Bell and Carlson Stocks were my only choice, and I’m glad they were.
About ten years ago I finally scraped together enough money to buy one of the custom, left-handed bolt guns I’d always dreamed of.
The rifle was a Ruger 77 Mark II action in the original (albeit refinished) wood stock, but it had been rebarrelled to a decidedly larger caliber than the 30-06 it had begun life as.
More Shooting Stories7 Signs You Spend Too Much Time Shooting Your Gun or Bow
This rifle was everything I’d always hoped for, with stunning metal work and a really nice-looking piece of wood tying the package together.
Everything was great until one day, after inexplicably missing an elk and subsequently test firing the rifle at the range, I discovered that the stock was cracking. My wonderful gun would only shoot a group about the size of a trash can lid at 100 yards.
I had a few choices when it came to fixing my problem. I could get another wood stock from Ruger and run the hazard of having it crack all over again, or I could get a laminated wood stock that would increase dependability but also add weight to what was supposed to be a light carrying, hunting rifle.
My final option was to get a synthetic stock. The classicist in me reviled the thought, but it was really the only choice that would give me the sturdiness I needed along with light weight.
I made the tough decision to go with fiberglass and ordered a Bell & Carlson stock with an internal bedding block for added strength. I didn’t waste too much time shopping around — at the time, Bell & Carlson was the only company making a left-handed Ruger stock.
With my new black stock attached to my once traditional rifle, I went out to the range bemoaning the loss of the eye-catching classic lines.
After firing three rounds, I didn’t miss the wood that much. With its new rock-solid bedding, my big bore would shoot cloverleafs and one-inch groups over and over again.
I began to reassess my feelings towards synthetic; on its best day, my rifle wouldn’t do that with the wooden stock.
Back when I got my B&C stock they were the only option, but today there would be a few others available to me. Given my experience, I would still choose the Bell and Carlson again.
As the seasons have passed my ugly black stock has been frozen, broiled, beaten and bounced off half the rocks in Montana, but the rifle still holds its point of aim and groups beautifully.
There might be some other synthetics out there that could boast this kind of durability, but they’re a lot more expensive than the B&C.
If you’re in need of a replacement stock, let me save you some time: see what Bell & Carlson can provide to meet your needs.