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Thread: Boyds laminate stock for Steyr pro hunter - Brief review

  1. #1

    Boyds laminate stock for Steyr pro hunter - Brief review

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    I have had quite a few requests now for a review and some photos of the Boyds stock I recently purchased for my pro hunter. It has been a busy few weeks for me, so I apologise for not getting one done any sooner. The boyds website features a lot of stocks for many different makes and models, and I know it can be a bit confusing as to which stock you need. Especially when you bear in mind they are coming from the US, so returning a stock is going to be very costly and time consuming.

    I bought a Steyr pro hunter in 7mm Rem Mag about back at the end of feb. I have always liked the silky smooth action and lovely twist pattern left by the hammer forging process on the barrels. The one thing that has always put me off is the stocks, cheap, nasty and far from ergonomic; plus that flex in the forend is really inexcusable. However, I went into my local RFD a few months ago and saw a pro hunter in .243 with a boyds stock. I was told that you could get one imported from the us for £150 with change left over. I was very impressed and went out to buy the next pro hunter that became available.

    The problem

    The stock on mine was especially flexible, and as I had to make do with it whilst waiting for the Boyds stock to arrive I decided to do some DIY to attempt to fix the flexing. There was actually a small section of the barrel under the forend that had become slightly marked from being rubbed by the stock. Even holding the rifle offhand with no moderator the forend would contact the barrel.

    To remedy this problem, I bored out the barrel channel leaving a gap of around 5mm, way more than I felt should be needed. I then filled the entire forend with milliput, a rock solid modeling epoxy. After the compound went off I was shocked and dismayed to find that the stock was still flexing; not enough to contact the barrel unless pressure was applied, but still enough to effect my confidence in the rifle. On closer examination I discovered the flex was actually coming from between the bedding screws, and not the forend.

    Ordering from the Boyds website

    I was at first a little confused by the Boyds website, they offer 3 action types for the pro hunter, short, long and magnum. Confusingly they actually describe these as pro hunter #2, pro hunter #3 and pro hunter mag #4. Once you get past this however and click on an actual stock model, it gives you the distance between the bedding screws. For SA users this should be nice and easy, but LA and mag are quite similar lengths, so I would carefully measure between your bedding screws just to be sure. Remember, you may not be able to send it back!

    It is also worth bearing in mind that Boyds customer service is terrible. They take forever to respond to emails and are generally unhelpful.

    I eventually settled on the classic style in forest camo. It is worth noting that Boyds have a $100 maximum order (ex. shipping) for international orders. This means you can only choose one of the pre designed stocks and cannot choose any of the custom options. You have a choice between grey, nutmeg or forest camo laminate. This was a problem for me as I wanted a longer length of pull being relatively tall. I will add a spacer later if required.

    The order total came to $167 with shipping, which is still well under the £150 I was advised to expect. I was hit with import tax on the lot which was just over £20, meaning the whole cost was about £130. I believe it took about 2 weeks for the stock to ship, then a further 10 days shipping so all in all it took the best part of a month to get the stock.

    Fitting the stock

    I was very relieved that the stock fit... somewhat. The action was obviously right, but there were several problems with the fit. Firstly the barrel was not free floating. The recesses in the side of the stock for the mag release buttons were not aligned right and the rear bedding screw which should have been provided was missing (the original being too short).

    I decided there was nothing for it but to bed the action. What a can of worms that was! Turns out nothing about a steyr action is one piece, there are holes, cracks and tiny parts everywhere. Even the recoil lug is not part of the action, but is screwed on. In the end I decided to just bed the area around the recoil lug, the rear of the action is just too complex and was making good contact with the stock anyway. Honestly this is a job I hope never to do again for a Steyr. If you get a gunsmith to do it I guarantee you will be getting value for money because the poor bloke will be spending hours filling all the little gaps with plasticine. Pillar bedding is not really an option as the pro hunter has no bottom metal.

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    I also bored out the forend slightly and enlarged the area around the magwell. the end result I am very pleased with, however it took several hours of fiddling and was by no means a drop in job.

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    The end result

    Overall I am happy with the quality of the stock, and it is without doubt a massive improvement over the original. At the end of the day you cant be overly critical of a custom laminate stock for £130. The trigger guard I am not happy with, it is plastic and doesn't feel very strong at all. It also makes it very hard to use the set trigger as you can really get your finger behind it. I will be looking to possibly replace this if something becomes available.

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    Finish and quality are very nice, the stock is not overly heavy weighing probably the same or a little less than the original one. It is very well designed ergonomically, I like the raised cheek comb and relatively wide forend.

    Attachment 56439

    Length of pull is slightly longer than stated, being just over 14". The recoil pad is a solid rubber no frills type, I may change this as well at some point. I find the stock fits me a lot better and makes the recoil of the 7RM much more tolerable.

    Accuracy wise, I am getting 1/2" groups with homeloads. The more important thing is that it has made the rifle considerably nicer to shoot.

    Overall I am very pleased with the end result, even though it took a while to get there. It might have been a bit easier to just buy a nice Sako in the first place and save the bother, but its all a learning experience and I enjoy fiddling with my guns.

    Any further questions, just drop me a PM.
    Last edited by carper99; 14-05-2015 at 09:41.

  2. #2
    Hello Rowan

    The Rifle looks superbbbbbbbbbbbbbb.... and after reading your whole start to end story… I think I will wait till I have a couple of months off before ordering a Boyd’s stock for my Steyr Pro Hunter 7RM....

    You have really put in the hours in this new stock and it shows the end results to a Professional Level... WELL DONE....

  3. #3
    Hi Carper99.
    Now that is some improvement, I just received an email from boyds 1 hour ago. As you said in your review don't go by their pro hunter 2, 3, 4. They said that they don't do Mannlicher pro 11 anymore as I emailed them to say that centre to centre action screws on my pro 11 was 5" and not 4 21/32 as on their web page. I take it that I will need to order the pro 4 magnum. Didn't even think look at pro 4 as looks as if it will fit.
    You have done a great job on yours, I was on a real downer after receiving boyds email, then you put up your review thanks for that.
    Jim

  4. #4
    Great job. That looks really smart. And was considerably cheaper than the McMillan route I went with mine (.223 Pro Varmint)

  5. #5
    Thanks for all the comments, much appreciated. Jim I would advise that if the distance between the bedding screws is right then that is the correct stock. It may take some adaption to get the correct fit but this is fairly easy with simple tools.
    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Great looking stock , have just bought my second steyr pro hunter and was Contemplating a replacement stock as well but would be pissed off if then had to bed it aswell.local gunsmith quoting £40 to bed the standard stock and reckons this would sort all probs, dont know which route to go down , anybody out there done this and what results had you afterwords

  7. #7
    Great stuff well done !
    The one thing putting me off is the trigger guard ....plastic ! Do you think someone with a cnc machine could manufacture something given he had the plastic one to copy only we have an ex F1 engineer on the farm who makes race engines and has 3 huge cnc machines in his workshop just a thought .
    cheers
    norma

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by laphroig View Post
    Great looking stock , have just bought my second steyr pro hunter and was Contemplating a replacement stock as well but would be pissed off if then had to bed it aswell.local gunsmith quoting £40 to bed the standard stock and reckons this would sort all probs, dont know which route to go down , anybody out there done this and what results had you afterwords
    I would save your £40 towards the boyds stock to be honest. The bedding may or may not work, personally I think the flex comes from between the bedding screws, and bedding compound will not make this part that much more rigid.

    Quote Originally Posted by norma 308 View Post
    Great stuff well done !
    The one thing putting me off is the trigger guard ....plastic ! Do you think someone with a cnc machine could manufacture something given he had the plastic one to copy only we have an ex F1 engineer on the farm who makes race engines and has 3 huge cnc machines in his workshop just a thought .
    cheers
    norma
    If you come up with something please let me know. You would want to adapt the design slightly to allow for the use of the set trigger. It really does ruin the quality feel of the stock.

  9. #9
    I've been toying with one of these for a while and think you've just made my mind up.

  10. #10
    I missed the boat with getting a stock how did the Boyds stock fare one yr on and the trigger guard .
    Norma

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