This 10-Minute Rifle Mod Will Turn Up Performance (And Turn Heads)

Rifles are tools. Some folks use them to punch tiny holes in paper targets or ring steel plates at a mile, while others (myself included) prefer burning gunpowder

by Josh Dahlke

Content Director MORE FROM Josh


Rifles are tools. Some folks use them to punch tiny holes in paper targets or ring steel plates at a mile, while others (myself included) prefer burning gunpowder for the ultimate sake of putting meat on the table. Of course, as hunters, there are a countless chapters in our stories that lead to the brief climax when firing pin meets primer and creature becomes food. That’s why many of us find value in carrying a rifle that we can be proud of in the field. To deliver said pride, that gun ought to have some character and be capable of shooting better than its master. Boyds Gunstocks can help to make this possible.

Admission: I’ve never been much of a handyman. I don’t handload my own ammo, let alone have I delved into any “custom gun work.” But I’ve always been hell bent on carrying a rifle that can shoot MOA or better, and I’ve forever admired my compadres who have tuned up their rifles in some manner. It took me way too long to realize you don’t need much mechanical aptitude to make serious changes—in both form and function—to your rifle. If you can run a Phillips and an Allen, odds are you’re in the game to make brag-worthy modifications to your rifle.

Assuming your barrel and action aren’t junk, dropping in a new, topnotch trigger is a great start to building a better rifle. The next obvious step is to mount your barreled action on a new gunstock. The craftsmen at Boyds have been in the business of cranking out high-quality hardwood gunstocks for nearly 4 decades. Why hardwood? When a stock is properly constructed with premium hardwood, it can offer a weatherproof, rigid platform that will stand the tests of time and magnum temperament … all while offering shocking good looks.

Boyds is constantly researching and adopting worthy new technologies to make sure its stocks will deliver consistent performance. Perhaps most importantly, when you use Boyds’ Gunstock Configurator to digitally design your stock, you get to make sure it’s built specifically for your length of pull. Combine the characteristics of proper fit with those of premium hardwood construction and you’re on your way to more consistent accuracy, no matter the rifle.


My first Boyds upgrade was applied to a Mossberg Patriot Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor. I replaced its budget-friendly plastic factory stock with Boyds’ Pro Varmint stock colored in nutmeg laminate. The raised comb is a great complement to optics, and I’m extremely partial to the vertical handgrip (I find it allows for a smoother, more natural trigger squeeze with a vertical hand position). Laser-engraved textures on the handgrip and forearm make it easier to handle when Mother Nature is pissy. It took no more than 10 minutes (just a handful of screws) to make this killer transformation.


So far, my new rig has accompanied me on two successful antelope hunts and one mule deer hunt. You can watch the films from each adventure right here:


Hunting spring gobblers is probably my No. 1 obsession. Did I mention Boyds makes adjustable stocks for turkey guns? I sense a late-winter project coming on …





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