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Taking a new look at old stocks...

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by MountainBear, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Well, in light of today's negativity coming out of Roseburg, I have decided to focus on happier things instead. I find myself fairly disturbed from the description of Christians being targeted and as a shop owner, I am hoping there isn't a run on guns and ammo, because as a small time shop, the likelihood of me being able to weather a run and the subsequent shortage is nill.

    So we are focusing on positive things today. Last year, I traded into a sporterized Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55.
    It had a Mannlicher style stock, a butterknife bolt handle, and overall looked like a nice rifle.


    The only thing I didn't like about the gun (other than the Tasco scope) was the finish of the mannlicher stock. I am not sure what the actual ingredients used were (although I suspect alkenet root stain and a heavy urethane finish), but it looks like the entire stock was dipped in a wine barrel and then spar varnished. But out from under all that plastic and purple stain, you could just barely make out decent grain. It was a usable gun, and one that someone obviously put time and love into, but it wasn't my style stock. I hemmed and hawed for a few months before I finally decided to peel back the layers and see what was underneath. That was an undertaking in and of itself. Most of what can best be described the plastic finish was scraped off by hand. The scraping also removed a good portion of the stain. But around the curves from the pistol grip back, I used a chemical stripper, that while it removed a good portion of the plastic, didn't even touch the stain. So I carefully had to scrape and sand the stain until the grain finally showed through.


    I sold my deer rifle last week because someone wanted it bad enough to pay my I don't want to sell it price, so I had to expedite finishing this rifle for deer season. It is by no means done, but since its mine, it doesn't have to be perfect at this time. After deer season, I will fix the few mistakes and finish reshaping it just a bit more. Not that I don't appreciate the 70's/80's style, but the grip just doesn't fit my hand well. Then I will go through the long month long process of finishing and sealing the stock one coat at a time.

    The grain on the backside of the stock was really pretty nice to me.


    I guess the purpose of this thread, other than to put a positive, distracting thought in my head, was to show that sometimes old stocks with poor finishes, or at least old finishes can be hiding some really attractive wood. Hope you enjoyed.
    NCW_Robert, GOG, bolus and 5 others like this.
  2. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Very nice!!
    MountainBear likes this.
  3. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Sweet rifle!

    BEN LILLY Lincoln City, OR NRA LIFE MEMBER Bronze Supporter

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    I really like nice wood on a rifle. You have the makings of a nice one.
    You can make a nice gun stock stain by putting a plug of chewing tobacco in
    a mason jar full of ammonia. Let it sit for a month or two. Shake it up every few days. Try it on a scrap piece of walnut and see if it fits your taste. Need darker? add another plug of tobacco to soak for a month or so.
    orygun likes this.
  5. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Hell of an interesting concept. Not sure I could stomach the smell, but I'll have to give it a try...