My KK500 came with a useful set of top-quality accessories – like the rear-sight, the Centra foresight tunnel and 3.8 diameter iris, a hand-stop, butt plate…and a cheek-piece.
The cheek-piece was I concluded, after a year-or-so owning the rifle, the only weak item supplied, and the only one I’ve wanted to swap-out with an ‘after-market’ purchase. It looks like it’s aluminium, but it’s plastic. It moves in three planes – up-down, forwards-backwards and left-right, which is good. Except there’s no way you’ll be able to make a change in-position, other than perhaps up-down (elevation, depression); everything else needed an Allen key. I struggled to find a position with it which suited my cheekbone, and so I determined to try another brand.
Being a leftie meant the Centra ‘Cheek‘ was out-of-contention, leaving either the TEC-HRO model or some alternatives from SE (who also support those of us who are left-handed). I went for the TEC-HRO as I have shooting colleagues who employ it, and indeed it and the Centra Cheek (right-hand only) are probably the most popular after-market cheek-pieces on sale. I could have just as easily gone for an SE product.
On the KK500 the TEC-HRO cheek-piece uses the rods-and-spindle and the lower aluminium plate from the factory-supplied assembly. I found a single M5 screw and washer suffices for securing the plate to the TEC-HRO itself, plus a tiny dab of superglue at one end where the Walther part has no suitable fixing. Don’t let the reference to the superglue put you off; in theory it shouldn’t need it, but I decided a tiny single dab would suffice, just in case the M2 screw became unaccountably loose.
With everything in place, I now have both a rough and fine elevation-depression control, either by rotating the Walther supplied thumb-wheel (not easy in-position) or better, fine height adjustment with the wheel of the TEC-HRO. Now I can change the left-right inclination with other thumb-wheels, but if I want to change the forward-backward orientation I still need an Allen key, though I can’t envisage ever wanting to do this in-position. Note that to ensure there’s no movement of the cheek-piece whilst you are in-position, there are some grub screws on the side that should be tightened. Initially though, you’ll likely want to leave these loose to let you find the right orientation without having to un-shoulder your rifle and look for an Allen key.
The design of the cheekpiece sees it clear the end of my bolt completely, even though it’s at the same height as the Walther-supplied one. That curve doesn’t extend to the front of the unit, so no risk of possibly fouling the bolt. It’s that curve which makes for a more natural position for my cheekbone, so I now know for sure when I’m in my optimum position, which for me means the bottom length of my left cheekbone is jammed-in tight on the cheek-piece and it feels both secure and in a position I’ve no desire or need to change during an entire detail. I rarely could be sure of that with the Walther-supplied item, but hey, that’s my cheekbone and not yours! I should note that the Walther-supplied item isn’t bad, plenty of top shooters (I’m a mere novice) are quite happy with it. It’s just the TEC-HRO one just happens to be better for me.
The obvious question is, is it a worthwhile upgrade? Well for myself, after spending a week fiddling with it, it certainly was. My 50m scores improved, and have stayed consistently better since I fitted the TEC-HRO. My 100 yards scores haven’t changed, but that’s likely because there’s little movement required for that distance compared to 50m, so a half-decent-but-comfortable cheek-position seems to suffice. I find the TEC-HRO not necessarily more comfortable than the previous cheek-piece, but certainly more precise. That means my ‘natural-point-of-aim‘ feels that little bit more natural because I can get my cheek-bone jammed-in just right.
5 out of 5 stars
Text and pictures by our customer Brendan N.
TEC-HRO Schaftbacke NJ-carbon in our store.