View Full Version : Sythetic vs walnut

February 7, 2009, 08:45 AM
I was told the sps stainless was basically a bdl set inside a synthetic stock but I like the looks of the bdl stock. What are the advantages of wood vs sythectics. Are the sps accurate out of the box.

February 7, 2009, 11:20 AM
Wood will be heavier. When well sealed after sitting in a dry environ for some time it will be very stable, but the synstock will be more so. You won't feel so bad about scratching synthetics, but wood just looks better on a rifle IMO. A plastic stock is cheaper to produce, but it's rare to see that savings passed on to the consumer.

February 7, 2009, 01:38 PM
go with what you like, yuor going to be shooting it.

February 7, 2009, 02:13 PM
In my opinion, its really preference more so than any real advantage. Me, I prefer wood. Looks like a gun should.

February 7, 2009, 09:14 PM
Overall I like a good synthetic stock. The SPS is not a good synthetic stock. If I were buying for my use I would buy the cheaper of the 2 and sell the stock and replace it with a quality synthetic.

February 7, 2009, 10:01 PM

A really good synthetic stock is superior to a wood
stock in every way... except looks. Aesthetics.

A McMillan or HS. Those are good synthetic stocks.

I have very few synthetic stocks. On target guns
where you have to make weight and need the absolute
best in stability.


February 8, 2009, 12:46 AM
+1 wood. I really hate the way synthetic looks and feels.. It just doesnt feel right.

February 8, 2009, 12:56 AM
I like the composite. Sorta like the best of both worlds.

February 8, 2009, 03:02 AM
A wood laminate splits the difference. But I like that pretty walnut the best.

February 8, 2009, 06:13 AM
When I started out, over 40 years ago, wood was the option so that's what I got. To this day I like the look and feel of wood. In fact until about 7 or 8 years ago I never had a synthetic stock on anything, unless you want to count the grips on a T/C Contender.

Then I stumbled on a deal that was to good to pass up. It had a synthetic stock. And I'll admit it has grown on me. It's still UGLY to look at but what everyone said above about function counts for a lot.

And I can imaging that for some of you guys who do a lot of long range hunting where the slightest shift in point of impact can mean the whole hunt would be adding another percentige point by going synthetic and taking the potential for a wood stock shift out of the equasion.

February 8, 2009, 09:04 AM
I have wood stocked rifles, and I have synthetic stocked rifles.

Like others, I like the looks of a good wood stock far better, but after several years of being carried over rough terrain, through brush, on horseback, and so forth, I don't think it really matters any more.

I use my rifles, and although I don't abuse them, they do show signs of that use. The synthetic, while starting out not as good looking as wood, don't show the wear as much, either.


February 8, 2009, 11:08 AM
I like to build my own stocks for surplus rifles and don't have the extruder or forms for synthetics so I'm stuck with wood, just love the looks and feel of a nice piece of walnut. I don't shoot much over 200 yds. so wood works fine for me.

February 8, 2009, 06:26 PM
the synthetic should be able to handle more abuse and might be lighter but there is some heavy synthetic stocks unless it reduces the guns weight I dont really see any advantage to using synthetic I havent never broke a wood stock might of dinged and scratched them up but wood does look better in my opinion.

February 9, 2009, 10:25 AM
Synthetic definately has it's place in the world but I prefer wood. I love the way it looks and feels. I don't own any synthetic rifles and only one synthetic shotgun. The real benefit is that you can beat the heck out of it you wont feel as bad as you would with a wood stock.

February 9, 2009, 02:18 PM
Plus, plus, plus for everything that's been said about wood. Having said that, no less than half my guns are synthetic.

One of my favorite guns is a wood and blue Sako. The wood is scratched and some of the finish is worn off. I'd refinish it but there's a chance I'd have to do it again in my lifetime. (I used to enjoy those kinds of projects, but it seems I've outgrown it.) It has a little rust on the barrel. I'd have it reblued but there's a chance I'd have to do that again, too. (Although I've also outgrown leaving wet guns in a case behind the truck seat. :))

My most beat upon synthetic stainless still cleans up to pretty nice condition, something I appreciate, despite it not being wood and blue.

February 14, 2009, 10:20 AM
I prefer synthetic stocks on mine these days. My guns are for hard hunting and I don't want to worry about scratching the pretty wood on a rifle. Some of the brush I hunt in has even scratched the stock on my synthetic rifles. No I am not real abusive on my guns and take care of them but I am not afraid to go through the rough stuff. If you like wood then thats your choice. I must admit that a nice wood stock is an attention getter and does add character to a gun.

February 14, 2009, 10:37 AM
If you want to keep the warm, living look of wood and yet have a surface that is as close to a synthetic in scratch resistance and stability then there are two options. Epoxy and cryanoacrylate are very good finishes. I used the CA finish below on an old Winchester '94 that was previously covered in yellow house paint:barf:. I now have a finish that I have yet to scratch even though I have dragged it though some of the thickest stuff I have ever hunted in. The grain clarity is superb even though the wood I have on that old 30/30 is pretty standard straight grain walnut. The flaws you see are from a hasty refinishing job and not from use.

A word of caution, a respirator should be used when applying or sanding C/A. I had migraines for weeks.


February 14, 2009, 10:51 AM
i have always wanted a deep blued rifle with a fancy manlicher (sp) stock but the gun would be just too pretty to shoot. it would break my heart to see all that fine wood get knicked up. it would not be a gun i would choose to take on any rough hunt. but i surely would like one.

a better choice would be a new stainless with a synthetic stock. these guns are heaven sent for a rough hunt. more durable, not effected by rain or snow, heat or cold. less likely to get scratched up or dinged and if they do so what. the new technology has made rifles into even better tools but they can never replace the deep blueing and fine wood that made so many classic rifles into the works of art they are. i guess i'll take 6 of the one and a half dozen of the other :)

Jack O'Conner
February 18, 2009, 04:14 AM
If you want to look like the sportsmen on Outdoor Channel, you must buy a bolt action magnum rifle with black plastic stock. Your clothes must be camo.

From the beginning of time until recently, animals were taken by patient hunters with actual hunting skills. Choice of weapon and clothing were not critical considerations.

I prefer lever action with real wood and sturdy clothes that are not camo but those are my choices.