Garand stock restoration - Differences between Birch and Walnut?


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Ratzinger_p38
March 1, 2008, 01:51 PM
I am now starting my long dreaded M1 Garand project, and right off the bat I want to take care of the handguards. My rifle is an early 1943 model, and although I dont yet have the correct stock, I wanted to go ahead and get original black walnut handguards. Trouble is, at a few sites online I have seem contradicting claims of which is walnut, and which is birch. I THNK my rear handguard is walnut while the front is birch, but I am going to need some help here.

I will post pics if it would help. Most of the front handguards out there look like birch to my eyes but I want to be sure before I waste any money.

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41magsnub
March 1, 2008, 01:56 PM
Have you looked at the CMP stocks? I have no personal experience but they say they are walnut.

http://estore.odcmp.com/store/catalog/catalog.aspx?pg=product&ID=082&item=&sfv=&cat=PAC&desc=&udc=&mct=&vndr=&ba=&pmin=&pmax=&note1=&note2=&note3=&note4=&note5=&max=

When my garand gets here next month (I hope) if the stock is too rough that is what I will get.

Ratzinger_p38
March 1, 2008, 02:01 PM
Yeah but I am shooting for original only. So I would need a EMcF stamped stock, in style 2C. Worth about 400 dollars.

My questions was more about what were differences in the wood grain that would help me out.

Oohrah
March 1, 2008, 02:27 PM
Birch is the more difficult to work with to obtain color to orginal.
Before you spend that kind of money to replace, or the time to
restore an over 50 year old wood, I would put it aside for collector
value if has any. Buy direct from Boyds stocks a completely finished
walnut set. Most cases a drop in. The CMP stocks I think, need to
be glass bedded. I restored six Ceremonial Garands to like new condition
for military funerals. The oil stained stocks were given a few coats of
Scotts Liquid Gold that brought out the wood grain color contrasts and
sealed off the oils that tend to bleed off on white gloves used for the
Ceremonies. Only two lower stocks needed a small amount of wood removed
around the trigger guard area. Care must be used on the very thin rear
upper hand guard when installing the spring clip holding the wood to a
spline cut on the barrel, to not crack the wood.
Several sell these stocks, but the lowest price is to buy direct from Boyds!
I believe the walnut has a more open grain, slightly harder, and absorbs
finishes more readily. Birch doesn't seem to have the dark wood contrast,
and most use a carrier such as alcohol to bring the stain into the wood for
the dark contrast.
If this is a CMP rifle and you are a member, there is a great article on
wood finishing stocks under the Carbine section. It is written for Garands
but works for any old military wood!
Semper Fi

wrench
March 1, 2008, 02:33 PM
If you are looking at an original stock only, I'd wait on the handguards. Find the stock first, as that will be the hardest.
Then find walnut handguards to match the stock.
Just a thought.

Ratzinger_p38
March 1, 2008, 02:47 PM
Yes, this was a CMP that someone else had already started restoring, the trigger group is perfect except for the safety, and the rear sight had a lockbar installed.

However I am not a member. I already cleaned up the 1950s stock it has, using the CMP guide. Although I admit I dont know exactly what you mean by open grain.

30Cal
March 1, 2008, 05:40 PM
Yeah but I am shooting for original only. So I would need a EMcF stamped stock, in style 2C. Worth about 400 dollars.

My questions was more about what were differences in the wood grain that would help me out.


Any EMcF stock is going to be walnut. In spite of the high volume of faked stamps out there, I doubt anyone's going to be applying them to a birch stock. I highly recommend you find an expert to help you find a stock. There is a frightening amount of fakes out there and they're all priced as if they were legit.

41magsnub
March 1, 2008, 05:51 PM
However I am not a member

You do not need to be a member of a CMP organization to buy a stock if I recall correctly. Even if you did that is only $25 to join the Garand Collector's Association.

http://www.odcmp.com/Services/Rifles/eligibility_requirements.htm

P-32
March 1, 2008, 05:56 PM
Let me blow all of your plans.

http://www.dgrguns.com


Dean has outstanding wood.

mswestfall
March 1, 2008, 07:11 PM
I've seen a couple of DGR restorations. It was quality work.

I just put a Boyd's stock on my late 5.6 million serial number last night. My neighbor helped me as sometimes it took four hands. The stock is well made. It is oversized. So if that is a problem you might want to look elsewhere.

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