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One stock set that offers a custom fit for your turkey platform? Believe it!
by the HuntDaily staff; promoted by Boyds Gunstocks
Accuracy and comfort. These two features go hand-in-hand if you’re looking to get the most performance out of any long gun. This is particularly true with shotgun platforms. Ask any experienced wingshooter and they will quickly tell you…”If it doesn’t fit, it won’t hit.”
“OK,” you say. “I’m a turkey hunter, not a duck-buster. Fitment isn’t so critical for my shotgun needs.”
Let us explain why that may no longer be the case. But first, a brief understanding of why firearm fitment is critical to accuracy.
Accuracy really boils down to one simple definition: point-of-impact repeatability. There are many factors, however, that contribute to point-of-impact repeatability, including the cartridge loads, barrel construction, chassis system, trigger operation, sighting method, and—equally important—fit and ergonomics. This is true for any firearm, be it a rifle, pistol, or shotgun.
For shotguns, proper fit is arguably the greatest accuracy enhancer no matter if you’re a wingshooter or a turkey hunter. If you’ve hunted with shotguns for several years, you know that, compared to most centerfire rifles, off-the-shelf shotguns are the least ergonomic. And if you have ever taken a young person turkey or small-game hunting and watched them struggle to mount a shotgun, well…the results are self-evident. A shotgun that doesn’t have the right length of pull or cheek weld means accuracy will suffer because the shooter cannot achieve a proper grip, a smooth, straight trigger pull, or good sight alignment due to the shotgun’s geometry and the shooter’s biomechanics being mismatched.
“That’s not a big deal because I’m shooting a load of pellets at 30 yards and not a bullet at 200 yards,” you say? Think again. Ongoing improvements in shotshell cartridge technology (pellet profiles and materials, wad construction, propellant), tighter chokes, and more precise sighting systems have allowed turkey hunters to shoot farther with denser shot columns and, inversely, made close-range shots (10-25 yards) even more sensitive to careful aiming and controlled trigger pull. In short, it’s now easier to MISS at closer distances than ever before.
Earlier this year, the folks at Boyds Gunstocks introduced a new product that makes ill-fitting, accuracy-robbing Original Equipment shotgun stocks a non-issue.
In 2017, Boyds released its groundbreaking At-One rifle stock system. Based on Boyd’s proven laminated hardwood stock technology, the At-One rifle stock delivers an independently adjustable padded butt plate and cheek riser that allows a rifle to fit practically any shooter. With a push of a button, both the butt plate and the cheek riser can be shortened or lengthened, raised or lowered, for ideal hand placement and eye alignment. Those are big leaps in boosting accuracy. Now, that same technology is available for the popular Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 12-gauge shotguns, with additional gauges in those models coming on tap shortly. The “Bring-It” push-button system means these adjustments can be made in seconds, in the field, without tools or additional hardware.
As with the At-One rifle stocks, the At-One shotgun stocks are built from Boyds’ proprietary laminated hardwood, which offers significantly greater strength than solid hardwood stocks and allows the company to perform precise inletting work so that the barreled action, trigger guard, and other components drop right in with little to no additional fitment work required. Furthermore, the At-One stocks come in a wide range of colors (eleven in all) and a durable, chemical-resistant finish to suit your fancy.
For turkey hunters, the At-One stock offers advantages beyond improving short- and long-range accuracy when using tight chokes and advanced loads. If you’ve ever been “locked down” by a gobbler, you’ll understand.
Sitting on the ground with a shotgun mounted and trying to keep your sight alignment for ten minutes or more while a gobbler dillydallies out of range can lead to all kinds of trouble if your cheek weld is too low—fatigue and loss of proper mount among them. The At-One’s adjustable cheek riser means you can have that comfortable rest while you wait for the bird to come in and seal the deal. In other words, you can better remain in a comfortable, at-ready position for much longer than with a stock that doesn’t quite fit.
Another advantage of having cheek-weld adjustability is apparent when using reflex or red dot optics, which are becoming increasingly popular in serious turkey hunting circles. Most shotgun stocks are profiled for low bead-sighting. When you add a rail and top it with an optic, your sight alignment goes up. In some case, that once-comfortable cheek weld has now become an uncomfortable “chin weld.” By raising the At-One’s cheek riser, you can now achieve a proper cheek weld and sight alignment on those tall optics.
As for the adjustable butt plate, being able to dial in your correct length of pull is an obvious accuracy booster. Another benefit is the ability to change your length of pull as conditions dictate. One morning you may be turkey hunting in your cold-weather gear and the next morning be wearing nothing more that a camo shirt. Such is spring hunting. The At-One allows you to change your length of pull to adjust to changing garment layers: shorten it when wearing bulky clothing or lengthen it when you’re going light.
This range of adjustability—12.5 to 14 inches of length of pull and up to 9/16 inches of cheek riser height—means one shotgun can fit multiple shooters. Turkey hunting is a terrific way to mentor a new hunter, young or old, and nothing quite discourages beginners like struggling with the wrong gear. The At-One shotgun stock delivers one-gun, one-blind, multi-hunter performance. No other shotgun stock we’ve seen can do that.
Finally, Boyds has included the modular grip and forearm features of the At-One rifle stock in the shotgun stock platform. This means you can select between traditional or the more robust target-style grip and forearm to further refine fit and handling to suit your style of shooting.
As you can see, getting a comfortable, ergonomic shotgun fit no longer must be an exercise in compromise. If you hunt with a Remington 870 12-gauge or Mossberg 500 12-gauge, the new Boyds At-One stock system will get you dialed in for optimal fit and accuracy in no time.
article copyright © 2018 HuntDaily.com; promoted by Boyds Gunstocks.
Although Boyds Gunstocks is among our sponsors, the views expressed in this article are those of the author. HuntDaily.com receives compensation from Boyds Gunstocks in various forms to help promote their products.