Fortunately all hope is not lost as Boyds Gunstock Industries in Mitchell, SD produces finely crafted hardwood and laminate gun stocks with all the trimmings – and they offer them at a very reasonable price. All of their replacement stocks are inlet on the latest CNC machinery to assure a drop-in fit for your rifle or shotgun. They can be had with your choice of a satin or gloss finish, or you can opt to order an unfinished stock and apply your own. Boyds currently makes stocks for more than 1,200 models from 225 different brands, so the odds are good that they will have a stock for your favorite firearm.
The Boyds rifle stock featured here is their Heritage model that has been adorned with many of the additional options they offer to show just how nice of a stock you can get with a few mouse clicks or a simple telephone call. This specific stock is inlet to fit my left-hand Savage Axis chambered in .223 Remington with the factory sporter weight barrel. Anyone who owns or has handled a Savage Axis knows that the factory synthetic stock leaves a lot to be desired as they have a lot of flex in both the forend and wrist areas. Boyds recognized this very early and was one of the first stock manufacturers to bring a quality replacement stock to market for the Axis in 2013.
The Heritage pattern is a more traditional design that to me represents what a proper hunting rifle stock should look like. Out front, the Heritage has a slender forend that is roughly 1-3/4” wide at the tip with a rounded profile. The shape fills the support hand well without it being too bulky or slender or putting too much weight out front. The slender and open oval pistol grip has a slight palm swell that is well defined with the comb to give you a firm grip and allow for quick mounting to the shoulder. The buttstock features a raised Monte Carlo comb that is parallel the bore which is key to getting a proper cheek weld when using a scope. At the front of the comb there are nicely blended flutes to conceal the thumb and prevent thumb to nose contact when the gun recoils. A graceful cheek piece provides additional facial support and blends naturally into the stock and grip which discourages the shooter from climbing up onto the scope and keeps the stock aligned with the shoulder for better recoil absorption.
Speaking of recoil, this stock is fitted with the standard 1/2-inch Boyds recoil pad which is more than adequate for a mild recoiling cartridge as the .223 Remington. Those with larger caliber rifles can upgrade to their choice of several other options, including a 1" Pachmeyr Decelerator Pad or a 1" LimbSaver pad at an additional cost. Standard screw-in sling studs come standard on all Boyds stocks unless otherwise noted in the product description.
While I have order a few stocks from Boyds over the years, I never opted for any of the customizing options such as checkering or engraving. As such, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how clean and detailed the work is when I pulled it from the box. The checkering isn’t as sharp or tacky as fresh hand-cut checkering is, but it offers suitable traction to keep your hands where they belong under recoil. On the engraving, while the coyote head is rather small it is very detailed and looks great. Even more surprising was that Boyds engraved our website logo on the side of the buttstock. A very nice and much appreciated touch!
As expected, the inletting from Boyds was spot on and other than having to make one small modification to accommodate a modification I had made to my rifle the stock bolted right on and fit like a glove. Being this stock is for an Axis it also comes with a bit of hardware, specifically a plastic trigger guard and a plastic magazine retention escutcheon for the front action screw. While I would really like to see both of these included pieces be made of metal rather than plastic, it’s a cost savings decision and it’s a savings they pass along to the customer. For those who really hate the plastic, a standard metal Savage 110 trigger guard will drop right in and a company called V3 Tactical makes an aluminum replacement for the magazine retention escutcheon.
One thing I was very curious to see is if I would see a change in my point-of-impact (POI) after installing the Boyds Heritage stock. This rifle previously wore a different laminate stock from another manufacturer and consistently shot ½ to ¾” groups at 100 yards when I did my part. Once the stock was swapped out I headed to the range to see if anything changed and found that the POI had only shifted about 3/8” to the left and ¼” up at 200. A couple clicks on my scope and I proceeded to shot several half-minute groups at 200 yards.
As far as the ergonomics go I am quite happy with the Boyds Heritage stock. The rifle comes up naturally to the shoulder when shooting off-hand, and the raised Monte Carlo comb is just right for me in terms of eye alignment with the scope. The grip is very comfortable and fills the hand well unlike the very slender grip on the factory synthetic stock. The balance point of the rifle is right at the magazine where it should be and distributes the weight evenly to both hands which is great for off-hand shooting.
The Heritage stock is also very comfortable to shoot from a number of other positions such as from the bench with a mechanical rest and rear bag, from the prone position with a bipod, or from a sitting or kneeling positions. That's the true sign of a well designed and fully functional stock as far as I'm concerned as you never know which marksmanship tool (position) you might need to employ to make a given shot in the field.
Overall I am extremely pleased with this Boyds stock and I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to recommend them to anyone looking for a replacement for their rifle or shotgun. They truly are a drop-in fit, and with the variety of colors, styles and options they offer it’s quite easy to build a stock that will truly be a one of a kind for your favorite firearm.
Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks
25376 403rd Ave.
Mitchell, SD 57301
Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks
25376 403rd Ave.
Mitchell, SD 57301