Accurate Innovations Golden Hunter Rifle Stock
By Chuck Hawks
Accurate Innovations of Rapid City, South Dakota recently sent me a Golden Hunter stock for inspection and review. You may not yet be familiar with Accurate Innovations, but if you are interested in a top quality, 100% inletted drop-in rifle stock, you should be.
As of this writing, Accurate Innovations stocks are available for Remington Model 700 (long and short action), Model 40 X, Model Seven; Winchester Model 70 Safari, post '64 and Classic (long and short action); Weatherby Mark V and Vanguard (long and short actions); Montana Rifleman Model 1999 (long and short action); Howa 1500 (long and short action); Ruger M77 Mk. II (long and short action); Model 98 Mauser, Charles Daly, or Interarms Mark X. Left-handed stocks are available for many of these. Looking to the future, A.I. hopes to add Savage, CZ, Browning, Sako, Dakota, pre-'64 Model 70 and other brands to the line soon.
Accurate Innovations Golden Accuracy stocks use an innovative full-length aluminum chassis for a perfect fit. These stocks are complete with detachable sling swivel studs and fitted recoil pads. There is nothing to add and no work to do to finish the stock. Golden Accuracy stocks come fully finished. Just drop in the barreled action and screw on the floor plate metal, and the rifle is ready to go.
A few of the best synthetic stocks have an aluminum chassis to strengthen the rather flexible material from which they are made. Walnut and laminated hardwood are already adequately stiff, so the thick (about 7/16" through the magazine well) aluminum insert that runs from the front sling swivel stud to the rear tang screw of the sample Golden Hunter stock is to insure positive fit and solid bedding. Of course, it further strengthens the stock.
All Golden Accuracy stocks are, "warranted against manufacturing defects for a lifetime of shooting and hunting." The guarantee further states, "In warranty cases we reserve the right to repair or replace the stock as we see fit. Should you have any questions, please call, we enjoy talking with our customers."
At present the A.I. Golden Accuracy line stocks are available in five models. These are the Golden Hunter (classic style, semi-fancy Claro walnut, hand rubbed oil finish, $355), Golden Sporter (a brown or gray laminated version of the Golden Hunter with a hand sprayed polyurethane finish, $325), Golden Varminter (a laminated varmint style stock with a beavertail forend, $355), Golden Targeter (a walnut version of the Golden Varminter, $385), and Golden Supreme (a deluxe version of the Golden Hunter made from high grade wood with a premium finish, $695).
Standard stock features include the Golden Accuracy aluminum chassis permanently bonded to the wood by a special 3M structural load bearing epoxy, a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad, laser cut point pattern checkering, and a titanium pin reinforcing the wrist area of the stock. The standard length of pull is 13 1/2".
There are several extra cost options available for A.I. stocks. Foremost among these are higher grades of walnut. These include AA fancy Claro, AAA fancy Claro, and Exhibition grade Claro walnut. AA fancy European (English) walnut is also available.
Other options include a shadow line cheek piece, Sims Limbsaver recoil Pad, Ebony forend tip, ebony pistol grip cap, Monte Carlo stock, hand checkering, laser fish scale checkering, laser scroll stock carving with initials, custom length of pull, custom barrel channel dimensions, and 1/2" higher comb (for use with very large scopes).
The model sent to Guns and Shooting Online, the Golden Hunter, is the standard grade stock. The Golden Hunter is a classic style stock with a well shaped, medium curve pistol grip and a straight comb. The pistol grip is slightly undercut and the comb is fluted for definition. These touches enhance the appearance of the stock.
As its name implies, the Golden Hunter is designed for a hunting rifle. I installed it on my 6.5x55 Winchester Model 70 Classic Featherweight for this review. The sample stock came with optional laser cut fish scale checkering and the shadowline raised cheek piece.
I particularly like the latter. The cheek piece is nicely shaped. It increases support for the face as it should, and it looks good.
The semi-fancy Claro walnut in this particular stock has nice color and some black streaks that help show off the grain of the wood. The grain is reasonably straight through the pistol grip, as it should be for strength. It is definitely higher-grade wood than the black walnut used for this rifle's Winchester factory stock.
The forend is slightly pear shaped in cross section for ergonomic gripping by human hands. The hand rubbed oil finish looks good and is easy to repair if scratched. This is a stock you can hunt with and of which you can be proud. It is not a "fancy" stock, but it is a nice stock.
Installation is every bit as easy as claimed. I just took out the three screws necessary to remove the bottom iron and barreled action from the factory stock, put the barreled action in the Golden Hunter, and used the original screws to re-attach the bottom iron to the new stock. It couldn't be simpler. The new stock fit correctly and the Model 70's free-floating barrel remained free floating.
A quick trip to the range proved that accuracy was unaffected by the change of stocks, and so was point of impact. I did not have to readjust my scope. The Decelerator recoil pad did its usual fine job, although 6.5x55 is not a hard kicking caliber. I am reasonably average in size (5' 10", 175 lbs., fairly long arms) and the standard stock dimensions fit me just fine.
I have no complaints about the Golden Hunter stock. If I were asked for suggestions, I would advocate decreasing the diameter of the pistol grip. (Almost all contemporary stocks are too thick through the grip, with the exception of bespoke stocks). The Golden Hunter is not unusual in grip dimension, but a smaller diameter pistol grip makes a stock feel livelier. I would also slenderize the forend a little bit by increasing the taper in all three dimensions. Neither grip nor forend are unusual or objectionable, but I prefer a more delicate stock than normal. It's funny how many other hunters also like a slender stock, once they try one.
When my ship comes in and I order my Golden Accuracy stock, I will probably go for the top of the line Golden Supreme model. This comes standard with AAA Claro or AA English walnut (my favorite) and a premium stock finish with extra coats of hand rubbed oil. I would want the raised cheek piece, ebony forend tip, and pistol grip cap. What the heck, a man is only as good as his dreams!
I can truthfully say that the Accurate Innovations Golden Accuracy replacement rifle stock is the best drop-in rifle stock I have ever encountered. Anyone who is considering a custom rifle or is dissatisfied with a factory stock should investigate the Accurate Innovations line. Certainly anyone whose hunting rifle came with an injection molded synthetic stock should take a close look at the Golden Sporter laminated stock, which is far more attractive, every bit as weather resistant, stiffer, and much stronger. Visit Accurate Innovations online at www.accurateinnovations.com
Copyright 2005 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.