|One of the authors all-time favorite spring piston hunting airguns has an almost cult following, based on the superb pointing characteristics of its English shotgun style grip and compact stock design. Custom stock maker James Linthicum replicates this ergonomic design for the Crosman Discover PCP.|
C1 Style Discovery Stock
|The Linthicum C1 style Discovery stock on Black walnut is shown along side my original circa 1985 C1 purchased new from Beeman Airguns in the Santa Rosa days,|
|The Original C1
Many years ago, Robert Beeman had a hand in developing one of my all-time favorite spring piston airguns, the Beeman C1. It started production in 1981 and I bought my first one in the mid eighties, but I donít think it ever achieved the popularity it deserved during its production run. The C1 is a mid powered compact carbine that came in .177 and .22, was invariably very accurate, easy to cock, just an all around great package to carry in the field for small game hunting. I used that gun in .177 to take more game than every other gun Iíve owned, and donít know how many hundreds of miles I hiked over coastal hills and high desert with that little gun slung over my shoulder. And as a mark of my regard for this gun I still own that same C1, Iíve had literally hundreds of guns come and go in the interim, but this is one that Iíll keep forever.
It's all in the Stock
While the original C1 performed well in every way, it was the stock that really made it the ultimate hunting rifle in my view. Unlike the heavy and bulky furniture that came on many springers of the day, the C1 stock was light and spare and I think a perfect example of form following function. The stock features a straight grip that is reminiscent of an English shotgun. I find that the gun comes to the shoulder very rapidly and locks into a shooting position better than just about any gun Iíve hunted with. The reason this type of stock is used on shotguns is for the fast mounting characteristics, so this makes sense.
Even though I love my C1 and take it out a few times every year for small game hunting, I have been using precharged pneumatics more these days. I had been thinking about putting together a new small game gun for the upcoming squirrel season, and the idea of marrying the best of the C1 (the stock) to a pcp started to grow. As to the action, the Crosman Discovery seemed as though it would be a good match; like the C1 it is a compact design that has proven itself as a very good performer in the field.
I started looking around online and searching some of the forums, and mentioned what I wanted to do. One of the forum members said I should take a look at the work of James Linthicum. This gentleman has been making a name for himself in airgunning circles, offering outstanding stock designs coupled with a high level of craftsmanship and quality materials, especially for the Crosman Marauder. And not coincidently, Iíd heard heíd already made a handful of C1 style stocks for QB CO2 rifles.
The C1 Stock on the Discovery
I was put in contact with James, and explained what I wanted asking if heíd be interested in the project. He confirmed that heíd already built such a stock and could do one for me. We talked over pricing and I ordered a stock in standard select Oklahoma black walnut, and anxiously settled in for the wait. A few weeks later a package arrived on my doorstep, and when I unwrapped the contents I was immediately impressed at what I found.
The design was very close to the C1, with a little less material in the forestock and inletting for the Discoveryís air reservoir and pressure gauge. The wood was nicely figured Oklahoma black walnut with hints of reddish orange highlights running through it. James told me he selected this piece of wood because it had enough color and figuring to look good, but without so much to distract from the straight forward lines of the carbine stock. I think he nailed it, capturing everything that made the C1 a classic hunting rifle with the looks to match!
The inletting is well executed and the rifle action sits perfectly in the stock. There is a bit of space around the manometer, but this in no way distracts from the aesthetics. The straight grip has just enough wood removed (on either side) to perfectly accommodate the base of the thumb, making it a truly ambidextrous stock. It also helps bring the gun quickly into action; providing a solid and consistent hold on the little carbine. I find that as with the original this gun shoots well from any position, but points exceptionally well when using it offhand, almost aiming itself.
I mounted a 3-8X40 Leapers scope, thinking that this compact optic complimented the rig well. Even though there is no comb to speak of, I found that with medium profile mounts I could achieve a consistent and comfortable hold with an excellent sight alignment. A black ĹĒ Pachmayer rifle pad had been cut and shaped to the butt, which provided a 13.5Ē pull length which is the same as the original. When I look at the gun the only thing that I would (and will) change is the trigger guard and the bolt, but man the stock is perfection! James mounted sling swivels, and with a padded leather sling this rifle is a pleasure to carry.
So Iíve now possess a compact, lightweight PCP carbine for small game hunting that would appear to offer everything I want in a hunting gun. I did some of the initial testing of the Discovery for Crosman , and the action used in this project was one of the first production Discoveries Crosman made. Iíve taken it on may jackrabbit hunts out West, woodchuck sniping up North, and lost count of the days chasing squirrels in the Midwestern woods, it is a known performer. Now I look forward to spending a lot more field time with it in its new stock, and have really enjoyed shooting it on the range.
It seems as though people either really like or really dislike the straight grip design, but as one that appreciates this type of stock and the fast handling characteristics, think James Linthicum has produced a fantastic upgrade for me Discovery. His designs, craftsmanship, and materials are all top notch. And another excellent trait is that he communicates well with his customers, making sure he understands what you want and articulating what will be delivered. If youíre looking for a new stock for an air rifle, especially a C1 styled one; youíd do well to speak with James. Itís always good to see a new craftsman coming on the scene, all that much better when heís a guy you like doing business with.
|The stock incorporates a groove in the grip that cradles the base of the thumb on the shooting hand. This helps to quickly achieve a consistant hold. The forestock has less material than the original C1 (which needed to house the break barrel cocking mechanism) which also offers a very comfortable hold.|
|The view from below shows the differences related to housing a pcp and a springer. Otherwise this gun stayed very close to the original, which in my view was the right way to go.|
|I will continue to update this section through the hunting season as I carry this gun afield|