Putting a plastic stock on a strong, steel barreled action makes about as much sense as putting a screen door on a submarine. The whole idea behind a submarine is to make it watertight. Likewise, the whole idea behind putting a stock on a gun is to make it functional and more accurate to shoot. A plastic stock does neither of those, so why do it?
Gun manufacturers work very hard to produce the strongest, most functional, most beautiful, and most-accurate guns on the planet. So to engineer in a component that offers less support, less beauty, less functionality than a stronger, more functional, more accurate, more beautiful wood stock is just insanity. So I ask you; why in blazes have some manufacturers chosen to compromise the integrity of their guns by installing cheap, ugly, flimsy, less-accurate plastic stocks? I’ll tell you why – and it has absolutely nothing to do with better performance – it’s the cost.
It costs manufacturers as little as $7 to slap a cheap plastic gunstock on your expensive gun. How does that grab you? Make you feel good? Here’s a gun you’re paying upwards of a thousand dollars for, or more, (when you’ve finished accessorizing it), and it has a flimsy, flexible, ugly piece of plastic installed on it that is supposed to be a stable base, a strong, supportive platform that the barreled action is installed into. Don’t the manufacturers know that plastic flexes like crazy? Don’t they know that the gunstock is supposed to be the strong, rigid platform from which the barreled action launches super-sonic projectiles? Do they not know that Boyds laminated wood stocks are superior to plastic, and outperform them at every turn? Apparently not, because some gun manufacturers keep making the same mistake over and over again. They risk angering their customers and losing sales by offering inferior components on their guns in the form of plastic gunstocks. Don’t manufacturers know that a gun is only as good as its weakest component?
Boyds has been manufacturing laminated wood stocks for over 30 years. Laminated wood stocks are stronger and more rigid; these two features alone help increase accuracy. Also, laminated wood stocks are far more beautiful than plastic stocks. There’s just something about the smooth texture and weight of wood that feels warm to the touch and feels solid and strong.
Over the past 15 years or so that I’ve worked in the firearms industry I’ve watched some trends emerge over time. I watched the tactical category explode with growth. I’ve been able to see and hear what people are saying; what they are doing. I’ve been able to identify buying habits of gun enthusiasts. I’ve been able to see and track people’s reactions to different product introductions over the years. And what I have noticed lately is a real trend: People are tired of plastic stocks. They were a fad. People were taken in by the marketing baloney that plastic was superior – but the people shot their guns and noticed the actual results showed the opposite was true. Plastic stocks were less accurate than wood stocks. People have realized that plastic, no matter how you shape it or color it, just looks cheap and nasty – and it will never, ever have the strength, durability, rigidity, the accuracy, or the incredible beauty that wood provides.
The long and short of it is simply this: Your steel barreled action is only as good as the launch platform it is mounted in; your gunstock. So, doesn’t it make sense to give that barreled action as strong, as rigid, and as stable a launch platform as you possibly can so that you can send your super-sonic projectiles down range as accurately as possible?
So I reiterate; putting a plastic stock on a firearm makes about as much sense as putting a screen door on a submarine.