Stock-maker Warren Snaith interview

Airgun shooter Warren is a relatively new stock-maker whose skill and enthusiasm have quickly made him a master of his craft.

How did you get started, and where did your passion for stock-making come from?

I’ve always admired a beautifully grained piece of wood. I bought a new gun at the end of last year, and when it arrived I was surprised at how plain and boring the stock was. That got me thinking. I ended up watching a YouTube video of a guy in America making a stock from scratch and thinking “That doesn’t look too difficult”. I went out and bought a router, and it all started from there.

Can you tell us a bit about the types of walnut you use? Does the type of stock you’re making influence the type of wood you choose to use?

I generally use three types of walnut: English, Turkish and American Black. I try to use the highest grade/quality blanks I can find. Some of the exhibition grade blanks I use are classed as offcuts, so typically are suited to bullpups or grips. I have just found a new supplier local to me where I can get longer blanks enabling me to make full-length stocks. I also use laminate wood, which again gives me the option of using both short and long stocks.

Which airguns do you make stocks for, and will you be adding more to the line-up at any point?

To date I have made stocks for the Steyr Pro X, Steyr LG110, AGT Uragan, Edgun Lelya 2.0, HW100KT (both cylinder and bottle conversion). I have just started making grip sets for the Edgun Leshiy and the FX DTC/Impact. Perfect fitment of the grips and stocks has never been a problem, as I own all of the above guns. My plan is to expand the range I can offer. To do this I will need the customer’s gun in my possession, enabling me to make sure that the action fits perfectly.

Who’s the typical customer?

My typical customers to date are mainly hunters, range-goers or garden plinkers. That’s because I’ve mainly concentrated on bullpups and shorter guns. I’m confident my new wood supplier will help me to broaden my customer base.

While Warren mainly focused on bullpups and grips when he started out, he’s now making stocks for longer rifles as well

How long does it take for an order to be completed?

The length of time an order takes depends entirely on what the customer wants. I work with them from choice of material, concept sketches, design options, fitment details and finishes. I keep the customer updated all the way through from start to finish with detailed photographs. A typical stock usually takes between two to four weeks.

Are walnut stocks easy to look after?

I usually finish my stocks with CCL conditioning oil. This makes the walnut extremely easy to look after, and a regular coat once every couple of months will keep it looking as new. Unlike stocks that have been lacquered, if you ding or scratch it, it is very easy to steam out or rework the damaged area – once repaired, a couple of coats of CCL and you’d never know. 

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