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Walnut vs Maple Rifle Stock

I really like the look of the maple rifle stocks, but don't have any experience with them. I looked online, but couldn't find much info. For those that know- How durable are maple stocks compared to walnut? Is the accuary affected at all? Thanks for the help- Heath.

buckykm1's picture
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Synthitic for me.

Personally I am not into pretty, when it comes to my Rifles.

I almost always go with Synthitic Stocks, I buy them to hunt with, not for looks, no shine, and if it gets a scrach it doesn't hurt my feeling at all. JMHO

Kevin

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I agree with Bucky on the

I agree with Bucky on the appearance of the stock.  The last few rifles that I have purchased all wear fiberglass stocks in flat black.  I do have a couple of nice shotguns with very nice stocks and both have a couple of scratches on them that only refinishing will take out.  They hurt every time I look at them. 

As for accuracy of walnut vs maple I would believe that both are fine stock materials but it is the finishing and exposure to the elements that are going to affect accuray in the long run. 

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I appreciate your comments

I appreciate your comments and understand your concerns. I have a .270 with a composite stock and my main hunting shotgun also has a composite stock. I like the classic look wood gives a rifle and am not too concerened with the scratches it'll get. 

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Walnut seems to be more

Walnut seems to be more durable than maple.

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Walnut vs Maple Rifle Stock

If it is properly inleted and finished, I think Maple would be just as durable as Walnut.  I put a maple stock on a .308 Win for my Uncle about 35 years and, and its still as good as when it was built.

"Birdseye" maple make beautiful stocks, but they are hard to work because the "eyes" may have voids in the center, and the outer portion of the eyes are very dense and hard wood.  The eyes tend to chip when cut with a chisel or coarse rasp.  For 40 years, I've regretted not buying very beautiful "quilted" maple rifle blank that I saw at a sports show.

I have a few of rifles with plastic stocks which are great in wet, nasty weather, but I am most proud of the rifles that I've stocked in fancy walnut.  Probably the prettiest wood on any of my rifles is on my .300 Weatherby.  I put about 100 hours into building and checkering that stock.  It is also the rifle that I shoot the most and I've used it on several hunts in western states plus hunts in South Africa and New Zealand.

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I was going by some

I was going by some muzzleloader builders that I know. They said curly maple is hard to work with, because it chips so easy. I've never heard that about walnut.

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Maple stocks

Still Hunter wrote:

I was going by some muzzleloader builders that I know. They said curly maple is hard to work with, because it chips so easy. I've never heard that about walnut.

Thanks SH,  I forgot about the Kentucky and Hawken muzzleloaders that I built.  They were both from kits where the majority of the wood work was already done, but they were both maple stocks.

Yes, maple does chip easily, especially if your tools are not super sharp and you cut against the grain.  The same can happen with walnut, and a knot (the eyes in birdseye maple) in any wood will easily chip.

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Wood Stocks

Walnut is very durable for riflestocks, and has been proven time and time again over the last 200+ years. But consider that Maple is also used in some baseball bats these days...I'd say that says something about Maple durability. Also Maple had been traditionally used and was very common in most gun stocks prior to about the mid 19th century too.....at a time in history when your average rifle and shotgun saw much rougher daily use and handling than is often employed today. I have no issues with walnut wood in a field grade gun stock as long as it's a satin type linseed oil finish or a matte finish,  I just hate those shiney smooth high gloss varnished finishes on wood. Of all my guns, the rifles and shotguns I hunt with all have basic boiled linseed oil finished walnut and they have served me perfectly well under all conditions I've encountered while hunting.

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I only have one plastic

I only have one plastic stock, can't stand it. There's a feel with wood that plastic will never achieve. I've had a few maplw stock's over the years and if anything was wrong it was simplt the color, I liked them. Mostly I've had walnut stock's and I really like them also. One of the nicest stocks I ever saw was made from flame burly maple, it was beautiful. I don't really care to have to nice a stock for myself, they get dinged! I got to where every three of four years I'd re-finish them, I liked doing that. Plastic and stainless leave me flat. Cold impersonable to me. The argument for weather proof fall's on deaphn ears here. What are you gonna do? Leave your rifle out in the rain all season? I did see some stainless rifles years ago that were coated with something black and looked likeno gloss blueing, I could do that. Your rifle will shoot as well as you take care of it. If you don't want to take care of it, get plastic and stainless.

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You'll find most of those old

You'll find most of those old muzzleloaders that used maple have cracked stocks. I'm not saying maple is bad. I just think walnut is a little tougher.

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