By Norman Gray
Breaks down his choices of the best Shotgun Stocks or stock sets.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- If you visited any local firearms retailer in the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that wood has given way to polymer in shotgun stocks.
Firearms like all things have evolved and although wood is not completely devoid from firearms, it’s now an, “option,” and not the norm in some cases.
Even the humble scattergun, “county jargon for shotgun,” are far more versatile than ever before and versatility is one of my favorite go to words when dealing with any firearm.
Firearms of all types are coming with more options than ever before and the shotgun is no different in this aspect. Wood is beautiful when paired with a great metal finish, but wood is also weaker and prone to weather and field damage. This is where manmade materials make stocks and forends stronger and better for hard duty or field use.
Shotgun owners are modifying their existing shotgun stocks with custom gun stock sets that make them more versatile.
Depending on the stock set, they also allow the mounting of additional accessories so the shooter can customize the shotgun to their specific need or look.
As I’ve mentioned before, research and knowing what purpose or look you’re going for will be beneficial in choosing the right stock set. For example, I prefer pistol grip stocks, it is what I’m familiar with from their use in the military and my thumb doesn’t hit my nose anymore… don’t laugh, it’s happened to you! The thing to remember about shotgun accessories is that there is a large number of shotgun manufacturers and unlike the AR-15 who’s mil-spec parts and accessories are almost universal, shotguns don’t fit that criteria as well so you must check by manufacturer and model.
Shotguns by their very nature are deadly at short and medium ranges and some manufacturers state even at long range. I have grouped shots on a target the size of a dinner plate at 100 yards with a rifled barrel and Hornady SST 12 gauge slugs. Lightfield Ammunition boasts that their slugs combined Tarhunt’s RSG-12 Professional bolt action shot gun can shoot effectively out to 200 yards. High brass loads and buckshot deliver devastating amounts of energy on the target and with modern loads at ranges greater than ever before. All that energy from those 2 ¾”, 3” and in certain models 3 ½” shells is transferred directly into your shoulder. Having the right stock and forend can help alleviate some of that (pain) energy.
Since there is such a large number of manufacturers and models of shotgun stocks, I am thinking it would best serve the article to use the most popular models. Keep in mind that accessory manufacturers will build stock sets for models that have a proven “sales” track record. Depending on the shotgun’s age, manufacturer and model, you may not find a large selection of accessories if any at all. So you have only one option, buy a new shotgun that does, but don’t tell your wife, husband (or life partner) you read that here… Two highly recognized manufacturers of shotguns have an immense following, they are the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 series. The two models alone in all their configurations are the Ford and Chevy of the shotgun world and what better place to start.
(5.) Advanced Technology Pump Shotgun Folding Buttstock
This stock does not come in kit form, but this type deserves mentioning because of its ability to allow you to stow your shogun in smaller places and use it where space restriction does not allow a full length shotgun. The Advanced Technology Pump Shotgun Folding Buttstock fits the 12 gauge Mossberg 500, Maverick 88, Remington 870, and Winchester 1200/1300 pump shotguns via a complete set of adapters and spacers. A simple push of a button enables it to fold up on top of the receiver while still allowing you to fire the shotgun. The latches are for use by left or right handed shooters and includes a swivel. The A2 style pistol grip permits great control while shooting with the stock in the stored position.
Keep in mind, if an all polymer shotgun stock is NOT what you’re looking for, there are other options like this available for a higher price that are constructed of steel, the tradeoff is better longevity and heavier weight, but a higher price tag.
The advanced technology – pump shotgun folding buttstock will run you $72.99 (as of this article pub date).
(4.) Hogue Overmolded Shotgun Stock & Forend Set
Sometimes just a simple change is very effective in adding effectiveness to your defensive or hunting shotgun and when combating recoil, a sure grip is highly preferred. Hogue Overmolded Shotgun Stock & Forend Set will replace your OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured) stock set and give you a very secure grip with their pebble texturing added to the grip areas. The name overmolded comes from Hogue’s use of a fiberglass reinforced polymer stock overmolded in rubber. This gives you a solid stock that is stronger than wood and it includes a cushioned recoil pad with a sling swivel stud.
Hogue’s stock sets come in standard and 12” lengths for smaller statured shooters or for use with body armor. They also sell kits for the Mossberg 500 (Mossberg Forend Adapter Nut is required for Mossberg 500/835 with 6¾” forend tubes) and Winchester 1300 and one set for the Remington 870 20ga (special order) and range from $59.99 to $67.99.
I have used Hogue for many years on handguns and I assure you they are tough and live up to their reputation for a secure grip.
(3.) Speedfeed Pistol Grip Shotgun Stock Sets
I have always preferred the Speedfeed shotgun stocks with a pistol grip. Not only does the pistol grip give you great control while firing they allow you to store extra specialty and/or less lethal rounds right in the stock. Speedfeed Pistol Grip Shotgun Stock Sets gives you the choice of any combination stock, speedfeed regular, pistolgrip or shortened. The TAC III allows additional shell storage in the buttstock. The TAC IV is solid stock and the TAC IV-S model is sized for the smaller shooters or body armor. All Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 models include the short, Law Enforcement (LE) forend and the Mossberg models only fit the guns with a 7¾” action slide.
There are other aftermarket companies who provide this type of stock so don’t worry if these do not fit yours. Speedfeed stock kits range from $99.99 to a $109.99.
(2.) Magpul – Remington 870 SGA Buttstock & M-Lok Forend Sets
Magpul has been leading the pack in polymer based firearms accessories, their magazines are in use all over the world and with our military. The Magpul – Remington 870 SGA Buttstock & M-Lok Forend Sets will convert your Remington 870 from the OEM stock to their hard polymer stock and forend, vastly improving the esthetics and toughness of your shotgun. The SGA stock easily replaces your factory stock utilizing the provided hardware. The LOP (Length of Pull) is adjustable from 12.5” to 14.5” via a ½” spacer system for smaller shooters or body armor. The SGA shotgun stocks use a pistol grip for control and a soft effective recoil pad, optional check risers can be purchased for a customized fit. The MOE M-LOK forend replaces the OEM forgrip and allows you to attach Magpul M-LOK accessories. You can purchase kits for the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500/590/590A1 in Black, Orange (Less lethal identification) Flat Dark Earth and Grey.
The kits for your Remington or Mossberg shotgun will run you $132.90 and it’s money well spent.
(1.) Fab Defense – Mossberg 500/590 Recoild Reducing Folding & Collapsible Shotgun Stocks
This shotgun stock replacement is not sold as a kit, so you’re free to add whatever brand fore grip you see fit. The Fab Defense – Mossberg 500/590 Recoild Reducing Folding & Collapsible Buttstock is available for the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 (through the Fab Defense website) and offers you aircraft-grade aluminum, steel, and MIL-SPEC reinforced polymer composite quality. The $253.00 price tag also offers some great extras, starting with the recoil-compensating system, much like a shock absorber for your car. The stock is fully ambidextrous and to release, simple push the button to fold or open the stock.
The shotgun stocks is locked open and held in place by a claw system and when folded spring tension keeps the stock locked up and free from rattling. The stock includes a storage compartment, adjustable to five positions, and a soft recoil pad. The grip also contains a storage compartment and is ergonomically designed to fit your shooting hand. Like my father always said, “you get what you pay for,” and this is designed for serious activities of the hostile kind.
I know that my choice of shotgun stocks may not be yours and there are many more options available than I couldn’t possible cover in one article. As a parting note, keep in mind that some of these stock and forend kits will require tools to complete removal and assembly. Read the items description carefully so you may purchase any tools at the time you purchase the kit. It’s aggravating as hell to get something you’ve waited weeks for only to find out you need to wait a few more for the tools.
Read the instructions, take your time with installation, and you will have a shotgun you’re proud to take to the range and show your friends.
Norman Gray ©2016 (POMA Member)
About Norman Gray:
Norman Gray has been involved in the shooting sports for well over 30 years. He has served in both active duty and reserve component of the United States Army as an Infantryman and was honorably discharged at the end of his service. Moving to Arizona, he began assisting his long time friend and mentor Bob Shell, an accomplished writer and author in his own right. Norman is freelance contributor with Handguns Magazine, Canadian Firearms Journal and Manzano Valley Outdoors. He is also a member of (POMA) The Professional Outdoor Media Association, the (NSSF) National Shooting Sports Foundation and a Life Member of the (NRA) National Rifle Association. Visit:http://www.unleaded-ink.blogspot.com/