Once we checked the accuracy of our stock rifle, it was time to make some changes. First, we decided to replace the factory wood stock with something more appropriate to our goal. The factory wood is fine for a boys plinking rifle, but it is really too small for an adult. The stock was designed for use with iron sights and the comb is too low for a proper cheek weld with a rifle scope. Even with our scope mounted as low as possible, we end up with more of a “chin weld.”
At this time we are still trying to stay in the “budget” realm. We chose to start with a low-cost replacement stock. A quick web search turned up the Hogue Rifle Stock. This is a cheaper, nylon version of the Hogue Over-Molded rifle stock found on many Remington 700 models. With a retail price of $69.99, it is hard to beat.The Hogue stock is a no-frills affair. It has better ergonomics than the wood carbine stock and comes equipped with a cushy recoil pad. The main attraction to this stock is it allows us to upgrade to a .920″ diameter bull barrel without hogging out the barrel channel on the wood stock. The stock also comes equipped with a pair of sling swivel studs. This makes for easy mounting of a Harris BRM-S bipod or sling.
Seeing the original sporter barrel mounted in the .920″ barrel channel was a little comical. However I wanted to see how it responded to being free-floated. To my surprise we saw no accuracy gain over the non-free floated wood stock with the barrel band in place. My guess is that this indicates we have probably reached the accuracy potential of the current barreled action. The Hogue stock will make it easy for us to install a premium quality bull barrel in our next installment.