View Full Version : Shotgun Furniture: Wood vs Polymer

01-11-2009, 05:52 PM
Hi all,
what do you think which is better , wood stock or poly stock ?
what are the + and - of both sides...
which one is durable
which looks nice
what will you recommend for;
1- hunting for
bird hunting...e.g. doves pigeons etc etc..
small hunting, rabbits etc
big animal and big bore hunting...
2-skeet and trap
3-to show off...(to impress friends and other.. ;) )

01-11-2009, 07:38 PM
Well... that is simply a matter of preference.

Also depends on the type and finish of wood.. So to answer your questions:

1. I think wood is better for shotguns..

2. Wood is "warmer" and gives the gun character.. It feels better to the touch.. cheek hand etc. -ve is that it needs a lot more care and "babying" and is susceptible to the environments.. humidity, temp water immersion, mud etc.

Whereas synthetic will be rougher, and will be relatively resistant to scratching and denting. But it gives a very mechanical look to a gun. Also resistant to the environment.

3. Wood looks WAY nice! (just slide your palm along a silver pigeon 5 or EELL.. sigh!)

4. (1) Any reliable field autoloader. One you can afford to take out and let scratched up and marked while travelling and hunting
(2) Beretta Ultra Light Deluxe

(3) Pair of James Purdeys

Abu Al Hawl
01-11-2009, 09:17 PM
Rifles look cool with poly
Shotgun looks cool with wood

however weight does matter out there on the field

01-11-2009, 09:37 PM
+1 MHMalik

01-11-2009, 11:04 PM
There is no match to fine grained and highly figured walnut stocks on rifles and shotguns. The very fancy wood on some custom made guns is more expansive than a normal weapon.
I think A shotgun with poly stock is an un digestable thought to me.
How ever a Kevlar or carbon fibre stock on a rifle which is going to be used in extreme rainy or snowy areas makes sense.
The Kevlar /Carbon fiber stocks are much lighter,
These are stronger
These are stable ( do not warp in rain/humid weather.Your zeroe does not change
Top end Kevlar stocks are expansive
Yet these are much much cheaper than high grade custom walnut stocks which can be made trouble free by free floating the barrel and glass bedding the action .
All said and done nothing like the warmth and class of a beautiful figured walnut stock of which we have abundance in Pakistan and craftsmen in Lahore and Darra Adam khel are a class by themselves, H&H will have a hard time competing with our wood and workmanship on it' These are also cheaper than one would assume

02-11-2009, 09:06 AM
Beauty lies in wood stock.

02-11-2009, 01:51 PM
Skeeter sir has described it all but to me wood stock looks more beautiful,

02-11-2009, 05:51 PM
just imagine if glocks going to come in wooden stock :)

i will agree with AAH: rifles seem more lusty in fibre so the handguns. :)


03-11-2009, 01:15 PM
Wood stock is a preference. At times weight is an issue for some thus they chose other lighter materials. Nothing like a wood stock with good grain.

03-11-2009, 04:45 PM
besides this interesting and useful info for beginners,i want to buy a baikal mp153 semi auto for small and bird hunting..should i go for wood..(i personally like the wood stock ;) )

Enigmatic Desires
03-11-2009, 07:05 PM
Wood all the way.. Spacialy for Shotguns.. Besides if U run out of ammo U can simply reverse it an pound the BG's head far more effectively then most poly stocks around.. :P

03-11-2009, 08:15 PM
Wood all the way.. Spacialy for Shotguns.. Besides if U run out of ammo U can simply reverse it an pound the BG's head far more effectively then most poly stocks around.. :P

Very interesting use for a wooden stock... if you can't shoot 'em, beat 'em up....
http://www.postimage.org/templates/images/smiley/fighting/5.gif (http://www.postimage.org/)

03-11-2009, 09:17 PM
Wooden stocks are more in demand.But if you are going for a Duck Hunt then better change it to poly.

04-11-2009, 12:11 AM
AoA Everybody

Kindly allow me to throw in my two cents on the subject of Wood vs Polymer shotgun buttstocks. in my humble opinion, comparing wood stocks to poly stocks is like comparing a luxury vehicle to a utility vehicle. both present their benefits as well as their own unique challenges. allow me to dissect.

Advantages of Wooden Stocks:
1. feels nice to touch
2. looks good
3. has personality of its own
4. unique grain creates unique impressions
5. feels warm
6. gives a certain character to a shotgun
7. slightly heavier, adds weight to the rear end of a shotgun, sorta like balancing out the shotgun
8. excellent medium for stock bending (inorder to adjust as per operator)
9. very easy to perfom "fitting" operations on

but it doesn't come without its fair share of disadvantages:

1. very difficult to upkeep
2. requires periodical maintainance
3. too much elbow grease is required when hand rubbing a stock with linseed oil
4. shortcuts such as cheap lacquer jobs look and feel absolutely horrible
5. very sensitive to moisture, water, swelling up the wood
6. extremely sensitive to gun oils, oil seep, softening the wood through capillary action
7. very sensitive to dings and scratches

moving to polymer stocks. advantages:

1. new age material
2. very tough, very light, very utility enhancing material
3. not effected by moisture, water
4. not at all effected by oil, newer polymers are even strong solvent resistant
5. some even look cool, give a tactical appearence to the gun
6. very easy to paint on, just a plastic primer before regular paint job (primer cost=PKR 175 per can). one can create pretty unique camo patterns
7. scratch/impact resistant to a much higher degree
8. polymer stocks are hollow from the inside, a good place to keep all necessary cleaning supplies, chokes, choke wrench
9. very easy to repair cracks and stuff (not severe cracks), plain old plastic welding job and then some sand paper to smooth things out. no surface preparation, no finishing coat required.

it also presents its challenges/disadvantages:

1. stock bending is no more an option
2. stock fitting becomes quiet tricky but since polypropylene is readily and cheaply available, I guess this disadvantage is not much of a disadvantage.
3. they are hollow meaing a shotgun becomes nose heavy, good for some shooters whereas bad for others.
4. polymer does smell when it gets heated after an extensive firing session (300 shots or more in a single session). incase of extreme firing (500+ rounds) it has been known to give off smoke as well.
5. relatively unstable over long term (50 years plus). but then again, its not really the polymers buttstock's fault, its basically a property of plastics. but then again, i'm sure after 50 years, it wouldnt matter much.
6. they feel dead, add a TOOL like character to a shotgun. not really a disadvantage to me, infact I prefer it that way.

In the end of the day, it all boils down to plain old personal preference. some like their shotguns to look good whereas others like their shotguns to look like they mean business. however what I do believe is that if u have a luxury shotgun to show for then by all means opt for the wooden buttstock but if u have a shotgun to serve u through thick and thin then polymer might be the wise thing to go for.

As far as to which type of hunting can be done with which type of stock, well... again its all personal preference. the difference of furniture does not (should not) effect the performance of a tool, similarly, the performance of the operator should be uneffected as well. however as far as general trend is concerned, for upland bird hunting where there are less chances of getting the gun wet, go ahead and use all the wood u can but when there are significant chances of getting the gun wet, polymer should be the only choice.


p.s. I believe if u have a "show worthy" shotgun to begin with then u should stick to wood cause its show worthy and u'll probably show it off more then using it or it'll become another cabinet queen for ur friends to see but not touch. however if u have a gun that sees significant use in the field/range (for every type of hunting) then I would only recommend polymer cause it can take serious abuse and doesn't require any maintainance. hey! if u run out of shells u can use a polymer stock to paddle ur boat out of a pond. same advise for budget guns, if its a budget gun then stick to polymer. odds are u'll probably crack the wooden buttstock or the forend will start rattling before any serious ammo count. i'm talking from experience.

04-11-2009, 12:19 AM
besides this interesting and useful info for beginners,i want to buy a baikal mp153 semi auto for small and bird hunting..should i go for wood..(i personally like the wood stock ;) )

for an MP153, I can only recommend polymer version cause in my experience its more sleek and better finished. the wooden furniture one is a bit bulky from the forend, making the grip kinda odd.


p.s. plus Baikal doesn't use good wood on it shotguns (its not walnut, its heavy without an impressive grain) and on top of that its lacquer finished.

Enigmatic Desires
04-11-2009, 01:27 AM
12 guage. whats wrong with a coating of heavy laccour .. does'nt it seal the stock's polish ?

04-11-2009, 08:42 AM
12 guage. whats wrong with a coating of heavy laccour .. does'nt it seal the stock's polish ?

ur right, it does seal the wood after it has been stained (polished) but problem is that traditionally woodstocks are hand rubbed with linseed oil after the staining process. now hand rubbing is a tedious and a meticulous process requiring great attention to detail and constant maintainance. does "once a week for a month, once a month for a year, then once a year" ring a bell? ;) .

however when u do, it gives a classy(regal) luster, brings out the grain, adds that warm feel and that unique character to the wood stock that we all hear about. plus it adds moisture retarding ability to the stock as well.

lacquer on the other hand is a cheap shortcut best reserved for wooden furniture only. when used on wooden buttstock, it adds a sinister luster and cheap plastic like feel to the wooden stock. not to mention the cold and dead feeling.


Enigmatic Desires
04-11-2009, 03:50 PM

I never had a wooden shotgun.. though I was int eh market for one. But hte ones I saw were so ugly it just did'nt feel right.. soo I went for a poly offering..

Guess u are right.. The only wood one I saw an loved was a winchester in (what looked like) oak..

04-11-2009, 05:40 PM
Very nicely rounded up, Mr 12Gauge. I don't have a shotgun, but I've dealt with polymer and wooden stocks on airguns. The polymer is indeed a lot easier to clean, and quite lighter, compared to the wooden stock, with minimal difference in recoil.

04-11-2009, 07:57 PM
I think most of the reasons mentioned above more so fall in domain of preference rather than performance. To me, an orthodox approach though, rifle and shot gun without wooden stock are unimaginable.

04-11-2009, 08:43 PM
There must be some major advantage of the polymer over the wood as far as usage is concerned. For example, most new rifles employed by snipers these days are polymer stocked. Wood stocks are employed if you want good looks, polymer is catching up fast in functionality....

04-11-2009, 10:34 PM
unbeatable style and class, wooden stocks. go-anywhere do-anything resilience, polymer.

05-11-2009, 06:25 PM
thanks 12G for your valuable expert opinions..... by the way what is the price of baikal these days(sorry out of topic)

05-11-2009, 10:55 PM
thanks 12G for your valuable expert opinions..... by the way what is the price of baikal these days(sorry out of topic)

no problem sir, price of Baikal I think should be around 50K.


05-11-2009, 11:00 PM
from a hunter's prospective, (we use more shotgun than anyone else), in semis , for upland wood and for water fowl synthetic ..... For doubles nothing but wood ( that's all they come in :-) )........

For assault nothing but but synthetic ...... :D

My two cents , cheers ;)

06-11-2009, 05:29 AM
Agree with 12 gauge, regarding the use of lacquer and "cheap looks"! Yet, perhaps a non glossy, '"matte lacquer" could be used. I use it recently on furniture I wanted no shine on, yet some coverage for lamination. In terms of looks, I somehow prefer the poly stocks over the wooden, though agreed, wooden give more "warmth". Yet, there is "something" about the rugged, black color in poly stocks, that I find irresistable.

06-11-2009, 02:57 PM
i feel that baikal in fibre is bit lighter as compare to wooden, but i feel real show in wooden thats why i bought one. :)