After sitting here for over two weeks contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of the UARS stock from Gunsite Training Center, I finally decided to put my observations, compliments, and comments to paper.
After hearing about the UARS stock from several writers on Sniper Country, I thought this would be a terrific time to look for another high quality rifle stock. I didn't have to wait until the next millennium to receive it, either. UARS stands for Ultra Accurate Rifle Stock and after minimally shooting the customized Remington action with a 5A Douglas contoured barrel attached to the UARS stock, it does exactly what it says. The stock is a fiber glass composite stock with a full length, one piece aluminum "tuning fork" rail on which the action rides. There is no reason to pillar bed the stock because the action does sit on the actual aluminum block. The barrel channel is completely open and no need to glass bed the fore end of the stock, which makes the barrel completely free floating. When Gunsite Training Center says that it is a truly minimal maintenance stock, they mean what they say. Upon receiving the stock after waiting only 1 1/2 weeks after the order was placed, I eagerly opened the package. My first impression of the stock after the initial hands-on was "Damn, this thing is heavy." Actually, the stock weighed in at 5.9 pounds - a true handful for anybody. But after just putting the stock up to my shoulder, I realized the massiveness of the back end of the stock. It included a spacer system with 1/2 inch spacers which can be removed to adjust the length of pull, and a spacer system for a modernistic cheek piece which can also be raised and lowered by the same type of spacer system. (Allen wrenches provided with the purchase of your UARS.) But one other thing impressed me. That was the size of the actual recoil pad provided on the UARS stock. It was a jumbo size recoil pad which should tame any kind of recoil for the more sensitive shooters.
One unique feature which Gunsite Training Center provided with the stock was a short video tape on the history of its development, stock to action assembly, actual shooting footage, and attributes to its strength and durability. After watching this entertaining and informative video, I hurriedly grabbed my new 308 barreled action, removed the front and rear tang screws, screwed the two sections together, and five minutes later I was ready to go to the range.
Since I already had a 10X Bausch and Lomb Tactical scope mounted on the action, we were ready to rock and roll. I grabbed several boxes of Federal .308 Match ammo, kissed my wife good bye, threw my accessory bag in the back of the pickup and I was gone. In my gleeful haste to try out my new super accurate paper punch, I forgot my sandbags in the garage. So, it was to be a day of shooting from a Harris bipod and some off hand shots from various shooting positions.
After shooting a couple of sighters, it was time to see if the UARS truly did improve accuracy by up to 50%. Since this was a brand new barreled action, proper break-in procedure was followed in accordance to Kent Gooch's recommendations. As I started to shoot the rifle, I became more aware that the stock did not seem to fit my person and face contour. But after removing one 1/2 inch spacer from the butt and removing the spacer from the cheek piece, the session took on a whole different, pleasurable perspective. The more I shot, the more I was starting to become one with the rifle. Group after group dwindled to benchrest proportions. 3/4 inch, 5/8 inch, 1/2 inch and an occasional group hovering around the 1/4 inch was noted out at the 100 yard marker. The UARS stock, a hand lapped and tuned Remington action, and a Douglas air gauged barrel with a National Match .308 chamber was the cat's meow. Remember these groups were shot off a bench using a Harris bipod, with a field jacket used for the support of the rear of the stock. Had I not been like a kid wanting to try out his new Christmas toy, I probably could have improved on those groups. But the stock held true to its word. It is perhaps one of the most accurate .308s I have ever shot. I am curious now as to whether I can improve on these groups by using handloads, made to match specifications. But that will be another evaluation!
In my statement in the opening paragraph, I mentioned that I had several comments about the stock also. These comments are not to detract from the overall worthiness of this stock for tactical applications, but just from my own personal observations. First, was the weight. But after shooting the types of groups that it did, I can deal with a pound or two more. Secondly, was the boxiness of the stock around the closed box magazine well. If you have a tendency to carry your rifle in the palm of your hand for short distances, the edges of the stock dig into your palm. But, since more often than not you will be carrying the rifle on a sling, this small point can also be overlooked.
Speaking of slings, what I particularly appreciated were sling swivels on both sides of the stock. They were not placed under the actual stock, but on either side of the stock. This way if you carry the rifle slung across your back, it is flat against your back and quite comfortable. The reason for the four-swivel lug (two on either side of the rifle) is that this stock is totally adaptable to both a right and left-hand action. For a left-hand action, all you do is open up the semi-circular slot, install your left handed barreled action and you are good to go. There were provisions on the fore end also for swivel stud attachment. But this is generally to be used for mounting your Harris bipod.
The stock style is very simplistic, very comfortable to shoot and places your holding hand through a large hole through the stock. Another feature, which I was very glad to see, was an oversized trigger guard. During winter shooting, the use of gloves should not be a hindrance, and it by no means is with the UARS. There was ample room for any person's gloved index finger to pull the trigger.
The UARS stock is a very sturdy, well thought out piece of hardware for the precision and tactical shooter. It comes highly recommended by this avid .308 shooter.