Victor Company sent us a set of their V2 Rear Skins to take a look at and see what we thought. I have to say that I like what the folks at Victor Company have done. They have moved away from their V1 Rear Skins which were a close resemblance to the design of the Accuracy International AX Chassis line and come up with their own twist on the buttstock. I for one think the rear skins are going to be a highly subjective and personal opinion driven decision. Different strokes for different folks. While I like the new rear skins which have a lower shelf for riding a bag and a redesigned hook, you may prefer the originals. It will probably be different for everyone. The good news is that this isn’t a cost prohibitive option to try. This is one of the reasons we are fond of the Victor Company product line. They offer an array of options that aren’t very expensive and you can pick and choose what you want based on what you think you need.
Like the regular skins, the V2 Rear Skins are constructed from Victor Company’s own blend of high performance polymer. It has the same grippy texture as the regular skins and the same resistance to wear and impact. They are made to fit the contours of the Accuracy International Chassis System’s aluminum frame around the buttstock area and they give the rifle a new feel in the design departure from the originals. There are crossbolts and inserts molded into the two halves of the V2 Rear Skins just like the originals and they are just as easy to install.
The design features on the Victor Company V2 Rear Skins are what steal the show. While the construction and durability factors are much the same. The design is very different. Victor Company has redesigned the rear ‘hook’ area of the V2 Rear Skins. The original V1 design, was not by default, compatible with the popular Accu-Shot/Atlas Monopod that was designed for the AICS stock. It could be made to work by cutting the rear skins and I’ve enclosed a photo to show the cutout. While this is functional, it does lack elegance and there are people that don’t like to get handy with their purchases, they prefer they just work with the accessories they want them to work with.
Above the lower ‘hook’ now compatible with the Accu-Shot monopods is a shelf for the V2 Rear Skins to ride on a rear bag. I like this design tweak A LOT. For me the normal height of the hook on the V1 Skins is on the high side. By redesigning the rear skins you now have three levels you can rest the rear buttstock area of the chassis on. The lowest point of the rear of the stock, the shelf that sits just above the lower hook, and even in front of the large hook behind the grip.
The big features are the design improvements on the shape and ergonomics of the rear skins. I will mention a second time, because I think it is a big improvement, is the seamless compatibility with the Accu-Shot monopod. Another feature, and this is a design improvement as well, is the rear skins both V1 and V2 now no longer require modifying your AICS stock. The early models of the skins came with instructions for drilling a new hole in the rear skins to allow for solid mounting with an additional crossbolt. The new rear skin design has a set of small ears or hooks that link up with the front skin sections and hold the rear skins in place and tight around the chassis. I’m not squeemish about making modifications to my equipment, but some people are, and I think this is a welcomed change for the ‘I just want it to work’ crowd.
With regard to durability the V2 Rear Skins share the same polymer blend and grippy texture as Victor Company’s Original Skins. The skins are fairly resistant to scratching, though it can be done. The V2 Skins, like the rest, are designed to flex on impact to aid with durability so if the rifle does take a hit the skins will flex a bit rather than being too brittle and cracking or breaking. I’ve got some appreciably difficult use on my original set of Viper Skins and they are still largely unscathed and unmarred by a few knocks and bumps as well as time in the cold snow and hot dirt of the Colorado outdoors.
I’m rating the price higher on our scale with the Victor Company V2 Rear Skins because I believe this is a lot of value packed into the $59.99 price point they are sold under. There is a pretty big difference in feel and function between the V1s and V2s. I won’t say which is better because I believe that will come down to each individual shooter. I will say that there is ENOUGH of a difference to justify the cost and feel like it was well worth the money and depending what you are looking for, quite a bargain.