Manners Composite Stocks
Without doubt the McMillan series of stocks have been the industry leader in durable fiberglass stocks
for the past 30+ years. But there are some other composite stock makers that are doing well in the
industry like HS Precision, Bell & Carlson, Hogue and others. Over the past several years there have
been some other new companies that are offering some innovative and new stock designs to the tactical
world. One of these companies is Manners Composite Stocks (MCS) located in Kansas City, MO. MCS is offering
several tactical stock designs with a claim to a lighter, stronger and more durable composite stock for
the tactical and hunting world.
While MCS does offer some hunting and competition stocks, their main focus is on the tactical rifle
and they offer several different designs. A member of Sniper Central had a MCS stock on order and
kindly had it shipped here first so we could take a good look at one without having to order one and then
wait for it to arrive. The particular model here is what is known as the MCS-GAT which is a thumbhole stock that was
designed in conjunction with GA Precision (GAT = GA Thumbhole). MCS offers 5
standard solid colors for their stocks, black, OD green, coyote brown, dessert tan, and sand as well as
several camouflage patterns as well. Obviously, this one was ordered in black.
One of the things that MCS is pushing as their advantage is their strength vs. weight on their stocks. When
comparing this stock with a McMillan Winchester Marksman stock that we had here on hand, and understanding that
the two stock designs are different, we could tell that it is indeed a lighter construction than the
McMillan. According to MCS, in order to do this and maintain strength, they use a construction process where
the outer shells are made with 35% aircraft grade carbon fiber and 65% fiber
glass in multiple layers. They are hand laid with high temperature epoxy resins, placed under a vacuum, and
heat cured to obtain the perfect resin to fabric weight ratio. It sounds like a fairly technical process
but is based on sound principles and is taking advantage of modern day advances in technology with such
things as carbon fiber.
The stocks come fully inletted with a pillar set that is ready
to install at the time of bedding. The paint that is used is an industrial grade polyurethane enamel paint that
seems like it will hold up well. The overall quality of the stock itself appears to be excellent and is a
very well made stock. There is an adjustable spacer system on the stock and the spacers themselves were
not quite a perfect fit being just slightly larger than the width of the stock, but overall everything
was nicely made.
When comparing the inletting of the MCS stock vs. a McMillan, both inletted for a Remington 700, you can
see some differences. The inletting for the trigger area is more opened up in the McMillan stock and
McMillan has a bit more of an area for the tang to more smoothly blend in. But the MCS comes with
pillars and the holes already bored for those pillars. MCS will also cut the pillars to the correct
height if you provide your floorplate. The recoil lug area of the Manners is also larger to accommodate
a thicker recoil lug, but you can order a McMillan that way as well. This brings up a good point as both
companies allow for custom little things like larger recoil lug areas, barrel channels, swivel stud placement
and numbers etc. In terms of quality, I am not
sure I could pick one manufacturer over the other, they are both excellent.
We obviously did not bed a barreled action to the stock and use it as a complete rifle, but the design of
the stock was well thought out and is very comfortable. This stock was setup for a right hand only shooter
and the pistol grip area was very nicely contoured. I personally like a bit wider forend to help provide
a more stable shooting platform, but it was still functional without issues. There is a nice hook on the
butt that has become popular as of late and the comb area is raised fairly high and should provide good
eye to scope alignment.
MCS does seem to offer excellent customer support, at least from what we have seen and others
are reporting. They are a very customer focused company that seems to really want to get it right. They
are offering an excellent stock with their own manufacturing techniques and stock designs. I would like
to see some additional options like
being able to specify a heavier fill to add weight to a rifle and possibly a design or two that could
accommodate a forward bipod spigot like their .50 cal stock, but those are things that may come with time
and are not essential for what they are doing. I do like their camouflage options such as their digital
camo and other finish options. I guess to summarize this review, I would just say I would not
hesitate to use one of their stocks on a rifle project of my own.
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