synthetic vs. wood stock for a .22lr


Ian's Dad
December 28, 2009, 12:53 PM
looking to get a .22 for plinking and target shooting ...

i'm down to a few models but the one thing i can't decide on is the stock..

both the guns i'm looking at come in synthetic and wood ...

what are the pros and cons to each... BESIDES aesthetics..

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December 28, 2009, 12:58 PM
As much as I like wood aside from asthetics all the pros belong to the synthetic side. There simply isn't anything a wood stock does better

December 28, 2009, 01:06 PM
If it is a nice piece of walnut then wood, at least on a 22. If choosing between the cheap birch hardwood I would rather have the plastic.

Bart B.
December 28, 2009, 01:12 PM
If one watches folks shooting smallbore rifle matches then notices what type of stocks the winners use, there's an equal number of both out on the firing line in their hands. Olympic team members have stocks made out of woood, synthetics and all metal pipes and rails. Each rifle's equally accurate; its the shooter that decides the scores.

Properly bedded, a barreled action will perform equally as accurate in either one of those three materials. Even Anschutz has produced record setting rimfire rifles with cheap, birch hardwood stocks as well as high dollar walnut and machined steel and aluminum ones. Others use synthetic stocks. People have their own preferences based on all sorts of beliefs, but the facts are such that it really doesn't matter for rimfire rifles.

December 28, 2009, 01:22 PM
But how many match shooters get their rifles really good and soaking wet in the field? If some do dollars to doughnuts they're the folks not using wood. There are a few things wood does as well as polymer but there are a lot of things polymer does much better than wood

Observing what goes on in competition is really only good for one thing finding out what goes on in THAT competition. There's an entire world of shooting that isn't preceded by the words "SHOOTER MAKE READY"

If the choice is a nice piece of wood vs plastic, then I'll choose wood.

If the choice is an ugly piece of pallet vs plastic make mine tupperware

Ian's Dad
December 28, 2009, 02:13 PM
this is exactly the type of feedback i was looking for... i was leaning synthetic but was afraid i was giving something up...

thanks as always.

December 28, 2009, 03:43 PM
You could get the best of both worlds and get a laminated stock. They have the aesthetic appeal of wood stocks with the resiliency of synthetics. Some laminated stocks can be a little heavier, but that's about the only drawback I know of.

December 28, 2009, 06:16 PM
There simply isn't anything a wood stock does better

That's not necessarily true. Some cheap plastic stocks bend when you touch them. Accuracy will degrade with those.

It also depends on what wood. Marlin puts laminated wood on all their Model 60s, for example, even if they're not stripe-stained. That includes the cheapest model. That wood is likely going to be more stable, and the rifle more accurate, than the cheapest plastic stock.

There's a HUGE difference between a Macmillan or B&C composite stock and a molded plastic POS, just like not all wood stocks are created equal.:)

December 28, 2009, 06:53 PM
..........mine. I have a stainless 10/22 with a Butler Creek folder. Now keep in mind that this goes camping and on raft trips. My choice is obvious because of possible wet and crappy conditions. Stainless, synthetic and compact.

But I also have a blued Marlin in .22 Mag with a very pretty laminated stock. But it isn't subjected to the above conditions. It might get wet, but it's taken care of as soon as it gets home.

Actually, I think laminated stocks are the best of both worlds. Wet weather doesn't phase them, and they're attractive. I just never found a laminated folder for my camp .22. Hhmmm, maybe I need to invest in some shop equipment.:cool:

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 28, 2009, 07:02 PM
Besides aesthetics, then plastic probably wins. At least until you leave it on the hot stove or similar.

Problem is, ain't no such thing as "besides aesthetics". Life is waaay too short to shoot ugly plastic guns. All my rimfires have wood stocks, as do the vast majority of my centerfires.

December 28, 2009, 07:13 PM
Because I view firearms as a tool, I go with "synthetic" most of the time. It has high utility and low maintenance. Regardless of what you purchase, if in the course of shooting, the firearm gets wet, you need to remove the barreled action and dry things out. Then reapply a good protectant: Rig grease here.

Most of my .22LRs are synthetic. The exceptions are my TC G2 Contender, my TC R55 Classic, my Marlin 39A, my Golden Boy, and my Kimber G82. These 5 firearms are every bit as accurate and consistent as the synthetics that I own.

That leaves you with two considerations: 1) what strikes your fancy is what you should buy. 2) If the feel isn't comfortable, don't buy it.

Let us know what you get.


Ian's Dad
December 28, 2009, 09:14 PM
"Life is waaay too short to shoot ugly plastic guns"

that cracked me up...

thanks again to everyone...

Uncle Mike
December 28, 2009, 09:24 PM
Good, quality synthetic stocks are ok in my book, but there is nothing like the beauty of a fine piece of walnut.
Wood stocks won't turn into a pretzel at the first sign of moisture if they are sealed correctly.

I hate the looks of 'plywood'(laminated)stocks....just me!
You can always have your stocks 'hydro-dipped' in pretty much any pattern you like!

December 28, 2009, 10:15 PM
You mention plinking and target practice. If this is going to be a range rifle only, then it doesn't matter. A quality walnut stock isn't going to swell or distort much in most weather conditions (warm/cold/humidity).

However, if you plan on taking it into the woods or keeping it in the trunk, then a synthetic wins out.

December 29, 2009, 12:09 AM
for a 22 that I know I will take into the field, and not just on the bench, it is synthetic all the way...

1/509 ABCT 12B
December 29, 2009, 12:46 AM
My USST 10/22 .22 LR has a beautiful Red/White/Blue thumb hole laminated stock and is a tack driver. My Henry .22 WMR lever action has good wood, my M1 Carbine lives in a synthetic folding stock as does my 870 12 Ga., but my .40 hand built flintlock is in a stock of the best top end of presentation grade curly maple I could find.

Clear day and all get shot, bad weather and the synthetics are in the field. The only exception is my '03 .30-06 it is in a beautifully carved walnut stock and goes deer hunting regardless of the weather (dried, cleaned and oiled afterwards).

What do you plan to do with yours should be the decider for what to get. Remember that cheap junk is always cheap junk, but lack of care after bad weather can turn fine expensive gear into Cheap Junk.

Ian's Dad
December 29, 2009, 07:19 AM
thanks a lot... i really appreciate all the insight.

Sav .250
December 29, 2009, 07:31 AM
Weather issues aside, in a 22 I`ll take.....wood.

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