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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:10 am 
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Location: Hampshire
I have been wondering whether there is a good but hidden reason why most modern cheek pieces seem to be slim platforms on which the cheek bone rests. Is it simply that they are more comfortable or more easily enable people to get their eye directly in line with the iris? Or is there some other advantage in being able to rest the cheek bone on a platform design, not to say jam the flesh beneath the cheek bone right into the edge of the platform, which some shooters seem to do? I have a Gemini cheek piece, which I find comfortable and which puts my eye where it needs to be, but I am aware that the whole cheek is kind of resting against the angled slope of the cheek piece as well as somewhat on top of it and thus perhaps a little bit imprecise and insecure in its 'weld' to the cheek piece, to import a term from the shotgun world. Would a platform cheek piece be a good idea, at least in theory? (I realise of course that we all have different facial anatomies, which is why I say 'in theory'.) Or is there a danger that for an unskilful shooter downwards pressure on a platform cheek piece could unsteady the whole rifle?

Of the modern designs , the Bleiker seems to be the most adjustable (as well as hideously expensive). Would anyone recommend it as opposed, say, to the Anschutz Precise design?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:30 pm 
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Roger,

Firstly my apologies, I'm really not trying to answer your questions first.

Now, cheekpieces, I'd noticed that many of the newer designs have a flat top with little at the side, unlike 1st Generation alu stocks the Anschutz 2213 or Walther KK300 which do have a cheekpiece proper. I suspect the change to a shallower cheekpiece is to suit the micro adjustable lateral adjustment now available, which the older style must limit. IIRC the 2213 rolls rather than slides across. Remember that the Gemini cheekpiece hasn't really been changed for 20 years; the old Ultra was designed to compete against wood stocked 1913s.

As for your Gemini, yes I think you could bolt a MEC or Tec-Hro top onto the carrier. If you have the original hard to the right (I do to fit behind the sights), be careful that any new "top" is high enough that your jaw clears the carrier. Alternatively if you want more contact under the cheekbone build up the edge with plastic wood, or swap it for a squarer piece of wood. Personally I think the pressure should come straight down on the cheekpiece , and any contact at the side should just be for guidance. This way you can be sure the stock is supporting the head; lots of lateral pressure against the jaw makes me think the neck is not relaxed. I may be prejudiced here as I have very little cheekbone and a wide face so every rifle I've ever shot has been too wide. Furthermore, to my mind lateral heavy presure does not seem a good thing for clean recoil


Last edited by Tim S on Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:41 pm 
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I like my AHG precise, it sits right against my cheekbone. I find if I jam my cheek into the cheekpiece not only does it disrupt my vision but I get a pulse.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:22 pm 
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Tim,

I really thought that there would be at least a few enthusiastic Bleiker, G and E, etc owners out there with opinions to offer. I still live in hope of some coming forward but I'm sorry to have initially put you in the firing line yet again. As always, I am very grateful for what you have to say. I greatly value your informed views and I have taken on board everything you say. I'm glad to learn that I wasn't entirely on the wrong track. It would seem that I ought to experiment with modifying or replacing my Gemini cheek piece, comfortable though I find it. I had forgotten, if I ever knew, that it was a 20 year old design.

Andre,

Thank you also for your contribution. Good point about a possible increase in pulse - I must watch that.

Roger


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:38 pm 
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I have the Grunig Black II that came with my Hybrid 3000 and I love it. It takes a little getting used to but the adjustability is great. The surface is a little slippery especially if you're sweating but it's nothing that a little moleskin can't fix. You can fine adjust both horizontally and vertically while in position with a little practice. It's very repeatable and everything is indexed so you can repeat the settings for every position every time. I have not had any experience with the Bleiker version but I see no reason it should be any different. If you're willing to spend that much I'd say get it. It's better to have the adjustability and not use it than wish you had it later.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:20 pm 
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I shoot both the 2213 and precise stocks. They definitely aren't as comfortable as wood, but the spot weld and pressure consistency may be more important.

Mark


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:20 am 
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Location: Taunton, Somerset
Roger,

Thank you, and don't mention it.

If the Gemini fits as is, and works why change? Just because new rifles have a different shape to fit more faces doesn't mean that older designs fit no-one. You may be the lucky one (it's certainly not me). So long as you aren't pressing sideways, some contact between the side of your cheekpiece and your face is inevitable.

Since you say it currently fits well enough, experimenting on another piece of wood seems sensible. Take photos of the existing set up first, or mark the coloured plate (I place masking tape on this against the edge of the carrier), so you can recreate it easily if you go back. Remember that changing the angle at the side effectively changes the lateral position.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:47 am 
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patriot wrote:
I shoot both the 2213 and precise stocks. They definitely aren't as comfortable as wood, but the spot weld and pressure consistency may be more important.

Mark


That's my belief anyhow. While I use the Tec-Hro carbon fiber piece on my rifle, one of the better prone shooters I've encountered made his own. It was mostly flat laminated wood; the cheek side edge was skived out, and a small piece of cork glued-in in its place. I wish I'd taken a picture of it.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:46 am 
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Location: Hampshire
Many thanks indeed for all the useful and interesting contributions since my last post. Tim is spot on in what he says about the difficulties of modifying the Gemini cheek piece. I spent several hours yesterday making an alternative out of a nice piece of mahogany. It looked right, felt comfortable off the stock, was correctly and firmly positioned on the carrier, but it didn't feel quite right in position and didn't for some reason seem to give much more secure contact at the top than the standard Gemini piece. I suspect that the platform principle is correct but it has to be part of an integrated stock design, and I can't really justify at my age and modest level of shooting the expenditure on a new stock. In any case, it is probably pilot error rather than a slight insecurity at the cheek piece that accounts for all those just-missing-the-10 shots that I experience.

Roger


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:14 am 
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Roger,

I don't actually think it's that difficult to modify a Gemini. Because the top is just a big lump of wood, anyone with a suitably sharp implement and some plastic wood can have at it. It does take a little time to reach the right balance of left-right adjustment and shape, but this is true of any cheekpiece. Micro adjustment makes the process slightly quicker, but won't help if the shape of the cheekpiece doesn't match your face.

It might be better not to start with nice hardwood, but just a old bit of softwood that is more easily cut. Once you have worked out where you need to add material to increase contact, and remove it, then it's time to copy this to the mahogany.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:59 am 
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Tim,

Yes, I think you are right about the crucial nature of the shape/profile fitting the face. I have looked again at another cheek piece I made for a semi-adjustable butt that I have constructed for my BSA Mk 5 (a long standing saga that one) and it is different from the new one for the Gemini, less of a platform but still giving decent support under the cheek bone. I will try to adapt it for the Gemini. Thank you for your patient interest in my little preoccupations.

Roger


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:17 am 
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Roger,

don't mention it.

I think it really depends on the shape of your face. Some people (the lucky so-and-sos) fit standard cheekpieces, and only need the basic height adjustment. It strikes me that if you are going to the trouble of making a cheekpiece to improve the fit over the standard, it should fit really well, not just OK.

Adjustable BSA Mk V butts? Would these have a deeper grip (i.e. extending lower under the pinky) than standard? There are a couple of Mk V shooters at my club.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:13 am 
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Tim,

Good point about an exact fit in relation to the trouble involved. I'm moderately handy with wood working but perhaps not quite handy enough. I may just have fluked it with the BSA cheek piece.

Now, my BSA Mk 5 substitute butt is closely based, at a long remove, on that part of my Gemini stock, with which you are familiar. So you will, I hope, understand when I say that it has a kind of snakey, flattened 'S' shape, ending in the wooden equivalent of the Gemini's aluminium attachment that takes the rods for the actual butt plate. Not too difficult to make if you have a band saw, which I don't but I used to have access to one. What caused most trouble was drilling the wood to achieve the right angle and depth for the long bolt to attach the butt to the BSA action. I purchased three UNC bolts (I think it was UNC not UNF) of differing lengths and all the same, correct thread, one of which suited pretty well. The BSA bolt would be far too long for the new, much shorter head of the 'S' unit. I used a small piece of right angled aluminium to fix the aforesaid cheek piece onto, very much on the lines of the adjustable ones on Anschutz 1800 Supermatch butts. The cheek piece has a slot, like its Anschutz counterpart, so it can rise and fall by means of a captive threaded insert in the 'S' unit and a suitable bolt and washer (not spring loaded like the Anschutz). The aluminium piece is set into the wood to prevent it from moving sideways, though the pressure of the bolt would probably suffice. Then I drilled two holes in a separate block of wood, which I attached by glue and screws to the main 'S' shaped unit, to match the holes on my Gemini, which enables me to use the Gemini butt plate straight off the Gemini stock proper. I carefully measure the required length from grip to the beginning of the butt plate so as to allow the Gemini butt plate to come up against the wooden receiver and be held in place by shoulder pressure and a degree of friction between the Gemini's steel rods and the wooden receiver. Clearly I have not as yet bothered to make the butt plate adjustable as it is on the original Gemini.

Finally, to answer your question about the grip: I modelled the grip on a combination of the BSA original and the Gemini's. It was made separately and attached by glue and dowel to the 'S' unit. It is slanted outwards more than the BSA grip but less than the Gemini at its maximum and, I understand, recommended Nibbs setting. There is a palm swell, though that needs improvement, and the shaping for the individual fingers is rudimentary. In use, the thumb remains on top, as it does with the BSA original, so it is not a true pistol grip. Even more than the 'S' unit, it is a composite piece, built up of different bits of wood glued together, perhaps as a novice, unskilful pattern maker might do. I thought about trying to make it move in different directions as the Gemini's does, perhaps with an off the shelf ball joint, but found the available space too restricted and no ball joint seemed suitable. The Nibbs ball joint is available but expensive. Oh, and trying to get the BSA lever to fit neatly into the new grip has not really been achieved as yet.

I hope all of the above is clear enough, which may be doubted. Even more doubtful is whether it is worth your or anybody's while to read through it! It was and is a project for my own amusement, though with a definite practical goal. I used cherry for the 'S' piece as it is strong but workable. The rest is made from various types and bits of hardwood that I happened to have lying around, iroko being one. I have a lovely chunk of an unknown tropical hardwood that I would use if I were ever so foolish as to try to repeat the exercise.

Roger


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:22 pm 
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Location: Australia
Niccolò Campriani in the Rio 50m prone final,using an unusual cheekpiece:

Attachment:
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:48 pm 
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another pic here:

Attachment:
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Untitled.png [ 246.48 KiB | Viewed 1684 times ]


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:57 pm 
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
From my experience the idea behind having a sharper edge on a cheekpiece is to have a very defined edge to locate your face on the same way every time. I used a MEC cheekpiece for a long time, but switched to a wooden one with a sharper edge on it. I then modified this so it doesn't contact the rear part of my jaw, thus keeping my head straight. It works quiet well, but is by no means comfortable. But if we wanted to be comfortable I don't think shooting is the sport we would have chosen...
Matt


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:12 am 
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andrewp wrote:
Niccolò Campriani in the Rio 50m prone final,using an unusual cheekpiece:


I think he has taken inspiration from his girlfriend Petra Zublasing, who has used even more minimalist designs. She did rather well with a Walther Anatomic stock and no cheekpiece! She balanced on the curve of the butt, seemingly with very delicate pressure. In his commentary of the 3x20 at the 2013 WCF Henri Jungaenel observed that she'd taken off the cheekpiece and seen her scores rocket.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:03 am 
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Very interesting photos of Campriani. Looks a bit uncomfortable but well done him for making the effort. I suppose that this is an example of the expensive, high-tech additional equipment that currently so worries the ISSF and puts people off target rifle shooting?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:54 pm 
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Cumbrian wrote:
Very interesting photos of Campriani. Looks a bit uncomfortable but well done him for making the effort. I suppose that this is an example of the expensive, high-tech additional equipment that currently so worries the ISSF and puts people off target rifle shooting?



Exactly! Just look at the effort he's putting into the "arms race" - imagine if he would simply put all of his effort into training & physical conditioning!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:18 am 
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Hi, I am reviving this topic as I want to experiment with my cheeck piece, Walther KK300 Anatomic. The shape has never really felt like a good match for me, it is very rounded and a rather large surface area. If I rotate it towards me it gets sharper, but uncomfortably so. It occurred to me before finding this thread, why aren't people moulding a cheek piece to suit their precise cheekbone geometry? I thought maybe there was a rule prohibiting this, and there is, but only for 300m and 10m rifle events (7.4.2.2 The pistol grip, cheek-piece or lower part of the stock may not be anatomically formed.)

But for 50m it seems like its game on. So wouldn't it, from a position repeatability perspective, be best to have a moulded cheek piece that somewhat wraps up your cheek/jaw so you get precision repeatability every time, similar to what is shown above on Campriani? It would be fairly simple to press one's cheek into some clay to make a mould, and then fibreglass/carbon fibre/clay/<insert favourite substrate here> to make something that fits exactly ? Indeed I'm sure I saw this mentioned somewhere that the KK300 Anatomic cheek piece is made from wood to actually allow some re-shaping to occur.....


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