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Taking a good, hard look at Rutland Plywood Corporation's STRATABOND.

Taking A Good, Hard Look At Rutland Plywood Corporation's STRATABOND

The quaint hamlet of Rutland in the foothills of Vermont's Green Mountains has always been judged one of the finest ski areas in the Northeast. Yet, it is also the home of the Rutland Plywood Corporation -- manufacturers of the STRATABOND laminated gunstock as currently being utilized by such major arms combines as Remington, Ruger, Savage, Sako, Thompson/Center and U.S. Repeating Arms.

Actually, the laminated gunstock is here to stay and there is no question the STRATABOND stock, as produced by Rutland Plywood, is without peer. The laminated gunstock only made its appearance on the sporting scene, just a few years ago, when it was revealed at the NASGW and NRA shows, where it caught the eye of gun buffs and firearms aficionados across the country.

To be sure, firearms fanciers of today appear more readily to accept changes and new innovations in the firearms industry. Nevertheless, despite the introduction of the fiberglass stock and its known advantages as compared to wood, there are those firearms enthusiasts who continue to shun this innovative material primarily because of its gross lack of aesthetic appeal. After all, a fine piece of walnut, artistically checkered, offers far more eye appeal and aesthetic value when compared to the rather drab stocks of fiberglass.

But it is certainly another story when it comes to gunstocks created of laminated materials. Actually, the most innovative new laminated gunstock offers the best of all worlds since it possesses all the virtues of a fine-grained conventional woodstock. In addition, laminated stocks are far stronger as compared to a conventional woodstock and are not affected by shrinking, swelling and warping as is often commonplace with wood stocks when subjected to varied changes in humidity and temperature or when exposed to rain or snow.

Yet the laminated gunstock does have just one drawback -- albeit a minor one. Because of the way it is constructed the laminated stock is a bit heavier in weight when compared to a conventional wood stock -- about four to five ounces heavier, that is. But this slight increase in weight is a minor problem when one judges its other attributes. Besides, the laminated gunstock can be lightened in weight, if one so desires by simply hollowing out its butt stock portion.

So again, there is every indication the laminated gunstock is destined to play a dominate role in the firearms industry and in the very near future and the folks at Rutland Plywood are geared to take center stage to meet this burgeoning popularity.

According to Jack Barrett, president of Rutland Plywood, it took the corporation some four years of intensive research and testing to create its high-tech STRATABOND laminated gunstocks. "Bonding was the major problem," said Barrett. "But we sincerely believe today we have developed a process to achieve a most powerful bond to produce the tightest laminations. As a consequence, our return rate has been zero and our delivery dates on schedule."

Today, Rutland Plywood is the only combine supplying laminated gunstocks to the major firearms manufacturers and we guarantee you'll be seeing more firearms available in the future, sporting STRATABOND laminated stocks as currently produced amid the foothills of Vermont.

"For gunstock applications it is an undisputable fact that laminates are superior to the traditional one-piece stock, regardless of the kind of wood the stock is fashioned from," said Barrett. "The laminate is far stronger and virtually inert and is not affected by weather or temperature and its superior strength and stability is attributed to several factors.

"First, the typical riflestock fashioned from a blank of Rutland Plywood STRATABOND contains 35 individual layers of hardwood -- native birch, to be exact. The grain of each veneer runs parallel to the next but does not line up precisely.

"In other words, this subtly offset grain structure, coupled with the pressure bonding, makes for a stock that is far stronger than a conventional one and enables the stock to resist stress from virtually any direction," Barrett continued.

"Controlled 48-hour immersion tests have shown that STRATABOND laminates swell 38 percent less than untreated laminates. Further, when compared to a conventional one-piece walnut stock, STRATABOND laminates swell 20 percent less under identical test conditions. As any knowledgeable shooter knows, even minor changes in the bedding or swelling result in erratic accuracy and wandering zero. With STRATABOND gun quality laminates, these conditions are virtually eliminated," Barrett explained.

Barrett further pointed out that the absorption and loss of moisture, which makes wood warp, expand or shrink in the first place, is virtually eliminated for several reasons. Foremost, when each 1/16-inch laminate is individually impregnated under pressure with a strong color dye, the wood is thoroughly permeated. "This provides a high degree of water-resistance," said Barrett. "Secondly, when waterproof resin is applied to both sides of the veneer prior to pressure bonding, the cells close to the surface are truly impregnated making the wood much more impervious to moisture. Actually, some have described this process as being completely waterproof.

"When we at Rutland Plywood Corporation speak of 'gun quality' laminates, incidently, we're referring to the highest quality among hundreds of composites produced by us for a variety of industrial applications. The veneer which go into these gunstock blanks are visually inspected for flaws and therefore our technicians know exactly what is inside every stock, not just what is on the surface, as with conventional wood stocks," Barrett added.

Barrett further commented that at Rutland Plywood quality control inspections are performed at over 20 points in the manufacturing process and therefore any so-called hidden weaknesses which otherwise might not be detected are discovered, identified and culled. "Each piece of veneer is a near-perfect, homogenous sheet, so there are no surprises when the blank is machined to a finished stock," Barrett concluded.

So to reiterate, the American sportsman/firearm buff is surely destined to be seeing more such STRATABOND laminated gunstocks incorporated in the firearms of the future. The laminated stock is indeed aesthetic in nature, offering the high quality as found in fancy fine-grained wood stocks of bygone decades. Indeed, they are beautiful to look at boasting all the warmth of wood and with a most striking appearance of the brown/charcoal/green as created in STRATABOND.

Equally appealing, the STRATABOND laminated gunstock is rugged, practically indestructible and most important, impervious to the elements -- and that's just about the best of all worlds. STRATABOND laminated gunstocks are surely here to stay.

PHOTO : Some fine samples of Rutland Plywood's STRATABOND laminated gunstocks as currently being utilized by some of the major arms combines. Note the striking appearance of the brown/charcoal/green as created in STRATABOND.
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Title Annotation:laminated gunstocks
Author:Brant, Howard
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:column
Date:Apr 1, 1989
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