carnivore, welcome to the site. That is always a dilemma with a new weatherby. "Man, it's so beautiful, I would hate to ding it up hunting." I had that same thought with several of my weatherby stocks. My recommendation though is hunt the heck out of them. Once you put the first ding it them you won't worry so much about it and you'll be able to enjoy carrying a fine piece around the woods with you. Beauty is as beauty does, and man do those weatherby's do some beautiful things. What were you going to do with that good lookin' stock anyway, make a lamp out of it? No, make it do what it was born to do. Oh, and congrats on a fine score. Your friend was one lucky guy.