The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 5, 2012, 09:01 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: June 23, 2011
Location: asheville north carolina
Posts: 556
Wood or polymer stock?

Do you prefer wood or polymer stocks for your hunting rifle(s) and why? Do you like the weight of tge wood or the saved weight of polymer? Do you find one or the other more weather resistant? I am just bored and wondering. So what says you?
HALL,AUSTIN is offline  
Old March 5, 2012, 09:03 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: January 28, 2011
Location: Danville, Pa
Posts: 520
polymer as it is lighter, last longer, absorbs recoil better than wood and more resistant to weather and chemicals
boostedtt91 is offline  
Old March 5, 2012, 09:13 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,766
I prefer polymer because it is lighter and easier to care for.
AllenJ is offline  
Old March 5, 2012, 09:16 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: January 30, 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,389
I prefer synthetic for hunting (most of my rifles and shotguns). However, I really appreciate the beauty of a feathered crotch walnut rifle stock.
Vietnam Veteran ('69-'70)
NRA Life Member
RMEF Life Member
lefteye is offline  
Old March 5, 2012, 09:20 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: December 3, 2002
Posts: 1,238
Walnut. Looks like a million bucks, even in the rain.

30Cal is offline  
Old March 5, 2012, 09:53 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 7,789
I prefer wood, heavier guns manage recoil better, when I;m hunting I'm the only guy I know that is not bothered by having to pack a heavy gun, as long as it has a sling I don't notice it. I would take a heavy tack driver over a light shoulder cracker every day of the week and twice on sundays.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
tahunua001 is offline  
Old March 5, 2012, 09:56 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 6,088
Buzzcook is offline  
Old March 5, 2012, 10:34 PM   #8
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,634
I don't get all emotional about it, but when there's a choice I'll take wood. I've had no warping or maintenance problems in a rather long history of shooting...

Were I to hunt in an area of high or regular rainfall during hunting season, I'd go with the artificial stocks and most likely stainless rifles.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 08:25 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 10,688
Wood. Plastic is just too urban for the woods. Most of the time, it's just going to be you and your gun - might as well bring along something you actually like looking at.
Skans is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 08:31 AM   #10
old roper
Senior Member
Join Date: June 11, 2007
Posts: 1,717
Most of my deer/elk rifles weight with scope around 9lbs with synthetic stocks and that's the same weight as Kreiger barrel 35WhelenAI build on a Rem 700 action in a factory wood BDL stock.

Most of the guys I know that shoot synthetic stock aren't doing it to reduce weight they just don't want the upkeep of a wood stock or see their fancy wood get scratched. Can't blame them might be 15 below light snow.
Semper Fi
Vietnam 1965
VFW Life member
NRA Life Member

Last edited by old roper; March 6, 2012 at 09:02 AM.
old roper is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 08:58 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: January 6, 2012
Location: Ma, near a brook
Posts: 229
wood or polymer

WOOD! Cliff
mr.t7024 is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 09:20 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS
Posts: 6,776
I've always owned wood. That's going to change. After tromping around in the woods this year, I've noticed that the finish on the part of the grip where my thumb goes is now worn down on my favorite Rem Model 7. It bumps against the butt of my pistol when I'm carrying the rifle on my right side. I started carrying the pistol cross-draw style late in the season to prevent the problem.

I'm probably going to try and find a composite stock for it now.
Doyle is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 10:01 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 1, 2011
Location: Near St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 844
A walnut stock is more difficult to care for ONLY if you overly concerned about scratches and dings. If you have the attitude that scratches, dings, dents, and wear marks are just part of the natural aging process of a working rifle, then a wood stock is not more difficult to care for. You just touch up the marks with a little oil or wax. Hell, people use to use brown shoe polish and it worked ok.

On the other hand, if you are obsessed with keeping the rifle "like new", it can become a hinderance.

It is my opinion that 40 years from now, a 2012 walnut stocked rifle with lots of character marks (dings, dents, etc) will look a lot better, and be more desirable, than a 2012 polymer stocked rifle.
btmj is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 11:38 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 10,688
A dinged up walnut stock gives you something to work on in your old age. I'm not there yet - just want to make sure I have enough projects for when I do.
Skans is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 11:49 AM   #15
Junior member
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Posts: 9,996
I especially try to avoid wood stocks with any sort of checkering. It just gets smashed in the woods.
johnwilliamson062 is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 11:50 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: April 13, 2011
Location: San Berdoo
Posts: 265
polymer as it is lighter, last longer, absorbs recoil better than wood and more resistant to weather and chemicals
I disagree with this statement regarding recoil. My poly stock 30-06 kicks like a mule. My buddy's wood stock 30-06 is much more fun to shoot because it does not beat the hell outta my shoulder.

I generally like wood better for aesthetic reasons and recoil. The exception is 22 rifles (no real recoil). Love my super light Marlin 795. I think it comes in at less then 4 pounds and is accurate as all get-out inside 150 yards with high quality ammo. Heck, it's still generally a great shooter with the cheap stuff too
PoorRichRichard is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 12:14 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: February 11, 2011
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 373
I like the looks of wood but the stability of synthetic. I'll explain some time ago I was elk hunting my rifle was a 700 BDL 7mm wood stock. One day it was 40 degrees and rain the next was just above zero. My rifle changed POI
8" blame it on bad bedding or what ever. The next year I had a Brown stock on it and never had an issue again. So I'd say for looks wood but for usage synthetic.
homesick is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 12:31 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Location: Bellevue, NE
Posts: 920
I like wood. It scratches and gets dings, but if they come from regular use, then they just serve as a visual record of what that rifle has been through with its owner. Do you buy a work truck and expect it to stay pretty? Of course not. Why should a working rifle be different?
Some people are like Slinkies - not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.

A gun should be a tool in the hands of a deadly weapon, not a deadly weapon in the hands of a tool.
BigMikey76 is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 04:15 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
Before I got on the lease and now sit in a blind I used to walk alot and liked the synthetic stocks. But now since I sit and the weight is a lesser issue I'm going back to appreciating the look of wood. Nothing beats a nice rifle with a nice wood stock for looks.
warbirdlover is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 04:21 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: October 20, 2010
Location: Pawleys Island
Posts: 1,527
I prefer the asthetics of wood and the feel of it. However, we hunt a lot of bogs, swamps and dense brush and cutovers so my hunting rifles are all sythetic stocks these days.
Saltydog235 is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 04:31 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,262
Glocks are made from polymer. Never seen a polymer rifle stock. If you are refering to the cheap injection molded plastic stocks, then I prefer walnut. The cheap plastic stocks are more weather resistant and tougher than wood, but none of the plastic stocks are lighter than wood. They are the same weight and are often much heavier than the same rifle offered in walnut. There is a reason why Remington offers their Mt. Rifle in walnut and not the cheap plastic. They tried a couple of versions over the years, but all were heavier than the wood stocks. Same with the Savage Lightweight hunter. If you doubt me you should start weighing some guns and stocks on postal scales sometime.

The better stocks made from fiberglass or Kevlar are a different story. I much prefer them to walnut. I've had too many walnut stocks split, crack, warp and lose zero to ever trust one on a serious hunt. I have a few safe queens in walnut that occasionally get to hunt, but most of my rifles are stocked in McMillan's, Brown Precisions, or High-Tech specialties stocks. The good stocks are up to a pound lighter than either plastic or walnut, are much stronger, stiffer, durable and accurate than either. But they ain't cheap.
jmr40 is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 05:41 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 10,688
Glocks are made from injection-molded Nylon 6 - I think the stuff sells for about $3.50/lb. Synthetic stocks tend to be made from injection-molded glass-filled nylon. Both are plastic.
Skans is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 05:49 PM   #23
Join Date: September 7, 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 88
polymer (p l -m r) Any of various chemical compounds made of smaller, identical molecules (called monomers) linked together. Some polymers, like cellulose, occur naturally, while others, like nylon, are artificial. Polymers have extremely high molecular weights, make up many of the tissues of organisms, and have extremely varied and versatile uses in industry, such as in making plastics, concrete, glass, and rubber.

I like polymer for most of mine. Two reasons if I modify it and mess up replacements are cheap. It resists oil better than wood, sometimes i get heavy with the oil bottle.

Wood looks good especially laminated stocks, but deep woods off will rip into a wood finish like a hot knife through butter.
mongo356 is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 07:16 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: October 17, 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 118
Solid definition of polymer mongo! I guess since I'm posting I better answer the question, I prefer wood for both looks and feel. Synthetic seems much more utilitarian, and to me a bolt action rifle is a piece of art as well as a tool.
Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast
bpeezer is offline  
Old March 6, 2012, 07:26 PM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: March 15, 2010
Posts: 6,858
I prefer the look and feel of wood but those dings are really adding up, so I'm considering polymer stocks now.
rickyrick is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09435 seconds with 11 queries