Why walnut?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Architect, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Architect

    Portland, OR

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    Why is walnut the preferred wood for stocks and forends?

    I'm a designer by trade and have been making furniture for a few years, with walnut being my wood of choice for many projects. It has a nice tight grain and is strong without being too heavy or dense and takes many different types of finishes very well.

    That being said, many other species have the same traits without looking quite as nice. Beech is tough as nails in most applications and takes stain and finish well. Maple is can sometimes be heavier, but is more abundant and can be very beautiful. My new H&R single shot has a laminated wood stock, which obviously offers lots of strength and stiffness as well as cost efficiency for the manufacturer. It does, however, sacrifice looks (man, it's ugly).

    So why do most firearm choose walnut for their wood components?
  2. Certaindeaf

    SE Portland
    Well-Known Member

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    Because sometimes a pimp walking stick just won't suffice.

    DoubleTapDrew likes this.
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W.
    Silverton, OR
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    it is most likely a carryover from the European gun makers who didn't have maple cherry or some of the other woods and walnut was common in Germany in other parts of Europe and made a great stock. Those gun makers came to America and continued to practice and added the new woods to their list of inventory
  4. Medic!

    East side Portland
    Pain in the neck. Gold Supporter

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    View attachment 89335 All the types of wood you mention are used in WWII military guns. I think there was a lot of walnut at hand. And they needed guns fast. I always wondered if Rock-ola used furniture wood they had at hand. As some of there stocks were truly beautiful.
    Walnut and blued metal are beautiful. And help to exemplify a finely made gun. Glock and others have changed all that. People want to be all taticool! [Me to] View attachment 89340
    You may as well ask why do guns have gold inlay?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014

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