Renew? Restock!

Renew? Restock!

Got a rifle you're kind of tired of but can't bear to part with?

Replacing a factory stock is an easy way to upgrade an old favorite rifle.

Got a rifle you're kind of tired of but can't bear to part with? Yes, you could sell it, but what if it has sentimental value or the memories attached to it are too strong to let go? There is a simple and relatively inexpensive solution: restock it.

I own a Remington 700 Mountain Rifle in .280 Remington that I have a real attachment to, for a variety of reasons. Problem is, the rifle has never shot all that well. It's been a two m.o.a. gun on average. And with the factory stock's nearly nonexistent recoil pad (the gun is 20 years old), it's a bit of a handful from the bench.

So I got a new stock from Bell & Carslon ( ). The spiderweb gray Medalist--a hand-laid composite--has a hunting-comfy fit, with a generous wrist that I prefer for shooting from field positions. It sports a straight comb with a shadow-line cheekpiece, and in the answer to one of my prayers the butt is fitted with a Pachmayr Decelerator pad, which really cuts down on felt recoil.

The Medalist features an aluminum-bedding block and pillars, creating a rigid platform for better accuracy. The only thing I had to do to the stock was add some bedding compound around the recoil lug for a snug, custom fit.

The new stock setup improved the rifle's accuracy by a little more than half a minute, and while it's still not the tack-driver I would prefer, the end result is a light, handy rifle that looks good and hunts hard. I recently carried it on a rough-and-tumble, high-country mule deer hunt, and it passed with flying colors--a 71⁄2-pound rig (with Nikon Monarch 2-8x36 aboard) that didn't slow me down and was capable of making any reasonable shot.

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