Ok here is my questions. I am building a preditor gun. I was going to buy a synthetic pillar bedded stock, but i have been looking at the boyds and have half a notion to try one. My quesiion is would I or should I still bed the action.
The boyd stocks are beautiful but bedding is still required to get the most out of your rifle. You may be the lucky one and the stock will fix the accuracy but more often than not the bedding will improve the accuracy.
Thanks guys. Sounds like it would be a fun project anyway. I was just courious if there was a down side to having a wooden stock, other than the obvious. It has been a long time since I have built one out of wood.
The big disadvantage is they swell and shrink with the moisture content however laminated stocks all but eliminated that issue. They are still not as stable as a synthetic but much nicer to look at. They do tend to be a bit on the heavier side though.
Boyd's stocks are really good. However this laminated Boyd's on this 700 was bought as a drop-in. There were several problems with it. The forward action hole in the stock did not line up correctly (it's an ADL model). It also required glass bedding to really shoot well. This stock was purchased from Boyd's when a little custom work was possible with them, hence the forearm and grip cap. I really enjoy it, I would probably but another knowing the limitations and doing a little work. I feel they are worth the price.
I think the main reason wood stocks swell is that some key areas are not properly finished. Under the butt plate ie a big one and that is end grain which really soaks water good. I even get finish down in the screw holes. Another spot would be the sling swivels. I've never bothered with them much but a thin rubber waqsher under each or a bit of silicone just befor tighting them would seal there too. I love wood stocks but do have a junk plastic Remington factory one on an ADL. Really do like the laminated stocks too other than the weight.
I do the same thing with any wood stock. A few coats of Danish Oil inside the action area (the finishing people often miss spots in there or miss it altogether) and everywhere else that there isn't a finish applied to: under the pad, sling studs, and the barrel channel for good measure. The Danish Oil spreads nicely over other finishes and dries without harm or wipes off easily if you prefer.
I must admit that I have missed a big game animal with a rifle. And not only was it a bull elk, it was the largest bull that I have had in my sights with a tag in my hand. But, as with most "missed shot" stories, I have an excuse. Moisture doesn't really ever bode well for hunting equipment. When moisture (either rain or snow) gets into a firearms barrel, nothing good takes place. A couple rain drops down there can change the point of impact drastically and a barrel jammed with snow after a...