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Tndeerhunter's picture
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Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
lots of opinions

There's nothing nicer to a real rifle lover than a nice piece of furniture on a rifle. If you don't care for wood stocks and like your synthetics, that's fine! I just hope when you finally give one of these rifles to a son/daughter or grandson/granddaughter, they are also a fan of "plastic" furniture. Perhaps with your influence they will be after all  Yes

I do know this; Jack O'Connor (for those who might know who he is) would HATE a synthetic stock and he went on horseback hunts for weeks at a time with a wood handle attached to his beloved M70s. John Wotters? Never heard him so much as mention a synthetic stock. Elmer? Nope, not Keith either! Wood works; seal it, use a laminate... wood still works. 

As for the less handsome grain we see in today's stocks? Well, we are running out of nice walnut is the simple fact. And, people who crave nice grain will pay big $$ to get it. I've bought many a rifle because of the nice wood in the stock. And, truth be known, I'd rather own a rifle with nice wood that shoots 1" than a rifle with synthetic stock that shoots 1/2". Silly me, huh??  Whistling

 

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
wood

A few makers have actually gone to using birch wood or ash wood as a substitute and staining them to look like walnut. In fact the US military started the practice near the latter stages of WWII with the late war M1 Garands and continued using these substitutes on all the M-14 simply impregnating the wood with tong oil and allowing it to cure.  After the adoption of that toy gun, the M16, they simply had no more need for hardwood in rifles stocks.

I think good walnut wood has diminished in firearms production over the last 12 years due to the fact that furniture makers often now get first dibbs on nice grain walnut from suppliers.  The reason is that furniture makers will pay more for walnut than the factory gun makers will or than their 3rd party contract makers will.  As a result most of the good stuff is bought up by these non-firearms related craft industries, leaving the leftover plain jane walnut for the rifle makers.

I personally don't put too much emphisis on fancy excotic finsihes in guns.  To me firearms are mere tools, that's how I see them, but that is actually what I love most about them and what makes them dear to me.  I'm a tool person.  I like no-nonsence fully functional things.  The more utilitarian the better.  I don't want spit&polish.  I want utility in these things, to me that's beauty in both firearms and tools.  Nothing like a linseed oil finished straight grain walnut stock on a dark charcoal grey parkerized finished rifle.

Guns are made to be fired.  They are also ment to be carried and used in rough country.  No matter how pretty, they still need to be durable and functional.  I treat all guns with the same level of care and respect, doesn't matter how pretty they are.  But if I own them, they are going to get fired.

I've seen some modern Russian made Baikal shotguns that have much nicer grain walnut wood stocks and forends.  Typically Baikals are inexpensive good quality guns.  I think they simply use what ever they pull out of the wood pile and they just make it work. 

 

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
To each there own on how to

To each there own on how to treat a rifle.  I do know there are some very beautiful guns out there.I just can't buy something that i can't take into the woods and just use and abuse.  I broke my wood stock when i was 15 and went to a synthetic stock, and i wondered why people would use woood stocks.   I am now 42.

i know my elk rifle will need resighted in. I fell on it, multiple times, used it to catch my balance multiple times and am ok with it.  One of my falls, i literally thought i might bend the barrel.  but i was packing meat out and it had been raining for 2 days and stuff was extremely slick. Where i live we get alot of rain and we have lots ofunderbrush.

Once the gun has done its job.  I just don't worry about babying them.  There is a saying about my stuff that i have, my family came up with.  It has been timmed.

 

as far as giving my safe full of guns to my kids.  Well that won't happen.  At all.  I don't have any kids and we are not going to.  To be honest,  I don't know what to do with them as far as my will goes.

 

The ruger laminate stocks are kind of cool looking,  I do have one that is pretty beat up from a sheep hunt.  another walking stick climbing down a scree slope.

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
If I'm going to have a wood stock

tim wrote:

Once the gun has done its job.  I just don't worry about babying them.  There is a saying about my stuff that i have, my family came up with.  It has been timmed.

lol

If I'm going to have a wood stock, I like it to have nice character.  However I tend to own more synthetic rifles.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3183
From what I understand, the

From what I understand, the wood stocks we love are really not as strong as a good straight grain stock. And the laminated stocks are evem stronger but also heavier. Saw a walnut/walnut stock one time I really liked. Don't like the walnut/maple stocks. Another thing about plastic and wood, if you drop one, fall down with one or anything else that screw's up the stock, with wood you refinish and looks great again. What would you do with a plastic stock like that?

I have never had a wood stock swell or warp. Just make sure it's well sealed, including under the recoil plate.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
wood vs synthetic

When you consider that there are many rifles and shotguns around today that were made at the end of the 19th century or early part of the 20th centuiry, used hard and carried daily in their hayday, and are still in use today wearing their original walnut or maples stocks........to me that speaks volumes about just how durable and serviceable hardwood stocks really are.  And it's like Don said......you can fix up a dinged or scratched wooded stock releatively easily.  Not so much with a synthetic.  But don't get me wrong, there are quite a few attributes to synthetic stocks if they are made and attached correctly.  But as I said before, way too many factory produced rifles are leaving the factory and ending upon dealer shelves with terribly very poorly fitted stocks and inletting.  It really detracts from all the supposed accuracy attributes of having a synthetic stock. 

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
you guys will get a kick out

you guys will get a kick out of this.  I was shooting 3 guns the other day.  My springfield armory socom 16(synthetic stock), m77 ruger(synthetic stock) and my ruger #1(wood stock).

I was shooting prone and noticed how good the wood felt to my cheek.  I thought about this thread.  I will still take the synthetic over the wood anyday of the week for punishment in the idaho backcountry, but the wood does feel good.  So wood is good for shooting, synthetic for hunting.

tim

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