• DIY Raised Cheek Piece

    My 13-year old son and I have been competing in local scoped rifle matches for the past couple of years. We've been sharing a Savage 10FP in .308 which has worked, but being selfish, I slowly been accumulating the pieces to put together a rifle specifically for him so I could have mine back! A friend of ours provided a donor action and barrel - a Savage 10FP with a stainless steel fluted barrel chambered in .223. I purchased an aftermarket recoil lug and, direct from Savage, detachable bottom metal hardware. Since we didn't have a lot of money to spend on a stock, we opted for a Boyd's Tacticool. Priced at about $100, it wasn't a bad choice to keep the project rolling and I've been really happy with my stock purchases from Boyd's in the past. To properly hold the action, I installed pillars (using lamp rod) and bedded the action to the stock using Brownells Acraglass. A fair amount of work was required during the bedding prep to ensure that all five rounds would feed reliably from the magazine. It was definitely not a "drop-in" fit, but after doing some research I've found that there are a couple of different bottom metal patterns. I'm not sure exactly which one we ended up with, but it all works.

    Once we had the action properly bedded, we began looking for a suitable optic. Trying to stay value-minded, I kept leaning toward the SWFA line-up of fixed-power scopes. I have had both 10x and 20x versions in the past and each proved to be a worthwhile investment. The 20x had been mounted atop a Barrett 50 BMG and was useful for 1000 yard matches. Where we shoot, however, the mirage quickly takes over during the morning matches. That and I figured that it would be a bit much for our local matches which max out at about 600 yards. I was eventually able to pick up a used SWFA 12x scope with TPS rings for a good price.

    With the scope mounted in the low TPS rings, my son and I were both unable to get a good view through the scope while maintaining proper cheek weld. We took the rifle to the range and ran 15 shots through it just to check the bedding job and see if the rifle would shoot. We were both shooting slightly less than MOA groups with the rifle paired with some 69gr. factory match ammo. With some more break-in, and maybe some hand loading, it should do even better.

    In order to address the eye/scope alignment issue, I chose to do a DIY raised cheek piece. I had employed this "fix" to the Bell & Carlson Tactical Medalist that my .308 rides in, and thought that the same basic process would work on the Tacticool. While commercially available hardware is available for this mod, it is hard to beat the DIY route - using about $8 worth of hardware from the local Tractor Supply store. I began by laying out the profile of the cut to the stock with blue painters tape. I found this technique to work really well for visualizing the shape of the cheek piece and for also following the cut line with the blade. Next, I made a right angle jig to hold the stock. Once the stock was leveled and secure, I cut out the cheek piece on the band saw. After some light sanding of the stock and cheek piece, we laid out the locations for the stop collars. Finding the center of the stock was easy as it contained 23 layers of even-thickness laminate. I counted in to the middle section and center punched it. Since the stop collars are 3/4" in diameter, I chucked up a matching Forstner bit in the drill press. A level vial with double stick tape was secured to the stock to ensure that it set level on the drill press table. A second level kept us drilling square to the stock in all aspects. While I held everything steady, my son plunged the bit into the stock.

    After drilling the 3/4" holes deep enough to accommodate the stop collars, we moved onto drilling the holes that would allow the riser rods some room to move. We drilled these holes slightly over sized, which really wasn't necessary. The holes will eventually fill with epoxy and will be drilled out later on. When they are drilled out, only a 3/8" bit can be used due to the collar's inner diameter. In hindsight, one could probably just drill for the stop collar, epoxy it in place as I've done here, and then drill the counter-bored 3/8" hole.

    Next up, drill 1/4" access holes for the height adjustment. Using a square, I extended the center lines of each original hole drilled for the stop collars down the side of the stock. After center punching the location of these holes it was back to the drill press.

    Next, we installed the collars and ensured that the access holes were in line with the set screw threads. We simply installed some 1/4" bolts to be sure.

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. michaelnel's Avatar
      michaelnel -
      Very nicely done, thanks for sharing it with us!
    1. bootsmcguire's Avatar
      bootsmcguire -
      Thanks for sharing with us, my hat is always tipped to fellow DIY'er. Looks good.
    1. badmutha6's Avatar
      badmutha6 -
      I just recently finished doing the same treatment to my Bell stock from your tutorial on a different forum. Thanks again for all the help!
    1. 264co's Avatar
      264co -
      Nice work. I found an anschutz clamp and did something similar but I think I like your method better.

  • Help support Savage Shooters by
    joining Team Savage today!

    Upgrade to Team Savage