Our philosophy and the energy behind the development of the Center Balanced Rifle Platform Systems comes from the belief that many well manufactured, sometimes older, but otherwise excellent, well functioning rifles, are passed by by shooters since the current aftermarket offerings seem to be limited to accessories and perhaps a rifle stock replacement.
There are many beautiful and well made rifle stocks that are available from various manufacturers that will enhance the looks of the units, based on the original balance of the firearm. Albeit the replacement rifle stock units currently offered are well made of a good composite product or laminate or premium wood, and provide the rifle sportsman a suitable, or even better quality product than the original stock for a unit that generally has the same balance and feel of the original rifle, the ergonomics that could possibly yield a more balanced shooter's field arm are lacking, based on modern standards.
Gun catalogs are filled with current manufacture rifles and military arms that are state of the art battle and field rifles, not to mention excellent sporting arms. These fine rifles can cost in the several thousands of dollars and are well worth the investment, if acquisition finances allow.
However, many law-abiding American shooters who appreciate and support their second amendment rights and want a modern balanced field ready shooter may not have the kind of funds to support that kind of acquisition. That's where we come in.
The secondary benefits of our system and Patent provide better leverage for the trigger mechanism, placing the point of load on the tip of the trigger, providing a smoother engagement of the firing mode, a significant benefit to the long range shooter, without any modification of the factory trigger whatsoever. This direct rod system is superior to other systems utilizing levers and hingepoints.
Rifle collectors whose displays yields a broad range of beautifully made, exotic wood rifle stocks on premium actions, more often than not, fire those rifles very seldom, if at all. It can decrease the value or collectability of the firearm.
Our system is designed for shooters who are very familiar with the scent of gunpowder and fully intend to pull the trigger on their field arm a lot. It is our opinion that our system provides a better overall product and even surpasses the balance and feel of current manufacture rifle stocks. The beauty of a rifle fitted with our system is the feel and functioning of it when you pull the trigger.
So why the big deal about no modifications to the factory barreled action? Why do we invest all the additional time and energy into design that could perhaps be easily accomodated by the users modification of the barreled action in some form or the other? Doesn't some simple modifications make for a better field arm?
This too, is a matter of preference. We believe that many owners of rifles that fall into the CCR Rifles designation category may have the desire to return their units to the original factory stock and so modifications would by their nature change the intent or value of the original barreled action. Being able to return the barreled action to it's original stock (in a matter of a few minutes) without apparent damage due to modifications could be a benefit in the event of a re-sale of their rifle, along with other ansillary benefits, if preferred.
As far as modifications making the field arm better - that, of course, is debatable for several reasons, not the least of which has to do with the condition of the inherited rifle and it's intended use. To borrow a philosophy from the automobile world, an original manufactured product that is in excellent condition may be better served for the owner by restoration to it's original factory condition and limiting the actual use of the unit. For others, where that kind of restoration is not easily accomodated without substantial replacement expenses, some may choose (or prefer) to provide everything from different wheels and tires to a change out of the entire chassis and drive-train system because they intend to drive it and drive it as fast as possible. Neither choice is wrong - it's a matter of the original conditions of the product and the preference of the owner.
One way or ther other, eliminating modifications provide options that are not available if modifications to the barreled action are required to use the product.
Though not necessarily a current rifle firing position, our design allows for single handed manipulation of the rifle, whether it is a 10 pound barreled action like the SKS, or a lighter action, similar to current manufacture 22's. We believe this feature provides an apparent benefit in given situations where one-handed firing is at least accommodated. This is the major difference between our design and the sometimes butt-heavy "bull-pup" configuration, where this kind of balance is not possible.
Our System - Provide a well designed, center balanced, ergonomically satisfying pistol gripped rifle stock with a trigger actuator rod designed to maximize the standard manufactured trigger system and provide a folding front grip that enhances balance and feel of the rifle. Include an optics ready standard Picatinny rail system that provides for scope or other optics mounting, allowing for good optics on rifles where those options were not available in the original rifle.
Furthermore, make the system completely a drop-in unit, preserving the integrity of the original barreled action design, not requiring modifications to the factory hardware.
Here is an x-ray 3d sketch of the barrel alignment rails and the barrel lockdown set screw that is part of our patented system. For the 22 caliber units, the barrel alignment rails (red) support each side of the barrel, while the barrel lockdown set screw (green) holds it at a third point. These are fastened together with the side panels (blue) to assure alignment.
Cutaway at barrel alignment section
X-ray view of side panels (blue), barrel alignment rails (red) and barrel lockdown screw (green).
The heavier caliber rifles without barrel mounted flanges (re: SKS and AK variants) utilize a similar alignment principle, but, due to tapered barrels and recoil concerns, utilize the receiver trunnion screw or plate as a base load point and align the barrel into a Delrin V-groove with a set screw that, when properly tightened, provides correct alignment of the barrel with the scope mount.
The SKS and AK variant utilize the same V-groove system for alignment purposes, but utilize the factory barrel flanges for additional recoil handling, similar to the original stock design intent.
Barrel Alignment with Scope Mount Design Principles
So, why the departure from the standard Rifle stock System? And why the attempt to make the rifles look so different from other makers, including the original manufacturers?
Some of these changes are due to the base principle of our center-balanced patent and are inherent with a trigger system and hands forward of the receiver operations and associated ergonomics of use.
And though these units do modernize the looks of the rilfe, as much as possible, our intent has been to compliment the original lines of the rifle.
Some designs, like the Mosin Nagant 91/30 require a swept look due to the ergonomics required to provide the premium length of pull for the shooter due to ergonomics, as well as provide elements that provide excellent center of balance for the unit, in spite of the unusual length of the barrel.
For the SKS, we chose classic lines that matched the time period of the original manufacturer, and as much as possible used the unusual charactistics of the unit as design constraints for the completion of the design, while maintaining the balance inherent with our system.
The Mosin Nagant M38/44, due to the shorter carbine barrel length provided options for balance and ergonomics that were unusual, so we provided a stock that matched the "hot-rod" philosophy of the original manufacturer, while accomodating the specifics of our patent.
In all cases our intent has been to compliment the proportions of the original barreled action and provide the excellent benefits of the center balanced principles to the hard work that went into the original manufacturer's design, no matter how long ago that may have been.
Our design intent is to build our systems around the framework of the factory barreled action, deriving structural integrity from the strongest part of the weapon - the barrel and the receiver body.
This allows us to use well suited materials that may be lighter and less dense for areas of the stock that could benefit from a non-structual product (in lieu of wood, for example).
Structual chassis and recoil impact affected materials:
We considered (and continue to consider) several material types, including aluminum for differing structural aspects of our system. However, due to the tendency of aluminum to get very hot in hot weather and very cold in cold weather, we determined to find a good structural alternative that actually could provide an insulator to extreme conditions in the field.
So, the structural parts of our system use the most expensive and densest space-age plastic available to the public. Based on actual load situations, we use either a monopolymer, Delrin (a Dupont product), which has fantastic abrasion and impact resistance, and Acetal (also a Dupont product) a co-polymer that does have a bit more reflex due to the nature of co-polymer bonding.
Non Structual grips and shroud materials
Though some of our first prototypes used wood in some of the grips and panels (due to my affection for exotic woods) our advisors have suggested that we stay with plastic as much as possible to prevent the warpage considerations that a natural wood product is prone to with heat and humidity.
Based on those recommendations, for the grips and such, we have elected certain products that may be less dense than what a lot of manufacturers would use for grips, front grips and rear stock panels. But keep in mind that our stock panels wrap around the strongest parts of the weapon - the barrel and receiver body. That allows their structural density to be less (as well as lighter) than most rifle stock systems, where the standard rilfe stock extends beyond the strongest part of the rifle.
The secondary manufacturing process therefore requires milling the exterior skin off of air-entrained plastic, but the ensuing benefit is the best grip possible in the field where skin engages with open-celled material, and where body sweat and other moisture considerations could create a less than confident grip if other products were to be used, especially on rifles with shiny grips and extreme recoil.
Initial prototypes utilizing painted wood, exotic woods, aluminum chassis, perforated metal panels and shrouds, fixed grips, folding grips, hinged butts, quick change mounting, etc.
We continue to develop a better and better product through discoveries in the manufacturing process, as well at the drawing board and parametric modeling analysis. From time to time, we limit our production in order to initiate those changes, because we believe it yields a better concept in this developing product.
As a result, we have elected a manufacturing process to make it possible to initiate design changes, sometimes on a month to month basis in lieu of every few years or so due to the discovery of materials or other benefits of the ideas inherent in our Patent. By their nature, that means we will continue "custom" making our units during the development process and sharing our findings and products with interested customers.
Will these ever be injection molded, or resin cast or carbon fiber formed?
Perhaps. Maybe when the vision of the benefits of this type of system are better understood and appreciated by shooters who may currently prefer the rifle balance they've inherited from a varied history of long guns that match, generally, the same balance principles practiced for several hundred years. For some shooters, those preferences may never change, and after all, it is a matter of preference.
However, if a manufacturing partner with casting resources elected to contact us, we would not disregard correspondence or discussions.
We are not the first to consider a hands forward of the receiver rifle balance system. But we are pleased to offer a rifle stock system that can be balanced in the web of a single hand, without being butt-heavy while maintaining the longest barrel possible (the best means for longe range power and accuracy).
Regarding trigger mechanisms - In a lot of cases by other manufacturers, the resulting trigger system is either hinged, pivoted, cabled or includes all manner of secondary mechanisms that complicitly reduce tactile sense and resulting accuracy. But we have committed to a direct rod engagement system that provides the shooter a better tactile sense of sear engagement that, once accomodated and well practiced, provides the shooter better control of the firing sequence (as well as a more enjoyable and accurate shooting experience).
We are currently attempting to develop Folded Metal Designs of the chassis and shroud parts that would render the same balance inherent with our design in a material that some find preferable, aluminum (and for a few customers- titanium).
Our Spike design is ideal for this platform and has been instrumental in the consideration. The front grip accomodates the hook and leverage thumb method the military and SWAT forces prefer, but allows for the left hand cradle support that sportsmen like (when tac gear is not installed), and even accomodates, with the supporting open palm of the hand under the trigger strap/"front grip" , the target shooter's open palm method of support (as light as it may be in the center balanced platform).
Though we utilize aluminum as an option for machined parts currently, the relatively massive parts can tend to get very warm or very cold. However, the folded metal parts we are considering, since they have less mass, acclimate to temperatures quicker in the applications we are utilizing.
An example of this is the current design for the Saiga 12 Spike, our first offering of this type.
This approach is not new, we realize, but know that more users of the center balanced system will benefit from the balanced system and our leveraged point trigger actuator rod for a more utilitarian look and use while having the sturdiness of folded metal in the overall shorter package inherent in our designs.
This approach will offer several finish options that some may find preferable, including, but not limited to anodizing, powder coating, or even raw, for those who may want to provide camo or other personal finishes that an aluminum substrate provides.
Barreled actions we are planning to develop designs for are:
AK47 Spike X1S - Done
SKS Yugo with exposed front barrel and grenade launcher system - Done
Mosin Nagant 91/30 Spike Rail - Done
Ruger 1022 with full shroud (to meet the minimum 26" overall length) - Done
Ruger Mini 14/30 - Done
Ruger Mustang Pistol - Done
Mosin Nagant M44 Spike Rail that would accomodate leaving the bayonet on SKS with full Tac Sleeve (SKSAR Done)
AR with Tactical posture LOP - almost done
Thanks to our military and other advisors who have articulated their support for and understand and appreciate the need for manageable length, full power firearms, that can be especially useful in tight transport and storage conditions as well as better handled in tight hallways and urban conflict situations.
Many of the reasons we have developed these products are due to those influences and it is our hope that our designs continue to meet with their approval.
All of our products have been designed to include a cheekpiece that also acts as an additional gas shield at the bolt area for safety reasons.
Never fire a hands forward of the receiver unit without this kind of safety mechanism in place.