Stocks: lumber vs. plastic


December 16, 2009, 10:35 PM
I know, all of my threads are questions. I am a taker only on thr. But that's the reason why I am here to begin with. I want to learn.

I know when it comes to competition shooting that the true free floated barrell is a must, but I also want the same in the deer rifle I will buy which will probably be cz550 in 30-06.

I go back and forth between wood and synthetic. I prefer wood, but if the advantages of a synthetic outweigh wood I would like to hear from you. I have the feeling that most of the advice I hear will come down to "go with your preference."

Q: Will I have to worry about the stock affecting accuracy w/ the cz? What is their reputation - I'm pretty sure they are free-floated, right?
Q: I have heard that synthetics are also affected by weather even if ever so slightly. Is that true?

I guess the accuracy question can be answered if the barrell is a true free-float.

I want this to deer hunt with but also to be fun to shoot.

If you enjoyed reading about "Stocks: lumber vs. plastic" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 16, 2009, 11:41 PM
Free floating isn't the only way to get accuracy. It's just a cheap way. Many hunting rifles are not free-floated, and they are quite accurate.

I prefer wood, but if the advantages of a synthetic outweigh wood...

Yeah, that's where most of us are, if we have any aesthetic attachment to our rifles. Don't expect an answer. There isn't one.:)

December 16, 2009, 11:53 PM
Free floating isn't just the cheap, easy way. It is also the most durable way. Bedding eventually wears out, and if you do have to pull the action from the stock, your zero will probably shift, etc etc etc. Free-floating is almost always better (some rifles just plain like a little pressure on the barrel in the right spot, so you cannot say "always"), but it is rarely aesthetically pleasing.

I recently asked why free-floating and chassis systems hadn't fully routed the traditional method of bedded actions, and was told (IMO, correctly), that two things kept the old system going:

1. Gun owners are a conservative bunch, and newfangled things just won't do for some people


2. The difference in performance for most people doesn't make the extra cost, weight and complexity worth it. As in, it's better, but the difference is small enough that it is negligible for most shooters.

Makes sense to me.


December 16, 2009, 11:58 PM
It is also the most durable way.

Not if it's a walnut stock and you take it out in a good rain or snow storm, where all that wet stuff gets under the barrel. It's not as easy to take down as a shotgun when you get home from the hunt.

That's one thing that does influence one's choice: local climate.

I just bought a rifle. It's free-floated in a B&C stock that has an aluminum chassis. It's also all stainless. Last time I took the walnut equivalent out, I was snowed on...

December 17, 2009, 12:23 AM
Wood will swell and shrink with humidity and heat. Resin bedding helps with this to keep the stock tight against the action. Using a resin impregnated laminate wood stock is about as good as you can get for wooden stocks. Weather is a very small factor in that case. Free float the barrel, bed the action (I don't care how, pillar, resin, or Al) and be done with it. If you like wood, look for a good laminate stock. Normal walnut, birch etc. can be used but make sure you take the time to treat them for the weather. Polycarbonate stocks don't generally care much about the weather and take abuse pretty well. My hunting rifles have poly's on them right now, except for the shotgun and the old bolt action that they don't make a poly stock for. My target rifles have wood stocks.

Coronach - Are the new Anchtuz rifles using synthetic stocks with AL bedding yet? They are designed from the ground up as target rifles and they are still using wood stocks, but I don't know how they are bedded.

Uncle Mike
December 17, 2009, 12:26 AM
Just like waxing your truck...get the wax out and it rains.

I'll carry my stainless synthetic for a week, nice sunny days...take the old 8mm with the terribly temperamental stock out, yep, it will cloud up and rain...every time! lol hehehe

December 17, 2009, 12:37 AM
I believe the company is Savage. They have produced a synthetic stock and bedding system that assures consistent and repeatable mounting of the action into the stock, time after time. Worth a look.

My personal preference is for a working rifle. Although I appreciate the beauty of the fine wood stock, I really appreciate my all stainless rifle with synthetic stock. Rain or snow, it doesn't care and I don't have to be constantly treating it like a baby.


December 17, 2009, 01:02 AM
go laminate...:D

December 17, 2009, 10:42 AM
Laminate make excellent stocks. Very weather proof.

I have shooting buds who have extremely figured walnut stocks on their target rifles. I donít know how they keep that furniture so pristine. My wood target rifle stocks get chipped, dinged, dented, gouged.

So when it comes to hunting rifles, I expect the same. I have no problem with inexpensive birch stocks.

Though the modern plastic stocks are grippy when wet.

For a target rifle I would recommend laminate or fiberglass for the stiffness. For a hunting rifle, something I could dent without crying.
For a show rifle, highly figured walnut.

December 17, 2009, 10:45 AM
If you are going to hunt at all, in weather that may be hot, then cold, then dry, then humid, then go synthetic, you won't regret it. It will not bend, chip or warp, even in the nastiest of weather, but wood, if not taken care of, can bend INCHES!!!!

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 17, 2009, 10:45 AM
Plastic blows. Wood is beautiful. This is what's known in colloquial terms as a no-brainer. :)

Accuracy, schmaccuracy - shoot a wood CZ, Sako, Weatherby, Browning, etc., and tell me how bad the accuracy is.

December 17, 2009, 10:46 AM
CZ is awesome , by the way. not too worried about their stocks either, they make a great stock, use good wood, and it very well treated, before it leaves the factory. You would still need to take care of it though, unless you get a laminate stock or synth.

Uncle Mike
December 17, 2009, 11:01 AM
Wonder how are fore fathers ever managed to place a bullet on target with their wood, oil finished, non-sealed stocks.

December 17, 2009, 11:04 AM

They weren't free-floated, either.

Uncle Mike
December 17, 2009, 11:17 AM
Guess that was when men were men....It's raining today, about 34 degrees, hmm.....I need to hold 3" left of turkey....emmmm, tasty!

These prolific ancients shot all day long also, when they weren't fighting Indians! lol

December 17, 2009, 03:22 PM
Excellent commentary! I greatly appreciate it as always. I enjoy hearing the different opinions and explanations, and I value what is said here.

December 17, 2009, 03:34 PM
I think they both have their place. How's that for riding the fence? But I think it's true.

December 17, 2009, 06:13 PM
Guess that was when men were men....It's raining today, about 34 degrees, hmm.....I need to hold 3" left of turkey....emmmm, tasty!

These prolific ancients shot all day long also, when they weren't fighting Indians! lol

Not to mention the fact that guns at that time had a horribly long lock-time, so you had to have good follow-through or you'd shoot yourself in the foot.

Uncle Mike
December 17, 2009, 06:41 PM
Jon Snow, hehehehehe!

December 17, 2009, 08:45 PM
Buy your first rifle as a stainless/synthetic in 30-06. That way, you have a foul weather rifle suitable for all big game. Then later, buy your next few rifles in alternate chamberings in nice pretty walnut and hunt with them on nice days. That's my plan now, anyway! :D

You were'nt thinking you'd be buying only one rifle were you??? :evil:

December 17, 2009, 09:57 PM
ArmedBear hit the nail on the head in post #2.
Grassman summarized well in #17.
EXCELLENT advice from bpl in #20.

No, I don't have enough armor.
Used to have a model 70 feather weight 30-06, should be shot for getting rid of it.
Currently have Springfield XD40
Old Winchester Ranger 12 ga. pump that I left in the creek once, long story. Shoots great!
A borrowed WWII 30-06 on a standard wood stock with an OLD B&L scope. Killed a nice whitetail with it a few years ago - it shoots great.

If you enjoyed reading about "Stocks: lumber vs. plastic" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!