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Let me rephrase and extend my previous question: Laminated wood stock vs synthetic stock for a long range, all weather rifle. An

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  • Let me rephrase and extend my previous question: Laminated wood stock vs synthetic stock for a long range, all weather rifle. An

    Let me rephrase and extend my previous question: Laminated wood stock vs synthetic stock for a long range, all weather rifle. And what are the pros and cons of each

  • #2
    It is said the wood stocks are affected by moisture, but the ones I have I have gotten soaked and they seem o.k.. My stocks are like Remington that have a heavy, sealing type finish. I do take the stock off to dry off the gun, but the water never seems to penetrate the finish. Oiled stocks and other types of finishes may be more affected by water.
    Synthetic are less affected by any environment change like moisture and heat.
    One thing that might affect the function and accuracy of the gun is not tightening the stock screws to the proper inch lbs of torque per the manufacturers specifications. That would be true of wood and synthetic stocks.

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    • #3
      I prefer synthetic, laminated wood stocks tend to be on the heavy side. Both will handle wet weather fine with a possible edge to synthetic. Laminated wood looks better in my opinion. The real advantage to sythetic in my opinion is that you can make the stock stiff without making it heavy. So you can have a rifle that will handle heavy recoil and you can carry it all day.

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      • #4
        Whatever cranks your tractor!

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        • #5
          M.A.T. ,
          You have been asking a lot of good questions on here regarding rifle makes, models, calibers, stocks and scopes. It appears you wish to learn, and make as few mistakes as possible. Good for you. You may be startled to learn there are a few of us on this site who are not expert shots. Indeed the "one ragged hole" is a dream and having every group under an inch just does not happen, yet we persevere, practice a lot and somehow consistently kill game without having to chase wounded animals all over creation. Sometimes if we have the extra cash , we even buy a rifle because it I has a beautiful stock as long as it shoots efficiently. It is nice to sit in the woods and have it as company, even if it is scratched and battered. I used to think I was handsome, now I am old and more than scratched and battered, but hope am still good company.

          Have seriously hunted big game for 65 of my 75 years and been shooting for 70 years. Have successfully hunted a wide variety, and huge quantity of big game around the world with all kinds of calibers and makes of firearms. High altitude, snow, rain, fog wind, open plains, brush, jungle, desert,, mountains. Have never had a rifle fail me , nor one time I could place blame on my equipment. My guides, and professional hunters have found me exceptionally lucky when it comes to taking game. I make these comments to help you relax, practice, gain experience, and above all, during your adventures have a good time. I have.

          Yet I still have trouble with "under an inch" and "one ragged hole".

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          • #6
            I love the look of laminate stocks which are rigid and weather resistant. Laminate stocks are for the most part heavier than wood or synthetic stocks. If I was after a true all weather long range gun I would probably go with synthetic because it is truly weather resistant and light enough to carry all day.

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            • #7
              My long range all weather stock is made of American Walnut. It has over 40,000 rounds on that particular stock and it has NEVER presented a problem of any kind. It shoots near world record levels of accuracy at 1000 yards and is carved to fit my hand and cheek weld.

              It has operated from -25 to 110 degrees in rain, sleet, snow, mud, etc. I shoot the 95% humidity of Georgia, the wind blown prairies of South Dakota, dry California desserts or high mountains with temps changing from below zero to fifty degrees through snow, rain and sunshine each day. I don't baby it.

              My barrel is free floated. If that stock ever warped, I'd just sand the barrel channel out a bit but that doesn't happen. It is epoxy and pillar bedded just like any accurate all weather stock should be, regardless of its composition.

              The difference in stocks is that wood (including laminate) stocks are heavier and more expensive to produce. It depends on your perspective, but some feel that they are also much more attractive.

              Synthetic stocks are lighter and commonly used to keep weight down, especially for competitive shooters who need to make a weight class. Some synthetic stocks are also more rugged and don't split quite so easily as wood with heavy recoil. They also have no pretty lacquer to mar. Note that I saw several 40-50 year old wood stocks in the mountains last week that still looked mighty nice, even though their finish was worn completely off. Most had been soaked in Linseed Oil.

              Manufacturers like synthetic stocks because they cost much less to produce. In terms of accuracy, a well bedded pine 2x4 from Home Depot can be as accurate as a $1500 laminate stock as long as you carve it to fit you comfortably. In terms of warping, kiln dried wood does very little warping over the years. If it ever did, it would be easy to fix. Laminated wood provides some unique aesthetics and is much more resistant to splitting under heavy recoil.

              As WAM noted, it pretty much amounts to what you like and what you can afford. Regardless of what you choose, you will have to glass/pillar bed it to make sure that your receiver does not alter barrel harmonics from shot-to-shot. You will have to skim bed most synthetic stocks that have integral aluminum chassis to provide optimum bedding for your specific barreled action.

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              • #8
                If you get a good multi-fiber composite stock that has a bedding block or bedding pillars from folks like H-S Precision, McMillan, or Bell & Carlson, your stock issues are solved once and for all. Most of the tupperware injection molded plastic stocks aren't fit to bring home from the store. There are exceptions.

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                • #9
                  WAM, I experiment a lot with various stock materials and have found good accuracy and durability with all the stocks you mentioned from wood to injection molded. I have had to skim bed the aluminum bedding blocks for accuracy just like everything else. Even my Rem Sendero with the H-S Precision stock dropped to half the group size with skim bedding. I have also had to skim bed the aluminum block in one rifle to create a stress free bedding to improve the bolt throw and magazine loading operation of one mighty expensive rifle. The most accurate stocks to date for me are several well bedded walnut stocks that shot in the .1s and to my surprise a cheap Tupperware stock that came on a Howa 1500. As a test of my theories, I glass/pillar bedded it and floated the barrel, It shot some .1s too. Stock bedding is everything in a stock. Composition doesn't count for much in terms of accuracy.

                  Stocks are for looks and for grip as long as they are well bedded and don't mess up the harmonics of the barrel. The well chambered air gauged barrel is at least 90% of the accuracy.

                  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so to each his own in terms of composition. For those who like black Tupperware with injection molding lines, I can tell you that you can make it work for competitive F-Class if you need to.

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                  • #10
                    As others have said, laminate = heavy. And for the kind of hunting I do, heavy definitely is not an asset! For those who prefer to shoot from the bench, weight is more of an advantage than a detriment. Laminate would work well there. I hunt very, very hard and I appreciate light weight although I don't appreciate the recoil. For me the maintenance factor tips the scales to synthetic. Just can't be bothered with worrying about scratches and dings when I'm hunting. Some guns are objects of art. Mine are tools. I don't play with them. I work with them. And I work hard! I prefer something that will stand up to that kind of use.

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