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On the contrary UnBound, those guys with fancy engraved shotguns featuring stunning walnut stocks are some of the finest shots with a scattergun in the world. Discounting those individuals who don't shoot but collect/buy such guns as "investments", or as "art objects"; these scattergunners are deadly serious, they love their sport, enjoy finely crafted guns, and work hard to shoot them proficiently. If you don't think so, I challenge you to attend a vintage shooting event; or perhaps a large clays event of any type (trap, skeet, sporting clays, etc). Believe me, a guy willing to invest $35K in a K-80 skeet gun is SERIOUS!
Personally, I thoroughly enjoy beautiful wood, as it will enhance an otherwise plain; and sometimes even butt-ugly gun. Those who have found themselves in a dove or duck blind; or even in the field on a slow day, often admit that being able to admire and enjoy the beautiful wood stock on their gun made that slow day a lot more pleasant.
Shooters who take care of their equipment easily find a wood stock plenty durable (quite obvious, since we still have hundreds of thousands of vintage guns in regular use); however, should a gun with a wood stock be accidently dropped or tipped over, or be consigned to an individual who is prone to neglect and abuse his equipment, wood will suffer severe damage and/or destruction as it will not withstand as much abuse of a composite stock. That fact acknowleged, I've also seen broken composite stocks; so plastic stocks do have some shortcomings.
On the negative side, although composite stocks can be modified to a limited degree, many are hollow and therefore would never permit the serious hacking and trimming a dedicated target shooter may inflict. On the positive side, they are lighter (which ain't always a good thing when shooting heavy loads), they won't swell, they come in a wide variety of ugly colors and patterns, they are relatively cheap to replace; and, since they are already ugly, they can be repainted in any desired new ugly color or pattern; or hacked, taped, and altered in all manner of creative ways. If such modifications are done by the gun's owner, overall curb appeal of a gun with a composite stock is not negatively impacted because the finished result of all that work will look no worse when completed than the composite stock did when it was new. Being from the "old school", I believe that any gun should be make from steel forgings and walnut; not aluminum, sheet metal stampings, and plastic. That said, I understand and respect the fact that it takes all kinds and tastes to make the world; so good shooting, regardless of your tastes in weaponry!
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