Ruger and salt wood!


October 15, 2008, 11:49 PM
I imagine most shooters familiar with Brownings have heard about the 1960's and early 1970's troubles FN and Browning had with salty high grade walnut.

I've read that other gun companys had issues with saltwood too, but never did much in the way of owning up to it.

I own a Ruger No.1 rifle that I'm fairly sure has a saltwood buttstock on it. Pretty piece of wood, but it is a bummer it causes rust!

I've tried sealing the inletting with marine grade varnish with so-so results. Slows the corrosion issue down, but not entirely preventing the tang from developing rust.

Nobody seems to believe me that my Ruger has a saltwood stock. They may say that it just got wet, sweat from a shooter got in the crevice between the stock and receiver, whatever! Somewhere down the line Ruger turned at least one salt cured blank into a No.1 rifle stock!

Has anyone else seen a Ruger long gun with a salty wood problem?

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October 16, 2008, 09:08 AM
to be sure you need to remove the stock and test a small area inside with a drop or two of silver nitrate. If it turns milky you've got saltwood.

An easier alternative is to remove one of the buttplate/buttpad screws, if it's rusty then you have a good chance of having a saltwood stock.

Here's more information from the expert...

October 17, 2008, 04:32 PM
Knew about the Browning salt wood scenario but the first I've heard about Ruger and salt wood. Do you have any documentation referencing Ruger's complicity in same?

October 17, 2008, 10:14 PM
What is saltwood?

October 17, 2008, 11:02 PM
351 i believe it is a way of curing the wood

as you probably know if you make something out of green wood it will warp(weatherby had a big problem with this in the 50s) now they use kilns to dry the wood but for a while they used salt to remove he water and cure the wood prior to making the stock

October 17, 2008, 11:02 PM
351 Winchester if you would read the excellent article cat9x referenced you would know.

October 17, 2008, 11:44 PM
This is a classic case of "salt wood".

My buttpad screws were near unremovable. Rusted, ruined, replaced with brass screws. The action tang was severely rusted on the right side, as was the back of the action. Less severely rusted on the tangs left side, but still rusted and badly pitted in spots. Had rusted so bad on the back of the receiver that it had a pile of rust pushed an 1/8" into the walnut buttstock!

The buttstock is of course a fancy grained walnut, like the Browning saltwoods. I'm positive somehow Ruger incorporated a salt wood blank into production.

I've had the rifle a couple of years, and have been dealing with the rusty situation. The forearm is a plainer grade walnut, and is corrosion free.

The day I posted this topic, I googeled around, and found one other guy bitchin' about a salt wood Ruger No.1 rifle on some forum. Then a reference or two saying other gun manufacturers, including Ruger had bought salted fancy stock blanks from the same source as Browning.

One thing that I thought odd was that this rifle is about a 1980 or 1981 made rifle. I had thought the saltwood deal would have fizzeled by then?

October 18, 2008, 11:01 AM
In the referenced article, it did mention that some Brownings from the early 80s ended up with salt wood as well. Theory is that there was a pile of em stashed in some hidey hole in the factory that got missed in the big clean-up, were found a few years later and put into production by folks not knowing they were salty.

October 18, 2008, 04:58 PM
I don't know if it would help any but can you seal the area of the stock that contacts your gun with a thinned epoxy?

You can thin epoxy with acetone and brush it on for a thin layer. We used to do this on our R/C models to seal the exposed wood from the model fuel. Just a thought.

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