Last Fall, I purchased one of the Boyds Varmint Thumbhole stocks for my Gen1 .25 cal Marauder. For $129.00 bucks, it's a nice stock, just not a good choice for a Marauder. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some pics that show why this is not a good choice for a Marauder stock.
For me, a solid, repeatable, and consistent cheek weld is a must for good shooting. Unless you have a head the size of a beach ball, it is impossible to get a cheek weld with this stock. Why? Because the comb is waaaayyy too low. Below are some pictures that show the issue.
First up is the Marauder Gen1 factory stock showing its comb height. It's okay, but for me, it could stand to be a bit higher. If you notice on the Gen2 Marauder stocks, whether wood or synthetic, the cheek pieces are now adjustable, allowing you to tweak the comb height to your personal liking.
I'm using a yard stick, laid along the top edge of the stocks, as my reference point to compare the comb heights between three different stocks. Gen1, Custom, and the Boyds Varmint.
As you can see, the comb height is equal to the top edge of the stock where the air tube is inlet into it. The problem with the Boyds stock is that it is a stock originally designed for powder burners, and then adapted for use with the Marauders. The issue comes from the fact that the marauder barreled action height, including the air tube, and magazine, is much taller than any of the powder burners that this stock was designed for. Because of that, you need a stock with a higher comb to get a decent cheek weld, that aligns your eye with the higher mounted scope.
As you can see, the air tube sits where the barreled action of a powder burner would normally be, but on top of that we mount the Marauders barreled action, adding one inch to the overall height. In addition to that, when the magazine is installed in the action, it adds another 3/8ths of an inch to the height of the air tube and barreled action. With many scopes, like the CenterPoint 4-16x56mm scopes, that I prefer for these rifles, you have to use high rings. The stock has to have a high comb to allow for a decent cheek weld to align your eye with the center line of the scope.
Below, is a custom stock that I bought back in 2009. It was designed specifically with a higher comb, as a replacement stock for the factory model. Check out how much the comb extends above the straight edge. It's perfect for use with the Marauder. If I could, I'd buy another one, unfortunately, the guy that made it went out of business years ago.
Now for the Boyds stock. It immediately becomes obvious, that the comb on this stock is way too low for this particular application. It's a shame really, because it's a nice stock otherwise. I've managed to modify a magazine, and gone to medium rings, using a Leupold scope so that I can at least get a chin weld, when using this stock, but not the best arrangement for optimum shooting.
I think the pictures pretty well show what I mean when I say, "the comb is waaayyy too low." So be aware, if you get one of these stocks for your Marauder, you will have to contend with this problem. I guess I'm a bit surprised that Boyds didn't choose a stock, that at a minimum, would have a comb height similar to the Marauder factory model. In my opinion, their Varmint Thumbhole stock isn't a good choice for the Marauder.
Until next time, thanks for reading.