What happened to hunting rifle stocks?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by YankeeFlyr, Sep 23, 2016.

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  1. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  2. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    We are somewhat in the golden age of rifles now. You want walnut? Pick up a beautiful Kimber Super America, or Cooper. There are others, Ruger, Nosler, Sako.
    You want synthetic? Take your pick from 299 dollar rifles up to custom McMillan or others.

    Just get what makes you happy!
     
  3. JackSprat

    JackSprat Member

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    I have grown to accept synthetic stocks,but it took a while,mainly because of vanity.I know synthetic is really supiorior for practibility,but I used to keep my guns in the gun cabinets,and it really bothered me to have the oddball synthetic sticking out like a sore thumb.I never liked the looks of the blind box magizine guns either on synthetic or wood,but have changed my tune on that too,.I have never been robbed,but I do not feel comfortable using the gun cabinets nowdays,so I figure if they are out of sight they are out of mind..I have even been considering ordering a synthetic for a Remington 7600 I have.
     
  4. Cocked & Locked
    • Contributing Member

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    I've got two rifles with plastic stocks...all others are wood. The Remington came with plastic. I put plastic on the Winchester.

    Remington Seven .243
    [​IMG]


    Winchester 70 .30-06
    [​IMG]
     
  5. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    That sums it up nicely...... I love a fine piece of wood or a laminate but I can't stand watching it get dinged up and scratched as it will eventually get if it's a hunting rifle.
     
  6. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    I really like my pre 64 Model 70 Winchester's, and what I like about the coming of composite stocks is that many Model 70 owners have elected to replace their wood stocks with composite stocks. This brings many of the original wood stocks to eBay where they are available at a reasonable price. This allows me to have several extra wood stocks that I can select from to get the best accuracy out of a particular rifle. Although I do have rifles with composite stocks I prefer to use a walnut stock. I am hard on equipment but my rifles after many years of hunting have very few scratches or handling marks in the wood.
     
  7. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Personally, as the thread title would indicate, for HUNTING rifle stocks I greatly prefer the shift to synthetic/plastic/composite stocks.

    Now, from an aesthetic perspective, I wholeheartedly agree that wood LOOKS better. I've got a lot of wood stocked rifles in anything from plain hardwood to nicer walnut, maple or myrtle. However, to me it's a depressing sight when I look at what was once a pristine wood stock and it's covered in nicks, scratches, and worn finish. As such for any of those nice rifles I'll ONLY use them if I'm basically walking straight to a tree stand through an open field (which isn't often). If I'm going to be trucking through a mile of forest before I get to my stand, I'm going to take a polymer stock. Not only will it take the beating against trees, limbs, etc on the way just fine, but it's also lighter. The accuracy advantage of the stock being more stable regardless of moisture is just icing on the cake.

    The same goes for a hunting shotgun. When I started duck hunting I started with an old Browning A-5. Trust me it didn't take but a couple of trips of that thing betting beat around in a boat for me to go out and buy something with synthetic stocks instead.

    So to me it has nothing to do with being "cheap" but rather just the fact that for this particular application, technology has provided a better solution.
     
  8. 270WSMANIC

    270WSMANIC Member

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    I agree, I have carried my 270wsm a-bolt hunter walnut stock about 14 seasons now, up and down our steep WV hills. Slipped and fell with it a few times. Get caught out in the rain 2-3 times a season, what few scratches and dings it has I call battle scars. Most of my hunt'en buddys guns are ( you can tell its Matell its swell ) plastic. If it starts to rain they for the nearest shelter at a dead run pretty much same as I do with my wood stock. O well to each their own.
     
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  9. Enkiduthewildman

    Enkiduthewildman Member

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    Nail on the head- and they sell it to you like it's an upgrade for "durability" and "weather resistance".
     
  10. DownInTheDark

    DownInTheDark Member

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    My go to hunting rifle is a Ruger American chambered in .270 win. Its synthetic and its light weight. The wood stocked guns normally sit in the safe. Also I don't want to scratch my limited edition M77 chambered in 35 Whelen, I could care less about the American.

    DSC00027.JPG
     
  11. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    Firearm preferences are a highly personal and subjective thing I suppose. Me, I don't wear any jewelry- no rings nor necklaces, no earrings or "bling" save a $30 Timex watch. I guess I'm not a fan of ostentatious ornamentation. In the olden days stocks were wood not because wood was great but because there was no plastic in 1500.:rofl: I can appreciate that some folks like a beautiful wood stock but I prefer synthetic. To me they're beautiful not in the way a Victoria's Secret model is but in the way a shark is; sleek and efficient, with form following function. There's something wonderfully utilitarian and no-nonsense to a black polymer stock IMO. I think they're objectively superior performance-wise and I think they look just fine. No one buys a figured burl handle for their clawhammer, right?:cool:
     
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  12. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Bought this spring, for hunting.
    Works.
    View attachment 227574

    Wood is boring, so not afraid to ding it up.
     
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  13. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Wood/laminate stocks on bolt rigs you can free float the barrel, simply by removing a bit of material.
    The cheaper synth stocks are pretty flimsy and require reinforcement to stiffen them up in the front.
    And some are still flexy at the wrist.
    Better synth stock is probably gonna run 300 and up.
    Then add more (if you want it film dipped to look like wood LOL).
     
  14. Snowbank!

    Snowbank! Member

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    I have both midgrade and highgrade weapons. I never buy cheap junk. Like some of you I like the maintenance as it is relaxing. I hunt elk with a Browning BAR highgrade. When it was damaged in a nasty horse wreck I had it rebuilt with custom wood. I might have $3000 in the gun but it shoots better now than when it was new. If you are serious about hunting you buy the best you can get as they will continue to bring home the game long after you are dead.

    My wife gave me a hard time about going to the gunsmith before I went to the hospital after the horse wreck. I told her it was going to take him a while and I wanted it when I healed up. That was 20 elk ago. For those too lazy to do maintenance try Hornady One Shot. An excellant product for the serious hunter.
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    A long time ago they used to cut people to let them bleed out what was making them sick.

    Lots of improvements over the years where we don't do things the same as we used to. Wood is nice and warm but doesn't do as good in adverse conditions.

    So while wood is pleasing to look at and feels nice in your hand you would rather they use a "space aged polymer" as say a stent in your arteries than a stick.
     
  16. Browning

    Browning Member

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    I don't know, I've seen some synthetic stocks that I thought were very nice and bought them before. The Bell and Carlson target stock on one of my Ruger 10/22's is a prime example.

    Not all synthetic stocks are cheap pieces of crap and not all wood stocks are works of art. I've seen a fair number of crappy wood stocks.

    That being said wood and steel costs more than polymer, fiberglass, Bakelite and plastic. So I'm sure that it doesn't exactly hurt the feelings of the gun company executives that they're increasing their profit margins.
     
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I tend to agree with the fiberglass choice for hunting especially in un-predictable weather conditions. But I have never had a problem with walnut stocks when it rained all day long while hunting. I still prefer walnut to all other stock choices.
     
  18. ClaymoreAKM

    ClaymoreAKM Member

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    It is cheaper to build synthetic stocks. They don't swell, chip or warp. They are much more durable.
     
  19. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    You do have to go to some trouble to fully water proof a wood stock. But its not hard or elaborate work. Fortunately for me I hunt the Rockies so getting soaked is a rare occurrence. Getting snowed on is not such a big deal. My hunting go to is synthetic, but deep blue and fine wood are still my favorites.
     
  20. JeffRaines

    JeffRaines Member

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    Like others, I do appreciate a good wood stock on a safe queen... for hunting, however, I'd prefer synthetic. Not only is it weather-proof, I'm not going to care if it gets beat up. Also, hunting-wise, I'd prefer they dump money into the barrel and action... I'd rather have accuracy over aesthetics(for the same cost).
     
  21. SamT1

    SamT1 Member

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    Remington and Winchester, ruger American should be ashamed of the junk plastic they use , may as well stamp China on the side of that crap. I know you can float it good and it's descent, but I won't own one. It is just so cheap looking.
    I do have a howa with a hogue stock and it's pretty nice. Rem, win should take a hint and put those on. Ruger has a pretty sweet skeleton stock they use for the all weathers.
    Point is there is synthetic that serves a purpose of durability and weatherproof and then there's the junk plastic stocks they use to save money.
    I'm not above beating up a nice wood stock. I have a model 70 super grade to prove it. All beat up it still looks better than cheap plastic. The jeweled bolt may have some surface rust on it, but it's not all loose and floppy like those new ones that come with the plastic.
     
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  22. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

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    I bought a Ruger 10-22 at the height of the shortage post Sandy Hook. I paid more than it was worth and it had a plastic stock. Its a great shooter but every time I looked at it it screamed cheep to me. Its the only long gun I've ever owned that was not wood. I bought a walnut stock for it at Midway giving about 1/2 as much as I paid for the rifle. It is quite possibly the most expensive 10-22 in existence. Now however as I lean it there against the porch railing waiting for some critter to show itself I'm proud of it.... and its still a great shooter.

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. zb338

    zb338 Member

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    Some of the guys talk as if every time they go hunting, they fall off of cliffs and bang
    up their rifles. I know guys that hunt with wood stocks and seldom scratch them. Plastic
    is definitely more stable than wood it doesn't take a genius to know that, but wood is
    so much more enjoyable.
    Zeke
     
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  24. ClaymoreAKM

    ClaymoreAKM Member

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    I respect a wood stock. I hunt with wood stocked rifles and shotguns, and I hunt with synthetic stocked firearms as well. I've had to refinish wood stocks a few times because of how beat up they get, its nice not to have to do that with synthetic.
     
  25. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Yep, people are different and live in different conditions and modes. If you want to see that first hand next time you are in a large parking lot walk around and take a look in the beds of all the pickup trucks.

    A soccer moms bed won't have a single scratch in the paint. Someone that uses one for work will be a mess, especially the tailgate the manufacturer designed to be so lightweight the soccer mom could shut it with one hand and not break a nail.
     
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