Crescent-shaped stocks


September 6, 2008, 09:15 PM
Ok folks. I'm not the brightest bulb in the box, But I have to ask... All I hear is that I would have to be insane to shoot a rifle with a crescent-shaped buttstock.

Ok, my only experience is with an old Win 94 30-30. Now, I've shot that old rifle and several newer ones with standard Winchester "shotgun-style" stocks.
I guess my question is this, does a crescent buttstock hurt worse than a standard buttstock? It hasn't been my experience that a crescent butt is any worse than any other.
But I haven't tried one in 45-70 or any other.
How can a "shoulder-shaped stock hurt worse than a basicly flat stock?

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September 12, 2008, 03:41 PM

September 12, 2008, 03:43 PM
Sharp points.

September 12, 2008, 03:50 PM
Yes they can.

You get into the heavy hitters and they hurt like heck.

The 405 Winchester 95, and any of the big-bore 86's will knock your socks off with a crescent buttplate.

A 30-30 octogon barrel rifle weighs so much they don't kick anyway.

Not so true with the heavy hitters.

The reason a "shoulder shaped" buttplate hurts is because there is not as much surface area as the shotgun style to spread the recoil around.


September 12, 2008, 10:16 PM
Yep. My Winchester 1895 came with a crescent-shaped steel buttplate. I shot it a few times, and decided I wanted a shooter rather than a historical replica.

The steel buttplate was replaced with a Limbsaver. Even though this was in the rather mild .30-06 rather than .405, it was still a welcome change.

September 12, 2008, 10:21 PM
Ok, again, it's clear that I "don't get it", but why does a crescent shaped stock hurt more?
Clearly I must be wrong, but it would seen that a "shoulder-shaped" stock would transmit the force over more square inches than a relatively "flat stock" like most in existance.
If I was right, there would certainly be many more curved buttstocks than flat, and that obviously isn't the case.
It's probably obvious to you all what I'm missing here, but I'm still not getting the physics of the thing.

It seems to me that a basicly flat surface meeting a rounded shoulder would result in X number of pounds of force being meted out on a small number of sq inches of shoulder should hurt Y amount. It would seem that X number of lbs of force being applied through a curved buttstock to a curved shoulder would result in a greater contact area... thus, fewer lbs/square inch of shoulder.

What am I missing?

I'm no longer doubting reality, but I just don't understand why. Please teach me.

September 12, 2008, 10:29 PM
I think a curved buttplate concentrates the recoil in its center. With a flat plate you can spread it out a bit more.

dagger dog
September 13, 2008, 08:17 AM
I think it's all a matter of "fit", the crescent shape fits some, others it doesn't.

Most of the rifles with crescent butt plates also had a lot of drop to the stock which caused the heavier recoiling rounds to raise the muzzle on firing. This can cause that cheek slap, bruising the eye socket, thumbing yourself in the eye with the thumb knuckle etc.

It was an older design,in comparison the newer heavy recoiling rifles with their bores centerlined in straight stocks recoil straight back and are more user friendly.

That crescent if small can dig into the muscle around the shoulder on a larger body, that and the upward recoil can = misery to shoot some models.

September 13, 2008, 08:41 AM
I have always though curved butt plated were stupid. If they fit you, fine, but none for me

September 13, 2008, 09:09 AM
The other thing you must remember is in a practical shooting situation, most likely hunting, you don't always have the opportunity to place the butt exactly where it should go. A flat plate butt plate is more forgiving regarding situational necessities.

September 13, 2008, 09:26 AM
A crescent shaped buttplate is torture when shooting off a bench. They were designed for offhand or standing up shooting and are not bad. Look at many of the old target, schutzen rifles with extreme forms of a crescent. They were designed to help achieve proper placement of the stock butt to aid in stability and accuracy.

September 13, 2008, 10:26 AM
Have owned & shot a lot of old Winchester & Marlin rifles with crescent butt-plates over the years. I was always told, & have to agree, that they were actually designed to be shot with the butt-plate located between bicep & shoulder with the elbow at 90 degrees to body (not tucked in). Same with the pronged butt-plates on schuetzen rifles.

September 13, 2008, 01:49 PM
i agree with jking and bonza,,,,they were designed to be used off hand

i have a 22 cal. 75 c sharps,,,and it has a crescent butt on it,,,and it is a beautiful rifle to look at,,,,if you are standing with the butt placed just to the out side of the ball of your shoulder it is a dream to shoot and play with,,,,,,BUT forget about shooting it from a bench or prone,,,,recoil is not the issue,,,,it just plain hurts to hold it to your shoulder

they should be placed on upper most part of the arm and not the shoulder,,that way the sharp points rap around the arm and never gouge you in the shoulder

my .02


September 13, 2008, 03:39 PM
I saw something like this at the gunshow a few months ago. I can't imagine how this would feel while shooting. OUCH!

September 13, 2008, 03:47 PM
I've got a tryon with the crescent shaped stock and I hate that aspect of it. My shoulder bone is way too big for the thing, so the points ride on the top and bottom of the bone. I think they were designed for little bitty fellas back in the 19th century when average height was 5'6". I have plans on beating it and sawing it to something closer to shotgun-style.

September 13, 2008, 03:50 PM
Cosmoline I think got it. People were built differently back then.

September 13, 2008, 04:22 PM
How can a "shoulder-shaped stock hurt worse than a basicly flat stock?

I'd have to guess it's a number of things:
* change in average physique over the past 150+ years
* different shooting techniques (they'd primarily shoot off-hand then, vs. a lot of prone, bench, etc. shooting now requiring a more adaptable stock)

Now, that's provided we're talking about the 'antique' type stocks. If we're talking about the newer rubberized stocks sometimes found on rifles vs. your average flat-butt stock, I'd say it might have something to do with cultural expectations and the ability to quickly bring your rifle up and shoot, particularly with heavy clothes on (catching and the like).

Aka Zero
September 13, 2008, 09:43 PM
Also add.

Not many of those rifles would ever be shoot more than a few rounds a day. Not a whole lot in one session like we do now.

Kind of like old cars. (Really old) A pain to drive. Wood or metal seats. They weren't made to drive 100+ miles, in modern cars comfort is a big thing. same with guns I would guess. Recoil dampening, reducing felt recoil, and all that stuff.

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