To refinish or not to refinish?


March 5, 2012, 07:55 PM
I've got a Soviet M44 with REALLY beat up wood. However, weirdly enough, the metal is close to perfect (minor wear on the bluing on corners) and I'm 99% sure the bore was unfired.

I'm thinking about re-shellacing the stock, as it has around 10% finish left and it's getting by with a rubbed-in wax coat. I did a shellac job on my 91/30 and can proudly say it looks great.

Pics to follow...

If you enjoyed reading about "To refinish or not to refinish?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 5, 2012, 07:58 PM
Pics are too big for the site, follow this link for the album:

March 5, 2012, 08:08 PM
If your like me, you have a touch of OCD & like things nice & new looking!! If I know I'm gonna keep a particular firearm that needs a stock refinished, I waste no time breaking out the sanding paper!! Now if I have a particular firearm that I know I'm gonna eventually sell, I don't do anything to it but clean after using. Its been my experience that collectors like the firearm in original condition. I had a nice Winchester pump 22 & when I sold it, I got low dollar because the guy I bought it from re-blued & refinished the stock.

If your gonna keep it, sand away!! If your gonna sell it, I'd do some research & see what the collectors like first.

March 5, 2012, 08:27 PM
Looking at your pics I see some stamps on the stock, and some nice character dings. If you sand it down to refinish, I feel those marks will get obliterated or very subdued ( loss of definition ). Personally I would leave it as is. In a minimal sense, I would buff it down with 0000 steel wool to remove whats left of the varnish coat which will take awhile, then rub in some linseed oil. When all that is dry, just wipe it down with some Pledge furniture spray like you would an old table. This way the character of the wood is not erased, and the wood is being preserved. I do this to a lot of my milsurps to keep the old appearance. Once you use sandpaper, you have to keep going until all the grit marks are gone, that will take away surface wood and character marks. FWIW

March 5, 2012, 08:43 PM
I don't like shellac (sp?); when I refinished the stock on my SKS, I sanded the wood, stained it and applied a BLO (boiled linseed oil) finish. An oil rubbed finish may be less resistant to knicks and dings, but it never flakes off and leaves a nice matte finish.

March 5, 2012, 09:05 PM
I would not refinish the stock, I might give it a coat of BLO or tung oil to feed the wood but that would be all I would do.

March 5, 2012, 09:15 PM
When I say refinish, I mean:

-Denatured alcohol and 0000 steel wool to remove old shellac
-Several coats of garnet shellac
-Several coats of dyed garnet shellac
-Wax to finish

And it gets the wood looking like the 91/30, doesn't remove any of the surface.

March 5, 2012, 10:12 PM
Its probably been rearsenaled, that would account for the disparity in wood v. metal. Its a lot of work to refinish the gun and you arent going to increase its value and it wont shoot any better. I remember when Lee Enfields were selling like Nagants and before that 1903's were selling for $50-$100, they dried up and the price went sky high. I am the proud owner of a modified 03 and it is worth 30% of what its beat up original sibling would fetch.

March 6, 2012, 05:07 PM
Actually, believe it or not this never made it back to an arsenal. It's completely lacking in rearsenal marks.

murdoc rose
March 6, 2012, 05:26 PM
I have a fondness for old Russian red if you can get it close to that go for it.

March 6, 2012, 05:27 PM
Take a look at the link I posted; the 91/30 sniper is my approximation of Russian Red. Tell me what you think! :)

May 22, 2012, 10:15 PM
I refinished a friends 91/30 stock that was sound but the finish was flaking off.
I removed all metal off the stock and used a basic chemical stripper to get the wood to white. Stain with color of choice and finish with BLO, tung, or Truoil depending on what degree of shine you desire. Turned out perfect and truth be told a lot nicer than flaking off finish.

If you enjoyed reading about "To refinish or not to refinish?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!