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A First Timer's Take on Swapping A Boyds Stock

by Reid VanDer Veen

Reid Hunting Fishing

10 minutes, start to finish. That's how long it took to change my factory stock to a beautiful Boyds laminate stock. That might seem obvious to some, but I was surprised. As someone who is definitely not a gunsmith, and hadn't even removed a unstock before, I wasn't sure what to expect when I decided to try changing the stock out on my new Weatherby on my own.

Never one to shy away from a DIY project, be it a backcountry hunt or one of my wife's million Pinterest ideas, I figured I could tackle swapping out the factory stock on a gun. How hard could it be? If I can build a Taj Majal out of recycled old pallets, this should be easy enough. However, there's no crazy mental prep work needed for this project compared to some projects. It truly is as simple as loosening and tightening a couple of screws. Even for the not so handy, if someone were to ask how difficult it is to design and install a Boyds stock, I'd put the entire process at a 2 on a scale of 1-10. The hardest part is picking your color.

How to order a Boyds Stock

From start to finish, Boyds has fine-tuned their ordering system to make it as user-friendly as possible. How to order? That's easy. Describe your gun from a simple 3-step drop-down selection tool on the site. Choose your make, choose your model, and your action. Boom. Boyds auto-filter system then opens up a step by step design tool. Simply make your choices following the onscreen prompts and you have a custom-designed stock tailored to your specific style.

As a newbie, I had a question around the length of action to order for my gun. Fortunately, Boyds again has you covered. Find the link called Short or Long Action on the top of the site and clicking it will take you to a simple selection guide. Locate your caliber from the list of available options and there's your answer. For my 6.5 Creedmoor, I needed a short action.

I'd go so far as to say the entire process is painless, but that isn't exactly true. Between all the colors and styles, choosing which Boyds stock can be somewhat daunting when presented with as many options as Boyds has to offer. However, even that was addressed with their simple design tool. They'll have you choose your shape first, then select your wood, and finally select from a list of custom options like engraving or different recoil pads. That's it. Aside from the four-day wait it took for the big brown truck to drop off my new goodies, it was a breeze.

I know you're thinking. A few days? That's nothing. And you're right. But when you're as excited as I was to get your hands on that new stock, it felt like an eternity.

Boyds Gunstocks First Time Build

DIY Installation

But what about install? How hard is it to actually install a Boyds stock on your own? It likely won't come as a shock to you by now, but it was easy. Surprisingly easy.

My Weatherby Vanguard Series II required just one tool to do the job. A T-30 Torx bit screwdriver. Loosening the two screws on the forearm and the trigger guard and the factory stock is easily removed. The Boyds stock fit perfectly without any modification, and assembly was as simple as reversing the process. Loosen screws. Remove factory stock. Drop in Boyds stock. Tighten screws. Sounds pretty intense, doesn't it?

I found it easiest to place my gun upside down in my vice while making the swap. If you don't have a bench or vice to work on, an extra set of hands wouldn't hurt, but it's definitely not required. Maybe have your wife hold the gun steady for you. She owes you for building that pallet palace anyway.

The stock I chose was the new At-One in Coyote Brown finish. I couldn't be more excited about how it turned out. And I couldn't be more pleased at how easy it was to do myself. The gun is comfortable. It's light. It shoots great. And it looks amazing.