Thumbhole stocks question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ZWCoffindaffer, Jan 19, 2016.

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  1. ZWCoffindaffer

    ZWCoffindaffer Member

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    Can anyone tell me the real benefit of a thumbhole stock? I've shot rifles that had them, but have never owned one and shot with one enough to say wether I like it better or not. What is the idea behind a thumbhole? Who all uses them?

    BTW..
    I'm asking because I've considered putting a Boyd's on my hunting rifle.
     
  2. desidog

    desidog Member

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    I guess cool factor; because i've tried them and don't like them.

    On a semi auto 22, i thought it was OK, but not my ergonomics. the thumbhole was a bit small for my mitts too. (Boyd's and .920" 10/22).

    On a bolt rifle, your natural move to pick up your hand and cycle the bolt is stymied... you have to go out and over instead of just up. YMMV
     
  3. Darkbob

    Darkbob Member

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    In some jurisdictions, I believe that a thumbhole stock is allowed when a pistol grip is not. Plus, they look different from a "standard" stock.
     
  4. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    kkzFEWVm.jpg

    0ssljPlm.jpg

    TJM3Klom.jpg


    I have TH stocks on
    Marlin 60
    CZ American 17 HMR
    Brno #1

    My first TH was an experiment because there was a sale on at Boyds some years ago...$39 walnut for the Marlin 60 unfinished. I really liked it and that led to Th stocks for the CZ American and Brno #1 both of which I shoot 90- % of the time from a bench. I can't explain what the advantages are, it seems to me a personal preference thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  5. CptnAwesome
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    CptnAwesome Contributing Member

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    I personally prefer the feel of the thumbhole stock. I don't shoot competitions, I just love the way they feel.
     
  6. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Member

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    I have several thumb hole stocks. They give the shooter more control holding the rifle in many positions,and also control recoil better. Depending on the stiffness of your bolt,some shooters don't like them because they have to operate the bolt differently than a standard type stock. I have no problem operating the bolts on my rifles with one finger,so it's not an issue.

    I do order my Boyds stocks unfinished so I can shape the grip and thumb hole area to fit my hand perfectly. I then finish sand the stock,and put a hand rubbed finish on them.
     
  7. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

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    I have been told that it is not advisable to put a thumbhole stock on a heavy recoiling rifle because it can injure your thumb. If is a smaller caliber then that is a different story. I prefer them on .22 long rifle target rifles. They are more comfortable to shoot from a bench.
     
  8. gspn

    gspn Member

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    I used to have one on a rifle. I liked the way it felt, it was just a little more comfortable to me. However, every year I wind up in a spot where a deer comes out in an awkward spot that requires me to shoot left handed...and the thumbhole stock I had was terrible for that. It was designed solely for right handed shots. So I took it off.

    Mine was on a .50 cal black powder rifle that used 150 grains of powder. Not light kicking by any means and i never had any problems.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I put one on a 22-250 Mauser varmint rifle I built years ago.

    I liked it for bench shooting and long range rested coyote shots, because it seemed to fit my hand perfectly, and made trigger control better.

    However it was pretty worthless for walking / stalking hunting because there was no way to carry it comfortably and get it back in action as fast as a normal stock.

    image.jpg

    rc
     
  10. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    What was that picture taken RC? Pretty cool!
     
  11. bullzeye8

    bullzeye8 Member

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    I find it more comfortable but like others mentioned it is slightly slower getting into a shooting position with it so it may not be great for a dangerous game rifle.
     
  12. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    from what ive gathered, thumbhole stocks got their start ( or at least became popular) durring the AWB as a pistol grip work around.

    and i guess they just kind of stuck.
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe they were popular decades earlier.

    I remember drooling over them back in the 60s
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That picture was taken in Ft. Carson Colorado in 1969 with a Polaroid camera.
    That's my 68 Dodge Charger 383 HP 4-speed in the background!

    And yes, the pistol grip stock was way more popular back in the 1960's then they are now.
    Same with bull-pup rifles.

    Every bubba with a workshop was building rifles in the basement out of cheap ($20) 98 Mauser's and 03-A3 Springfield's back then.

    That stock was a Fajen semi-inletted blank when I bought it.
    Bishop stocks made a similar version, or three.

    It had nothing to do with the 'assault weapons ban' workaround in 1990, 30+ years later!

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  15. slowr1der

    slowr1der Member

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    As a couple of other people already mentioned, I'm not really a big fan of the them either. I actually sold the only gun I had with one and I don't miss it at all. They do look interesting and it felt okay shooting from a low position off of a bench, but that was about the only two things I really have positive to say about it. I went back to a traditional stock and I much prefer it.

    It's really all a personal preference though. I know other guys that love thumbhole stocks.
     
  16. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I remember them as a 1950s option for bolt action rifles shot from a bench or rest. Also I recall a 1950s sporterstock for M1 Carbine thumbhole style.

    Then, with the 1994-2004 Federal Assault Weapon Ban, thumbhole stocks were a way to make normally pistol grip stocks a legal work-around for compliance purposes. Stupid AWB.

    Thumbhole stocks are a limited-use item. They are good for some things, but not universal. A dedicated benchrest rifle -- I'd consider it as an option, especially if I could make it ambidexterous.
     
  17. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    By that logic, you also shouldn't use a pistol grip on such a rifle....
     
  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    When shooting off a bench or other rested position a grip that is at a sharp angle to the bore allows your hand to be in a more comfortable position. You'll see thumb hole stocks or stocks that have a sharp angle like the ones in the photos posted earlier by Furncliff on a lot of target/varmint/sniper rifles.

    They are much slower for repeat shots, don't carry as easily and they can break easier if dropped or subjected to heavy recoil.
     
  19. AverajeJo

    AverajeJo Member

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    This is the one I use for hunting. It works good for me
     
  20. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I have three Accuracy International rifles that have thumbhole stocks and I much prefer those stocks to other tactical styles including the awful AX platform. I also have many other rifles that don't have thumbhole stocks such as hunting rifles and ARs. I have no wish to have a thumbhole stock on a typical hunting rifle although I've used one of my AI's for hunting.

    ai_aw_05.jpg
     
  21. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    The idea behind a thumbhole is a pistol grip stock without having a pistol grip. A pistol grip rifle stock puts your hand in a more natural position than a standard stock does.
    Fajen and Bishop stocks were low cost but decidedly high end kit. Had a bubba'd No. 1 Lee-Enfield with a really nice Bishop walnut stock on it, long ago. Sad day when they closed. Kind of suspect they couldn't operate these days though. Cost of wood having gone way up and some stuff just not available.
     
  22. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    The OP asks if there are any "real benefits" to thumbhole stocks. The answer is a definite YES so far as competitive rifle shooting. Though thumbhole stocks may seem relatively new in the world of hunting rifles they have certainly proven an advantage in three-position international style rifle competitions. Many years ago when I was a member of the US International rifle team shooting against the Russian team, when was then the world's best, and consistently beat us in skill, coaching and equipment, I bought one of their thumbhole stocked rifles when we were shooting in Moscow. I used it at the time in some 300m matches but good ammo proved a problem so it was retired. I still have it, as shown in attached photo. During that period I also used a beautiful .22 RF Hammerli rifle, which has probably the most beautifully styled thumbhole stocks of all time, which I still have, as shown in attached pic. Also attached is page from 1960 Stoeger catalog showing Anschutz target rifle with thumbhole stock from from that era. Note the price, which seems cheap today but back then it was more than $100. more than contemporary rifles by Winchester and Remington, which did not have thumbhole stocks. As we now know, the Anschutz soon ruled the target game, with one main reason being the advantage of their thumbhole stock.
     

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  23. AverajeJo

    AverajeJo Member

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    In my opinion with the thumbhole stock you have a better control of the grip. When I was in Russia and we would compete with the 22 pistols many of us had a pistols with the the thumbhole grip. So I don't see that it is contingent on the sport ( hunting or target shooting). You just have a better grip.
     
  24. Col. Plink

    Col. Plink Member

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    if you have trouble supenating your wrist they can be a godsend!
     
  25. Hamish

    Hamish Member

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    I had a thumbhole stock on a Ruger 10/22 I used for an Appleseed shoot. The only other modifications to the rifle were a Volquartsen hammer, Tech Sights, and an auto-bolt release.

    With the stock barrel, iron sights and some CCI SV, I passed the AQT six or seven times that weekend and earned my rifleman patch. It was wonderful for three-position shooting, very comfortable to hold and shoot, and it provided a firm and steady grip on the rifle.

    Unfortunately, NY passed the SAFE Act, and a provision in this stupid law determined that the thumbhole stock magically transformed my Appleseed rifle into an assault weapon. So I either had to register the rifle with the state, or remove the stock. I begrudgingly removed the stock, and put the 10/22 barreled action into a M1 Carbine style stock. It looks great, but the rifle just isn't the same shooter it once was.
     
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