English Walnut (Juglans regia), is without a doubt the Cadillac of gun woods. This is the wood that is often called thin shell walnut. These are almost always orchard trees where table walnuts come from. English, Circassian, Turkish, French etc. are all the same subspecies. My absolute favorite is the Franquette or French species. This is also the hardest to come by due to the increasing replanting of higher producing hybrid trees. This also makes it the most expensive by far.
Sometimes called Paradox this wood is often the choice for the big kicking dangerous game rifles when weight is a good thing. Bastogne is a very beautiful wood with dense fiddle back being its hallmark. This wood is super dense in grain structure and takes a finish that is second to none. The tree is a hybrid cross between English and Black Walnut. This tree is also very rare and hard to come by. Don’t confuse this wood with a graft at the bottom of an English tree because it’s not the same. Graft stumps are almost always some form of Black Walnut that has been genetically modified to resist decease. Not a bad thing just not Bastogne.
Black Walnut (Claro)
California Blank Walnut sometimes called Claro in my opinion is the prettiest Black Walnut. Many times having colors from black, orange, red, gold and brown. Fiddle back from dense to glassy is usually present. Generally this wood is light in weight but can be quite heavy depending on growing conditions. These trees are fairly plentiful with the really good ones being a little harder to find. Because of its availability it is the least expensive of all the walnuts. If you are on a budget you’ll get the most bang for your buck with this wood.