Laminated rifle stocks

CBH Australia

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Ive cast my vote for timber on classic hunting rifles.

I own a Tikka T3 stainless Laminated .308 for general hunting, stalking purposes in Australia. I shoot feral pigs and achieve more miles than pigs. I’ve had it 7-8 years

I went Laminated for stability etc. I like the look and this rifle was intended for regular use from a vehicle and on foot.

I don’t hunt cold, wet, damp, rainy or humid places . It could happen though.

I’m not changing it but I’ve come to think I don’t really need laminate. Is timber stable enough for most Australian climates,

how often does average weather affect reasonable factory timber stocks?
Is free floating and bedding enough to overcome this?
Has anyone ever had a point of impact change that they can say was actually due to a change in climate?
Will my cz550 factory stock hold up in the tropics of the Northern Territory, Australia, .
Will it be suitable for Africa.

I’m eexpecting a yes on the last 2 but I’d like to hear of your experience.

I think cheap plastic stocks are cheap, quality plastic stocks are expensive. My Tikka T3 CTR has a Tupperware stock but they are still quite capable. I know they are well regarded for accuracy but I call it Ugly Betty anyway.

I have looked at an Aussie made carbon fibre Bolly riflestock a time around $1000, the attraction to that was it being lightweight.
 

Eric Anderson

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My favorite gen purpose rifle has a wood stock.
Both times I have taken it to Africa, the POI shifted 12” high.

Both times. I don’t have nearly as nice a scope on it that I would like, so it could be the scope getting knocked in transit. Normally that results in random poi shift though.

It could be that going from the hot humid bottomlands of N.C. to the cool dry air at altitude where I mostly hunt in RSA May be causing the wood to shift.

I check zero on any rifle no matter how well it’s packed after baggage handlers have there way with it though.
 

perttime

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People have managed OK with wooden stocks for some time. Good bedding should help. I'm told aluminum blocks are the most secure thing for wooden stocks. Changes in humidity is the thing that could hit a traditional wooden stock - just like a sudden change in humidity and temperature can destroy a lightly built guitar.

Personally, I quite like the look of laminate stocks. Depends on the colors, though.

A Tikka CTR will shoot well but I'm not in love with the look of the stock - and I live 100 km from the place where they are made.... Living in Europe, at least, I'd consider the Irish PSE Composites E-Lite carbon fibre stock for a Tikka: also on the light side but not quite as skinny as hunting stocks tend to be.
 

Newboomer

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Eric, I would think if it's free floated and bedded it would be stable. There doesn't seem to be anything that could move. Laminated stocks are more stable than solid wood because of the multiple layers. You might try widening the clearance between the stock and barrel. I've had free floated barrels develop a pressure point and throw off accuracy until it was relieved. Sometimes the old dollar bill trick is not enough clearance. Also, your scope may have shifted in transit.
 

Eric Anderson

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Eric, I would think if it's free floated and bedded it would be stable. There doesn't seem to be anything that could move. Laminated stocks are more stable than solid wood because of the multiple layers. You might try widening the clearance between the stock and barrel. I've had free floated barrels develop a pressure point and throw off accuracy until it was relieved. Sometimes the old dollar bill trick is not enough clearance. Also, your scope may have shifted in transit.
The barrel on that rifle is neither free floated, nor is the action bedded.
If it was any other rifle, I would have it done, but that rifle has so much sentimental value as is, that I probably will never have it done. My dad bought a set of rifles for family when he was stationed in Germany even before he met my mom. He has one, his brother has one, both my brother and I have one, and one of my sisters has one. It just wouldn’t feel right to modify it to be different from her sisters.

She does need a new scope though. Somehow the Leopold I bought for her ended up on my sisters rifle, and for the last few years it had been wearing a Cabellas brand scope on it that was supposed to be temporary.
 

Newboomer

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Give her a present of a good Leupold scope. She deserves it.
 

CBH Australia

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@perttime Resurrecting an old thread here but maybe a couple of months ago I stumbled across the PSE composites site again, I was closely considering it and the Australian mob got in touch about the Third generation incarnation of their sporter stock. It’s good but I’d like to see the PSE in the flesh.
 

flatwater bill

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"I don't hunt cold, wet, damp.....places"........I envy you.................
I also like the laminate look and the feel is better than Tupper Ware. I guess it never became very popular though......................FWB
 

machinistbutler

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I have a factory laminate in a Savage 25/06 that has always done well. A year ago I put a GRS hybrid on one of my ssg3000 that is a great stock. Both feel good and zero doesn't seem to change .

Have some ww2 k98 with laminates as well . Nice stocks.
 

fourfive8

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Personal opinion here only. They are OK but neither "fish nor foul". If you like odd colors easy to select. For pure aesthetics, IMO, they are more similar to synthetic than solid wood. They tend to be very rigid/stable as a rifle platform and resist changes to bedding better than solid wood. They are generally stronger than solid wood but tend to be heavier on average. HOWEVER they are significantly stronger and more resilient than solid wood in only one axis. They can break and and can be somewhat brittle if bent against the wrong axis. The same attribute that makes them stable and rigid for bedding in one axis also makes them somewhat brittle in that same axis (usually the vertical axis). So they are not as indestructible as some proponents would lead you to believe and not nearly as tough as a good quality synthetic. I don't hate them- just not my cup of tea.
 

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I don't like plywood for a gun stock. :Angelic:

I haven't counted, but I probably have thirty different rifles in the gun room, not including doubles and combination guns. Other than three AR platforms, and two Steyr Professionals belonging to my son, I have a single synthetic R8 Receiver/stock. It is reserved for an upcoming hunt in the snow on the Kamchatka Peninsula, and should I ever decide to do a true rain forest hunt. Every other hunt I have made or plan to make will be with a walnut-stocked rifle (that includes knocking around a few mountains). In quite a few decades of doing this, and just a bit of air travel while doing it, I have yet to have a zero shift due to a stock supposedly swelling or bending or whatever.

I also fully admit that I tend to hunt with classic rifles more than most. The vast majority of those same rifles have rust blue finishes.

All that is a long way around to saying that well bedded walnut and a traditional finish are, at least in my experience, far more durable and stable than the purveyors of the latest plastics, plywood, and chemical finishes would like us to believe. ;)
 

Newboomer

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Hard to beat walnut and blue steel. Free float the barrel and bed the action and you're good to go.
 

BeeMaa

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I like the look of a laminate stock on a hunting rifle...in some cases.
However it must be well executed and look like a hunting rifle.
Some of the Sako 85's come to mind (Grey Wolf, Brown Bear...etc).

The only one I can find for a Blaser R8 is made by GRS.
The GRS Sporter is a high quality product made in Norway.
Adjustable cheek piece, tactical looking forend and sculpted finger grooves...

Thing is...it doesn't look like a hunting rifle, at least not to me.
If it had more traditional lines, I'd be more tempted.
I'll stick with my synthetic Blaser stock, at least for now.
 

CBH Australia

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I don't like plywood for a gun stock. :Angelic:

I haven't counted, but I probably have thirty different rifles in the gun room, not including doubles and combination guns. Other than three AR platforms, and two Steyr Professionals belonging to my son, I have a single synthetic R8 Receiver/stock. It is reserved for an upcoming hunt in the snow on the Kamchatka Peninsula, and should I ever decide to do a true rain forest hunt. Every other hunt I have made or plan to make will be with a walnut-stocked rifle (that includes knocking around a few mountains). In quite a few decades of doing this, and just a bit of air travel while doing it, I have yet to have a zero shift due to a stock supposedly swelling or bending or whatever.

I also fully admit that I tend to hunt with classic rifles more than most. The vast majority of those same rifles have rust blue finishes.

All that is a long way around to saying that well bedded walnut and a traditional finish are, at least in my experience, far more durable and stable than the purveyors of the latest plastics, plywood, and chemical finishes would like us to believe. ;)
I have Laminate (ok Plywood), Walnut and Synthetic.

I don’t like the look of synthetic but my Ugly Betty Tikka CTR 7mm-08 might be my most used rifle as I don’t care to mark the Tupperware stock, I have a younger mate who doesn’t like the term, oh well. Obviously he favours them.

I grew up reading about classic rifles and still like the Classic look and my walnut stocked rifles are just factory’s offerings no high grade timber, it’s out of my budget for now.

I guess it’s partly our generation too and what we have been led to believe are the latest advancements in our time and what appeals to the crowd.

You can speak from experience. My generation are still on that road.

I guess you came through your career with an M16 or similar not old enough to have carried a .30-06 as a standard issue. Times change but traditional Walnut will remain the classic look for sometime.
 

bruce moulds

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i had not shot one of my rifles for like 20 yrs.
needed it in a hurry, and went and shot a fallow behind the ear at about 200 yds.
brown precision synthetic stock properly bedded.
have done similar with an hs precision stocked rifle.
mc millan just as good.
i have one rifle glued into a mcmillan.
bruce.
 

Wade J VanGinkel

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I have several from before the allure of walnut overtook me. And I didn't like synthetic.
Sako, Boyd's, factory Ruger, stockys.
All solid and functional
 

Ryan

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While I really like walnut, Alaska can have some weather than doesn't appreciate it as much. So when I got a Savage stainless in 7mm-08 I decided to upgrade to plastic stock to laminate instead of walnut. Black laminate with a bubinga (I think) fore end cap, fish scale checkering and cheekpiece. Not too shabby in my opinion. I bedded it and the barrel is floating. Shoots very well, rain or shine.

Interestingly, we may grumble about laminate, but bow manufacturers have been using it for decades now. I think some of the classic Bear bows shot by Fred Bear were laminate.
20201019_180510.jpeg
 

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