WTK: Thumbhole stocks pro and cons - hunting

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by casio02478, Nov 11, 2007.

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  1. casio02478

    casio02478 Member

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    Any thoughts about the advantages and disadvantages of a thumbhole stocked hunting rifle? I like their look and since I was trained in the army their grip feels a bit more natural to me. I been doing a bit of research about them in a hunting environment and here are some of the pro and con I came up with.

    Pro: more natural grip position, handles recoil better, steadier on deliberate shots,

    Cons: heavier weight, slower on shouldering the rifle for a reflex shot (jumping a deer), slower on throwing the bolt for follow up shots.

    Please critique my conclusion and any suggestion and knowledge is greatly appreciated.

    I am trying to figure out whether I should get one for my walk about coyote rifle in 223 Rem :confused:.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  2. Scottmkiv

    Scottmkiv Member

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    I think they are more appropriate for fixed position shooting than walk about shooting like you are talking about. A thumbhole stock will work just fine for that duty, and if you like the ergonomics get it anyway.

    That being said, if you like the Military style ergonomics, and are getting 223 anyway, why not just get an AR-15?
     
  3. casio02478

    casio02478 Member

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    Thought abut the AR long and hard but perfer a bolt action for hunting purpose.
     
  4. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    I have a Browning A-Bolt Eclipse with the thumbhole stock and love it. It seems to help keep the rifle more controllable. I don't find it any more heavy or slow to shoulder than any other bolt gun. My hand seems to naturally go to the grip.
    A pic from last season. This deer was taken with a heart shot at just over 275 yards.
    7pointbuckandme1221.jpg
     
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I like shotgunning. I only started a few years ago, whereas I've shot rifles since I was a kid.

    What I learned from shotgunning were things about gun fit, quick shouldering, pointing, and moving my whole body to get on target, all in a split second.

    For me, an AR doesn't do that. A conventional rifle stock does. With a conventional stock, I can get locked in position and on target quickly using my whole upper body, and when I pull the trigger, the gun doesn't pull from side to side.

    For some others, it might be different.

    One way or another, it seems a thumbhole stock might be a way to get a more natural hand position for some people, while retaining the IMO superior characteristics of a conventional rifle stock. I like the conventional rifle/shotgun stock hand position, because it naturally locks my upper body in a more solid position than a PG like my AR, so I'm not itching for a thumbhole. But everyone's wrist is different, too. It might be more comfortable for some people.

    I don't think there's a "con" if it fits you well and your thumb slips in the hole naturally as you shoulder it. A well-designed stock should do that, and if you look at the Browning above, it looks like your thumb would go right in the hole without any fumbling. Should work well.
     
  6. 5knives

    5knives Member

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    I've found I prefer thumbhole stocks for precisely the reasons Mr. ArmedBear states!

    Got started with them when I got my VEPR .308 (the original version), and found out it handled as well as a conventional stock. Prior I had not found any full PG stock that was not slow to mount. (With the AK version generally being the slowest) Ended up with a pair of thumbhole stocked FEG SA-85M, and they 'flt right' too.

    Latest acquisition is an Encore in 7mm-08 with laminated thumbhole stock. And it works just great.

    One thing, I seem to have developed a tendency to cant the rifle over the years, and the thumbhole stock seem to prevent that ... for me at least.

    I second the 'feel of control' also.

    No expert here but I have been playing with firearms for just about 60 years now and that's my current, personal observation.

    JMHO, as always, YMMV!

    Regards,
    :)
     
  7. casio02478

    casio02478 Member

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    Just one more question for the thumbhole users. Since most safeties for bolt action rifles tend to be on the tang of the rifle, do you find it awkward and less smooth to shoulder the rifle and get off a snap shot at a jumped animal?
     
  8. 5knives

    5knives Member

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    "do you find it awkward and less smooth to shoulder the rifle and get off a snap shot at a jumped animal?"

    It would be slow and cumberson IF I hunted under those conditions with the safety on safe.

    But I don't!

    No time with ANY safety mechanism except half-cock, top safety on a Mossberg 500 or maybe an M-1 Garand.

    "Jump shooting is over in a hurry.

    More WI Deer killed in the heavy brush at 50 feet or less than are killed at over 50 yards.

    Any place I have a stand or blind and a 50 yard or better field of fire, then I'll be on safe. But not if I'm expecting one to jump, he'll be gone by the time you find the safety.

    On several occasions I've had them jump up less than 10 feet from me, never got a one of them ... definitely saw a flash of white tail disappeaaring into the brush though.

    Reason I'm partial to single shots, ugly truth is ... if you don't get 'em with the first shot, there's no way 90% of the time that you're going to get a second shot in.

    As always JMHO, YMMV.

    Regards,
    :)
     
  9. Sniper4Life

    Sniper4Life Member

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    My thumbhole has sorta a notch in the side that allows easy acess for my large (and clumbsy) hands to get to the safty with ease. If i can get the camera working i will post some pictures. But other smaller persons have had some trouble working the saftey... As i finished my thumbhole, it is a perfect fit for me.
     
  10. DDawg

    DDawg Member

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    When I was Looking at TC Pro Hunters with the thumb hole stock, I found that I could not cock the hammer when the rifle was up to my shoulder. If I had a deer in the scope and decided to shoot I would have to pull off my aim to cock the hammer.
     
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