Olympic-level marksmen have known for years that one of the biggest keys to success is fitment and stability. Now it can be yours…
by the ShootingDaily staff; promoted by Boyds Gunstocks
NOTE: This review covers items that are in no way associated with or relative in any manner of form or function to that of “bump stocks” or similar technology or end use.
If you have more than a few rifles, no doubt at least one of them no longer fits your current “needs” category. But just because a firearm has outlived its original purpose doesn’t mean it must stay in mothballs forever.
Our Word of the Day, folks, is “repurposing.”
For example, many moons ago, we purchased a Remington 700 in .300 Short Action Ultra Mag. We liked the short action concept and the remarkable ballistics this then-new cartridge offered, and thought it ideal for our open-country big-game pursuits. And, indeed, it served that purpose well. From woodland caribou in Newfoundland to mule deer in British Columbia, this rifle accepted the challenge and proved its mettle.
Unfortunately for Remington, and for us, the .300 SAUM lost out to the Winchester .300 Short Magnum. The price of a box of .300 SAUM has now gone from annoyingly expensive to “no way.” Besides, we’ve acquired a couple more high-performance rifles in ensuing years, so our Model 700 has been sitting in the dugout for quite some time.
Our goal is to rechamber the barrel in the near future, but for now we decided that the most prudent course of action (and to make use of all the brass we’ve saved) would be to set up this old friend as a long-range target rifle utilizing the same concepts national- and international-level competition shooters use. In other words, repurpose it. This meant, of course, that the factory polymer stock had to go in favor of a more solid, shooter-friendly platform that would deliver a custom fit for maximum ergonomics and accuracy.
Boyds came out with the At-One earlier this year, receiving a lot of attention and kudos in the shooting world for several reasons.
First, like all Boyds laminated hardwood stocks, the At-One offers a sturdier, more rigid platform than factory polymer stocks or solid hardwood stocks. As experienced target shooters know, a rigid, non-flexing stock is the foundation for an accurized long-distance rifle. Thanks to the proprietary laminating process Boyds uses, these stocks keep the barreled action aligned during the shot while the free-float forend dimensions allow room for barrel harmonics. The result is predictable shot placement once you dial in your loads.
The real star of the At-One show, though, is the custom adjustability. The Boyds engineers have developed a simple, push-button system that allows you to adjust the stock’s length-of-pull as well as raise or lower the cheek riser height. Both the butt pad and cheek riser can be adjusted by pushing their respective release/lock buttons located on the right side of the stock. Just depress the button to change the position of each so that you have a perfect fit regardless of your shooting position or the clothing you’re wearing. No tools are required, so changes can be made in seconds.
In addition to the built-in adjustability, Boyds offers an optional target-style grip plate and beaver-tail forearm to best suit your shooting style and tastes. The rifle also comes with a quick-detach sling mount that can connect to either side of the stock.
As with all Boyds laminated stocks, the At-One is available in a variety of color schemes and is sealed with a chemical-resistant finish for maximum protection from weather extremes on and off the range.
The Remington 700 is one of the easiest rifle platforms to make a stock swap. Remove the two action screws and the barreled action slips right out of the stock.
One of the things we’ve always appreciated about Boyds stocks is their precise inletting. Of the many we’ve installed over the years, only very minor sanding, if that, was required to make the barreled actions fit. The same was true when we installed our .300 SAUM barreled action into the At-One. A few strokes with some 120-grit where the stock met the barrel contour channel were all that was needed. Reinstall the two action screws and the job was complete.
To say that the transformation was eye-opening is something of an understatement. Compared to the original polymer stock, the At-One delivers a more substantive platform that goes a long way toward keeping the rifle stable on the shooting bench. The custom fit, of course, makes a huge difference in achieving a proper trigger pull and eye alignment—all of which helps to minimize shooter-induced variables that can hurt accuracy. We were able to tighten our 200-meter groups by a half inch on our first test outing with the new stock, and we anticipate denser groupings as we work to fine-tune the setup.
So, if you have a lonely hunting rifle that you would like to put back in the game with a new long-range target mission, a rock-solid, fully adjustable stock such as the Boyds At-One will give you a good start. It’s easy to install, easy to use, and will leave plenty of room in your budget for other accurizing upgrades, like a precision trigger or custom bedding.
article copyright © 2017 ShootingDaily.com; promoted by Boyds Gunstocks
Although Boyds Gunstocks is one of our sponsors, the views expressed in this article are those of the author. ShootingDaily.com receives compensation from Boyds Gunstocks in various forms to help promote their products.