Eugene Stoner’s and Mikhail Kalashnikov’s most famous creations are both well over 60 years old at this point. While these platforms have been modernized over the years and adapted to fit the needs of newer generations of users, sometimes it’s nice to step back and enjoy the classic styles. The original AK-47 Type 1 all the way to AKMs, AK-74s, and many other derivatives were all originally sporting wood furniture, the AR-15 family was created from the group up to use, at the time, space age new materials like aluminum and polymer. Wood furniture was never really a part of its history, outside occasional aftermarket or craftsman made one offs. Boyds Gunstocks, famous for their lines of bolt action rifle stocks, do in fact carry a line of furniture for AR-15s and AKMs. They graciously sent me a couple sets to try out, and here is what I found.
Boyds Gunstocks Coverage on AllOutdoor
- AllOutdoor Review: Boyds Spike Camp Gunstock on a Savage Mark II
- AllOutdoor Review: Boyds At-One Rifle Stock – Updating a Classic Rifle
- AllOutdoor Review: From Boy to Man – Boyds Henry H001 Stock & Forend
- NEW Boyds Agility Gunstock – Better Fit, Better Accuracy, Inclusive Shape
Boyds Gunstocks AR-15 Furniture – Taking the Space Age Out of Stoner’s Rifle
Right off the bat, I went into this not expecting to like this furniture on an AR-15. I was beyond skeptical, to the point I nearly politely declined the offer to review it. Yet, I’ve had nothing but excellent experiences with Boyds products in the past, I selected my “not a clone at all” M16-A4 range toy I had put together a couple of years ago. My basic idea was the Fallout New Vegas Service Rifle-ish look. In game, the rifle is a carry handle M16-A1/A2 looking variant with worn wood furniture. It honestly looks pretty badass. Not having a 20in rifle length fixed stock rifle on hand with an integrated carry handle, I took my next best option.
The wood finish I picked was Forest Camo with laser engraving on the hand guard and pistol grip. When the box arrived, I was immediately impressed with the vibrant colors of the finish, the overall quality of the laminated wood, careful packaging, and the laser engraving is honestly much better than I expected.
The stock and pistol grip both installed without any fuss, as with all the Boyds products I’ve installed in the past, their level of quality is top-notch. The hand guard is the cherry on top that I cannot use, I will take the blame on that as it is clearly written on the product page
This forend is for the AR rifle compression style model. They are not designed to replace the free float handguards. These handguards will not fit the triangle front caps. It must have the front “cap” by the gas block and the delta ring.
While I made that mistake myself, this needs to be updated on future products as every current production rifle length FSP equipped AR that I’m aware of, use drop in hand guards with triangle front caps.
The Boyds AR furniture has incredible fit and finish, the stock and pistol grip are far more comfortable than I expected. I’m still not completely sold on wood for an AR, but if you are building a dedicated target rifle, fun range toy, or varmint rifle and want something different, it could be worth a look. Check out the AR furniture on Boyds site HERE.
Boyds Gunstocks AK Furniture – Nearly Perfect Factory Wood Replacement
AKs have been a bit of a passion of mine the last few years, while they are far from perfect, they are incredibly fun to shoot, and I can’t think of another rifle with such a diverse and interesting history. Where the AR may look a bit odd finished in wood furniture, a classic AKM looks its best. The furniture I picked is in Boyds Pepper finish, a medium gray laminate that is really quite beautiful. The rifle I picked to try the furniture out with is my Century Arms imported RH-10, a WASR derivative with a combo gas block/front sight post. As many AK owners know, the 922r compliant wood furniture that Century equips their rifles with during the conversion process is some of the worst on the market, so this Boyds furniture was an easy decision.
Since AKMs have been manufactured all over the world to slightly different specs, having to fit the furniture is guaranteed. Furniture manufactures leave extra material to be sanded down to account for the differences you may find with say, a 1970s Russian AKM to a current production Romanian WASR.
My RH-10 was no different and required slight fitting for the stock, no fitting for the pistol grip, minor fitting on the lower hand guard, but the upper hand guard was one of the most difficult I’ve ever fought with, and I later found out that my RH-10 gas tube is different to any other AKM gas tube I have on hand.
Once assembled, this is one truly beautiful setup. This is the best this particular rifle has ever looked. The pistol grip is comfortable, better sized for American hands, the stock is very comfortable with a nice length of pull and the rubber recoil pad is fantastic.
My only complaints are, you have to provide all needed hardware for installation. You can either use what came on the rifle or if you purchased a builder kit, or built your own rifle, hop on one of many AK parts stores online and order everything beforehand. They do include a drill bit to predrill the screw holes for your stock, which is nice. My other complaint is with the stock, there is no sling mount. It is easy enough to add, but I would’ve liked to see one from the factory.
Boyds Gunstocks Selection of Furniture for AR-15s and AKs – Final Thoughts
Boyds continues making some of the most beautiful furniture on the market, nothing out of character here with the AR or AK furniture. What I would like to see are updates to these lines to include – drop in hand guard compatibility with ARs, include hardware with AK furniture, and AK stock sling mount. Otherwise, these selections are very comfortable, well-made, and priced fairly. If you are looking for a way to make your AR stand out or dress up an AK, head on over to Boyds configurator and see what they have to offer.
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