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Posted: 10/11/2001 11:32:19 AM EDT
OK... I want to get a wood stock for my M1A but I don't know whether to go with walnut or birch. I know that walnut looks better and birch is stronger, but how big is the difference. What are your opinions and experiences with these two types of wood stock? Thanks all...
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 12:00:00 PM EDT
I personally like the walnut. Easily cared for with linseed oil. More of a milspec look. To me, birch makes it look civvy.
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 12:15:43 PM EDT
concur with Garandman on looks, have you considered the laminated stocks, they have a unique look, and are very strong/stable. If it is pure looks, get the best figured walnut, straighter grain is stronger for butt strokeing the enemy, that is why most of the mil stocks are straighter and show stocks have more curl. Take a look at the laminites. TRW
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 12:23:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2001 12:21:43 PM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 12:31:44 PM EDT
Oh, I should also say that really for a match M1A, I would go with the fiberglass Macmillan in camo. Holds a zero better. But if the choice is between birch and walnut, then walnut.
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 12:36:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 12:58:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: Walnut is weaker. Birch is better. [;)]
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Not to doubt you, but how do they come up with the "10% stronger" thing??? Is there like a rockwell test for wood????? Or does birch made a 10% deeper dent in a Jerries skull? [}:D]
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 1:03:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2001 12:57:53 PM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 3:34:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2001 3:29:01 PM EDT by Derek45]
I like Walnut or fiberglass. I used to have a Birch stock on my Garand, it was stained to look like walnut, but when you put a scratch in it, it looked almost white. I've heard Birch is stronger and "moe heavy" too. This is my $35 walnut from FREDS. [img]http://wsphotofews.excite.com/027/MS/uZ/wE/v780970.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 3:50:55 PM EDT
Has anyone tried Fred's Big Red Birch? It sounds bigger and better. Opinions?
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 4:17:28 PM EDT
Walnut is prettier. Birch has to be stained to look like walnut; walnut looks like walnut. Birch is more brittle (brittler?) than walnut. Ever hear of someone making a custom rifle with a birch stock? Good walnut is IMHO a better gunstock than good birch. However, good birch is better than poor walnut, and nowadays a lot of walnut used in gunstocks is pretty poor. The walnut I’ve seen in most M-14/M1A stocks appears soft and porous. I believe most M-14’s were stocked with birch; so it’s certainly not a poor or inappropriate selection. However, in my view if you want a pretty stock get walnut; if you want a strong stock get synthetic or a laminate.
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 4:36:09 PM EDT
I am going to preface this by saying I don't have practical experience with merits of birch stocks vs walnut. As a wood products person, however, it's my understanding that strength aspects of wood generally increase with density, rather than species. Birch is listed as slightly denser than walnut, so raf is generally right. You need to realize, also that wood is a very non-homogeneous product, so I am sure that there are birch samples that are much weaker than walnut samples. Grain deviations such as burls etc, would also influence wood structural properties. Unless you are planning on using your M-14 for bayonet work, walnut will be more than strong enough. Both walnut and birch are not dimensionally stable over different moisture regimes, so if you want stability and strength, you ought to go with synthetic stocks. You could also try laminated wood, but cellulose, the primary strength consituent in wood, has a chemical composition that ATTRACTS water vapor. Oils, finishes and the like will only retard this attraction. As a person who has watched too many loads of plywood coming out of a hot press, I can say that even plywood, which maximizes wood stability, can be absolutely stricken with warp problems. According to the Forest Products Laboratory "Wood Handbook," Black Walnut: Specific gravity oven dry .55 Modulus of rupture 14,600 psi Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) 1.68 million psi Yellow Birch: Specific gravity OD .62 MOR 16,600 MOE 2.01 million psi Again, these values are not set in stone; trees grow differently under different conditions. And that is the real beauty of wood!! It's got the "nice linah!"
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 6:22:45 PM EDT
For my Chinese/American Poly Tech M-14S, I have 2 walnut stocks, 2 synthetics and 1 birch. For looks/display I prefer the walnut, for serious business I prefer the synthetics. The birch is my G.P. beater that I use if I have to ship the rifle to have work done or if I'm knocking around the strip mines plinking. I have refinished the walnuts and birch. They all look nice but the birch stock didn't take stain very well, it's blotchy. Go with the walnut and get a sythetic as well.
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