Over at fieldandstream.com, self-professed gun nut Phil Bourjaily ain’t got time for shotguns with synthetic stocks. His objections are less about the field and more about the stream. “Synthetics are inferior to wood stocks when it comes to handling the elements: the buttstocks are much more likely to take in water when you dunk them than are wooden stocks. A couple of weeks ago, just to do it and because there were cameras rolling, I threw a Mossberg 930 into a pond . .
As the gun settled in to the mud you could see a stream of bubbles running out of the juncture between the stock and the pad as the hollow stock filled with water. You don’t have to throw a synthetic stocked gun in the water to get the insides wet either, just dipping it every once in a while can be enough. That water can rust an action spring or its tube if you don’t remove the pad and make sure everything is dry in there periodically. Wood stocks, which are solid except for the stock bolt hole drilled in the middle, don’t take on water as quickly or easily.
More than that, Phil doesn’t like the way synthetic stock shotguns look. I totally heart my Benelli SuperNova, M2 and M4; I’d happily dunk any one of them and expect it to continue to function flawlessly. But I wouldn’t trade my wood-stocked Citori for love or money. Your thoughts?