The stock is an essential functional element of a rifle – but the optical and haptic qualities must also be right. To achieve this Merkel uses the best walnut woods of each category.
It is not only the task of the stock to provide the rifleman with a supporting structure for shoulder, cheek and hands. The butt stock also absorbs the repulsion power of the shot. The dimensions and the design of the stock affect the precision, appearance and the aesthetics of the rifle – as well as its ergonomics.
It is a question of bringing the cast, drop, length of the stock wrist and the stock into equilibrium. This requires great skill on the part of the stock maker. The functional dimensions are transferred to the unprocessed stock by means of the state-of-the-art machines before experienced craftsmen get to work on the stock. Iron and wood are perfectly aligned by hand. This can sometimes takes several hours.
Then comes the stock finish: the surfaces of the stock woods are perfected. The stock is watered and ground and the process repeated until open pores are no longer visible. The stock can then be finished in either silk-matt, gloss or pore-filled. This is followed by oiling, which accentuates the finest nuances of the grain.