Laminate vs. Synthetic

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by 94Winchester, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. 94Winchester

    94Winchester Well-Known Member

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    I hope this is the right forum for this question. Which makes for a more accurate rifle Laminate or Synthetic stocks?
     
  2. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

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    The bench rest game attracts people who build highly accurate rifles. There you'll find a lot more rifles with synthetic stocks than laminates. Most of those are fiberglass. "Synthetic" covers a lot of materials. Various synthetic material have a wide range of properties not all of which are "better" than wood or wood laminates. Does "better accuracy" to you mean smaller groups or better ability to hold zero over long time periods with large changes in temperature or humidity? Proper bedding can have as much effect as the stock material.

    I suppose my opinion is best expressed in what I buy. I own one laminated wood stock on a 1970 vintage Rem 660 350 Rem Mag. I'm not going to replace it. I have quite a few fiberglass (McMillan) and Kevlar (HS Precision) stocks on various rifles. I have a few carbon fiber stocks where I want very low weigh and low thermal conductivity. I also have solid wooden stocks on several older military and hunting rifles which I don't plan to change. Those aren't my more accurate rifles but I still like to shoot them.

    If you set two similar rifles side by side and the first has a laminate wood stock and the second has a quality fiberglass stock, I would not bet that the second will shoot smaller groups. I would bet that the second will hold it's zero better though periods of high and low humidity. Stocks certainly affect accuracy but so do many other things.

    If you like the look, feel, or cost of a laminated stocks I doubt that using them for hunting rifles shot in typical hunting conditions will make a detectable difference. With any rifle it's wise to know how it's zero changes with conditions and re-zero it accordingly. Other factors besides the stock can affect a rifle's zero.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  3. 94Winchester

    94Winchester Well-Known Member

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    Better accuracy to me means a combination of smaller groups and ability to hold zero.
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    The High end composites(Carbon graphite) are probably the most stable of the composites
    with the laid up Fiberglass being next. The molded plastic ones are the worst of the lot
    (Tupperware) and in My opinion just a handel to hold on to.

    I prefer a Quality Laminate for many reasons. They are very stable and dampen Harmonics
    better than composites Plus they have more weight in the but stock for better balance of
    the rifle. They also have the soft feel of a wooden stock without the moisture problems.

    The solid wood stocks are the prettiest but have the most problems as far as POI shift.

    I think that all types have there place and it is just a mater of choice.

    If you are trying to save weight Buy a High quality carbon graphite stock or a Kevlar one
    and it will serve you well. (Don'T cut corners and buy a cheep one).

    To say that one type is more accurate than another is very hard but under certain conditions
    some may have an advantage over another.

    If weight is not an issue then I recomend a good Laminate for the reasons mentioned above.

    The only type of stock I won't recomend to anyone is the tupperware stocks. Al tho some of the guys on this site have made them work.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  5. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Oh joy and I got a custom wood stock being made.

    I'm feeling better now. Thanks JE-only kidding:)

    Well at least it'll look pretty.
     
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Chas1.

    I love the wood stocks best But you have to full pillar bed and float the barrel before you can
    expect any accuracy, and even then after a while it can change the POI .

    The stock blanks that are cut in half and reversed and glued together work very well because
    the grain is apposed to it's self.(It tends to counteract the tendency to warp).

    The wood stocks can be made to shoot very accuratly but it takes more effort than a laminate
    or a composite.

    If a rifle is going to be exposed to extreme climate conditions then I use laminates or composites.

    If not then I use composites for accuracy and wood for looks.

    They all have there place just like different calibers and I try to pick the best one of each for
    the intended use. (A show rifle will definitely be in a good custom wood stock).

    This is just me. different strokes for different folks.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  7. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    J E, not to worry...I was just bustin em:). On a serious note your points on each type stock and it's applications is spot on. Thanks.