Maintaining wood stocks?


The Sensei
December 28, 2003, 02:02 PM
Most of my rifles & shotguns have synthetic stocks. But I have a few rifles and a shotgun that have wood stocks. What is the best way to maintain them in peak condition? Is there a product that you would recommend?

The wood stocks are already "finished" with some type of sealer (varnish?). Does regular furniture polish do the trick?

Thanks for your help!

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December 28, 2003, 03:10 PM
That's going to depend on how the particular stock is finished. On my varnished stocks, I use furniture polish. Satin finish DEFT is what I use when I strip and refinish these (I prefer the satin look to gloss).

On the oiled ones, I maintain with boiled linseed oil (BLO). When I get around to stripping and refinishing, instead of BLO, I use LinSpeed (brand name) oil. LinSpeed lasts longer between applications and gives a much deeper glow to the wood.

Check with the manufacturer for the particular gun and see what they recommend.

December 28, 2003, 06:42 PM
- What kind of rifles.
- What is the finish.

For some rifles (like Garands) the stock is an important part of maintaining accuracy. For others, it's not.

Also, if you have modern rifles with (probably) urethane finish, you din't need to do much at all.

The Sensei
December 28, 2003, 10:25 PM

The wood stocked rifles include a year old CZ452, a new Ruger 10/22T, a several year old Anchutz 22LR target rifle, a very old Savage bolt action 22LR (probably from 1930's), and a Mossberg 20 guage bolt action shotgun (circa 1950's).

I try to keep my guns in top condition, (ie I clean them regularly). Wondering how to best maintain the stocks, not that I am concerned with accuracy but mainly for "pride of ownership" and of course resale value should I decide to sell them at some point.

They probably do have urethane or a fine varnish finish. The Savage is a bit worn in the stock...I plan to refinish it at some point and will use tung oil on after I take off the current sealant. Mainly interested in suggestions on keeping the others in good shape.

December 29, 2003, 06:41 AM
The new commercial rifles likely have a Urethane finish of some sort. The only maintenance required would be to keep them out of UV light when not in use - a gun safe does that!

I spoke with a Curator at Springfield Armory National Historical Site about preserving stocks. They use several different brands of a dark brown colored paste wax - the color hides better. I've used a variety of waxes, don't think it matters much.

The older rifles would benefit from wax. It won't hurt the new ones but won't help much, either. I use floor wax because it isn't very slippery.

December 29, 2003, 08:07 AM
Some folks store long guns with the muzzle down to keep the oils and solvents and such from draining on the stock. The oil stains and softens the wood.


December 29, 2003, 08:10 AM

How do I maintain the finish on my wood stocks????

First tip..... NEVER let your 17 year old Brother-in-law shoot your fancy wood, glossy finished, cut checkered Winchester mod 52 without specific and graphic details of what you will do to him if he shoots with the bottom of the butt ground into the edge of the concrete shooting bench, then continually lays it (cheek roll side down) on the rough concrete bench top and not the soft bag it was carried in.

I didn't...... he did.....

I used to own a rifle as described above. Now I own one that has several gouges, nicks, scratches, and scrapes beginning around the pistol grip and extending all the way to the butt.

He used to walk straight and have a fairly uniform skull shape.........
Now he doesn't. :)

Beyond that, I think the advice given already is pretty good.

Just my thoughts,

December 29, 2003, 09:27 AM

Doesn't that just steam you? I had a similar experience and every time I look at that cherished rifle, I think of the situation that caused the scratches in the stock. Always makes my stomach tighten...


The Sensei
December 29, 2003, 10:40 AM
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experiences. Ouch!
That had to hurt. I think that's why God created "synthetic" stocks!

Thanks guys for the insight! Have a great New Year!!

December 30, 2003, 07:25 AM
...requires a bit of Elbow Grease, plus a few other ingredients. However, the results are well worth it.

Here's a good start. ( I wrote this one.

Some other stuff I collated. These amount to required reading. All good info:

December 30, 2003, 08:13 AM
Hand_Rifle_Guy, thanks. I just scratched my new Win M70 Classic hunting this month, and your compilation of sources will make touchup easier to research.


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