If you have a 96/44, the you definitely need a stock maker. The 96/44 is very well known to destroy stocks. I got exactly one shot with mine...and the stock was ruined. It simply is a very stupid fit between firearm and stock...and birch wood does not cut it. Ruger also refuses to warranty the 96/44 stock, even if it is on a brand new rifle (as mine was). They expect you to send it back to them and they will give you a discount on another of their new guns. Bill Ruger must be turning over in his grave. If I wanted one of their newer firearms sold by Ruger, I would have purchased one. I seriously doubt that I will ever buy another "new" Ruger ever again.