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0017-24 Smythbuster - Synthetic Stocks are Better Than Wood_Thumb

SmythBusters: Synthetic Stocks are Better Than Wood

Author Caleb Savant
23 days ago

SmythBusters: Synthetic Stocks are Better Than Wood

In the world of firearms, the debate between using synthetic stocks and wood stocks is a touchy subject, filled with varying opinions and preferences. This article delves into the nuances of this debate, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of each material to help shooters make an informed decision.


The choice between synthetic and wood stocks for rifles and shotguns is more than just a matter of aesthetics; it impacts the functionality, durability, and performance of the firearm. While some shooters swear by the traditional feel and look of wood, others prefer the modern, durable nature of synthetic stocks. But what really sets them apart?

The Case for Wood Stocks

Wood has been the material of choice for firearm stocks for centuries, prized for its natural beauty and the traditional appearance it lends to firearms. High-quality woods like walnut are often used, offering a unique look thanks to their grains and finishes.

Advantages of Wood Stocks:

- Aesthetics: Wood stocks offer a classic, elegant look that many shooters find appealing.
- Tradition: For many, wood stocks carry historical significance and a sense of continuity with the past.
- Customization: Wood stocks can be carved, checkered, or inlaid, allowing for a high degree of personalization.

However, wood stocks are not without their drawbacks. They are susceptible to environmental factors such as humidity and temperature, which can cause the wood to warp or swell, potentially affecting the firearm's accuracy. Additionally, wood stocks require more maintenance to keep them in good condition and are generally more expensive than their synthetic counterparts.

The Rise of Synthetic Stocks

Synthetic stocks, made from materials like fiberglass, carbon fiber, and polymers, have gained popularity due to their durability and performance in various environmental conditions.

Advantages of Synthetic Stocks:

- Durability: Synthetic stocks are resistant to water, temperature changes, and physical impacts, making them ideal for rough use.
- Consistency: Unlike wood, synthetic materials do not warp or swell, offering consistent performance.
- Maintenance: Synthetic stocks require less upkeep compared to wood, making them more convenient for frequent use.

While synthetic stocks offer practical benefits, they lack the warmth and individual character of wood stocks. Some shooters find them less aesthetically pleasing, and the feel of synthetic materials does not always match the comfort and grip provided by wood.

Customization and Performance

Both wood and synthetic stocks can be customized for enhanced performance. Techniques such as glass bedding and the installation of aluminum pillars can improve the accuracy of wood stocks, making them comparable to synthetic ones in terms of performance. 


The choice between synthetic and wood stocks boils down to personal preference, intended use, and budget. While synthetic stocks offer practical advantages in terms of durability and maintenance, wood stocks hold a special place in the hearts of many shooters for their beauty and tradition. Ultimately, the best stock is the one that meets the shooter's needs, preferences, and conditions under which the firearm will be used.