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Old October 13, 2000, 05:12 PM   #1
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I am going to buy the Model 70 in 30-06 for deer hunting. Does anyone have any comments on the Classic Stainless vs. the LT with blued finish and wood stock. I know that the stainless will be less likely to rust. However, how much of a real concern is this? Are there any downsides to stainless?

The wood looks better to me than synthetic. Is it really less accurate due to swelling ect.?

I am interested in the real world differences.

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Old October 13, 2000, 06:36 PM   #2
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If you keep your rifle properly oiled it will not rust. If the wood stock looks better to you then by all means get it. You can always float the barrel if you're worried about accuracy. IMO having a non-floated barrel on a hunting rifle is not that big of an issue. I'm sure some will disagree.

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Old October 13, 2000, 08:10 PM   #3
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I only have a little over a year's worth of experience with stainless and synthetics while I have several decades worth with wood and blue. So, I can't give you a great deal of real world advice to help with your decision. I can tell you why the last two rifles I purchased were stainless/synthetic, however.

I am probably more conscientious than most when it comes to maintaining firearms, so you won't likely find rust or damaged wood on any of my rifles. However, I have found that it takes a lot of time and energy to keep them in top shape. This is the main reason that I have started buying stainless and synthetics -- less upkeep.

With stainless (which, like any steel, is susceptible to corrosion) I don't have to worry about the finish (bluing) wearing away or showing scratches. I just keep it clean and oiled -- it just keeps looking like it did when new.

With synthetics stocks, I don't worry about soaking rains warping them, or about oil seeping into their grain to make them spongy. They just keep taking whatever comes along without cracking or warping or whatever. They aren't as aesthetically pleasing as many of the wood stocks out there, but they are functional and dependable. I'm really liking them, so far.

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Old October 15, 2000, 11:43 AM   #4
Ron Ankeny
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A lot of it depends on where you live. I live in Wyoming where there is low humidity. I have never had many problems with wood and steel and my favorite big game rifle is pretty traditional and shoots sub-moa.

The last rifle I bought was a Remingtom Varmint Synthetics and I like the idea of a composite stock and dull finish.

I guess I just like them both. The synthetics for durability, and the wooden ones to satisfy my lust for wood and steel.

[This message has been edited by Ron Ankeny (edited October 15, 2000).]
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Old October 15, 2000, 01:36 PM   #5
Keith Rogan
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I live in Kodiak Alaska where we get something like 70" of rain a year. There are no roads to speak of, so we usually travel in skiff's where guns are subjected to salt spray as well.
I've never had any of my blued guns rust or had a wooden stock swell up and "throw off my zero" as they warn you about.
It's just not an issue to me. Give your guns some minimal care and they won't rust.


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Old October 15, 2000, 07:25 PM   #6
Join Date: March 22, 2000
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Good points! I have never had a rifle thrown off zero either. I live in Texas where we feel fortunate to get 25 - 30 inches of rain a year, but it can be pretty darn wet during the fall and early winter. I had a stock warp badly on a Remington Mod.1100 after it (and I!) were caught in a series of unexpected thunderstorms one September. It seems that there was an inadequate seal between the butt plate and the wooden stock, so when moisture got under the polyurethane coating, it had no way to get out. I don't think this would be a problem with a synthetic.
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Old October 15, 2000, 08:03 PM   #7
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I have two rifles I use for deer, a .243 Winchester 70 and Remington 700 BDL .270

The Winchester has a wood stock. The Rem has a synthetic stock and SS barrel.

Here in PA, the weather can be miserable at times. After years of constant use in the woods, mountains and brush, the stock on the model 70 shows a lot of wear. It's definitely not very pretty anymore but still shoots sub moa.

That was the main reason I bought a rifle with synthetic stock. I can take it anywhere and not worry as much about the finish.

It really depends on your location, upkeep, and personal preference.

Either way, you can't go wrong with a new rifle
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Old October 19, 2000, 07:44 AM   #8
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Might as well throw in my 2 cents worth... I have had the same problem jbgood described, with a Remington 870, after a 3 day hunt in constant rain. Took a while to strip, sand and refinish the stock afterwords. Also, here in northern Idaho where I elk hunt, falls are a given on some of these steep mountain slopes. Synthetic is far better at fending off damage than walnut. Much as I like the looks of a nice walnut stock, I'm currently looking for a synthetic for my M700.


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I swear-by my life and my love of it-that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine-Ayn Rand
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Old October 19, 2000, 06:55 PM   #9
Art Eatman
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I certainly wouldn't argue *against* stain/syn. However, I've never had weather affect the wood of any stock I've owned during the last 50+ years.

Howesomever, if it keeps on raining down here in my desert (!), I may sell out of wood! Sheesh! Amazing! If it ain't raining, it's threatening to!

Later, Art
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Old October 20, 2000, 01:06 PM   #10
Keith Rogan
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You know, after reading about all this stock warpage I have to wonder what's going on here?
Wood does require some minimal care.
The only place that moisture can penetrate a properly finished wood stock is the unfinished wood in the barrel channel and around the action. What we do here, is to put a thick layer of stuff called "Sno-Seal" between the action and the wood before the season starts. This stuff is just beeswax in an oil. The oil soon finds its way out and leaves this hard wax coating that effectively seals out all moisture. I've spent as much as 14 days at a stretch in the field with rain, snow and salt spray and had no rust or "stock warpage".
I wipe the exterior of my guns down with an oily rag each evening. I run a patch through the bore. I don't bring my guns in out of the cold rain and stand them next to a wood stove or anything like that.

I've never had a problem and I guarantee you that conditions here are as nasty as you'll find anywhere.

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[This message has been edited by Keith Rogan (edited October 20, 2000).]
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Old October 20, 2000, 03:09 PM   #11
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Keith: Does the Snow-Seal buff out pretty good once it hardens? I've got some of the stuff, but have only used it on boots for waterproofing. I just use neutral shoe polish for a light wax coat on wooden stocks. I'm sure Turtle Wax works, too.
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