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Thread: Laminated vs Synthetic

  1. #1

    Default Laminated vs Synthetic

    It seems as though more people prefer laminated stocks for the "ideal" or "only one" rifle.
    I don't know if I am old fashioned or what but if I can't have blued metal and a walnut stock I'll go straight to SS/Synthetic.
    I can't see the appeal of laminated versus the added weight. I know it resists moisture absorbtion better than regular walnut but still not as good as syn.
    What am I missing?
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

  2. #2
    Member Ripper's Avatar
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    Red face I've heard laminate is actually better

    I don't know first-hand, but I was just trying to answer the same question and some of my research seems to point to laminated stocks being better than synthetic, mainly because the are stiffer and support the action better. There is also a difference in injection-molded synthetic and truly composite stocks. Google "Chuck Hawks". He discusses some of the differences. Regarding weight, it seems intuitive that the laminates are heavier, but I haven't noticed that when reading the gun specs, so I am not too sure that is the case.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Laminates are very stable, strong and heavy. They made a really good choice for larger rifle calibers where the rifles weight is not an important issue.
    Tennessee

  4. #4
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Default My experience with both

    My two "go to" guns are a Tikka stainless synthetic .300 WM and a Ruger stainless laminate.338 WM. Don't tell the wife but if all the other rifles in the safe vaporized I would be fine for everything in the state with these two (actually probably either one)

    Comparing Ruger to Ruger and Tikka to Tikka, synthetic is definitely the lighter choice. This is either good or bad depending. I like having a little more heft in the .338 both for recoil and off hand accuracy. However, I gladly trade that for the weight reduction on any mountain/ backpacking hunt.

    The laminate can be a little slippery with the wrong gloves on, but picking the right gloves, checkering or other methods can eliminate this issue. On the other hand, it doesn’t have that hollow sound if it hits a rock that synthetic does

    The laminate is definitely a better looking rifle but that is so far down my list of concerns as to be almost a non-issue. The real tie breaker on the Ruger was I could find the laminate / stainless model with open sights.

    So…. Bottom line the answer to which is better is the classic “ it depends”

    Dave

  5. #5
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    Default

    Its been my experience that laminates aren't nearly as strong as they are touted. THe only stock that I have ever had break other than an encore rifle stock, was a laminated stock on a tikka t3, it split right down a glueline. I would much perfer a good kevlar or fiberglass based synthetic stock. Even a decent wood stock properly sealed is better than a laminate. If wood tickles your fancy I think the accurate inovation stocks with the full aluminum bedding block are more stable, stronger, and lighter than a laminated stock.

  6. #6
    Member WinMag_300's Avatar
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    Default

    Like most hunters, I have tossed around the differences between synthetic and laminated. I am also a traditionalist when it comes to rifles. I like blued steel and nice walnut. I have hunted in wet conditions and rain with my Remington 700 BDL for several years with no issues. I think the BDL sealant works wonders at preventing moisture from penetrating the wood. If you like blue and walnut, by all means, buy it. People have hunted for generations with blued steel walnut rifles.

    I think the rifle makers want to tout synthetic rifles as a panacea for moisture because plastic is cheaper than wood. Plastic molding is a simple process that requires very little labor and hardly any craftsmanship in the finishing process. By selling a rifle with a synthetic stock and a "clean" barrel without sights, the arms makers save a lot of money and you get a rifle that is produced with less attention to detail and less craftsmanship.

    I own a Howa Lightning rifle in stainless synthetic and it is a nice looking rifle, but I rarely hunt with it. I bought it with the idea of using it as a "bad weather" rifle but I have built up so much confidence with my blued steel Remington that I don't even consider carrying anything else. I have found that a Rig treatment on the steel prior to hunting and a wipe-down and bore patching after the hunt is all that is necessary to maintain the rifle in like-new condition. Twigs and thorns seem to just slide off the urethane gloss of the walnut.

    To me, a rifle is kind of like a woman. I want a good looking one that I can depend on. Not an ugly one that can be weathered without concern. Take care of her and she will take care of you.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

  7. #7
    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Default Aesthetics

    Some people just like the look of laminates. I'm one. I like them all, but of all my rifles, I like the look of my Rem 700 LSS Mt Rifle best. Brown laminate w/ black forend tip, stainless action/bbl. I have other 700 LSS (the grey laminate) that I think are pretty, and I have a Win 70 with a grey lam stock. The laminates may not be as pretty as traditional walnut, but I sure think they look better than synthetics.

  8. #8
    Member Paparock's Avatar
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    Default Laminate or Synthetic

    I have owned and shot synthetic stocked rifles up to and including a .375 H&H but today I would choose a good laminate as I believe laminate stocks are stronger, quieter in the brush and sure look a lot better. I am going to be purchasing another medium bore rifle soon and it will either come from the factory with a laminate stock or wear an after-market one soon after I get my hands on it. Synthetic stocks are the pits to use in extremes of heat or cold in my opinion as they can warp in heat, shatter in extremes of cold under heavy stress and even if that does not happen they sure become uncomfortable to hold a check weld on during such times. The hollow ones are loud when a branch scrapes them. There is just no since in giving away my location like that but then I cover stainless to eliminate shine or anything else that will give any reflection or noise. The top end synthetics are ok but then you don’t see them on production rifles but on things with stocks like McMillan Fiberglass Stocks which often cost more than stock rifles.

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    Default

    Stop the slip slide with Slip Doctors. I bought some Slip Doctors Extra Fine Clear Spray Coating...you cnnot see it...it dries in half an hour...but the grip on laminated stocks is fantastic. $20.00 buys you a lot of stock spray...and it is very easy to use. The price is right also.

  10. #10
    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    Default How a Sako Laminated Stock Held Up

    Since the topic is on laminated stocks, I thought I might share a couple of images from my Sako Kodiak .375 H&H and its laminated stock so you can see for yourself how well it held up. This particular rifle had about 85 rounds through it. In comparison I have 5 McMillan stocks on various rifles, .416 RM, .375 H&H, 7mm RM, 30-06 and 280 Rem. All bedded by McMillan and all of them remain as perfect as the day I got them even after a whole lot of range time and field use. Accuracy of the McMillan rifles is phenomenal.

    Note how the stock is cracked aft of the receiver and how far the bolt handle is driven back in the stock recess. I know that there are many on this forum who have praised this particular rifle, however, in my hands it was a complete disaster. I'll let it go at that.

    Kodiak-Stock-1.jpgKodiak-Stock-2.jpg

  11. #11
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekberger View Post
    Since the topic is on laminated stocks, I thought I might share a couple of images from my Sako Kodiak .375 H&H and its laminated stock so you can see for yourself how well it held up. This particular rifle had about 85 rounds through it. In comparison I have 5 McMillan stocks on various rifles, .416 RM, .375 H&H, 7mm RM, 30-06 and 280 Rem. All bedded by McMillan and all of them remain as perfect as the day I got them even after a whole lot of range time and field use. Accuracy of the McMillan rifles is phenomenal.

    Note how the stock is cracked aft of the receiver and how far the bolt handle is driven back in the stock recess. I know that there are many on this forum who have praised this particular rifle, however, in my hands it was a complete disaster. I'll let it go at that.

    Kodiak-Stock-1.jpgKodiak-Stock-2.jpg
    Eric,

    Is this the rifle that dented case shoulders in the detachable magazine ?

  12. #12
    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    Default

    Marshall you are correct. I think I can write a small chapter on this rifle and its design, including everything I learned about Sako's very expensive quick detach rings (which are a piece of junk), dented cases due to magazine design and finally how it gave up the ghost. Sometimes you're on the receiving end of a lemon, this was mine. After the stock broke, I did not pull it because I did not want to disturb the evidence, therefore I cannot say what the "bedding" job looked like, one can only guess.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drdaldds View Post
    Stop the slip slide with Slip Doctors. I bought some Slip Doctors Extra Fine Clear Spray Coating...you cnnot see it...it dries in half an hour...but the grip on laminated stocks is fantastic. $20.00 buys you a lot of stock spray...and it is very easy to use. The price is right also.
    After six and a half years, don't you think this guy has solved his problem?

    Since this is your second posting about the product you named maybe you just joined to push a specific item.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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