguns and I think they are ideally suited for the tasks one uses an airgun for.

  9. BB,
    I think that you have attained in your airgun what many of us aspire to. An easy shooting, accurate, attractive platform. We all might work toward a similar endpoint, given a different rifle (FWB, Diana, Walther, etc.). But, you have been able to assemble what I might describe as a form of airgun joy.
    May you have many sessions enjoying this rifle! (I know that I certainly would)

  10. I have not worked with wood that much but have had experience on cars and bikes with Bondo and custom paint and can really appreciate the work on that stock or any custom stock. But I always had the ability to redo something with the Bondo if I under cut it or change the custom paint design to cover up or include the screw up into a new design.

    Steve has very little room for error other than modifying the stock to eliminate, or include it, and hope it works out, If at all possible. Professionals can make things look easy, but the average person will never know what it takes to become one.
    You don’t use fingertips to check for contours and curves, it’s done with your palms. At least on cars.
    Very few people can apply Bondo just once to finish a job.

    Fortunately, people have learned to accept slight imperfections in precision work as a telltale sign of “Hand Made Quality”.

    I wonder, has anyone come up with some sort of vest or strap-on that incorporates an ‘adjustable’ elbow rest instead of resting on your body? You could use your palm instead of your thumb and fingertip and possibly avoid leaning back to aim higher.

    • Bob M,

      hehe, what sense of humour (!) to suggest attaching an elbow rest to the, erm, thing. 🙂

      On a different subject, I thought that the leaning back was to achieve a hip to elbow continuation of rigid bone contact, from the ground up to the gun, to aid stability. 🙂
      So, knuckles supporting the gun would be another such desirable hard contact point, wouldn’t it?

      • Interesting thoughts hihihi.

        Agree that for shooting at a static target a ridgid, locked stance and hard contact points are desirable. The vertical grip on a target rifle brings the elbow closer to the body and the weight helps to settle the rifle when braced leaning back. Everything is for stability.

        The flip-side is that for hunting/pesting/plinking (which is my background) you need flexibility/mobility to track a dynamic target. I favor a relaxed grip/hold on the rifle, trigger arm elbow at shoulder level, the other elbow vertical below the rifle, body leaning slightly forward but head/neck straight up. Speed and the ability to put the shot in the kill-zone at unknown distances takes precidence over absolute precision.

        Opposite ends of the (shooting) spectrum. 🙂

        My stance/hold is influenced by shooting high power center fire rifles where dealing with recoil is a consideration. My instinctive/fast shooting style is influenced by hunting, archery and slingshots.

        Thanks for your comment, it made me rethink my habits – which is a good thing to do. I need to expand my horizons and explore short range target and long range bench shooting more.

        As a sidebar, with the long winter coming, I want the get into some serious 10 meter target shooting training. Found this YouTube channel by a shooting coach which looks interesting. https://youtube.com/@heinzlive?si=uwQtNru8vHNFGHv7

        Shooting is fun stuff eh? It never gets boring as there’s always a greater challenge.


      • 3hi,
        Don’t know about you but if I tried to reach my hip with my elbow while standing, I’d be shooting at the ground directly in front of me. But I have a long waist.
        BB is resting his elbow on his left side, rib cage. Makes for a stable triangulation support, sort of speaking.
        There is no up or down aiming adjustment except for your hand and fingers and / or leaning forward or back.
        But in hindsight the problem seems to be solved by adjustable or thicker forearms on 10-meter rifles. Once adjusted to the shooter you are good to go.

    • Mike in Atl,

      I think Mr. Medina did himself in mentally long before he set foot on the flight to South Africa. The litany he provides of failure points only proves that One is None and two gives you a fair chance to have at least one functioning rifle for a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SHOOT.

      The whole story is instructive on getting out of sorts may make you see things that aren’t the actual problem…so was it the scope, the rifle, the color of the targets, the wind, or that the Coriolis Force goes the other way in the Southern Hemisphere?
      Speaking of Forces Newton’s 1st Law, the one about Inertia, has had a vocabulary/translation error for the past 300 years! Apparently the English translation of one Latin word that had been overlooked: quatenus, which means “insofar”, not – unless – has roiled parts of the scientific community.

      For us Air gunners this explains every so called FLYER we have ever experienced…SO satisfying!

      INSOFAR as that hole in my target is not part of my group it isn’t my fault and THEREFORE doesn’t count…UNLESS you dare say otherwise.



      • Shootski,

        Yes indeed Hector shot himself in the foot by not taking a backup rifle, and yes one is none and two is one, we hope. I just pointed out his post as it seemed to me like a nice Saturday read and lots of cool pictures.

        I had not heard about Newtons 1st Law being somewhat misinterpreted all these years, interesting. Thanks for that.


        • Mike in Atl,

          It was a good read!
          Not a case of Schadenfreude at all.
          Any read, or retelling/Sea Story/Fish Tale, about someone else’s experiencing a big dark cloud event that we can learn from is certainly a good read.
          I like finding the silver lining. ;^)

          I don’t think it Matters to the Inertial Force!


  11. Hi Guys,

    I think the custom made stock is something which does not actually fit to any of a standard “discussion box” like price-performance one. It is the next level of airgunning. Discussion about how much it costs at the end and if it is better than the original stock does not make much sense. The area of the taste is out of discussion :=)

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