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Thread: Wooden versus Composite Stocks

  1. #1
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    Wooden versus Composite Stocks

    Being a bit of a traditionalist I've always owned rifles with wooden stocks, but most modern rifles now seem to come out with fibreglass or other synthetic stocks.
    I'm happy enough with how all my rifles perform but I'm wondering if by changing to a different stock I might save a bit of weight.
    Is there anything meaningful to be gained here? I have a .222 and .243, both Sakos.

  2. #2
    gun guy
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    The advantage for me is Im not so worried about getting the piece of plastic knocked around or dirty or being out in the pissing rain with it. Ive got both wood and plastic
    Carbine likes this.

  3. #3
    Member chainsaw's Avatar
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    There’s a huge variety of synthetic stocks, from cheap plastic thru to high tech carbon fibre or fibreglass/composite stocks. So it depends what you wish to achieve in changing stocks and what kind of hunting or shooting you intend. The main advantage of synthetic is they stand up to knocks & moisture better without same risk in change to PoI that can effect wood stocks in wet conditions. Most people change because they want to save weight & have a very stable platform. For this you are best to go with carbon fibre stocks. If you don’t want weight savings but a better & stable platform then the composite stocks like Bell&Carson or HS Precision make very good stocks. I’d avoid cheap “plastic” stocks like the plague, the fore end is often too floppy to allow accurate shots off a bipod.
    caberslash and CBH Australia like this.

  4. #4
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    YEP, cheap plastic stock are not very stiff and only a little side load, or sling or bi-pod pressure can have them putting a side load on to the barrel.
    Would love a carbon stock but the price is a bit much for my level of usage and some of them can be bit noisy pushing through stuff.
    I have gone with the laminated Boyd's option. Stiff, OK weight wise and reasonably weather proof. Only issue is they can get a bit slippery so add some checkering or grip rubber.
    Z
    CBH Australia likes this.

  5. #5
    Member bunji's Avatar
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    @Backcountry Bob To give you some idea years ago one of the members (Stug) here was making great Carbon Fiber stocks a mate took what was then a brand new offering of one on a extended Tahr we did ,at the end of our hunt l ordered 2 for my Mod 7's, the difference between the old Rem factory plastic stock was the factory stock weighed just under 1100 grams & the Carbon Fiber stock just over 500 grams with it also being a better shaped & stiffer stock (later ended up with 5 all up,over the years).

    I am like you & still like a good wooden stock ,have had 4 custom made for me over the years & currently have my old Mohawk in line for a custom wood Manlicker to be made by a stock maker .How ever now if l am looking for a hard wearing, stable stock l go for a GOOD synthetic & prefer the weight savings they give over messing around with the metal work in a attempt to save weight.

    Here is the latest build l have done a custom 284W,where l used the great Bell & Carlson Ti Stock ,l had been putting bits away for the build for years & as l say l would not bother with the metal weight saving now if l did over,it was just l had those bits sitting around .

    https://www.nzhuntingandshooting.co....84w-smalll.jpg
    Last edited by bunji; 05-10-2021 at 10:52 PM.
    "Fair Winds and Following Seas" - Capt Ron You Glorious Bastard

  6. #6
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    Yep, avoid cheap plastic.
    Bell and Carlson are like a fibreglass, may be a slight weight saving. Affordable.

    Boyd's, laminates are great value. No weight save.

    Carbon fibre is a weight saver but all brands are costly,

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backcountry Bob View Post
    Is there anything meaningful to be gained here? I have a .222 and .243, both Sakos.
    Guessing you have an older Sako A1/Vixen and an A2/Forester?

    If that is the case, no, nothing to be gained as to source a stock for them now is not easy.

    Steve Garnett put McMillan Hunter Edge stocks onto both of his https://www.freerangehunternz.com/the-gear-i-use/ at what I presume to be a considerable expense, possibly more than the rifle's market value, but seems to love them.

    Trouble is McMillan has changed as a company and won't inlet for most of the actions they used to do... finding a second hand, quality stock for an old Sako, not easy...

  8. #8
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    Yep, avoid cheap plastic.
    Bell and Carlson are like a fibreglass, may be a slight weight saving. Affordable.

    Boyd's, laminates are great value. No weight save.

    Carbon fibre is a weight saver but all brands are costly,

  9. #9
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    How do the Carbon fibre stocks hold up been used on a hunting rifle? south island tahr country has a fear few cheese grater's in it.

  10. #10
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    I guess nobody makes a synthetic stock for Finnwolfs?

    Or has a as-new wooden one?

    Mine has a crack at the pistol grip.
    ‘Many of my bullets have died in vain’

  11. #11
    gun guy
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    You can stiffen the fore ends up on the cheap stocks. I did a howa recently and it worked well. I filled it with resin and youd need scales to actually notice the weight.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbear View Post
    How do the Carbon fibre stocks hold up been used on a hunting rifle? south island tahr country has a fear few cheese grater's in it.
    generally good but there is so much viariation within how they can be made from carbon fiber its hard to generalise
    If you hit them on a rock they will crack or break little bits off but also can be repaired like fiberglass
    think fiber glass but light
    they cost around a thousand these days now stug got legislated out of making them so you tend to baby them unless you have a money tree in the back yard

    just make sure you arnt trying to acheive anything beyond what your barreled action can deliver weight wise as Id say your barrel and action would weigh more than my kimber loaded and dripping wet if its anything like my sako 75
    bigbear likes this.

  13. #13
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    Hi Caberslash,

    No my Sakos are older that that. I have a Vixen (1977) and a Forester (1963). Used both for many years and I've had them both re-blued and the checkering on both stocks redone recently. They seem to be getting heavier as I get older though.

    From what I'm reading above it looks as though I would have to get one custom made which would make it very expensive.

  14. #14
    Member chainsaw's Avatar
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    @Backcountry Bob and @Finnwolf - have you seen this thread on here.
    https://www.nzhuntingandshooting.co....e-we-go-74818/

    Very cool idea for building your own light weight "CF" stock. The finished weight with carbon fibre wrap ended up very close to the fancy CF commercial jobs.
    I was inspired by @Scott Cowan example and am now about half? way thru my own build with modest home handy man skills and tools. Very enjoyable and therapeutic.
    Have yet to get to the trickie bit = inletting.
    Name:  stock LHS 2.jpg
Views: 111
Size:  1.55 MB
    Liam258 and Scott Cowan like this.

  15. #15
    Member Liam258's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsaw View Post
    @Backcountry Bob and @Finnwolf - have you seen this thread on here.
    https://www.nzhuntingandshooting.co....e-we-go-74818/

    Very cool idea for building your own light weight "CF" stock. The finished weight with carbon fibre wrap ended up very close to the fancy CF commercial jobs.
    I was inspired by @Scott Cowan example and am now about half? way thru my own build with modest home handy man skills and tools. Very enjoyable and therapeutic.
    Have yet to get to the trickie bit = inletting.
    Attachment 180566
    Yiur stock is looking great @chainsaw! I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product! Would be a great idea for @Backcountry Bob

 

 

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