What's up With The Wood?
Rifles Refined was born out of a passion for perfection. At the age of 13 having become thoroughly dissatisfied with the uncomfortable excuse for a stock on his pellet rifle, future Rifles Refined owner Owen Armstrong made his first gun stock, carved out of an ugly old piece of walnut scrounged from the scrap pile of a local sawmill. Inletted and shaped with rusty old chisels, a circular saw, and some worn out sandpaper, it turned out surprisingly well, and sparked a love for woodworking and fine craftsmanship in Owen’s life. While the tools, processes and skills have certainly come a long way since then, that first stock is what started him on the quest to make the absolute best possible rifle stocks on the market... always incorporating wood of course.
With a background in mechanical engineering Owen is well aware of the innovations and benefits of polymers and composite materials and he has even been involved in designing and making molds for products of that kind in the past. However, when it comes to firearms, you will be hard pressed to find someone who enjoys holding a piece of plastic when it's -20 degrees outside, or who would rather admire plastic injection molded butt stock over a highly figured walnut stock with many many hours of skilled craftsmanship poured into its elegant curves and crisp lines. Now each material has it's place and being able to toss your synthetic stocked guns in the bottom of a canoe or crawl across muddy cornfields in the fall with little concern for the finish is useful. But there are some of us who are looking for more than just the functionality of a tool in a firearm, there are some of us who are looking for the workmanship of an artist. For this reason it has been the mission of Rifles Refined to perfect the wood stock using only the highest quality materials, the most painstaking attention to detail, and the most eye catching and ergonomic designs.
A common feature on most of our stocks is the contrasting wood stripe that runs through the blank. Good looks aside, this simple lamination is one of the advancements to the traditional wood stock that helps set Rifles Refined apart. Many people are aware of the stability and strength of the colourful birch laminate stocks that have flooded the firearms market in recent years, and the same principle of laminated stability has been applied to our stock blanks. The difference is, no two of our stock blanks are the same, each one has a unique combination of woods or layer thicknesses. Every blank that we offer has been made by first selecting the most unique pieces of hardwood to form the outer body of the stock. This outer layer is typically beautifully figured walnut or maple. Next, the core of the stock is made from a different species of wood that nicely compliment the outer body wood. This core may be one single layer, or it may be many different layers of material such as maple, ash, mahogany, black walnut, and black dyed birch (for the pinstripe effect) . Once the different woods for the blank have been planed to thickness, the layers are glued together and laminated under pressure using a special press capable of applying many tons of force. The result is a stock blank that is as rigid and strong as it is beautiful. We also offer solid stock blanks, or we can even use the colorful laminate blanks if that is your preference as well.
In early 2017 we made our first grips for the AR15 platform and they quickly became popular on social media. Now these grips are our specialty and we have developed several different designs to suit the needs of precision shooters and firearms lovers that are not only eye-catching, but will increase your shooting performance as well. These wood grips are made from premium quality walnut (and often other unique woods like the red dyed box elder grip in the picture) and come standard with a hand rubbed oil finish. From time to time we will make a special one-off grip from a unique blank of wood and will post it either in the one-offs page or on our social media accounts which you can follow via the link at the bottom and top of this page.
In the near future we have plans for a full wood furniture set and standalone wood butt stocks for the AR15 platform. We have also been developing the 'Classy Chassis' for the Tikka t3 and Remington 700 that will be availible soon as well.
Check in often to see what's new with Rifles Refined!
~ Owen Armstrong