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O/T Synthetic vs Laminate Stocks???

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by cleboje, Dec 2, 2007.

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  1. cleboje

    cleboje Member

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    Jul 27, 2006
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    Guys

    I have noticed some manufacturers offer their guns with an option for either synthetic stock or a laminate wood stock.

    My question concerns slug or muzzleloader hunting...is one stock an advantage over the other?

    What about hunting in an all-day rain...which one would you prefer for big game hunting?

    Joe
     
  2. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I have hunted with two different walnut stocked muzzle loaders (a Thompson Center Hawken and a Ruger 77/50) in the rain and over multiple days in the rain. My brother –in-law hunts with me and he uses a walnut stocked Thompson Center.

    On one hunt, we hunted for 5 days and it rained every day. There was no problem with any stock and the rifles fired like it was dry. We wipe the rifles down at night and store them in an unheated shed next to our camper.

    Under these conditions, we use a little plastic skirt around the cap and nipple and a non lubricated Trojan over the muzzle.

    A synthetic stock should be 100 % weatherproof and would be my choice for extreme conditions. The weather should not affect the point of impact.

    I have laminated stocks on some of my other rifles but have not hunted in the wet with them. I feel confident that they would perform equal or better to a walnut stock

    IMO, as far as price is concerned, baseline synthetic is the cheapest and fiberglass reinforced synthetic is the most expensive. If you have the bucks, you can’t go wrong with a high end fiberglass reinforced synthetic stock.

    I like wood stocks but that is a personal preference.

    I suspect that a lower priced synthetic stock may give you the best all weather performance for the least cost.
     
  3. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Laminated stocks are typically made from softer woods than walnut, such as beech or birch. This kind of wood does not allow fine checkering. So the stocks are left uncheckered, which makes them slick, or are coarsely checkered, which looks fugly and doesn't feel very nice. In addition, the wood is dense, but not from the wood itself, but from the resins used to laminate the wood. Thus, it's heavier than a comparable walnut stock, but the wood is softer and more easily damaged. Of course, this has to be weighed against the one outstanding feature laminated woods have, which is stability and strength. This helps with accuracy in rifles. And it can help wood skeleton stocks and thumbhole stocks with resistence to cracking and splitting.

    On the other hand, you can get this strength and stability, and finer checkering, from synthetic stocks, and usually at less cost, and almost always at less weight. Synthetic stocks are impervious to weather. Drawbacks to synthetic stocks is that they do not allow "fine tuning" of the wood surface, meaning you cannot thin combs, often cannot shorten them, or at least easily, and often cannot add hardware. Excepting those synthetic stocks that have had wood patterns added through the film-dip process, they lack the warmth and look of wood.

    Personally, I've replaced my laminated stocks with synthetic stocks.
     
  4. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I should mention that there are some cheap synthetic stocks that are not as well made as others. The best have internal stiffening in the form of an aluminum skeletal structure. Those at the bottoom of the heap are 100% plastic. If maximum accuracy is a consideration, this should be taken into account.
     
  5. cleboje

    cleboje Member

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    Guys

    Thanks for the lessons learned...I will use them when I get to comparing the different models with different stocks.

    One final question...What is your opinion of the thumbhole type stocks for big game?

    Any advantage over the traditional pistol grip style stocks?

    Thanks in advance.

    Joe
     
  6. Gary Waalkes

    Gary Waalkes Well-Known Member

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    Brian in Oregon - I really do not know where you are getting your information about laminated gunstocks from. I assume you realize there are real issues with synthetic stocks that are not reinforced or use more exotic materials. You kinda forgot to mention that injection molded stocks without reinforcement are junk.

    Enclosed is a link showing a checkered laminated gunstock. they cannot take 26 LPI checkering, but 18 LPI is easy.
     
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