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Old 11-04-2011, 04:00 AM   #1
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Default thumbhole vs traditional stocks

I'm checking out the Savage varminter rifles and like the looks of the thumbhole stocks. However, having never shot a thumbhole stock rifle, I'm wondering how they leave your hand feeling after a long day at the range. This isn't an issue with varmint rifles, but will a thumbhole stock on a large caliber rifle damage the ligaments in your hand with the recoil? Will length of pull and sight position be the same with a thumbhole vs traditional rifle?
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:05 PM   #2
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If you're using proper shooting form, your hand isn't taking any recoil, regardless of the stock configuration.

Personally, after a long day of shooting, my wrist gets much more tired after shooting a traditional style stock. Thumbholes or "gooseneck" style stocks with steep wrists and near vertical pistol grips are much more ergonomic (which is why they're ALWAYS used on benchrest rifles, when shooters are more concerned with relaxed natural point of aim).

When shooting a "standard" stock, I typically don't throw my thumb over the top and I bundle my hand in front of the wrist/pistol grip, rather than torquing my wrist into an unnatural position.

Frankly, our handbones are BUILT to be parallel to our arm bones. Standard stock wrists contort them to nearly perpendicular to the forearm, which is unnatural. Thumbhole stocks with large palm swells are some of the most naturally positioned and comfortable shooting stocks designed.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:03 AM   #3
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I shot a .300 RUM several times yesterday. It had a thumbhole stock. It was more comfortable shooting it off the bench than a regular stock. I do not think I would like the stock for hunting purposes though. But as for recoil, you absorb that on your shoulder.... You don't, or shouldn't, absorb recoil with your hand.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:46 PM   #4
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Last summer I put a thumbhole stock on my winchester model 70 .270 and you will not feel any recoil on your hand, only on your shoulder. And as mentioned above the large vertical grip is much more comfortable that a traditional rifle stock. The length of pull did not change significantly and I found I got a much better cheek weld and sight alignment with the thumbhole stock. If you are going to bench shoot it also is much steadier and I shoot slightly better groups with the thumbhole stock. And as far as hunting with it to each his own. I used it last year and it didn't bother me a bit, but some guys just do not like a thumbhole on their hunting rifle. I got mine from stockysstocks.com for around $130 to replace the factory plastic stock. It is woodland camo.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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I guess ONE downside I might point out for using thumbhole stocks for hunting is how they carry when slung around the body, rather than just over one shoulder. In general, a "standard" stock has a pretty smooth bottom-line (belly side), so they ride very comfortably when they're slung cross body (over your head like a seatbelt). Thumbhole stocks usually have a very abrupt pistol grip, so they don't ride flat against your back.

There are a few ways around this problem though. The easiest answer is to carry them over one shoulder, rather than cross body. I have mounted the swivel stud in the base of the pistol grip, which makes the rifle ride slightly lower on the body, so the belly of the forend and magwell lays nicely against your back, with the pistol grip and buttstock actually extending beside you. Another option is to use a sling that carries the rifle with its SIDE against your back. Another option i've used is to tie the bottom of the sling through the thumbhole, again, lowering the carry position.

My favorite option is a "safari type" sling, so I can carry the rifle low-ready with a little extra support, but still sling it to cross fences, open gates, etc.
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