Gun Digest

Easy Rifle Upgrade With Boyd’s Gunstocks

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Got an old friend that needs a facelift? Boyd’s Gunstocks builds upgraded replacement stocks for more than 1,200 different firearms.

How Boyd's Gunstocks upgrades a rifle:

Tools have handles, and a lot of tool handles are made of wood. Back in the day, the replacement handle business was big business: I helped my grandfather re-handle many a hammer, hoe and axe. Today most folks just buy a new tool when the wood handle on the old one breaks. Rifles are tools too, and their handles — wood stocks — get worn. Fortunately, and mostly because of Boyd’s Gunstocks, shooters who break or wear out a rifle handle don’t have to buy a new rifle.

Boyd’s Gunstocks has been offering replacement stocks for more than 35 years. By using the latest manufacturing machinery and techniques, the engineers at Boyd’s Gunstocks can deliver very high-quality rifle stocks for not very much money. The stocks they manufacture are designed to perfectly fit the gun. They only use top-grade hardwoods, every stock is dried to exacting specifications and then they’re sealed with chemical-resistant finishes for long lasting durability in all weather conditions. Currently, Boyd’s stocks offers replacement for 1,200 different firearms, with prices ranging from less than $100 to four times that — and average delivery time runs an impressive 10-14 days.

I’ve been a rifle guy since my father took me on my first squirrel hunt, where I shot a box of 410 shotshells and didn’t hit anything but trees and leaves. On our next trip I carried a .22 rifle and have never looked back. I use my rifles hard and the wooden handles get worn. I also like used rifles and am continually scavenging for older models to take hunting or shooting.

The buttstock of the Boyd’s At One stock offers an easily adjustable length-of-pull and comb. Both are paramount when it comes to getting right behind a precision rifle.

But, I’m like most other hunters and shooters: I prefer my firearms to look good, and sometimes even unique. This makes me and a lot of other folks the perfect customer for Boyd’s Gunstocks. Here are two examples that illustrate the versatility and quality Boyd’s delivers.

Custom Lever-Action Stocks

My love affair with lever guns started early and has progressed to an obsession — an expensive obsession. One of my favorites is the Marlin 336 chambered for the .35 Remington. A friend in Florida found me a great deal on a used Model 336 in this chambering, and I had him send it to my custom gunsmith, Jerry Dove, at Dove’s Custom Guns.

Dove Custom Guns fit the Boyd’s stock to this customized Marlin. They also shortened the length of pull and added a contoured butt pad.

When it arrived, I told Jerry I wanted him to turn it into a very compact takedown rifle. We discussed the details and decided the rifle would need a new handle in place of the plain grain walnut it was born with. I went directly to the Boyd’s website and used their dropdown menu to locate my rifle.

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The options were quickly displayed, and I was able to choose between a pistol grip or straight buttstock, and between a banded or non-banded forend. I was also shocked to see that they offered 16 different patterns, including plain walnut, a variety of colored laminates — and even XX walnut. I selected the pepper laminate because I thought it would pair well with the matte black Cerakote finish we’d chosen for the metal. The stock and forend cost me $148.

A takedown lever-action rifle, like this one built by Dove’s Custom Guns, is not inexpensive. But prices can be kept reasonable with an affordable replacement stock from Boyd’s.

It took about a week for the stock to arrive, and in that time Jerry smoothed the action and trigger, converted the gun to a takedown and Cerakoted all the steel. The stock required minimal fitting for that precision fit Jerry demands, and I also had him shorten the length of pull and add a contoured butt-pad. When all this was done, he added some clear-coat and handed me a gorgeous and distinctive-looking lever gun.

You can refurbish your Model 336 with the same or a similar stock. It’ll take a bit of tweaking to get the fit just right, but if you can put a new handle on a hammer, you should not have any problems.

Boyd's Stocks For Bolt-Actions

One of the newest offerings from Boyd’s is what they call their “At One” stock. This is a wicked, space-age-looking stock that combines some metal and polymer components, which make it very compatible with about any shooter. Made from laminated hardwoods, the At One stock weighs about 3 pounds and has a length of pull that’s adjustable from 12.5 to 14 inches. The comb can also be raised more than a half-inch — and a half-inch, over-molded rubber recoil pad is standard. It’s also available in 11 color patterns, including a cool camo-style Forest pattern and a radical, bright green, Zombie Hunter version.

The Boyd’s At One stock is inletted to perfectly fit the barreled action of your rifle. You order the stock for the exact variation of your specific model.

Other cool features include three single-point push-button sling attachment points, replaceable polymer grip and forend sections, and dual traditional sling swivel studs on the underside of the forend for bipod attachment. It’s essentially a laundry list of all the popular elements most precision shooters desire in a rifle stock.

I discovered this option at Boyd’s Gunstocks while shopping for a new handle for my Marlin 336, and I was intrigued by its features and affordable price. With all the new interest in long-range shooting, lots of folks are looking to swap out their traditional rifle stock for something better configured for the long-range game. To see just how this very affordable — $189 — stock might perform, I ordered one for a Remington Model 700 Mountain Rifle that was lying around not getting used.

Like with the modularity of the forend, on the Boyd’s At One stock you can also order different grip panels.

Installation was easy. In fact, the barreled action just dropped in. A slight tap on the floor plate with a rubber mallet was required, but this resulted in a tight and nice-looking fit. The barrel channel was a perfect match for the thinly tapered barrel; there was plenty — but not too much — room around the barrel to prevent any contact. When you select the Boyd’s At One rifle stock you wish to order, you also select the exact model rifle it will be used for. This is how Boyd’s Gunstocks makes sure the barrel channel is properly relieved to fit your rifle.

The re-stocked rifle shot just as well with the new Boyd’s At One stock as it did with its original handle. I’m confident that with a little bedding work it would shoot even better. You can purchase a professional bedding kit direct from Boyd’s for $14.95. You can also choose from a wide multitude of screw-on At One stock accessories that include many different patterns and colors.

Rifle Renovation With Boyd's Gunstocks

It’s true that most modern rifle stocks are not made from wood. Polymers and plastics, Kevlar and graphite — as well as fiberglass — are the most popular rifle handles of the new millennium. But wood has a long established track record as not only a reliable material for rifle stocks, but one that looks good. With the At One stock, Boyd’s has taken the modularization and adjustability of the modern synthetic and even chassis-style stock, and married it with laminated wood, to offer an affordable and attractive alternative. And, it’s available for retrofit on many different firearms.

One distinguishing aspect of the At One stock is the modularity of the forend. You can order different forends that attach by two screws to best suit your needs.

Precision-style aftermarket rifle stocks is a growing industry, and some can be very expensive, with some models costing four times what this Boyd’s stock sales for. Similarly, if you’re retrofitting an old classic, a custom stock maker will ask for a hefty down payment. Before it’s over, it will seem like he wants your first born and a night on the town with your wife. Like with my lever-action project, Boyd’s stocks can greatly reduce the cost of revitalizing a rifle. They even have a variety of checkering patterns to choose from, which allows a bit of true customization and uniqueness to your gun.

Just the other day I was visiting my friend, who runs a local pawnshop. On the rack he had a Marlin 336 in 30-30 Winchester. The metal was in great shape and the bore was pristine, but it looked like the previous owner had used the stock for a fence post. The other customers were ignoring that rifle because it looked so rough, but I walked out of there with it and only spent $146. With another $148 to Boyd’s, I’ll have me a great-looking lever gun that cost less than $350.

Grandpa knew what he was doing all along. The handle wears out long before the tool, and with a little sandpaper, a file and some bedding compound, new handles are affordable to come by, and easy to install. Well, at least the ones from Boyd’s are.

For more information on Boyd's Gunstocks, please visit

For more information on Dove's Custom Guns, please visit

This article originally appeared in the 2018 Shooting Is Fun issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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