Monthly Archives: October 2017

  • Restocking with Boyds Hard Wood Stocks

    When most people think of aftermarket gun stocks, they think of Boyds. Since 1981 Boyds have been producing quality hardwood gun stocks for some of the world’s most popular rifles.

    Here’s Boyds in their own words:

     “At Boyds we use only top-grade hardwoods, because a hardwood stock performs! Every stock is dried to exacting specifications to ensure rigidity and stability, then sealed with chemical-resistant finishes for long-lasting durability and performance in all weather conditions.

    Boyds stocks are engineered to perfectly fit the gun. They’re tight where they need to be tight, loose where they need to be loose for superior performance and improved accuracy you can measure.”

    With this ‘perfect fit’ in mind, we sent one of the team to have a go at restocking everyone’s favourite .22LR, the Ruger 10/22.

     

    Restocking

    I would like to state that I am not a DIYer, I am not the kind of guy who has a shed full of tools and I don’t know how to rewire a plug, so when I was asked to restock a gun, I must admit, I was a tiny bit concerned.

    Ruger 10/22 before restocking Ruger 10/22 before restocking

    I was given a Ruger 10/22 and went to look at our Boyds selection to choose the stock to work with. At first, I was blinded by how many stock designs were available for the Ruger and the range of colours for each of those designs.

    I chose the Boyds Evolution Thumbhole laminate stock in Black Olive (light wood grain with green), although I came very close to choosing the same stock in Black Jack (pink and grey).

    With a little guidance, I got started. Although we NEVER keep guns loaded I did check thoroughly first. Giving it the all clear I started by removing the barrel band with a flat head screwdriver, I loosened it a little and slid it off and over the barrel.

    Ruger 10/22 barrel band before removal Ruger 10/22 barrel band before removal

    I was surprised to see that after the band I only had one screw to remove; the takedown screw. This is located on the bottom of the stock, just in front of where the magazine would sit. After removing this screw I gently lifted the front of the barrel and started to lift the stock away. The safety button got caught on the stock so I had to position it halfway between on and off and then it lifted off very easily. I put the old stock to the side and grabbed the Boyds.

    Removing the action from the Ruger 10/22 Removing the action from the Ruger 10/22
    Ruger 10/22 action with Boyd evolution stock Ruger 10/22 action with Boyd evolution stock

    The next steps were basically a reverse of the steps above. I placed the receiver and barrel into the Boyds stock, receiver end first. There is a notch in the receiver that lines up perfectly with a notch in the stock, once I was happy with its position I gently pushed the barrel down, holding the receiver in place with my other hand. It was a tight fit but this gave me some confidence in the quality of the stock.

    Turning the gun over, I replaced the takedown screw and tightened it. As the Evolution stocks don’t make contact with the fore end of the barrel, this was the only screw to replace, completing the stock replacement.

    Ruger 10/22 with Boyds Evolution stock Ruger 10/22 with Boyds Evolution stock

     

    Final Thoughts

    I can’t get over how easy it is to replace the stock on a Ruger 10/22 with a Boyds stock. Admittedly, this is down to the gun as much as it is the stock but restocking with Boyds is so easy and affordable that anyone could do it.

    I had used this rifle with its original stock at a range and was generally happy with it, but after switching to the Boyds stock I’m not sure I could go back. The Evolution is light, comfortable, ergonomically perfect (for me) and looks amazing. I was able to shoot for longer due to it’s lightweight and I found my scores even improved! I put the score improvement down to the comfort of the stock.

    This stock not only improved the aesthetics of the Ruger but also improved its performance and comfort and with such an easy change this makes Boyds stocks a very accessible upgrade to your rifle of choice. You can find our whole range of Boyds stocks on the Sportsman Website.

  • Hands on with the NIGHTFORCE SHV 3-12X56 IHR

    NIGHTFORCE optics are known the world over for their durability, quality and accuracy. Over the last 25 years NIGHTFORCE have been steadily releasing world class scopes for target shooters, hunters, varminters and the armed forces and in 2015 they released the SHV series.

    Now, the SHV may not be the newest scope on the market at time of writing but we think it is one of the most versatile. SHV stands for Shooter Hunter Varminter and is considered to be one of the best ‘all-rounder’ scopes on the market. It was designed with target shooting, hunting and pest control in mind and is built like it could take a shell from a tank. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of a guy throwing a NIGHTFORCE scope from one side of a field to the other, smashing it on a rock and whacking it against a fence before putting it back on his rifle and taking some pretty accurate shots.

     

    So what are our thoughts?

    We had to get a closer look at the SHV 3-12X56 so we sent one of the team into the warehouse to pull one out.

     

    Initial thoughts

    The scope feels a little on the heavy side – which in general is good thing, it tends to suggest quality components and a robust construction and places it a shade heavier than the equivalent Zeiss or Swarovski.

    It’s at a really good price point – It’s around one third of the cost of some of the high end equivalents

    The scope lets a lot of light in, even in the gloomiest part of our warehouse. This creates a bright, clear image

    The metal, deeply threaded turret caps feel very secure, there is no way you will knock your scope out of zero

    The zoom ring is quite resistant which will prevent any over zooming plus you could always clamp on a power throw lever if you prefer a quick zoom

     

    In a little more detail

    At The Sportsman Gun Centre we are currently offering the NIGHTFORCE SHV 3-12X56 IHR for £677.99 which places the scope right in the middle of the market. With low budget equivalent scopes pricing in at around £150-£200 and high end scopes reaching as high as £3000 the SHV sits comfortably at the bottom of the mid budget price range but offers quality that you would expect from higher budget.

    As we mentioned earlier and as you saw in the video, the SHV is a heavy duty scope. I would like to point out that the SHV is not a heavy scope, but it feels weighty for it’s size. It weighs in at 720g without mounts and caps so in comparison to your rifle it isn’t much and is very hardwearing for the weight.

    We found the visibility of this scope to be extremely clear and very bright (but not glaring) when zoomed out at 3x, the more we zoomed the more the optics impressed us. The visibility was as clear and bright at 12x as it was at 3x, something we don’t see too often in a scope of this price range.

    We already mentioned about the turret caps and it may seem weird that we are dedicating a whole paragraph to them but after experiencing some flimsy caps from a much more expensive offering we were very impressed. We started unscrewing them to take a look at the turrets but they just seemed to keep going. The only way you could accidentally knock this scope out of zero is if you forget to put the caps on!

     

    Final Thoughts

    Overall the build quality is very impressive. Now we didn’t throw this scope around like the guy in the video but by holding it in our hands we could feel that this piece of kit could take a beating and it is exceptionally well priced for its optical quality.

     

    What’s in the box?

    The scope comes in a NIGHTFORCE branded cardboard box and comes with an instruction booklet, bikini lens caps and a NIGHTFORCE branded cleaning cloth. See the below images for more information.

         
       
         

    Still not convinced?

    Check out this VERY American video from NIGHTFORCE, or just check out the tech specs below.

     

     

    Specifications SHV 3-12x56
    Focal Plane Second
    Objective outer diameter 65mm
    Exit pupil diameter 3x: 11.3mm; 12x: 4.7mm
    Field of view 100yd/100m 3x: 37.1ft; 12x: 9.3ft; 3x: 11.3m; 10x: 2.8m
    Eye relief 85-95mm
    Internal adjustment range e: 50 MOA; w: 50 MOA
    Click value .25 MOA
    Parallax adjustment Fixed 100 y/91.4m
    Tube diameter 30mm/1.18in
    Eyepiece outer diameter 44mm
    Overall length 14.8in/376mm
    Weight 25.4oz/720g
    Mounting length 5.8 in/147mm
    Reticles available IHR
    Illumination Non-Illuminated
    Elevation Feature Capped, Finger Adjustable
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