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Stock Review: Boyd's Custom Featherweight Thumbhole

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CmdrSlander, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander New Member

    If someone asked my what the heart of a good bolt action rifle was I would be paralyzed by indecision... is it a good action? A good barrel? A quality optic? Ultimately I don't think I would be able to choose just one. However, if you asked me what the soul of a bolt gun was I would tell you right away... it's the stock.

    The stock, as the primary interface between man and rifle, the stock from the inviting, swooping and almost feminine lines of a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight to the brooding militaristic stance of the Accuracy International Chassis System, the stock, like the chorus of a song, sets the tone and feel of the entire rifle.

    Killer looks

    The subject of this evening's stock review, the Boyd's Custom Laminate Featherweight thumbhole, is a real looker. With as many as 16 layers of beautifully blended colored wood segments and a gorgeous functional design that gives the shooter the most comfortable and stable stance possible the FT Thumbhole gives any rifle an appearance that speaks of both high quality and high precision. Light enough for field use, but plenty stable for supported shooting at the range, the FT Thumbhole is perhaps the best drop in upgrade, excluding perhaps a lighter, crisper trigger, for an inexpensive sporting rifle. Its laminate construction is not as immune to warping and weather as a polymer/composite stock but it is the closest one can get if they wish to use a wooden stock.

    Additionally, the stock fully free floats a factory contour barrel with no fitting or bedding required. However, the stock does require fitting in other areas, at least on my rifle. Thanks in large part to Savage's needed but poorly coordinated upgrade of the Savage 10 design and very segmented product line, the trigger guard and magazines differ significantly from model to model and from year to year. As I had a budget rifle with a plastic trigger guard, I ultimately opted to sand down the plastic trigger guard to fit instead of modifying the stock itself. Also, the magazine on my type of rifle simply refused to fit even though I had ordered the correct stock because Savage saw fit to eschew an internal floor plate, ultimately, I simply taped the magazine spring down and the follower in place, converting the rifle to a single shot, which I all I ever used the rifle as previously anyway (aside: Savage Mags are very, very bad in my experience). If you intend to fit the FT Thumbhole to any rifle equipped with a non-wooden stock expect to purchase new longer action screws (which compensate the fact that wooden stocks cannot be as thin as polymer stocks), which Boyd's will happily sell you for cheap.

    It passes the free float test from the beginning of the stock to the barrel nut.

    The stock comes with three sling mounts, two fore and one aft. The two forward sling studs allow for both a bipod and a sling to be mounted or, if the sling is attached to rearward of the two and the forward stud is left unused, give the shooter more space to rest the rifle on a sandbag without getting his sling hung up. The studs are blued and of impeccable fit and finish. The standard recoil pad is stiff and short, if you intend to shoot anything above .243 Winchester and are at all recoil sensitive I would recommend a slip on recoil pad. The large and graceful Monte-Carlo inspired roll over cheek piece provides a consistent cheek weld for scopes of almost any eye relief and is best used with medium height scope mounts. There are two perfectly blended reinforcing pillars installed in the receiver area that make the rifle the stiffest at the action, making bedding less necessary.

    The forend and receiver reinforcing pillars.

    The thumbhole grip is not as severe as the pistol grip like thumbole grips on stocks like the AICS and the right side of the stock is recessed in a way that locks the entirety of the forearm into place making the "chicken wing" shooting stance error impossible, substantially reducing recoil and improving stability. The ample, vented forend provides a comfortable grip for all shooters of reasonable size (children and petite women may find it awkward, however). The stock is devoid of checkering and rather slick, though the thumbhole makes the rifle very difficult to drop, shooters firing heavy recoiling calibers may find their left hand scooting back several inches with every shot as it cannot find purchase on the smooth forend.

    The blended run up to the thumbole that guides and cradles the shooter's forearm.

    Conclusion: The Boyd's Featherweight Thumbhole is a high quality, all American part that complements any precision rifle build and enhances any budget sporting rifle with minimal fitting. This stock is made from Boyd's universal laminate blanks and is therefore available for almost any centerfire bolt gun made in the last century, including military rifles.

    Overall Rating: 4.5/5 (0.5 deducted for a slight ding in the finish that should never have happened)

    Vital Statistics:
    LOP: 13 3/4"
    OAL: 32"
    Weight: 2.3 - 2.5 pounds
    Price: $99
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  2. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander New Member

    btt before bed
  3. wnycollector

    wnycollector New Member

    About 1/2 of my rifles have Boyds stocks on them. In the money vs quality game they are hard to beat.
  4. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    I have a few Boyd's stock too.

    You do know boyd's makes all of savage arms wood stocks right?? To much drama though. Hate a thumbhole stock for a hunter. Make swapping from right to left hand shooting very hard. Have a older design JR on my LR hunter there classic on a 223 and one on a .22
  5. Inebriated

    Inebriated Active Member

    Good review, and good-looking stock! Looking forward to getting mine.
  6. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Active Member

    Excelent review! Now if Boyd's would make that same stock, but with heavier lines for a target (ie. heavy barreled Win. 70). I would buy it tomorrow!

    Nice reveiw though, well laid out and well spoken!
  7. richie

    richie New Member

    I have 5 of the Boyds laminates, and 4 of them are thumbholes, love 'em, there a really good buy, and dress up a synthetic stocked rifle nicely.
  8. ngnrd

    ngnrd New Member

    Bah! Still no listing for a Tikka...
  9. StrutStopper

    StrutStopper Member

    Nice review. I do like my heavy weight Boyd's rimfire varmint thumbhole on my Marlin 60. I think it definitely helps with accuracy at the range.
  10. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Member

    They do make one for heavy barreled rifles-


    Well,I looked again,and they don't list one for the Win.70.

    I have an older Boyd's LH thumbhole that was an exclusive from Stocky's.It was for a sporter barrel,I just enlarged the barrel channel for my heavy barreled Savage 12. It works just fine.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  11. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Active Member

    Thanks for the tip Txhillbilly, might try the forend sanding out. If I had a Savage or Remington, this would be no big deal, seems as if everyone and their cousin makes stocks for those..... I am a devout worshiper at the holy temple of the controlled round feed action though. :)

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