Many people have shooting as a hobby or are avid hunters of small game. For such people having guns and rifles is almost an obsession.Recently I opened the case of my Winchester .315 Self loading rifle. As I took out the gun from its case and assembled it, the part that really stood out was the stock made of pure walnut wood. The shining stock added luster to the gun. As I showed it to friend of mine he remarked that the beauty of the gun was enhanced by the lovely stock. Very true, the stock does add to thebeauty of the gun but it also serves a definite purpose as well. It cushions the recoil of the gun or rifle as the bullet is fired.
Newton’s third law of motion states that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This reaction is sometimes called a back lash or recoil as the bullet leaves the gun or rifle and the weapon is pushed against the crook of the shoulder. If not held properly it can create a nasty effect on the man firing the gun. Thus the primary purpose of the stock is to blunt the recoil. Looks are secondary but never the less important for a gun lover as it gives him individuality and also expresses his love for the weapon. He could engrave his name on it or a particular design or motif that would be his statement to the public, who see the
When the rifle or gun made its advent into the field of weapons the initial stocks were all made of wood. The gunsmiths generally used good wood like walnut and Sheesham and sometimes even teak. The gunsmith would also engrave a design or emblem as per the requirement of the gun owner. For many gun owners this was a statement of their personality.
But times have changed and wood is no longer the only material used for rifle and gun stocks. Newer materials, that are a product of the modern age like Bakelite and Carbon have appeared that are used as material as Gun stocks. With the production of guns and rifles having grown ten fold, perhaps this was inevitable. But these have their advantages as the gunstocks made of these materials make the guns lighter and more durable.
In the United States gunstocks made of synthetic materials are very common. But many shooters will prefer the good old wood for their rifle stocks. In India the synthetic stocks are used but a lot many private manufactures use only wood which is available in abundance.
What stock you have for your gun is a personal choice. The fact is the stocks now come in synthetic and natural material. If you want wood it will cost you a lot more. The choice is really with the gun owner.