The folks over at Boyds Gunstocks are in the business of refreshing the old and bringing in the new. Boyds laminate gunstocks are in my opinion some of the best aftermarket wood stocks that you can get for the money and they recently sent me over one of their AT-ONE rifle stocks. The Boyds AT-ONE series of stocks is meant to take your old bolt action rifle and breathe new life into it and I personally think the Boys AT-ONE adds a lot of functionality to an otherwise unimpressive and old rifle. For this review, I used an entry-level Remington 770 chambered in .270 Winchester – a popular hunting cartridge down here in the south. Today we’ll go over some of the features of the AT-ONE stock, my experiences with installing it, and how it adds to the value of an otherwise budget-minded hunting rifle and turns it into something more functional for only a couple hundred dollars.
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TFB Review: Boyds AT-ONE Laminate Adjustable Rifle Stock
The Boyds AT-ONE laminate adjustable rifle stock is a turn-key solution that offers modern functionality and conveniences but still has the character that comes with wooden gunstock. The primary features of the AT-ONE gun stock include the “BRING-IT” adjustable butt pad, several single-point sling mounts, QD cups at the rear of the stock, and interchangeable polymer grip panels for both the grip and the forend.
The AT-ONE gunstock came in a Boyds cardboard box along with all the hardware needed to install it. The Boyds AT-ONE costs $245 making it just slightly cheaper than other long-action rifle stocks like ones from Magpul or other chassis systems. The stock features an adjustable length of pull and comb height which are adjusted by integrated buttons that don’t stick out from the stock creating potential points of snagging when you’d be climbing in and out of a blind and or tree stand.
The grip that shipped with my stock was the Traditional grip that features a swept-back design. I also had the traditional sleek and slender forearm shipped to me and both came preinstalled from the factory. The first inspection of the stock revealed that while the outside looks very nice and is well polished, there are a few points within the stock where it was machined out that needed a bit of hand filing to remove burrs and errant pieces of wood that were sticking out. Overall the handiwork done on the stock is hands-down beautiful and they are really something to look at when compared with the boring plain polymer stock that came with the Remington 770.
I’ve had a bit of experience with Boyds gunstocks before and this by far has been the most complex installation for me for one primary reason – the magazine release on the Remington 770. The Remington 770 features a forward-mounted spring-loaded magazine release that needs to be taken out of your standard Remington stock and added to Boyds stock. If I could have things my way I would have gathered that Boyds had their own replacement aftermarket magazine release but I went ahead and removed and installed the release.
The installation of the magazine release required some hand fitting and this was also stated in the black and white instruction manual that this would need to be done. In total it took me about 20 minutes to chip and file away at the stock to get the magazine release to fit properly and afterward I installed a provided plastic retaining piece to keep the magazine release from falling out. Boyds says you can epoxy this in place but that it wasn’t explicitly necessary so I chose to skip that step.
The Boyds AT-ONE is billed as a more or less drop-in stock aside from the minor hand fitting that has to be done for the magazine catch. However, it did take me a bit of finagling to get the rifle to fit correctly as the primary point of concern is making sure the barrel sits on the recoil lug that is embedded and epoxied into the stock. It took a few minutes to get it set right and to me, it seemed like the placement of the lug might have been off by a millimeter or two but in the end, I was able to get the barreled action into the stock properly and have all the hardware torqued down to the specified 30-35 in/lbs. The bushing for the screw that attaches the barrel to the stock in front of the recoil lug did end up being slightly crooked and this caused the screw to sit a little cockeyed but I didn’t experience any cross-threading and it was very hard to tell that it was sitting that way.
Overall, the installation is pretty straightforward but if you’re not comfortable with taking apart your guns, you should probably have a qualified and experienced gunsmith install this stock for you. My other experiences with Boyds gunstocks haven’t been this complicated and their other stocks have been truly drop-in and required no hand fitting.
The two primary differences that the stock adds are adjustments for comb height as well as the length of pull. A couple of buddies and myself went out to a pasture and ran a couple of magazines through the rifle to get a feel for the rig and aside from it being slightly heavier than the standard plastic stock, the Boyds AT-ONE proved to be quite useful in making quick adjustments for each of us who all had different lengths of pull and had different comb heights.
The length of pull is adjustable beyond the standard Remington stock’s fixed length of 13-3/8″. For myself, I had no problem keeping it a medium length (probably right around the standard 13 inches of the standard stock) but for taller individuals, you can adjust the stock all the way out to 14″ or shrink it down to a scant 12-1/2″ if you were going to hand the rifle to a smaller framed shooter. The comb can be adjusted to fit taller optic mounts depending on what you’re running.
I didn’t have a bipod handy at the time but one cool thing about the AT-ONE stock’s forend is that it features an extra sling stud for accommodating a bipod which is a feature that a lot of other platforms don’t have.
I don’t often buy things purely based on their looks and hunting rifles are primarily tools rather than aesthetic objects. However, in the case of the Boyds stock, I don’t see why you can’t do both at the same time and enjoy looking at your hunting rifle as much as you enjoy shooting it and taking game with it. The Boyds AT-ONE gunstock adds a few creature comforts to an otherwise boring standard stock that comes with the Remington 770.
My particular color choice “Sky” is just one of 11 different laminate variations available to you with the Boyds AT-ONE. You can get everything from a more traditional-looking “Nutmeg” coloring all the way up to the zany and loud “Zombie Hunter” stock. So aside from a few minor frustrations when installing the stock, I think the AT-ONE is a great option for those of you looking to either breathe new life into one of your old rifles or perhaps polish up a nice pawn shop find. If you don’t mind doing a little trimming and hand fitting, this would be a great stock to give one of your older bolt-action rifles a little bit of an upgrade.
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Boyds AT-ONE Laminate Adjustable Rifle StockThe Firearm Blog is written by Luke C. for www.thefirearmblog.com