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In your opinion, which soaks up recoil better; Wood or Synthetic stocks?


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I think it's more weight and the shape of the stock than the type.

the drop in the stock can impact how much recoil you feel

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Originally Posted by Spotshooter
I think it's more weight and the shape of the stock than the type.

the drop in the stock can impact how much recoil you feel

Spot


I fully agree to your statement but wondered to if the material made any difference.


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Originally Posted by Dawn2Dusk
In your opinion, which soaks up recoil better; Wood or Synthetic stocks?

Plastic. I have owned several dual stock rifles and have a .458 at the moment with both plastic and walnut stocks. Although the quality of the recoil pad is an influence, the wood stocks "feels" heavier in recoil to me. Have tried this with a number of rifles over the years.

In the end, the chambering must also be a considerations. If we are talking .25/06's it doesn;t matter. Big bores are something else.

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Brown Precision claims that their stocks have a little bit of flex and that soaks up recoil, and in my experience that is true. Ive fired the same rifles - .30-06, .308 and .243, in wooden Remington BDL stocks and then the Brown classic, and the same rifle, same load, gives less subjective recoil in the much lighter Brown stock.

Certainly the shape of the stock could contribute to that and it would be almost impossible to attribute a given percentage of the reduction to the material or the shape, but this is something Ive definitely noticed for whatever reason.


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Originally Posted by Jim in Idaho
Brown Precision claims that their stocks have a little bit of flex and that soaks up recoil, and in my experience that is true. Ive fired the same rifles - .30-06, .308 and .243, in wooden Remington BDL stocks and then the Brown classic, and the same rifle, same load, gives less subjective recoil in the much lighter Brown stock.

Certainly the shape of the stock could contribute to that and it would be almost impossible to attribute a given percentage of the reduction to the material or the shape, but this is something Ive definitely noticed for whatever reason.


I agree with Jim and AGW on the Brown, and some others.Have an 8 pound 375 that is really not bad at all to shoot with its' Brown Precision stock;and have had the Browns on 300's and 338's. There seems to be something to this "flexing"business,even if slight.

Wood OTOH seems somewhat morerigid, transmits more punch to the body.

I have had this half-assed theory that,in some respects,a heavy wooden is harder to get it started to the rear,but once it does, its' momentum is also harder to stop....your body does the job,soaks the momentum.Design is important here.




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I've brought this up before, but I am aware of a medical study that was being conducted in Billings Montana, in affiliation with Montana State University about the effects of Synthetic Stocks on rifle shooting..

Having a medical background myself, I can understand the problems... without going into full detail about it, the study was started because they found a large number of people who had hearing loss on their shooting side, even though wearing ear protecting...

the common thread was that they shot a lot, and also had used synthetic stocks..vs wood or laminate..

what they were finding is that a lot of synthetic stocks, absorb no recoil at all.. they just transfer it straight back to the shooter and the vibrations along with it..

this resonates to the mastoid bone behind the ear and causes granulation ( like turning it into sand..)

when you hear something the vibrations are reflected off of your mastoid bone, allowing the inner ear to hear..

as this granulates, there is nothing for the sound to resonate off of.. therefore it decreases the ability to hear dramatically..

I worked several years selling ENT drills, and would scrub into surgery frequently with the physicians on these cases.. the drill cleans out the granulation and allows the mastoid bone to regenerate good bone to restore hearing..

I am guilty of using synthetic stocks on several 223s but anything I do volume shooting on, I avoid synthetic stocks.. same as any real heavier recoiling rifle.. such as a 270 and up..

I am 58 now and my son still is always complaining about how well I hear....as I am constantly telling him to turn his IPOD done..if I can hear it, then it is too loud...


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depends on which one is heavier.


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Some synthetic stock are designed to be very stiff, and often this is advertised as a desirable feature.
I have used some synthetics that are very flexible, earning the moniker "tupperware". Have also shot some that are extremely stiff, mostly aftermarket, as a good wood stock is.
Think you have to differentiate between technical recoil, and felt recoil. Todays generally straight stocks, often referred to as "classic", tend to do a nice job of reducing felt recoil.
I have shot a number of old rifles, nineteenth century Winchesters are a good example, with a lot of drop, that seem to magnify recoil. keep in mind that lots of those old guns were built in relatively mild calibers.
Shot many old double barrel shotguns, that really come back. Shot an old Remington 12 ga, with a heavily dropped stock, that would occasionally double, that made for a memorable event. So design can make a huge difference in felt recoil.
The recent design improvements in recoil pads are making a great contribution in recoil management. Interesting to note that many of the better stocks are sold with better pads.


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Take my dad's M70 walnut stocked 338WM & my brother's walnut stocked M77 in 338WM both with the same load and the M77 will punish you, not so much with the M70.

Different stock shapes, more rise with the M77 I suspect.



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Even if a plastic stocks did absorb recoil as stated by some of those that pimp the plastic, take into consideration that the plastic stock is lighter, so it would offset any difference in recoil..I don't believe there is anymore give in a plastic stock than a wood stock, they both flex at the magazine box, but that in itself has no effect on recoil IMO....

What effects recoil is weight of stock, length of stock, drope at heel and comb, in other words the sole factors are weight,fit, and design.

EDIT: Additionally I don't believe recoil pads effect felt recoil very much at all..What they do is keep the recoil from hurting the shoulder of those that tend to hold a gun loosly..I have metal butt plates on several big bores and if you pull the gun in to your shoulder tight with the trigger hand and get a grip on the forend and pull everything back the recoil will not hurt your shoulder unless your on the bone and not in the shoulder cleft..

The infamous and ultra talented gunsmith Jack Belk once told me that a recoil pad only accomplishe one thing, and that was to give the gun a one inch running start at your shoulder, but he allowed that they were great for standing guns up in the corners of your house..I pretty well agree with jack on the subject.:) smile

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Ray - I would much rather shoot my .458 Win, with laminated stock and one inch recoil pad then an older .45/70 M1886 or M1873 Trapdoor with those crescent shaped steel butt plates. Old timers had to have loved the pain... To me the difference in your "one inch running start" is rubber vs. steel. Otherwise I'm in agreement with you. Regards, Homesteader.

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Wood is better IMO. I only have one plastic stocked rifle. I'd like to find a wood stock set for it.


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I took my synthetic stock and filled it with expandable foam, after it set i cut of the excess and replaced the recoil pad and went out and shot it. now this is just my non scientific experiance but the felt recoil was noticably different. IMHO the expandable foam allowed the recoil to be distributed over the entire surface area of the recoil pad before transfering into my shoulder and thus giving more surface area to spread the load out onto. before i filled the stock the recoil is coming through the walls of the stock only and distributed around the outside perimeter of the recoil pad and results in a sharper felt recoil because the same load is concentrated over a smaller surface area. this is why i feel a synthetic hollow stock (and sometimes narrow too) tends to feel like it has more thump to it.
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Maybe.......but you also have to figure in the weight that the foam filler added to the overall total.

Generally I'd guess that all plastic stocks would result in more recoil. Hell, I "recoil" just from the sight of a plastic stock!


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Originally Posted by Seafire
I've brought this up before, but I am aware of a medical study that was being conducted in Billings Montana, in affiliation with Montana State University about the effects of Synthetic Stocks on rifle shooting..

Having a medical background myself, I can understand the problems... without going into full detail about it, the study was started because they found a large number of people who had hearing loss on their shooting side, even though wearing ear protecting...

the common thread was that they shot a lot, and also had used synthetic stocks..vs wood or laminate..

what they were finding is that a lot of synthetic stocks, absorb no recoil at all.. they just transfer it straight back to the shooter and the vibrations along with it..

this resonates to the mastoid bone behind the ear and causes granulation ( like turning it into sand..)

when you hear something the vibrations are reflected off of your mastoid bone, allowing the inner ear to hear..

as this granulates, there is nothing for the sound to resonate off of.. therefore it decreases the ability to hear dramatically..

I worked several years selling ENT drills, and would scrub into surgery frequently with the physicians on these cases.. the drill cleans out the granulation and allows the mastoid bone to regenerate good bone to restore hearing..

I am guilty of using synthetic stocks on several 223s but anything I do volume shooting on, I avoid synthetic stocks.. same as any real heavier recoiling rifle.. such as a 270 and up..

I am 58 now and my son still is always complaining about how well I hear....as I am constantly telling him to turn his IPOD done..if I can hear it, then it is too loud...


Very interesting stuff... Had not "heard" it before and it makes perfect sense...

From the recoil perspective, until they build cast into synthetic stocks a wood stock can always be built to handle recoil far better than any synthetic.


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Years back when the service rifle stocks switched over to fiberglass from wood at the Marksmanship Unit Quantico, there was much talk and study about a belief the fiberglass stocks would cause long term hearing issues compared to the wood stocks. I seem to recall this being a topic of discussion at least once a year during training. I further recall this rumor repeating all the way into the mid 90's. But I had thought this was long ago debunked and proved a wive's tale by both the military and the civilian shooting sport community.

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