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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I acquiring my first Encore in (308 caliber,24" factory TC barrel) and am wondering if an aftermarket forearm that free floats the barrel is worth the money. I am seriously considering purchasing some laminate stocks from Boyds', but am wondering if I should spend the extra money to get one from VVGC that has their new hanger bar system that free floats the factory barrel. As a newby to the board, I welcome any and all responses.

Thanks for your help.
 

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From my experience the hanger-bar will improve accuracy...

but in some cases it doens't seem to make a marked improvement and with a factory barrel you should be able to get an equal improvement on your own using the factory forearm. The question would be whether it would be worth the expense to you. I noticed accuracy problems stemming from the Encore forearm right after I bought my 7mm-08 Custom Shop carbine barrel from T/C. This barrel would shoot great when I rested it using the area closest to the action, but as I moved the shooting rest under the forearm the groups opened up. I quickly discovered that the extra pressure on the forearm caused it to contact the barrel so I simply relieved a little material from the forearm and the problem almost corrected itself - it still grouped better rested closest to the action but only marginally. Supposedly the hanger bar system used by Bullberry and Virgin Valley distributes the forearm pressure more evenly or something to that extent but you still need to make sure that you have adequate clearance between the barrel and the forearm. If you'll only be shooting a factory barrel - go with the Boyds and make the needed modifications on your own. After all, the hanger-bar forearms still use the same two barrel - mounted screws as the factory forerams - but the hanger bar type only use one screw to attach the forearm to the hanger where the factory uses two screws to attach the forearm to the barrel.

Here's my Bullberry 17 Ackley Hornet Encore barrel - it's the hanger style and I ordered it with the barrel mostly because of the special taper of this barrel. For a factory .308 I would go with the Boyds and save $40. The barrel above the 17AH is my 209×50 Encore with the Boyds forearm - it shoots fantastic without a hanger-bar type forearm but I made sure the barrel had plenty of clearance between the forearm by using a couple of small washers. I'd try this with your factory .308 before spending the extra $ on a custom-hanger bar forearm that may or may not give you better accuracy results with your factory barrel.

 

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Hardwood thats a pretty Encore rifle... I love the look of laminates.. Oh anyway I got a question is that butt stock a boyds or a Bullberry? Just wondering.. Also what do you think of it??
 

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Hanger Bar

hardwood - "After all, the hanger-bar forearms still use the same two barrel - mounted screws as the factory forerams - but the hanger bar type only use one screw to attach the forearm to the hanger where the factory uses two screws to attach the forearm to the barrel. "

Not on mine, hardwood. The photo on VVCG web page shows only one
screw attaching the forearm to the hanger bar, but I believe that's for a
Contender. I have both the hanger bar/forearm system for VVCG barrels
and T/C Barrels. In both cases, two screws (good allen head screws, at
that) are used to attach the forearm to the hanger bar. Boyd's sure make
pretty stocks, don't they? The buttstock on my Encore looks identical to
yours.

Raven - hardwood gives some good advice for checking out your forearm
to see if it is causing an accuracy problem. I did it just a little bit different
by using a couple of washers to space the forearm away from the barrel.
It worked, but didn't care much for the setup, and it was an aggravation
to get the screws lined up with the holes in the barrel. So I got the hanger
bar/forearm for the T/C barrel, and love it. If you get laminated
buttstocks from Boyd's and get the same color of laminate from VVCG
with the hanger bar, it will match. I'm 99% sure VVCG gets forearm
blanks from Boyd's.
 

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With your drill press, cross slide vise and a 1/4 straight router bit. Just cut a slot in your factory forend and drill a new hole for the hanger system. Just be sure the forend beds on the hanger bar and not the barrel.

I have been building my own forends this way and even designed a hanger system with 1/2 inch alum. bar stock. I think VVG is offering an aftermarket hanger system for Encore's that uses the factory holes.

Is there a source for laminated wood? Not a stock blank, just a chunck of wood.
 

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Forearms revisited . . .

Danno: Interesting - on my Bullberry Encore forearm there are 2 screws that attach the hanger bar to the barrel but only one hex head attaching the forearm to the hanger bar.

Bsekf: Rutland Plywood makes the laminates for the vast majority of laminated stock makers. The wood of choice is birch in case you wanted to know. I don't know if they sell to the public though.

The buttstock is Boyds and I'd bet VVCG and Bullberry get their blanks from RUTLAND PLYWOOD as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Forearm

Much thanks for all the replys and the info. I spoke wtih VVGC this morning and they quoted an 8 week turnaround for a laminated forearm with their hanger bar at a price in the $70 to $80 range. I think will shoot the gun a little and try Hardwood's suggestion with the washers first, then maybe order the hanger bar forearm if necessary.
 

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Re: Forearms revisited . . .

hardwood said:
Danno: Interesting - on my Bullberry Encore forearm there are 2 screws that attach the hanger bar to the barrel but only one hex head attaching the forearm to the hanger bar. The buttstock is Boyds and I'd bet VVCG and Bullberry get their blanks from Boyds as well.

uh-huh. And the reason for me being 99% certain VVCG gets their blanks
from Boyd's is the box they sent it in -- pretty red letters of "Boyd's". :)
 

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Re: Forearms revisited . . .

DannoBoone said:
hardwood said:
Danno: Interesting - on my Bullberry Encore forearm there are 2 screws that attach the hanger bar to the barrel but only one hex head attaching the forearm to the hanger bar. The buttstock is Boyds and I'd bet VVCG and Bullberry get their blanks from Boyds as well.

uh-huh. And the reason for me being 99% certain VVCG gets their blanks
from Boyd's is the box they sent it in -- pretty red letters of "Boyd's". :)
Danno,
We do not get our laminate blanks from Boyds. We get our laminate from rutland plywood in 48" x 18" sheets and cut from there. I think the only reason that you may have gotten a package labeled boyds was the fact that all packaging is reused. This means if someone sends in product "X" the packaging get reused. Boyds boxes do make handy shipping containers for forends. Just thought you should know.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Stcoks

Danno is right, VVGC does get their blanks from Boyds'. I had asked VVGC if one of their laminate forearms would match a Boyds' buttstock and they said it would.
 

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I thought Dave had clarified the subject, but apparently not. I am the stock maker at Virgin Valley. VV does not get our forends or our laminate from Boyds'. If a customer requests a forend from there (which doesn't happen very often through us), then we pillar-bed their forend and send it out. We have re-used Boyds' boxes when they rarely come in. I am not going to let the credit for my work be given to Boyds'. I personally do not like their stock design. It would not be worth it for us to only use stocks from Boyds'. We are what you call a "custom" shop. I build many forends that are unique, varying in different shapes, lengths, and widths. Saying our forends or our buttstocks come from Boyds' lets me know you haven't seen much from Virgin Valley.

By the way, don't "assume" things. That doesn't work well- "ass-u-me"
 

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Question for hardwoods

I have the same boyds stocks and fore ends as you. I like them a lot also. How did you get the space between the barrel and the wood with the washers?? How hard is it?? I was thinking about addiing two rubber washers between the wood and the barrel on the screws. I'd have drill the mounting holes on the fore end a little deeper so the factory screws would ork. What do ya think?? I don't think I have any problems with my 209x50 as it appears to be pretty well floated already - nice groups of 1 inch at 50 yards. Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Stocks

I stand corrected and offer my appolgies. No offense was intented. I appreciate your taking time to clarify the issue.
 

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Assumer

VV Mark said:
I am not going to let the credit for my work be given to Boyds'. I personally do not like their stock design. It would not be worth it for us to only use stocks from Boyds'. We are what you call a "custom" shop. I build many forends that are unique, varying in different shapes, lengths, and widths. Saying our forends or our buttstocks come from Boyds' lets me know you haven't seen much from Virgin Valley.

By the way, don't "assume" things. That doesn't work well- "ass-u-me"
A thousand apologies from this "ass-u-me"er! Sorry Mark & Dave,
especially you, Mark. (Gee, what it takes to get you guys to post anymore!)

So, Mark, you have apparently made two of my forearms from start to
finish -- one for your new hanger system for a factory T/C barrel, and one
for a Tactical 20 & a custom 209x50 barrels I got from you. Both were
walnut and turned out beautiful. Although these forearms felt a little
strange at first, regular forearms now feel uncomfortable. They are of
top-notch quality. I do have a laminated Boyd's buttstock and think it
is good quality, but have not had the opportunity to compare it to one of
yours. But I honestly did not mean to down-grade your work. A lot of
guys really like Boyd's stocks, having only the opportunity to compare
those stocks to T/C factory stocks, and not to yours, also. I haven't seen
a Boyd's forearm, so can't compare yours to theirs. However, I know
that your hanger system, floating the forearm, is something I definately
would take over another forearm. That is a great determining factor that
I chose yours over another T/C, or Boyd's. And in no way, did you
disappoint me. Again, please accept my apologies.

So Dave, when are you guys going to get that .223 WSSM reamer? :D
 

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Re: Question for hardwoods

Encorepete said:
How did you get the space between the barrel and the wood with the washers?? How hard is it?? I was thinking about addiing two rubber washers between the wood and the barrel on the screws. I'd have drill the mounting holes on the fore end a little deeper so the factory screws would work. What do ya think?? I don't think I have any problems with my 209x50 as it appears to be pretty well floated already - nice groups of 1 inch at 50 yards. Pete
I used 1/16" thick fender washers that were formed for curvature around
a rod. Yes, ya have to drill the forearm mounting holes deeper. (There are
two small washers that have to be removed first.) Even after that, the
forearm between the washers STILL binded on the barrel!!! So that area
required quite a bit of sanding.

No such problem was encountered with the VVCG hanger bar/forearm
setup. And it is sooooo much easier to line the holes for the screws up
on their hanger bar!!

But of course there's no problem with the 209x50 forearm. T/C HAD to
float that forearm with the ram rod guides.
 

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Danno,
The 224 and 243 WSSM reamers are on order. Once winchester realeases the specs to SAMMI they will be shipped. I have ordered with removable pilots so I can so wildcats. I have one customer who has already ordered a 25 WSSM. Dies you ask? Redding or RCBS will have to custom make the dies I would guess. I already have a pre-turned blanks ready for both the 243 and 224 WSSM's. Now if I could only get brass...
Dave
 

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I apologize for my assumption as well. . .

and I wouldn't want to take credit away from the V. V. stockmaker. As I didn't mean to indicate the none of your work was custom. I made the assumption of Boyds because of the exact color match between forearms and buttstocks that I have gotten from different suppliers. The better assumption would have been to say that you guys get your blanks from Rutland Plywood and there should be no issues with color matching with stock sets of the same color of course. BTW, are the V.V.C.G. hanger-bar forearm and the Bullberry hanger-bar forearm interchangeable - assuming the same barrel contour of course.
 

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V.V. Dave said:
Danno,
The 224 and 243 WSSM reamers are on order. Once winchester realeases the specs to SAMMI they will be shipped. I have ordered with removable pilots so I can do wildcats. I have one customer who has already ordered a 25 WSSM. Dies you ask? Redding or RCBS will have to custom make the dies I would guess. I already have a pre-turned blanks ready for both the 243 and 224 WSSM's. Now if I could only get brass...
Dave
Guess Winchester is gonna keep EVERYBODY in anticipation 'til the big
show next month, including getting any brass. Thanks for the info. There's
someone on another forum really, really wishing Winchester would make
a 25 WSSM -- I'll give him the info (be something if he's the same one who
ordered it from you, wouldn't it?).

Could ya give us a post either here or on the "Small Bore Rifles" forum
when everything is a "go" for the WSSM's? Thanks!
 

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Danno, and all: I didn't realize what you guys were thinking before, so I got a little defensive. I apologize. It's all okay now, so don't worry about the whole Boyds'-VV thing. Our laminate looks the same because we both probably get the raw laminate from the same plywood company. I have seen nothing wrong with Boyds' craftsmanship yet, but it is the style that doesn't appeal to me. They make a stock that is supposed to fit as many poeple as possible. I can't say that they are bad, just that they aren't on the top of my list for comfort. Boyds' is a big supplier for many, and that is proof that they have a good product. Their T/C stocks don't come in too big a variety of styles, so if you had seen much Virgin Valley product, it would be obvious that they did not supply us. Sorry for the misunderstanding and if anyone has any questions, feel free to contact anyone one of us here.

Thanks,
Mark
 
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