Author Topic: Cast On/Off or none?  (Read 7780 times)

Berks Liberty

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Cast On/Off or none?
« on: May 17, 2009, 04:09:15 AM »
I am putting parts together to start building another rifle.  I was wondering if you folks could give me some suggestions on Cast On/Off or none at all. Here is my point.  I built a Lancaster style .54 cal with no Cast to it.  It shoots fine but I had to kick the front sight to the right quite a bit.  I've always had to adjust my rifle sights this way.  My friends always ask if my eyes are crooked.  I always liked looking at a rifle with a Cast Off but wasn't sure how it would go for me. 

Jason

northmn

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2009, 04:18:51 AM »
I gather there was some debate about how to do so.  I have always followed the center line to permit a straight inlay of the tang and DSTs and started the cast off where the wrist ends at the comb.  Modern shotguns are cast off in this manner to permit proper action inletting for the butt stock.  Usually it is best done with wider buttplates on earlier guns.  A 1 1/2 inch buttplate is marginal and I would not use cast off for anything narrower.  I liked a 1/4 "  cast off.  You have to remember to angle the buttplate slightly to make them look good.  On a heavy recoiling gun also be careful as cast off can cause the gun to nail your cheek on recoil.  I built a 12 gauge fowler with a 2" buttplate and 1/4 inch cast off.  It was about the most pleasant gun I ever shot in that gauge.  (I had a Brown Bess that nailed my cheek.  I saw a whole batch of originals at Thunder Bay with the stock hollowed out in that area.)  I accidently double charged it with powder, about 180 grains, and it rocked me but did not really hurt.  Stock fit is a combination of several factors with cast off being a minor one.

DP

George F.

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2009, 04:27:20 AM »
I know this might sound like a dumb question, but are you by any chance other eye dominate? Maybe you don't know?  I can't see why you would have to move the front sight as much as you say, unless the barrel is bent.  I am left eye dominate, but am only right handed. ... Geo.

Offline David Rase

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2009, 04:38:09 AM »
My rule of thumb for spec guns is for butt plates up to 1 1/2" wide I use no cast off.  From 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 I use 1/8" and from 1 3/4 to 2" or larger 1/4".  I think I have voiced my opinion before on this subject.  I have seen way too many late guns with huge cheekpieces due to too much cast off that was not necessary.  The few original colonial rifles that I have seen don't have all that pronounced a cheekpiece.  I think a lot of contemporary builders put cast off in their rifles just for the sake of having it.  My experience has been that the more cast off the more difficult it is to shape the buttstock.
DMR

Berks Liberty

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2009, 04:57:21 AM »
I know this might sound like a dumb question, but are you by any chance other eye dominate? Maybe you don't know?  I can't see why you would have to move the front sight as much as you say, unless the barrel is bent.  I am left eye dominate, but am only right handed. ... Geo.

Nope, not a dumb question at all.  Many years ago, like 25 years I went through that same question with a good friend of the family.  I shoot right handed and I am right eye dominate.  And believe me every shooting instructor out there especially the military have asked the same thing.  I can't tell you how many times I placed my thumb out in front of me to check which eye was dominate just to make the instructors happy.  I just figured Casting the stock would align my eye up better with the sight. 

Offline flintriflesmith

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2009, 05:15:59 AM »
Cast-off or cast-on matters a lot on a gun that is pointed (shotgun, rifle for trick shooting, etc.) but on any rifle with a front and rear sight it should not matter other than helping you get to the sight picture quickly.

If you are having to move the front sight to the right, or the rear to the left, the problem is not in the stock--not as long as long as your eye can get behind the two sights.


Gary
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Offline jerrywh

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 07:51:03 AM »
I like cast off for my hunting guns. I use 1/4".  But if I'm building a gun for looks I don't like it. Like Dave says it makes it hard to shape the wrist area and make it look right. Another thing is this. If you have a large caliber and shoot it a lot at shoots with heavy loads, cast off will give you a sore jaw. I do not make the cheek piece thicker if I have cast off. I want my eye over there more in line with the sights.
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Nobody is always correct, Not even me.

Offline Lucky R A

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2009, 02:02:44 PM »
   I know your question was about cast off which has been adequatly answered.  However, your problem of having to set the the front sight to the right is more serious.   You state that you have checked for eye dominance, but as Gary said even then if you are able to get your eye behind the sights and correctly Allin them, the gun should shoot where it is aimed.   One thing guys often over look is correctly centering the the notch in the rear sight.  Some commercial sights have a notch location indicated that is not centered. Always check for correct alignment of the notch with a micrometer, as well as checking for correct alignment of the notch with the  centre of the barrel.   Conversely, if you have some strange physical problem that consistently manifest itself with all rifles you shoot, you can fudge the sight notch to the left.  this will leave your sights aligned with the top flat of the barrel and you  (and only you) would be able to hit with the gun.   
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Berks Liberty

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2009, 03:33:58 PM »
   I know your question was about cast off which has been adequatly answered.  However, your problem of having to set the the front sight to the right is more serious.   You state that you have checked for eye dominance, but as Gary said even then if you are able to get your eye behind the sights and correctly Allin them, the gun should shoot where it is aimed.   One thing guys often over look is correctly centering the the notch in the rear sight.  Some commercial sights have a notch location indicated that is not centered. Always check for correct alignment of the notch with a micrometer, as well as checking for correct alignment of the notch with the  centre of the barrel.   Conversely, if you have some strange physical problem that consistently manifest itself with all rifles you shoot, you can fudge the sight notch to the left.  this will leave your sights aligned with the top flat of the barrel and you  (and only you) would be able to hit with the gun.   

thanks for the reply I'll have to check the rear sight on mine and see what it is.  I bought the rear sight and didn't make it.  thanks again

Offline flehto

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2009, 03:48:11 PM »
When inletting the BP w/ a castoff butt, does anyone cant the BP so the toeline is straight? In other words, the toeline doesn't have castoff? I apologize for straying  somewhat from the topic....Fred

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2009, 04:42:06 PM »
If you were to send a barrel to Fred Miller, Mark Weader, or Dave Rase, and told them you wanted the butt shaped to a
specific pattern, and then inlet the barrel, giving you a certain amount of cast-off.   The procedure they would follow would be to first shape the butt, then when they would lay out the barrel channel on an angle on the stock....moving the
muzzle to the right in order to give you right hand cast-off.  Essentially, doing it this way, your cast-off starts right at the
breech end of the barrel.   Now, even if you gave it 1/4" of cast off, do you think it would create problems in shaping in
the lock or wrist area of the gun?  You have to be kidding, you would just go about building the gun.  After all, when we
hack away with one of those cabinet makers rasps, do you really thing .020 of wood removal is a lot?  If you are any kind
of gun builder, everything would just flow together.  I don't think it would create any kind of problem.   Talking about cast-off, how many of you have ever looked at and handled the Edward Marshall rifle?   It has a lot of cast off, that's why it fits.
A lot of people who build copies of this gun do not put cast-off into it, and find that the comb is too high to get down on the sights.   Something to think about..................Don

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2009, 05:16:25 PM »
Cast off will help with making a higher cheekpiece in rifles with wide buttplates.
I don't know there is much difference in shaping.
Cast off will not give a sore jaw in heavy recoiling guns.
Most English shotguns have cast off and many are very light for the loads they shoot.
My 16 bore rifle has cast off and even shooting a one ounce ball as high as  1750 fps it never even hints at making my face sore.
Getting hit in the jaw is a flaw in the stock design MANY original rifles have poor stock designs.
Putting in cast off and then making the toe line straight makes for a twisted buttstock.

This rifle has about 1/4" cast off.




Dan
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Roy S.

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2009, 05:51:44 PM »
I never had a problem with putting cast in the stock and shaping.. It just sort of flows in. Most of my builds have atleast 3/16" cast off. 

a few years ago I built a light weight 12 gauge, never had any problem with it kicking me in the face.  You would think if cast off would do that, it would show up in a 6 1/2 lb gun..

http://www.roystroh.com/nefowler110.JPG

Offline P.W.Berkuta

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2009, 06:07:04 PM »
Very nice fowler Roy, and from the picture that I can see it has very clean lines -- nice work ;) ;)! How about some details?
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it." - Chinese proverb

Roy S.

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2009, 06:27:20 PM »
This should about cover it..

http://www.nimrodsplace.com/nefowler1.html

Offline jerrywh

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2009, 08:23:37 PM »
I had a couple that sure gave me a sore jaw. Might be some other factor involved. But if you think about it , cast off will throw the muzzle to the left. It would be different on a double gun because the right barrel would be inline more with the butt stock.  Anyway--- I like the way the sights fall in line.
  I will be the first to admit I know very little about shotguns. I can normally hit a bird if he doesn't move.
Nobody is always correct, Not even me.

roundball

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2009, 01:34:52 AM »
I never had a problem with putting cast in the stock and shaping.. It just sort of flows in. Most of my builds have atleast 3/16" cast off. 

a few years ago I built a light weight 12 gauge, never had any problem with it kicking me in the face.  You would think if cast off would do that, it would show up in a 6 1/2 lb gun..

http://www.roystroh.com/nefowler110.JPG
Beautiful Flintlock Roy...amazing skills to turn a plank into that finished product...

northmn

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Re: Cast On/Off or none?
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2009, 04:03:30 AM »
Cast off in modern shotgunning is noted for hitting the jaw if not done correctly.  Some use cast on to alleviate it.  I have a Russian made 16 over under with cast on and it does not hit my jaw nor birds. I am going to straighten it.  I still hold that if you build a heavy recoiling gun, shoot the thing before putting on any finish.   Then you can eliminate some of these problems.  I cast off the whole buttstock, which means the toe line and tang line.  The Butt plate has to be slightly angled to look right to me.  Also I feel the comb on many guns does not taper enough such that you get the belt in the jaw and the need for cast off.  Another point is that if you cannot get down on the sights you may not have enough drop at the comb.

DP