I am looking to purchase a new hunting rifle and am considering the range of stock choices. I am interested in the durability aspect of the synthetics, but dislike the look. Any thoughts or suggestions? Personal experiences? Thanks
Laminates are perhaps the best looking and some may argue the best. For a hunting rifle that you aren't concerned about dropping, scratching, getting wet, etc., a synthetic may be a good choice. A wood stock may swell if it gets wet, causing accuracy problems.
While I would reccomend a synthetic stock,you need to get the right kind. There's basically 3 main types of sythetic stocks,the first is the cheapest ,injection molded plastic. That's the kind to avoid. The second type is more expensive but worth it-hand laid carbon fiber or grafite layers. This type is not only lighter,but stiffer and more stable. The 3rd type is those with full length bedding block. These are straight drop in and most stable.
I like the look of a wood stalk. But the synthetic wins when it comes right down to it.
They don't swell in moisture, absorb kick, more durable, And I have found that they don't shrink and expand with temperature change , Creating a more stable shooting platform.
It isn't the look of the gun that fills the freezer but the quality of product and the shooter behind it.
There ain't no plastic in my safe. I have a Laminated stock on my 223. For a general hunting rifle any wood stock will do you fine. I have never seen any ill side affects in the USA where my stocks have swelled.
McMillian stocks are top of the line along with Brown percision and H-S percision. Bell and Carlson are then next step down. Then Ramline and others like it. Then you step down to the junk Remington is putting on their SPS line of rifles injection molded plastic. I have one and it is ok I plan on using it for my coyote hunting excurssions as I live in an area that is heavily wooded. I like my laminated stock to much to take it out and beat it up.