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?