Phil, how much are you paid by Dennis, are you on salary or paid by the post? I looked up the word custom and found the following... 1. Made according to the specifications of a particular individual. According to this definition, I believe that there are more competent stock makers then one could remember off hand. I think your comment is an insult to some very fine craftsman, but you should be forgiven as it's clearly an income thing on your part. Bruce
If you want 'custom', as in finding the right wood, spending as long as it takes to fit you and cut the wood to your exact fit, checkering and finishing to your taste, I've only personally worked with Paul Hillmer and he does great work.
I have had Paul Hillmer and JL Dockwiller make 3 or 4 stock each for me and they are as good as it gets. Paul has a lot of high dollar turkish blanks to pick from.
Dockwiller has stocked 10 times more high $ Krieghoffs than anyone in the country. He put stocks on almost every Crown and super crown starting in the 60's that DuPont brought into this country and he brought 100% of them until the K-80's.
I had Phil Simms make a stock from scratch and a forearm ( not an easy job on a beretta 303) and he did a marvelous job. I told him the specs and also said I wanted it beefy. He made it out of walnut and it is beefy and heavy, thats what I wanted. The forearm is thick and also heavy just like I wanted. The palm swell is like I wanted. I would use him again. If I could afford it, I would some day like Dennis and Cindy to trick one out. They are good but not cheap. Either one will do just fine.
I think there is a huge difference in who can make a custom stock & then who can fit you, then build the stock. I guess anything I could conjure up would be considered a custom stock, but it sure as hell wouldn't fit anyone. Just because someone makes a stock for you, doesn't mean it is going to fit right & increase your ability to break birds. Butch
Larry Garroutte is a frequent contributor to this site and should not be overlooked. He has made some absolutely fantastic custom stocks. His website should give a small indication of his capabilities.
The fitting part is way more important than the wood part. After a certain point there nothing more than can be done. The wood is hand picked and then the dimensions are built to you. I am sure the best stock makers are as good as it gets. When comparing the best there are several that are just that. Tom Smith,Phil Simms and Devault are proven to be the best. Stay away from Wenig is the best advice i can give.