I finally ordered a replacement stock for my XL-7 25-06. I've got a Boyd's Featherweight Thumbhole in Forest camo laminate coming. My rifle has shot exceptionally well in the cheap plastic factory stock, so I'm hoping I won't have to bed the new one. I was wondering what everyone else's experience has been. I know I won't know until I shoot it. I was just fishing for some 411 while I wait. The new one should be here Wednesday. I was surprised to find that the FT Laminate was lighter than the Classic Walnut. I'm not a big thumb hole fan, but I really like the sleek look and the lighter weight of the FT.
I bedded my Boyds Classic Lam. It shot well with the factory stock. I never shot the rifle with the new stock before I bedded it. I kinda wish I did, because I would have liked to see the difference. Since adding the Boyds and bedding it, it shoots different. For me, it seems like a completely different rifle. With my handloads, my sweetspots changed. When I nail a load now, it can be quite good. My XL7 is my backup rifle and takes second fiddle to my 444 Marlins so I haven't done a huge amount of testing and load development with it.
I bought a Boyds Prairie laminate for my XS7 243.I was going to bed it ,but decided to shoot it first.It shoots so good I am not messing with it.
I think that it is really just a preference.
Personally(after having done it), I can't see a need for it.
Personally I think that bedding is over-blown MOST of the time anyway.
MOST bedding jobs are very thin, and the bedding compound is rather brittle(typically). If you have an uneven flexy crap base(stock) then the bedding won't fix that, and if you REALLY torqued the bolts down you would crack it anyway.
I bedded the first Boyd's almost a decade ago, but haven't bedded one since.
I'm a firm believer in the theory that "If it bleeds, I can kill it"
I have installed several Boyd's stock on different rifles and have allways bedded them. However, I do use Devcon Plastic Steel and it is not brittle and will stay in place in you drill a few small holes for a mechanical lock. Bedding, to me, creates a snug fit and eliminate movement over time from recoil. Just my opinion.
I have a boyds classic laminated stock on my howa 1500 in 6.5x55. It's not bedded and it shoots well. Certainly better than the flimsy plastic it came with. The laminate is stiff and heavy. It may shoot better bedded, but for me isn't worth it. For what it is it shoots very well. Of course the recoil lug on the howa is more substantial than the X7s. Your experience may vary...my next boyds may vary too, but the one I have works great just like it is.