walnut or laminate


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greyling22
November 5, 2008, 09:54 AM
I'm going to custom stock my new bolt gun. it's a lefty mini-mauser in deep gloss blue. do I go with semi-fancy walnut or a laminate? (laminate would be either grey/black or a brown) It will be a working rifle, but not a beater. And not a safe queen bench rest gun.

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hossdaniels
November 5, 2008, 10:14 AM
Walnut is awesome, laminate is just better looking than plastic. Laminate may be a little more consistent shooting, but you probably will never know the difference. So if its not a target rifle, walnut!

earlthegoat2
November 5, 2008, 10:21 AM
i prefer walnut, but my second choice is laminate, as long as it is a decent looking laminate, or at least cleverly done

thirdeagle
November 5, 2008, 10:47 AM
For nasty rainy days the laminate would fit the bill. However, I'm a sucker for a nice walnut stock but only after about a dozen rounds of sanding/sealing and then a final round of stain. It's a lot of work but well worth the effort regardless of how you plan on using the aforementioned firearm.

Smokey Joe
November 5, 2008, 10:56 AM
Greyling 22--Go to Boyd's website: www.boydsgunstocks.com and look @ their laminate and their walnut stocks. I, too, like their beautiful walnut stocks, but their laminate stocks are really nice-looking as well.

Are you going to do the work yourself/ If so, and you go Boyd's, get the "unfinished" stock--means not varnished; all the inletting is done. Then you can glass-bed it yourself, make any small modifications that occur to you, and use the finish of your choice.

I went that route in making a Yugo Mauser pseudo-Scout, and it turned out nicer looking than I had any right to expect. The glass bedding was scary, but I did an SKS for practice beforehand, in a cheap Ram-line plastic stock, so felt pretty confident, and, whaddya know, it worked! :)

Anyhow, consider getting a stock from Boyd's. They will send you a catalogue for the asking. They must get a lot of first-timers; their 'phone sales people are very patient and helpful. Contact info: Snail-mail: Boyd's Gunstock Industries, Inc, 25376 403rd Ave, Mitchell, SD, 57301. 'Phone: 605-996-9878. Yes, it's on your nickel, but you're the one with the question. My 'phone costs to 'em I considered very well spent.

Anyhow, good luck on yr project, and of course, we'll need an interim report, and a final report, with pix please!!

greyling22
November 5, 2008, 11:09 AM
I agree, walnut sure is nice. I have a neat walnut 257 AI custom job. I'm just entertaining the option of something different, and I don't have any laminate. and I hear laminate may hold up better.

As for walnut, my options are california claro, or black walnut. opinions?

I'm ordering from richards microfit, not boyds. and yes, I hear Richards is more hit and miss, but they are the ONLY people I can find that will make a mini-mauser left hand stock for less than $300. And I've got time for a project and lots of sandpaper.

homers
November 5, 2008, 11:24 AM
Besides looks, is there any functional difference between wood and laminate?

viking499
November 5, 2008, 11:26 AM
Walnut then laminate.

ArmedBear
November 5, 2008, 11:34 AM
is there any functional difference between wood and laminate?

Yes, essentially like a wood sheet vs. a plywood sheet.

Plain wood warps when it gets wet, soaks moisture, breaks more easily, etc.

Obviously, walnut is a stable hardwood, so it doesn't warp like a pine board, but it still does. It dings more easily than laminate, also.

Laminate is typically heavier, which can be a downside in a working gun, depending on what application it has. It is harder to checker laminate, AFAIK.

I'm a sucker for nice walnut, but I've begun to distinguish between working guns and "nice guns", now that I live in a place where tossing a gun in the back seat of the Jeep is something that may happen more often.

sbarkowski
November 5, 2008, 11:39 AM
I hear that with temperature and humidity changes a walnut stock can warp enough to make contact and cause uneven pressure on the barrel making POI inconsistent. If its going to be a work rifle im sure it will eventually come in contact with less than adequate weather conditions. If I understand it correctly laminate stocks have the grain of each layer running in different directions so warping is not an problem, they remain strong and stable in all conditons. I presonally do prefer laminate for that reason plus I like the look of the alternating color pattern which there are endless options for. I have heard of a few factory laminate stocks mainly the ones on the Tikka T3 Stainless have had issues with them splitting between the layers (mainly at where the swivle studs attach), although I dont believe this to be a common problem. One thing I did do to both my stocks was seal the wood in the inleting area, barrel channel and especially where the recoil pad attaches. It would probablly be fine if I didnt but I invested far too much into them to find out the hard way. Some sort of fibre reinforced synthetic stock would most likely do very nicely for a work gun but you seem partial to a nice wood stock, as am I.

SwampWolf
November 5, 2008, 02:35 PM
On a rifle, my first priorities are accuracy and reliability. But looks count for me too, which is why I almost always opt for nice walnut. I will never like the looks of laminate stocks but will concede that a laminate stock affords stability and stability in terms of not shrinking or otherwise changing the configuration of the bedding in a stock promotes consistent accuracy over time.

But, like I said, looks count for me...:)

greyling22
November 5, 2008, 03:33 PM
well that was just not definitive at all. sigh. This would be easier if I could flip through the blanks and see them, but over the phone.....

SwampWolf
November 5, 2008, 03:56 PM
well that was just not definitive at all. sigh. This would be easier if I could flip through the blanks and see them, but over the phone.....

I understand your frustration but the problem with your question is that there isn't any right answer, except this: if the aesthetics of a firearm mean little to you and long-term durability and performance means everything to you, the choice is simple-go laminated.

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