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Old May 10, 2013, 03:02 PM   #51
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I recall an article in Shooting Times some years ago where the author noted some polymer stocks at the time lacked rigidity and were "rubbery" as he put it.
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Old May 11, 2013, 07:37 AM   #52
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I enjoy both. I prefer wood and blue steel, but use the synthetic on days when rain seems more likely. Not that I'm too particular about getting the wood wet, but the synthetic shoots equally well and the action has the weather shield coating which makes me feel better about taking it out in the rain.

of course my wife considers that just an excuse to buy another rifle. That's okay, I have plenty more excuses
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Old May 11, 2013, 09:13 AM   #53
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WOOD! Synthetic stocks are fugly and feel nasty.
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Old May 11, 2013, 11:37 AM   #54
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Perhaps this is unusual for persons my age (OLD), but I am a modernist rather than a traditionalist. I prefer synthetic furniture, and phospate coating over blueing.
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Old May 11, 2013, 04:08 PM   #55
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What about laminates?

I guess it is really just wood, but I haven't heard anyone say they preferred a laminated stock. I guess this "in-the-middle" product is just a dead duck!



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Old May 14, 2013, 09:39 PM   #56
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Best of both worlds

I mentioned "laminates" in post # 39. I haven't hunted in the rain with either of
these yet, but have confidence in both of them. The black laminate is my son's
Spanish mauser, mine is a German mauser, both will print 2"-3" groups @ 100 yds, when we do our part.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:52 PM   #57
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Wood or polymer stock?

I like wood with laminates coming in a close second. I use the poly furniture on rifles that take a beating in the woods though. I would rather beat up an already ugly poly stock than a nice wood one.
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Old May 14, 2013, 11:08 PM   #58
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I have both polymer and wood stocks in my rifles, but in general I prefer wood stocks for the look and feel of the wood.
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Old May 14, 2013, 11:27 PM   #59
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And now we're talkin' 'bout plywood stocks! Well I've got one of 'em, I'm ashamed to admit. Maybe not quite as blasphemous as plastic but I still ought to trade it out for Walnut.
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Old May 16, 2013, 10:18 AM   #60
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Very accurate rifles have been made with all sorts of stock material. Some were stiffer than others. The only ones I've heard of that caused problems were the early synthetic ones used on match conditioned M1, M14 and M1A rifles.

It's normal that a match rifle will lay horizontally on a shooting stool top between fired matches. The sun light/heat beating down on them warms up their sunny side much moreso than their shady side. That expanded the synthetic more on hot side of the stoc, Which bent the stock enough that zero's would change; the stock's fore end ferrule pushed the barrel's lower band with more force actually bending it a tiny bit out of a normal position. Wood stocks of maple, walnut, even birch, solid and laminated never had this issue.

This never happened with bolt guns whose barrels were totally free floated and only their receiver was epoxy bedded in the stock. Any stock bending from temperature differences from side to side were not enough to bend the receiver any amount to noticably cause a zero shift.

As long as any synthetic stock's rigid enough or has enough clearance between barrel and fore end so when the fore end bends when holding it to shoot, or from temperature differences across it, the barrel does not touch the stock.
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Old May 16, 2013, 04:57 PM   #61
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My favorite two hunting rifles have polymer stocks. My Sporter Swede has a butler Creek, and my 10/22 has a Choate pistol gripped stock.

I really like to keep my hunting rifles as light as possible
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Old May 18, 2013, 01:05 PM   #62
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I usually prefer polymer for price and function.
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Old May 19, 2013, 11:49 PM   #63
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I have found that wood looks nicer and is far less functional.

Living way up in Northern Canada, my W70FW stock dried right out because of the dry climate here. I oiled it but it didn't help enough. Now the sling swivel which anchors into a steel anchor which is glued to the stock is no longer straight for use with a bipod or sling. The wood shrunk when it dried out. What a pain in the ass. It's totally not necessary.

The 'glass bedding' in the rifle is so tight it takes a hammer to separate the stock from the action and it's necessary because the wood is so vulnerable to its environment.

I have some inherited heirloom rifles where the wood is cracked at the wrist or needed repairs in its lifetime. It's just too fragile.

It's the last new wood rifle I will own. They're just too problematic just so it can look a bit better. What's next? Hunting in the wood with a luis vuiton bag so you look better?

A rifle is a tool. Functionality over form. A synthetic stock has it ALL OVER wood in every conceivable way except looks. Looks is not a function.
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Old May 20, 2013, 08:09 PM   #64
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Laminated stock. It has the stability of plastic with the feel of wood,
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Old May 21, 2013, 08:11 PM   #65
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I call wood stocks firewood. A really good laid up kevlar is what I like and my neighbor makes them. I've got both wood and synthetic but since I paint them ugly they all look a like. I've got nice wood floors but they don't go out in the rain for days at a time.
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Old May 27, 2013, 11:18 PM   #66
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sleeping with the harlot

I carried a M88 Winchester as my first and only "deer" rifle for nearly 20 years. An absolutely elegant piece of pre 64 blued steel and walnut. The rifle seemed an extension of my person. As a kid, I lived and hunted in a state where I only got a half dozen or so hunts in a season. But as I moved about I found more generous seasons and bag limits and I got to hunt a whole lot more. As the old Winchester was an heirloom, and I came into better pay and circumstances, I semi-retired the M88 and bought a Rem700 ADL synthetic.

It certainly was rough and ready. . I could tumble on and off ATV's, in and out of the truck, shooting houses, haul it up trees, and not worry to much about it. I liked that aspect.

But the Rem had no soul. It was cheap appearing, and made a funny hollow sound when handled and brushed. And it was cold in the hands, colder than wood I felt certain. And no looks to speak of. Just that grainy metal and that cold, hollow stock. No history either. This thing was just a convenience, it possessed no character, no connection to my past, my kin. I kill a deer with and feel no connection with anything, it was just a bullet launcher.

I'd slept with a harlot.
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Old May 28, 2013, 06:05 PM   #67
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The absolute KEY to having no moisture change induced issues with a wood stock is SEALING the pores of the wood. Many people simply assume that an off the shelf wood stock that comes on a rifle is properly sealed against weather. Usually, it ain't so. The INSIDE of the stock is the area most often neglected.

Anyway, with a PROPERLY sealed wood stock, there is never an issue with the wood drying out, cracking or swelling (due to moisture changes)....because the moisture content won't change. Some mistakenly believe that temperature is the actual factor at work - that a stock will swell on a hot day....and shrink on a cold one. ALL materials do change dimensionally with temp. change, but an amount so small as to not matter for this purpose. Change in MOISTURE CONTENT is the relevant factor. Prevent that from happening....and a wood stock will be just as stable as any other. Some also mistakenly believe that, once a piece of wood is kiln dried to a certain moisture content, that percentage won't change. That is absolute nonsense.
Again, IF the wood is not properly sealed, then the moisture content can and will change. Seal it properly....and the wood will be as stable as plastic.

A wood stock that has not been properly sealed....and allowed to dry out excessively, can be brought back via application of moisture, then re-drying to the optimum moisture content - if done slowly and carefully. However, ONLY if the "drying out" was not so excessive as to cause significant damage from shrinkage. If cracks have appeared, due to excessive drying - then things have gone too far. Such a stock is probably best used for firewood, at that point.

No question, wood stocks require more care than plastic ones. For me, though, it is worth it. For others, maybe not.
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Old June 8, 2013, 02:15 AM   #68
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All my rifles are wood stocked guns, just personal preference I guess. On the other hand if we're talking really harsh conditions like laying in mud and snow goose hunting I'm taking my synthetic Benelli over my wood Beretta ALL day. I know shotguns are a different story, Someone had to throw it out there.
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Old June 9, 2013, 02:11 PM   #69
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I love wood stocks, but for hunting I prefer synthetic. I'd rather drag a piece of plastic through the woods and scratch them up than a nice wood one.
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Old June 11, 2013, 09:51 PM   #70
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Ah the lure of the wild, it seems from all the replies that one has to be a romantic and love wood, or a pragmatist and embrace plastic. Well that presents a problem. My favorite rifle is my Savage Model 10 in 243 wearing a walnut stock, not french walnut for sure, but walnut never the less. And my favorite hunting rifle is a Savage Model 100 in 270 Winchester wearing a synthetic featureless dark gray stock.

So that is my problem, I like both and see them useful for their own purpose and looks. So what does that make me, a romantic or pragmatist?

Well, I guess a romantic because my fall back rifle is this.

Romio oh Romio where forth art thou Romio. Ah, hell the deer won't know the difference.
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