American beech is different from European beech, which is denser and stronger. Beech trees are beautiful and they hold their golden leaves late in the year. I love to walk in a beech forest with a dusting of snow. The beechnuts are very important for deer and black bears. In fact, in bear country it is hard to find a large beech tree without bear scars. However, as gunstocks they are very plain, and although initially harder than walnut, they are very susceptible to rot and insects. In other words, beech stocks do not store well, a major consideration when preparing small arms that will be stored for several years before use. The main reasons they were not popular is they were ugly and decayed quickly.
@oldwood, I "liked" your post because I appreciate your posting it, but that is a sad tale that you tell. I've seen something similar here in Florida. The State Park managers want to "restore" the parks to whatever they think was growing in 1492, evidently not understanding that forests evolve. Anyway, I've seen several parks in which acres of "undesirable" trees, including native species like laurel oak, sweetgum, and cherry, and in one case a grove of live oaks, have been utterly destroyed. I know the plan is to replant, but they seldom do. I don't know if they run out of funding or what, but several of our local parks have acres and acres of wasteland. One that I know of has been neglected so long it is beginning to grow back up in the same species of trees they destroyed 25 years ago.Here in Pa. in the State forest ,it must be considered to be useless. There was a good stand of Beech in the Sproul ,and after harvesting it for pulp wood , the harvester came back and wiped out the remainder of the stand with a special machine that plucked out all the seedlings , and under story. Doesn't matter , I won't live long enough to see any regeneration , and there is no small game there any way.
Beech is heavy , like oak , and locus. All are stable woods , but most have little figure. Apparently, folks in the Appalachian frontier didn't want guns with heavier wood , if they had a choice. Ash is heavier and seen in southern guns , and infrequently seen in Pa. built long rifles. If gunstock wood supplies were low , gunsmiths would go to ash so as to keep working. 10 + years ago , Greg Dixon and I had a discussion about an original Lehigh Co. poor boy rifle in his store. It was intentionally made from a beautiful blank of curly maple , and riddled with termite tunnels. All I can say is , get creative , make what you wish. There was a double cheek piece Jager rifle in the Gettysburg Battlefield Gun museum. It was made of oak. That would be the last wood , I would use for a Jager rifle , but who am I to judge?..............oldwood
only cheap rifles are stocked in beech in Europe and as one carpenter told me it´s better than his colleagues, because beech always work
The UK is Europe ? I had been told that is not LOL ,think that you ought to append that with a caveat. Here in UK some high-end pcp air rifles - $1500 - 2000 - are stocked in beech.
The UK is Europe ? I had been told that is not LOL , Normally a expensive Rifle is stocked in Walnut, maybe Cherry and you can get rifles for that money that are stocked in plastic ,take a look at Schützenrifles or engraved Huntingrifles and yes for good workmanship 2000$ is not enough.
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