Both are good stocks , I like the McMillan stocks a little better due to their many differnat configurations.
If any stock is bedded properly then the benifit of the full length pillar I feel realy isin't needed unless you're absolutly super hard on your guns.
Redbone, go with McMillan A-5. Out of the five rifles I own, four of them wear McMillan Stocks. My new 6-284 will be wearing a McMillan A-5. I love this stock, it's an awesome design. I also have a McMillan A-4, it is on my 220 swift. My 6.5x284 wears a McMillan Tooley MBR, and my 338 Yogi wears a McMillan 50 HBR. I love McMillan stocks, they will always be on my rifles.
I have one H&S stock, it is on my 223. It's a good stock, but I will always choose McMillan over H&S. I am getting ready to take the H&S off my 223 and put a McMillan A-3 on it.
Go with the McMillan A-5, you will love it. I think they are a much better designed stock and they look better too! Good luck.
There is no doubt that the A-5 is a fantastic stock; however, the wait is way too long, the price is high and I don't personally like the attitude of the folks at MCM when it comes to single orders. If you check the list archives you will see what I mean. I have one MCM stock and yes I do like it. Bought it off Ebay, I won't wait 8 or 9 months or more for a damn stock. I also have several HS stocks and I like them fine. Most recently, I have been looking into stocks built by Joel Russo (spelling)He makes laminated stocks that are very well liked by all that have them and they only take a few WEEKS! He does offer an A-5 liminated that I plan on buying very soon. So to answer your question, you can wait and pay a ton for a MCM, get an HS now for less and have a very good stock or you can order exactly what you want from Joel. If only all my decisions where this easy.
dlebeck is correct when it comes to the wait for McMillan stocks, it's long. I agree, the customer srevices is bad for single orders. When I would call and ask about my stock, you thought I was asking them to move the world. If you want the best, sometimes you're going to have to wait. Also, I agree, McMillan stocks are more expensive than H&S stocks, but you get what you pay for. Once again, good luck.