Re: Does a wood gun shoot better than a synthetic one?
Yes is the answer to your question. This "problem" has been pursued by others.
Harold Vaughn wrote a book called "Rifle Accuracy Facts" that attempts to approach some of these issues. Harold is gone now, but was a highly credentialed engineer who in his retirement decided to take on the quest for tiny groups.
While I don't agree with some of the conclusions he came to, it makes for educational and interesting reading that is overall very beneficial to the tech head suffering from "gun nut disorder."
Sinclair International sells the book I believe.
There have also been a number of hobby shooters and folks from the obsessive compulsive competitive shooting ranks that have made devices to address this.
The most interesting and promising one being the "gun barrel stabilizer" made by a guy out in Idaho.
This thing was an alloy collar that was attached permanently to the end of the barrel. A carbon fiber "sock" or tube was attached to it that went outside the barrel towards the direction of the receiver. A weight was then attached to the end of the "sock" and that was it.
The weighted end suspended in space about an inch or so in front of the recoil lug. The basic principle was that the whipping effect of the crown end as the bullet traveled down the bore was managed by the tube and weight assembly.
It stabilized the barrel. hense the name. . .
No moving parts, no other gizmos.
the before and after test data he had generated using accelerometers and piezo strain gauges were quite impressive. This was a novel approach and it did seem to work judging by the test plots shot at 1000 yards.
It was also hideously ugly on anything but a George Jetson type target or bag gun.
Doubt you'd ever see one on a traditional elk rifle. . .
Other units are the adjustable barrel weights that you stick on the crowns of guns. They work very well, but if you change ANYTHING you better load up some ammo and go back to retest.
I have put these on rifles for smallbore shooters and spent considerable time tuning them at the range, only to retune the moment they changed lots of ammo or changed to a different type of aperture/adjustable iris on the front sight. The amount of mass hanging off the barrel has to remain the same for the thing to work within that specific calibration.
An interesting note about these though is that they seem to repeat in a pattern. You test and say the dialed number ends up being "10" and you keep going just to see what happens. It more often than not will repeat the group size when it reaches "17". It will repeat again at 24 and so on.
Seven seemed to be the magic number.
Kind of cool.
fun to tinker with if nothing else. . .
A barrel tuner works off a different principle though... It is more of a "timing" aid. the barrel moves up and down perpendicular to the bore axis. A common term is "whip". this motion can and does create a dispersion in a group. Smallbore shooters in particular are subject to this because they lack the ability to load thier own ammo. Part of tuning a load on a CF rifle is timing the bullet's exit of the crown with that split second moment when the barrel is at it's maximum amplitude or the "crest" of the sine wave. It is essentially motionless at this moment. If the bullet leaves the barrel somewhere in this moment, accuracy should improve. The tuners acheive this by adjusting the gun to the ammo VS adjusting the ammo to the gun.
While this doesn't really apply to the dampening affect of a rifle stock, it is interesting to fuss about none the less.
Several folks have commented about synthetics vs wood in terms of resistance to shooting enviornments.
I did a poor job of explaining what I wanted to know. Obviously a synthetic stock made from non hydrascopic (water absorbing/sensitive - like nylon) materials is going to be less suseptable to the influence of weather than a wooden one.
What I meant was is if a guy took and fitted two identical shape/mass and physical dimensioned stocks and bedded the same barreled action to each one using epoxy from the same lot number and so on. . .(attempting to standardize everything but the stock material itself) would one gun perform better than the other?
Does the natural "noise" abosorbing/dampening characteristics of wood improve the performance of a rifle down range over synthetic? Perhaps that is a better way to phrase the question.
I have no idea conclusively. Sure would be fun to find out though.