Thumbhole Stocks? Pros and Cons?


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3KillerBs
May 13, 2008, 08:44 PM
DH and I were browsing in Gander Mountain yesterday and considering the various rifles and shotguns we want to purchase in the future on the way to being able to participate in all the various activities and matches the club we're in holds.

We got to handle both rifles and shotguns with regular and thumbhole stocks. DH didn't have a strong preference one way or another, but I was amazed how much more in control I felt with the thumbhole than without.

As a beginner with rifles and shotguns (most of my shooting experience is with handguns), what should I know about this topic? What are the pros and cons of the thumbhole stocks?

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Thernlund
May 13, 2008, 08:47 PM
Just your comfort level I think.

I find them rather uncomfortable myself.


-T.

EDIT: They do kind of allow for your palm and wrist to have more control over the rifle/shotgun. But as I said, I find them uncomfortable. For me that cancels out any benefit, which I perceive to be negligible in the first place.

WoofersInc
May 13, 2008, 09:13 PM
The thumbhole stocks are mostly set up for right handers. If you are left handed like myself they are uncomfortable to get a good grip on. I've passed on several possibly good guns because of the stocks.

waumo
May 13, 2008, 09:20 PM
I don't really like them and I think they are probably a negative influence on accurate shooting but -

my most accurate factory rifle (XR-100 in .223) has a thumbhole stock and I'm not messing with success. :D

Gunsby_Blazen
May 13, 2008, 09:23 PM
i just bought a ruger mini-14 target model with a somewhat thumbhole stock. its more like a revolver grip with a stock on it...
all in all, i like thumbhole stocks, but i am right handed. i plan on buy a savage rifle with a thumbhole stock shortly, just a .17 or a .22 plinker. really it boils down to if you find it comfortable or not. pick em up and compare them to traditional stocks. get what you like best. i wouldnt say there is any real advantage, although i find that i am a tad bit quicker with them but tahts just something i notice. it could just me...
its really just preference in whats most comfortable.

i like those new remington shotguns with those stocks on them, picked one up at the gun shop last week.

brighamr
May 13, 2008, 09:36 PM
I absolutely prefer a thumbhole stock on small caliber rifles. For me, it's more comfortable, controllable, and helps with accuracy.

I've never shot a high powered rifle or shotgun with a thumbhole stock. I have shot both with pistol grips. judging from that experience, I would think high powered specimens are better off without the thumbhole. (just my opinion)

TIMC
May 13, 2008, 09:49 PM
I really like the thumbhole stock and don't see any drawbacks.
My 30.06 is a Browning A-Bolt Eclipse with a thumbhole stock. I find it very comfortable to shoot and very controllable. The deer in this picture was taken with a heart shot at 275 yards with my A-bolt.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v369/timc/Hunting%20pics/7pointbuckandme1221.jpg

bnkrazy
May 13, 2008, 09:51 PM
I have a ban-era AK so it has a thumbhole stock. I don't mind shooting it, but I'm working on a replacement stock when I get some time.

It's mostly personal preference as mentioned, but you should be able to get used to either fairly quickly unless it's a usability issue like the lefty vs righty versions mentioned.

dmazur
May 13, 2008, 09:56 PM
My understanding is that the thumbhole can give you a better feeling of controlling the rifle, as others have mentioned.

However, if you are concerned about follow-up shots, it can be kind of a fumble to get your hand off the pistol grip, up to the bolt, and back down inside the hole to get a grip again.

IMO, I'd consider them more for varmint hunting and less for still-hunting.

brighamr
May 13, 2008, 09:57 PM
TIMC - how's the recoil after a long range session? (Nice kill BTW)

jrfoxx
May 14, 2008, 01:24 AM
only gun I have, or have ever fired, with a thumbhole stock is my Norinco SKS-M, and I really like it. I find it very comfortable, stable, and easy to be consistant in my hold with it. That said, I'm not sure I'd like it nearly as much, if at all on a gun I shoot from a becnh. Never tried it, but I could see where it migh bun awkward, uncomfortable, etc. For offhand though, I like it.

Gratuitous SKS/thumbhole pic follows......
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b289/jrfoxx/Norincosportersks-m.jpg

JesseL
May 14, 2008, 01:33 AM
dmazur beat me to it.

Feel good, but awkward for manual actions that you operate with your firing hand.

41magsnub
May 14, 2008, 01:54 AM
Feel good, but awkward for manual actions that you operate with your firing hand.

that was going to be my question... it may be comfortable and all but it seems to my total inexperienced eyes to be a problem for a bolt action rifle. Or even an autoloader if you had to manually cycle the action.

Also, I would think anything but a cross bolt safety on the trigger guard would be a bit of a hassle with a thumb hole stock.

RyanM
May 14, 2008, 02:00 AM
They can sorta-kinda mimic the feel of a stock with a seperate pistol grip, for people in states that still have the AWB.

TIMC
May 14, 2008, 11:06 AM
TIMC - how's the recoil after a long range session? (Nice kill BTW)

The rifle has the BOSS system on it so recoil is light. If you can afford the ammo the rifle is a pleasure to shoot all day long. I am running hand loads with 150 grain Power Points.

3KillerBs
May 14, 2008, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the various perspectives. I appreciate it.

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