Pre 64 Stock Issue


January 4, 2010, 09:58 PM
I have a bit of a problem here fellas. I recently noticed a fracture hair line crack located behind my receiver tang and on the bottom also behind the floor plate on my pre 64 featherweight in 270. Both heading towards the butt of the stock. I would like to keep the stock original to hold it's value. I've been looking for another LA pre-64 stock, they seem to be difficult to come by. Should a I just take it to the gunsmith to have the stock delt with or wait until I come by another? I don't know really what he can do to keep it original as possible and fix the issue.

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January 4, 2010, 10:44 PM
I've cleaned up some Winchester stocks for the "Fine Gunrooms" of Cabelas and Scheels in the midwest. Sounds like you need a bit of bedding in on the recoil lug to ensure the tang isn't acting as a recoil lug. That can be done in such a way you'll hardly notice with the barreled action out. This will push the barreled action forward in the stock a few thousandths so you're clear everywhere else. If the cracks aren't bad someone who knows what they're doing can make them disapear. I use super glue or warm acraglass mixed with walnut sawdust to fill small cracks. Blending the factory lacquer is not hard.

Slightly enlarging the bolt bolt holes is a good idea too. It's possible your rear screw is touching the back of the hole on recoil acting as a recoil lug.

Also a lot of gunsmiths are not good at replicating the original finish if that's important to you.

January 5, 2010, 01:56 AM
Also a lot of gunsmiths are not good at replicating the original finish if that's important to you.

Yes it would be. I don't want this rifle looking like a third grader pasted it together, it is a pre-64. Sounds like I don't really have an option here. The crack is about 2 inches long, but really thin. Sounds like you really know what you are doing. How bout I send it to you.:D

January 6, 2010, 04:43 AM
Dang one reply. Thanks fellas.

Bart B.
January 6, 2010, 07:53 AM
I and others have taken a hack saw to cut the crack open enough to fill completely with epoxy, let it harden then trim away the excess. This in addition to others comments about ensuring there's no contact behind any receiver parts other than the recoil lug.

Other areas to check for cracks are in the web between the trigger and rear stock screw, magazine and trigger cutout and front stock screw hole and magazine cutout. These areas are sometimes cracked (in all sorts of box magazine rifles' stocks) from over tightening the stock screws. Even too loose of screws will allow the whipping barreled action over stress a wood stock in these areas, especially the larger caliber ones using belted magnum cases.

Winchester cross-bolted some of their sporter stocks to prevent cracking in critical areas. These are identified by the dark brown filler spots on the sides of the stock.

January 6, 2010, 01:14 PM
Had the identical problem with my '47 pre 64 '06.

I carefully spread the stock crack open and forced Brownell's bedding epoxy into the crevice, followed up by seating a steel tubing liner in the tang bolt's held for many years and other than some cleanup did not require refinishing.

January 6, 2010, 01:22 PM
seating a steel tubing liner in the tang bolt hole
This can aggravate things, allowing the tang bolt to hit the wood via the steel tube. Shimming or bedding at the recoil lug is the answer in the long run.

January 6, 2010, 03:39 PM
I have had a lot of experience with pre-64s ([I] own several dozen myself and have rebuild/repaired more than that), and I agree with most of what has been said. You are experiencing one of the most common problems that the pre-64 70s are known for. That is the main reason that Winchester went to the oval tang. It did not require as much precision in the wood to metal fit around the tang as the earlier (cloverleaf tangs) and more attention was paid to the recoil lug area. I agree with the poster who said that the recoil lug should be your fist concern. If the recoil lug is working the way it should, your tang area (Weakest point of the stock) will not have to do anything but hold the 2 ends together. I would start by beefing up the recoil lug area to ensure it is bearing the recoil, then concentrate on the "repair" for what has been done. Fixing the crack can normally be done without causing further damage. If the finish has been damaged, it too can be repaired if you know what you are doing. The fact is your stock is cracked an always will be, but the cracked area can actually be made stronger than the area around it. If you don't fix what has caused the problem, those stresses will be redirected into another area and another crack will develop. I have also seen this occur when the action screws are not torqued correctly. This causes uneven stress in the action area and cause unexpected things to happen (Bad accuracy, cracked stocks,etc,etc) Hope I've heled.. Tom

January 7, 2010, 02:11 AM
Thanks all. I found a local gunsmith and the gentleman (to say the least) supprised me. This guy has been around and done his fair share of work. Ends up he does full custom work and has made some target rifles that have placed with the nations best. Top ten actually! This guy is on a whole nother level and it was obvious he knows more than any smith I have ever spoken to. He is repairing the cracks, pillar bedding, glass bedding, and floating the barrel for 275. All of what you all have spoken about he said the same in detail. The crack inside between the magazine box and trigger does have a minor crack as you have spoke of. I figure fix the cracks, give the action a solid platform (especially the recoil lug), and that's all I can do. Thanks guys.

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