Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fancy wood, and its appropriate use

I'll be the first to admit it.. I'm a sucker for a fancy piece of walnut!
That said, pretty wood never grassed a bird, but I've yet to meet anyone that doesn't drool when they see it..
But, should wood be commensurate with the relative value of the gun it's applied to?
I think it should! In my opinion, a shotgun marketed to the serfs, like myself, looks a bit out of place wearing the highest grades of walnut. I often prefer a more subdued stick.. Something that looks like a working gun instead of a showpiece.
Can wood be too fancy? I think it can! A friend once had a Beretta ASE with fantastic wood. I shot that gun well the first, and only, time I picked up, and marveled at the figure in the buttstock. The figure was so pronounced and beautiful, that it almost did not look real... Like a piece of plastic!
Some of the wood that is today marketed as "high grade" also shows flaws that would have never passed muster in years past. Knots, and areas that were obviously the remnants of the start of branches. But, as full figured walnut becomes more and more scarce, and more in demand, second quality pieces will also get the nod on the guns of some folks.

So, I like nice wood. But I also like wood with pleasing figure, but an understated elegance..

We'll soon see what shows up on a new gun!

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