I am planning an buying a couple of replacement stocks for a couple of different rifles. I've reed nothing but bad stuff about both Great American (gunstocks.com), & equally bad stuff about Richards Micro-fit.
I understand that if you have had a bad experience with them, the net is the place to make it known. that being said, has any one had a good experience with either of them? any photos of there work, not from there web sights would be greatly appreciated.
I am also considering using silver hill (gunville.com) they have stocks on eBay. I called them, and they don't have a pattern for my Mann.-scho., but they do have a number of classic patterns for Mauser's, & 03-a3's and such.
I've hard good things about boys, but all there stocks look like wood stocks that came on economy grade rifles before plastic (composite) took over. so they arent really in the running.
Any other suggestions would be welcome. I'm willing to spend a little more, but the 300$+ stock is also out of the question.
richards economy grade is 79$, and great american is 110$, while silver hill starts at 135$, and all three have much better lines (don't look like a 22) than boyds. all of these suppliers (except boyds) offer higher grades, which run from 20-50$ extra, so I really don't think less than 300 is at all unreasonable. we are talking about unfinished, semi-inletted (95% ish) stocks hear.
Only one I've used is Richards a couple times and that not recently. I was very satisfied. But I've heard bad stuff about EVERYONE! I suspect its because wood varies so much in looks and quality and you may or may not get what you pay for, or think you paid for after looking at the picture of the fancy finished stock on the webpage. Or maybe because lots of folks dont realize that a "95%" stock still needs a heck of a lot of work, or that they really don't have any idea of how to inlet an action and barrel or finish a stock properly. Or maybe the company screwed up, or just had some crappy wood left, or just wasn't honest, overpromised on its website?
Also note that Claro Walnut has become pretty much a standard on American made gunstocks. Richards uses it unless otherwise stated. it tends to be very nice looking, fancier grades are relatively much cheaper than other walnuts, but it is often very open grained so expect to spend more time with the sealing.
And read the fine print before ordering, on the page with the gunstock you order, the "FAQs" or "Questions and Answers" page, and the order page.
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i have three stocks from great americans bargain bin & i'm very happy with all three of them.
i think i paid $120 for one of them and $135 each for the other two.
they haven't added any new stocks to their bargain bin in about a year so hopefully there will be a bunch of them added real soon
great American wood had large pores and is softer than i would like.... but that was 4 years ago for a friends mauser. had to remove the ordered side panels too soft.
Richards was better 5 years ago another friend project, but needs extra sealers as said too.
i have done a few Bishop STOCKS that were excellent a little ABOVE standard grades.
I bought an English Walnut inletted blank from Great American about 15 years ago for a 1903 Mannlicher Schoenauer. The gun had a weird shaped stock that was bent for a right handed shooter with a dominent left eye. I sent the stock to GA and they inletted the blank identical to the original one. I think was a "medium" grade blank. When I received the new wood, I was very surprised to see the beautiful figure in the wood, it looked like one of their "premium" blanks. The fit was good with a minimum of work, I was very pleased with their product. I haven't done anymore stock replacement since then, but if I did I would definitely use Great American.
Communication with richards seems the biggest problem. I have given up trying to get them on a phone. Being a cheap skate I have bought more bargain stocks than ones I have ordered specifically for a rifle, but all have been as listed, or better in my view. They mount a recoil pad quite reasonably. Their repairs on the culls are kind of ugly, using a dark epoxy that can probably be touched up with an outercoat of brown epoxy. or a shim of walnut to cover the repair.
Try calling Ceicil Freddy in Las Vegas! he has a web site! He has the largest collection of blanks in the USA.. Tell him what you want to spend and he will send you a picture of 5 blanks of the wood and grade you want..then you pick the blank..Meanwhile, find a good place to turn the black into the stock you want! I did this twice and my $150 blanks both turned out to be nearly exhibition grade..They are beautiful.. The end cost will be a little more but well worth it..
Silver Hill/Gunville took forever to make a couple of stocks for me. They kept promising but nothing. When they started work on the stocks they demanded more money than their quote. I won that fight. When they eventually shipped the stocks I was traveling and UPS threw them over the gate where they lay in the grass for some time. Rats or some other critters got into box and chewed the wood along the sharp corners (inletting) and everything got soaked. Could not use them. One was a beautiful English blank I had been saving. The other was American supplied by SH. Silver Hill blew me off and did nothing for me. You would think they would have insured them at least. A big waste of time and money. I eventually got Wenigs to make me a stock from my pattern. That went just fine. Never had a problem with Wenigs, have bought from them a few times. They are not the cheapest but they do it right the first time. Will never use SH again.
Great American is now Walnut Grove Gunstocks.Located in Idaho I believe.The stocks I used from GA were rather rough as far as inletting and external shaping but were easily worked.The wood was OK.