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Thread: Synthetic or Wood?

  1. #1

    Default Synthetic or Wood?

    Guys,
    What are you alls preferences on wood over synthetic? Can water being absorbed by wood stocks throw off a shot? Also show a picture of your gun if you dont mind? Thanks

  2. #2

    Default rifle stock

    Synthetic is the way to go for a hunting rifle. Wood gets dented up.

    You can bed a wood rifle and get decent results, otherwise even with a floated barrel you have the potential of swelling/shrinking that will throw off your shot.

    A good synthetic stock with bedding will provide consistency in the long run.

  3. #3
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    A properly finished wood stock can give you dependable service for 90% of the hunters. Maybe some places in the SE (where it rains so much) or if you hunt under water, yeah synthetics are the way to go.

    I prefer wood, I have had synthetics and probably will buy them again. Just give me a nice piece of wood and I am happy. My 9.3x62 does have a syntheic stock (for now)

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    A piece of maple and a couple walnut. also my plastic 9.3.
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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    YOU CAN TRUST A TREE!!!. I don’t have any composite, plastic, fake, synthetic, polymer. Space-age bla, bla, bla stocks and I wont EVER have one. In my view firearms are an extension of the man that owns and shoots them……….and there are many, in fact probably most, that will argue that firearms are “tools” with which to accomplish or achieve a specific goal much like a hammer or screwdriver. And in that context I suppose that a plastic or composite stock would be fine……………….that is if you were the kind of person that values the end more than the means. I am not judging here, each side of this argument is valid and interesting, but for me personally, it is the means that far outweighs the end. I would much rather spend countless days spending hours on end lovingly caring for my blued and would stocked rifles and miss a shot at a prized game animal that ever being seen with a plastic “tool” in the field!

    Blued steel and fine wood…………it is a natural extension of man……….like fine furniture, or art on canvas, it has warmth and comes from a living thing, it is…………for a lack of better phrase………….more NARTURAL. No two are ever the same………..the intricate variations in the natural wood grain, the multitude of shades and subtle differences, that could never be duplicated by the pathetic hand of man combined with the finest steels colored with fire and caustic chemicals…………….or I guess you could have a chunk of plastic, smelted down and recycled out of used pop bottles, zip-lock baggies and contact lenses with a sand blasted, stainless steel barrel screwed to the top of it ………..WOW………….so pretty!

    Wood and blued steel have served our ancestors for generations, not only in form and function, but in beauty as well,………….. are there more “durable” alternatives now days……….yea, I suppose so………..but at what cost………..hideous “black and silver” rifles that all look EXACTLY the same??? In fact, I would bet 6 moths salary that ten average folks could not tell the difference between a $8000 custom composite stocked stainless rifle and a used crappy ass 1990’s vintage stainless Ruger with the skeleton hideousness that they tried to pass off as a stock!! And any 6 year old could pick the “best quality” wood stocked and blued rifle from the Fred Meyer riff raff!

    Do yourself a favor and get a “real” firearm………leave the “tools” to the “Wal-Mart crowd” and savor the character that your rifle gains from years of faithful service! And remember……………..you can trust a tree!!!!

    Now don’t get me wrong here………I got nothing against “plastics or composites”, heck this computer I am typing on is at least 80% plastic, and some of my most enjoyed possessions are made from plastics like, my toilette seat, and remote control and all that Tupperware stuff that I keep leaving at work that my wife asks about. But gun stocks? No sir…………… No sir indeed!

    PS, if this hurts your feelings, just let me know so I can send you a can of turtle wax..............you know, to "toughen up your shell"
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  6. #6
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    I've love my wood stock blued rifles and shotguns I clean and oil the wood after every wet trip. I worry over every rust spot.

    But since my brother introduced me to light weight stocks and dull finishes my climbing into sheep country got a whole lot easier.

    For the range and to show wood is nice, but for practicality Synthetic is the way to go.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    Hows synthetic more practical than wood?

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Its lighter
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    And???? so folks are getting lazier? dont buy it, they are less maintanence so folks dont have to do as much upkeep to them. I guess thats where some folks nowadays are going.

    Dont get me wrong, I like the fake the stocks but it has to be wood IMO.

  10. #10
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    I hunted twenty years with wood stocks and still do just not a walk-in hunt or with lots of climbing. In a few years with the right investments I could afford to hire a Sherpa to carry a woods stock for me. But for now I'll sacrifice beauty to save my back an extra lb.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    Each to there own. I have my own ailments that limit me on how far I hike. I save weight elsewhere on my gear. To me its a pride thing, guns are more than just a hobby. I like decent wood. I'm not gonna buy a $1K blank for a rifle just to drop it off a mtn, but nice wood is my thing.

  12. #12
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    save weight elsewhere on my gear.
    I gotta bring my carhart sleeping bag.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

  13. #13

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    I've been a woodworker for many years and I love wood. I love wood stocks but the bottom line is that a good synthetic stock is functionally much better than wood. Wood holds moisture, usually about 3 - 8%. When you put wood through significant temp changes it moves, period. And that is going to affect your shooting. It also gathers and looses moisture. You can minimize that by sealing it with a thick coat of polyurethane but you cant stop it and we all know that a polyurethane covered stock is liking having a signal mirror when the sun hits it. And polyurethane will scratch and look pretty nasty after a few years of hard hunting. A wood stock is also more brittle and will break easier than a synthetic stock. Some synthetic stocks have aluminum bedding blocks built in which makes a great, accurate and consistant shooting platform. Good synthetic stocks are 2 -3 times stronger and about 50 - 70% the weight of wood stocks. There is simply no comparison. If you don't shoot farther than 150 - 200 yards and are not real concerned with accurate bullet placement, then wood is good. Me... I'll go synthetic. My $.02

  14. #14
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    I like laminates. However, there are places that you should have a stainless/synthetic to venture in.
    Now what ?

  15. #15
    Member Whelenator's Avatar
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    Default Rifle Stocks

    I fall in the middle. I have "plastic" stocks on all my bolt guns, and wood on the semi-autos and levers. I have a Stoeger 2000 shotgun, the one with the Benelli guts, and it's plastic. If I still lived in North Carolina, or Virginia, I would like the wood more, but it's just not worth it to get them destroyed hunting here in Alaska. I have seen too many nice rifle stocks split and busted all to hades from hunting down in the southeast especially. Here is a pic of my recently re-vamped 700 Classic 7 Wby. That's a B&C Medalist stock, Leupold Vari-X III, 3.5-1 X 40, and Cera-Kote finish on the metal. That's pretty extreme for ME, as far as work done. But like many others, I have health issues that keep me from carrying a lot of weight, so I reduce it wherever possible. I just put the same stock on my CDL 700, 35 Whelen, and it seemed to really lighten it up a lot. I like the feel and all of the nice wood, and would really love to own one of those Kimber Super America's, but if I had that, I couldn't ever hunt with it. I like to keep them looking too nice.
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  16. #16

    Default Wood or synthentic

    Thanks for all the replies. I think Im going to stick with my wood stock for hunting. Just curious as what others had to say. I would much rather carry the extra weight on a wood stock because of the sentimental value I have for my wood rifles. Oh and yea the scrapes and dings on a wood stock show character in my opinion. Why have a wood gun and just letting it sit in your safe and not use it because you dont want it to get dinged up? Just my two cents.. Well thanks again,
    James

  17. #17
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I'm a wood junkie! However, I know enough to keep the nice wood home and to hunt with fiberglass.

    For the non outdoors man in Alaska, that does not hunt in our conditions, High blue and wood our fine. If you want to hunt in Alaska and it does not bother you to watch the fine blue covering the metal rust as you watch, or the wood swell and warp as you watch. Then I say go for it.

    I do not care for SS barrels to hunt with (cold weather danger with SS), bead blast finish and bluing I prefer. A good quality fiberglass stock and I'm happy!

    No we are not talking pretty, we are talking a practical hunting tool.

    There is not a thing in this world that says, you can't have both. Hunting rifles and safe queens.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  18. #18

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    [quote=Big Al;239204]
    I do not care for SS barrels to hunt with (cold weather danger with SS),

    Big Al, first i ever heard of cold weather danger hunting with SS barrels, how cold are you talking and what is the issue?

  19. #19
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Krieger barrels web site advises not to use 416R barrels below freezing. the discussion about cold weather and SS barrels has gone on for generations among barrel makers.

    Do a google search on the topic. Lots of reading on the subject.

    They do split, from time to time. Not fun to see when you lay out 500.00 for a barrel and fitting.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  20. #20

    Default

    I just did a google and also checked out Krieger and Lilja. I found a couple of articles warning against using 416 steel in cold weather. Krieger did have an advisory against using 416 steel in *very cold* temperatures, i.e. below 0. But offered no discussion or reasons for it.

    This is what Lilja's site said...

    Q. Can stainless steel barrels be safely fired in sub zero temperatures?
    Yes they certainly can be. There is a myth going around that stainless steel alloys used in rifle barrels loose their strength in sub zero temperatures. There is no truth to that. We have made many thousands of barrels that have been fired safely in below zero temperatures as have all of the other custom barrel makers as well as the major arms manufacturers. This is an urban legend that should be chilled

    http://www.riflebarrels.com/faq_lilj...ls.htm#subzero

    I'll take Lilja's word for it, as he has made thousands of barrels and hasn't determined that there is a problem.

    I did see some pics of some Sako SS fluted barrels that split a few years ago, but that was a steel quality issue.

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