Well, let’s start by looking at what exactly a gunstock is. It is essentially the handle of a gun, serving as one of the main components of your rifle. Now there are several types of stocks, I will try to give a general overview of the most common stocks in this post and will go into detail more on each stock in their own respective posts.
First, let’s talk about the original types of stock, still used today in different variations, the wooden stock. Solid wood stocks can be one of the most beautiful pieces of art you have ever seen. They are traditionally made up of different woods, mostly walnut but there are obviously other woods that are used.
There is also a downside to using solid wood for a gunstock, the wood will over time collect moisture and oils and it will cause it to swell and warp. This could possibly give you very big accuracy problems in your rifle. But if you just want a collector, as I said before, it is very hard to beat the beauty of a nicely made piece of wood.
An alternative to solid wood is a laminated gun stock. These stocks are also made of wood but they are made by taking several layers of wood, which can be dyed for added color, then pressing them together, while being bonded using an adhesive.
These stocks can also be very beautiful and have several advantages over solid wood. They are extremely strong, by layering the wood the grains will be crossed giving the finished product a lot more strength. They will not be prone to bending or warping from moistures, oils, or humidity.
They have a solid feel to them just like a pure chunk of walnut. With all that being said, if you were building a gun that was more than a beauty to hang over the mantle then it would be wiser to go with a laminated stock over a solid wood piece.
Another type of stock that is very popular is the composite stocks. This is commonly used today on a lot of factory guns. It offers them a cheap way to get their rifles out the door.
I am not familiar with the complete process but it is my understanding that most composite stocks are injected molded plastic with some glass fibers, then that is allowed to cool and voilà, instant cheap stock.
These stocks are just like I said, CHEAP, so if you are looking for accuracy then you probably need to look elsewhere. That being said you can use them on a general hunting rifle and it will suit you just fine.
Most are then cured under heat and pressure, to not only add strength but to help eliminate voids as seen in molded type stocks. These stocks are very durable and offer one of the most rugged platforms you can get for your gun.
They are used very widely today in tactical platforms, from military to local law enforcement. I think that although they are not near as nice looking as wood or laminate when it comes to using of a gun, it is hard to beat a good synthetic stock. Well, thanks again for listening and I hope this helps you decide which direction you would like to go for your next stock.