Sears Model 200 Stock Change And Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks Epic Fail
I recently cleaned my Sears model 200 that I acquired from a local pawn shop last year. I took it apart and scrubbed out every nook and cranny. When I took apart the bolt assembly I found that I was missing a washer that the previous owner managed to lose. I had to stop my reassembly until I could round up a washer. I found a replacement washer( called the firing pin collar) on ebay. The seller had pulled it out of a Winchester 1200 bolt assembly and was only asking five dollars for the part. It came in a couple of days and I put the bolt assembly back together. I brushed out the barrel until it had a mirror shine and I resembled the whole thing. The slide action was now quite smooth and improved. I am doubtful that the gun had ever been cleaned before. After getting it cleaned up, I got to thinking that the stock was in need of a refinish. I, however did not want to start that project and I though it was finally time for me to get one of those fancy laminated wood stocks that Boyds has offered for years.
(above Sears Model 200 post cleaning. Look at the mileage on the stock)
I called Boyds and spoke with a saleswomen named Samantha. I told her I wanted a stock for a Sears model 200 shotgun. She said that Boyds does not make a forend, only a buttstock for a model 200. I told her that was fine and that I wanted the rear stock in the forest camo design. She then helped me decided on the style of the checkering and I ended up going with the field design laser pattern. I asked her if they make a forend for a winchester 1200 and she said no. I asked here if they make a forend for a Winchester 1300 and she said yes. I told her that I wanted a Winchester 1300 forend stock in the matching color to my rear stock. She asked me if a Winchester 1300 forend would actually go on a Sears Model 200 and I told here that it definitely would. So I gave her my credit card number and she placed the order. The order was placed on July 19 and I waited with Christmas morning anticipation until it arrived three weeks later on August 2nd. I was really excited.
I opened up the box and before I could get to the stock, I had to toss a bunch of papers to the side. All of the paperwork went in to great detail on the company's policy of a 12% restocking fee for returned stocks. I immediately thought that this was not a good sign of things to come. I took the old forend off the 200 and put the new stock on. It fit great. I was disappointed that it had a rough patch in the finish on the under side of the stock. I smoothed it with some #4 steel wool, however I felt that there should be better craftsmanship in a stock that had cost me $227 dollars.
I pulled out the buttstock to place on the shotgun and then that's when things really got bad. The side of the stock that connects to the receiver of the shotgun was not going to hook up. The end of the stock was all wrong. To me the stock looked like it was cut to fit a Winchester shotgun (1200 to 1400 series). I assumed that they had sent me the wrong stock and was definitely not planning on getting stuck with no 12% restocking fee.
(Notice the angled cut on the stock above and look below at the correct Sears Model 200 angle)
(Below is an example of the stock and receiver intersection on a Ted Williams Model 200, it's identical to the basic model 200 connection making it still totally incompatible to the Boyds stock)
To tell you that i was disappointed would have been an understatement. I hoped that the customer service department at Boyds would be as pleasant as their sales department ,but I was wrong.....dead wrong. I had to call three times before I reached anyone in the returns department. The man that answered my call did not give me his name so we will just call him Goober. I explained to Goober that they sent me the wrong buttstock. Goober pulled up all the information on my order and let me know that they did not send me the wrong buttstock and that it was in fact the correct stock for a Sears Model 200. I told Goober that the buttstock did not fit a Sears Model 200 shotgun. Goober replied "It does not fit your Model 200, but there are two versions of the model 200." I told Goober that I had more then one Model 200 and the stock did not fit any of them. Goober asked, "Did you check the dimensions on the website before you ordered?" Goober was really getting on my nerves. Then Goober said, "Looks like we don't have the dimensions for that stock on our website so you can return it and you will not be charged the 12% restocking fee." I asked Goober, "Are you going to pay the return shipping for this stock?" Goober replied, "No." I told Goober that I would just keep it then. I was stunned that a company would sell a stock for a gun and that after knowing that there was no way that the stock would fit said firearm that they would refuse to make it right. Don't forget that this amounted to a $227 purchase. If I had been on the hook for the restock fee, that would have amounted to $27.24. Then, I got to thinking. How much money does this company make on restocking fees. It has to be substantial. Just taking in to account anyone that had ever ordered a buttstock for a Sears Model 200, because clearly they had never produced one to fit that shotgun.
A few days I got to looking around to see if I had any Winchester shotguns that could use a face lift.
(pictured above is a Winchester 1200 Defender, serial number dates it around 1980)
I placed the Boyds stock on the Defender pictured above. The buttsock was without a doubt made for a Winchester.
(pictured above is the same Defender with the forest camo stock from Boyds)
In conclusion, Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks has terrible customer service. They make a pretty product, but it came with lot of rough edges in the finish that had to be smoothed out with steel wool. Even though I could figure out what shotgun that the stock would fit, the fitting showed that their shaping of the buttstock was sloppy. Look at the close up pictures below to see what I mean.
(above, nicks in the finish right out of the box)
(notice how much overhang there is of the stock over the receiver, the receiver and the stock should be on the same level)
I hope others can learn from my mistakes dealing with Goober inc. Just remember, keep on shooting!
An old sage and master of the shotgun arts contacted me to let me know that the earliest model 200's had the chevron style receiver stock joint. As of yet I have never see one of these early models in the wild and did not know of their existence. It turns out that the Boyd's rep was actually correct and that the stock I received does in fact fit a sears model 200 somewhere out there in the world. See the picture below that was sent to me by the wise old shotgun Jedi.
I would never want to give out false information of any sort so if you or someone you know has one of the two early model 200's that Boyd's makes a stock for then by all means spruce it up and make it fancy. It takes a big man to admit when he is wrong and I am not a big man.