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Being an avid wood worker......

Birch is a Harder wood than Walnut. Walnut is Prettier grain and prefered for a lot of furniture applications....hence the expense.

A gun-stock if dropped will break made of Walnut before Birch. White Birch is heavier than American Walnut. There are some exotic Walnuts twice as heavy and hard as White Birch. The difference between hardness is not huge but it is there. Birch will get little dents before Walnut. Walnut being softer will tend to spring back before Birch. And with the tighter grain and density Birch dosnt take stain and finish as nice as Walnut.
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