As I sat out on the gun range, frustrated that I couldn’t get the grouping that I wanted, like so many other shooters have before, I knew something had to change. I cleaned my Savage Axis, tightened the rings and bases on the scope, checked the action screws, and still I just wasn’t happy with the performance of the rifle. My first and foremost complaint is the stock. Thin, flimsy, and just plain uncomfortable, are just a few of the words I’ve used to describe the original stock. While the rifle was extremely lightweight, the recoil was harsh, especially for someone my size shooting a .308. It was in that moment of frustration, that I decided to completely upgrade and remodel my budget rifle.
I packed up my range gear, and went home on a mission. Ideas swirling around in my head, ideas about what I could do to enhance my gun. I kept coming back to the same conclusion, the stock had to be the first thing to go.
When I arrived home, I started researching custom gunstocks. I found myself on boydsgunstocks.com designing my new and vastly improved stock. It didn’t take long at all for me to decide from the thousands of custom gunstocks offered by Boyds’. I decided to go with the thumbhole stock, originally for the comfort. I customized mine with checkering on the pistol grip and foregrip, a laser engraved whitetail deer on the side, and a Limbsaver recoil pad. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that the price, with all the customization, was right around $250.00.
“It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas!” Well, not really, but that’s how I felt when my Boyds’ hardwood gunstock arrived in the mail. To say I was excited to get this project underway was an understatement. As I pulled the stock out of the box, I immediately noticed how well the laser engraving, and the checkering was done. What amazed me more than the craftsmanship, was how well the barreled action fit into the stock.
The installation took less than 10 minutes, which can be seen here, and I am beyond happy with how the rifle fit into the new stock. The barrel is free floating, the rifle fit perfectly into the stock, and the whole rifle feels great in my hands. It’s like holding a whole new gun! The most important test was yet to come, range day.
The early fall air was crisp with a light breeze and the afternoon sun was strong. As I shouldered my newly upgraded stock, I felt like it was an extension of my arms, the recoil pad fell perfectly into my shoulder. I could have a solid cheek weld, something I was never able to do with the old stock. After shooting several groups, not only did I notice a huge increase in my accuracy and a significant reduction in recoil, but I noticed how comfortable my newly modified rifle was to shoot. This, I believe, is due to the thumbhole stock, and how much more ergonomic the pistol grip is, opposed to a standard stock.
To be forthright, I can’t complain about this stock at all. During my research, some people weren’t happy with the plastic trigger guard, but to the side of me who loves everything to match, it’s perfect. The matte trigger guard matched the plastic cover on the box magazine, and the overall look of the rifle. My expectations far exceeded!
I’m excited, not only for the next advancement in this Savage Axis build, but to take my newly upgraded rifle out deer hunting this fall!
Be sure to stay tuned for the next step, a Timney Trigger!
Until next time!
-Kat & Wes