thumbhole stock vs regular

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by bigbluetruck, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. bigbluetruck

    bigbluetruck New Member

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    Other than personal prefrence are there other benefits to a thumbhole stock over a regular stock?

    The reason i ask is because the rifle my girlfriend uses for deer hunting is a ruger mk77 in .243 it has the original plastic stock on it and because the buttstock is hollow it throws off the balance of the rifle. Its my old rifle and although i never had a problem with it she has a difficult time shooting off hand with it. So im wanting to buy a richards microfit stock for it. My thinking is that the thumbole grip will give her a better grip on it (shes 5'8" and barely over 100lbs) and being laminate will help balance on the rifle.

    does that sound like it makes sense?
  2. Albtraum

    Albtraum Active Member

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  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    For a big-game hunting, where you might need a quick follow up shot I would stick with a standard stock. At the very least, try it first to see how fast you can finagle your trigger hand out of the grip to work the bolt for a second shot.
    For me, it's slower than with a traditional stock pattern...
    There is a reason why most of the thumbhole patterns are labeled as varmint/target stock patterns.
    Also, the Boyds thumbholes that Albatraum linked to have a wide heavy benchrest style forearm. That forearm negates any extra wood you have back in the butt area and they're still front-heavy.

    On a rifle that I'm just shooting off a rest and not in any big hurry, I don't mind a well-fitted thumbhole stock.


    Maybe you would consider filling the butt portion of the stock with some lead or steel shot to change the balance too. If a hollow stock, you can pour lead or steel shot or use pretty much any size shape of weight into the cavity and anchor it in place with pretty much anything. I've seen guys use RTV silicone, expanding foam, fiberglass resin, you name it. Depends on what the stock is made out of.

    I've used expanding foam on a couple of rifles (Stevens 200 and Remington 700 factory stocks). If more weight is needed, you can drive some 1/4" to 3/8" steel rod into the foam. It'll be covered by the buttplate when you're done so it's not visable at all.
  4. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    I have a couple of thumb hole stocks. I guess I like them Ok. I cant really see any great advantage or disadvantage to them. I dont really worry about follow up shots because I dont remember ever having to take one.
  5. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Member

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    Buy from Boyd's and save a pile of money.
  6. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    If you are setting the rifle up for your sweetie, you will need to watch the weight and fit to her.
    Look at the weight of the plastic stock vs. wood, then go talk to a pro gunsmith about the actual fit.
    If she is as "petit" as she sounds (at +- 100 lbs) the issue may be the overall length of the rifle moreso than the balance. If it does not fit a comfortable length of pull and is barrel heavy there may be several points to fit the gun (to her ) rather than just the overall length.
    For example, I had a shotgun fitted to my 12 year old son, the gunsmith fit the gun to his length of pull by just changing the recoil pad from shotgun length (+-1") to a 1/4 " rifle style pad. After changing the stock we watched him struggle to hold the barrel horizontal ; we took 4 inches off the length (the weight reduction was negligible) and he could now support and swing the gun comfortably.
    The amount of upper body strength that my son had (at 12) and your girlfriend has now will affect how the gun is held/supported/swung and carried. It may be great for you, and the poorest fit ever for her.

    The thumbhole stock is just a personal preference, it can help fit the gun to the shooter (in some designs) but I would say that you should consult a pro. If there is a shotgun club about, there is usually someone there that could help or point you to someone that could.
  7. bigbluetruck

    bigbluetruck New Member

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    its just the regular sporter barrel at 16" i think. i understand about the fitting.

    The foreend on the stock is just regular sporter and not a target.

    another reason for the new laminate stock is that i want to be able to glass bed and free float the barrel
  8. Bobn257Roy

    Bobn257Roy New Member

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    Having a 3 of thumbholes in my hunting rifles, I have found that when I am stalking I do not have my thumb in the hole. You lay it along the right side of the stock for a right hand shooter, It also puts your thumb close to the saftey on a bolt action rifle. I have fired them many times that way. I found a thumbhole stock is a much more natural position for your hand when shooting and a better hold when shooting off hand.
  9. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    A note on overall gun fit. Do NOT shorten a stock more than 1" from factory (usually 14"). A large part of getting into the gun is, simply, experience with proper mount. I come from a competition shotgun background and have seen MANY petite women shooting fantastic skeet scores with shotguns that are at or even longer than factory length. There is a component of upper body strength required, yes; but the distance from spotweld to sight plane is remarkably similar between small-stature and normal.

    Balance is very important, weight distribution is critical, and it will make all of the difference between a well-shooting rifle and one you don't want to stand behind. I like a laminate stock for a variety of reasons. I've used the Boyd's stocks and they are always well made and a great value. I don't think you can go wrong with one on your rifle.

    BTW: your rifle is probably not a 16" barrel length......
  10. bigbluetruck

    bigbluetruck New Member

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    I got to thinking about it later and im thinking the barrel is longer than 16. im not sure why that came to mind
  11. langenc

    langenc Member

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    I suspect the problem as at least one other noted-wrong length stock.

    The length may fit you but her arms are undoubtedly shorter. Have he try it several times--WITH the 2 or 3 jackets she wears while hunting. Try removing the recoil pad. 90% of them absorb very little recoil and just make the stock too long.
  12. Bobn257Roy

    Bobn257Roy New Member

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    Myfriend is410,
    you maybe right, BUT when shooting skeet or trap you have all day to mount and get into position before you call PULL, unless at the bench or just target practice, snapping a rifle or shotgun to you shoulder is much different when hunting, all my hunting guns have shorter stocks then my trap and bench rest guns.
  13. whirley

    whirley Member

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    Remember When fitting a stock to wear the type of clothing you'l be wearing when using the gun. Heavy winterclothing and lighter fall or spring clothing can make a difference in needed stock length.
  14. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    You are absolutely correct in that you normally have time to deliberately mount for skeet and trap; but it still holds true for Sporting Clays and there you DON'T have time to pre-mount. I would also argue that most shots from a big game rifle are deliberate set-up, rested shots. Heavy clothing can be a big issue too and I've seen guns equipped with two pads: one thick and one thin to accommodate the difference in clothing thickness.

    The difference of 1/4" can make all of the difference in the world too. Good balance is very important as well. That's probably what I dislike most about the plastic stocks--it moves the balance point too far forward.
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