Oil on gun stock


Red Mike
January 23, 2013, 10:02 PM
Hello I recently bought a Marlin 336, my first firearm with a wood stock. In my research here I learned that when stored in a safe the oil tends to run down and soak into the stock causing it to weaken or swell. I am guilty of over oiling for storage and have since remedied that problem though the stock seems to have absorbed some oil near the tang. My questions is how much/long until the wood is damaged and is there any way to remove the oil at this point?

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January 23, 2013, 10:11 PM
It might evaporate over time.. hard to tell.. My advice is to wait and see before resorting to chemicals.

January 23, 2013, 10:16 PM
its probably just stained. I have seen many 50 year old guns with oil stains. I wouldnt worry about loss of integrity

January 24, 2013, 12:45 AM
I'd suggest taking the rifle out of the safe, wiping all the oil off the stock, metal parts, leave it in the open air for a week or so. Maybe check every other day, wiping any oil off, until there isn't any more oil appearing. Not really any need to oil that heavily, I know you said you'd over-oiled, you should be okay then to return it to the safe. I've had rifles in my safe for 3 or 4 years, never oil them, course, in Denver we don't have high humidity like some places. Good luck.

January 24, 2013, 12:58 AM
If you're really worried about it:

Wrap some paper towels around the area in question. Stick the whole thing in the attic come summer time and let it heat up a decent bit. Any excess that's going to come out will sweat out. In the interim you might pull a little out just from having an absorbent material next to it.


January 24, 2013, 07:27 AM
Rack em muzzle down. Setting on a small chunk of oily wool. Let an excess oil slowly run.

January 24, 2013, 01:53 PM
Gun oil won't evaporate over time. It will, however, get gummy after some years.

The gun oil which soaked into the wood won't come out totally without extreme measures.

The paper towel or other absorbant and some heat will remove some. But it own't take all of it out It'll just remove some. One way to get rid of most of it is repeated wipe downs with generous amounts of solvent such as automotive grease and wax remover painting prep solvent. Repeated wipe downs with the solvent will wash out the surface and near surface oil. Then over the next few days the wicking properties of the wood will draw some more of the deeper oil out to the drier surface wood where you can solvent wash it away some more. Over time this will draw much of the oil out of the wood to the point where the remaining oil in the wood is not noticable. Obviously this will affect the finish so you'll need to refinish the wood after the solvent dries away fully. All of this soaking, waiting for the wicking and final drying then refinishing is going to take a matter of weeks or months to do it right. But then so would the heat and absorbant padding. There's no easy one step method to get the oil out of the wood.

The GOOD news is that gun oil in wood will not weaken the wood. It certainly discolours it and makes it messy but the wood fibers are still fine and will be just as strong as when dry. It won't rot or do anything else nasty other than look messy and maybe squeeze out a little oil where the screws compress the wood.

The metal on your guns only needs enough oil to appear slick and glossy without looking wet. More doesn't do anything additional except ensure that it runs off and gets into the wood stocks.

January 24, 2013, 01:58 PM
Excess oil also absorbs dust/dirt which can long term attract moisture from the air causing more rust than a dry gun.

January 24, 2013, 02:25 PM
Find a can of K2r spot remover at a hardware or grocery store.

*Remove stock from receiver.
*Spray the wood end grain.
*Set the stock receiver end down and allow to dry overnight.
*Brush off the white powder.
*Repeat as necessary.

It will suck most of the gun oil out of the wood eventually.


January 24, 2013, 02:45 PM
I have been guilty of over-oiling my stored guns in the past. Over the last 5 years however I don't over-oil when storing. I will thoroughly clean any gun to be set aside in a cabinet or safe for awhile. I don't usually store guns in soft cases, presentation cases for some of my shotguns, yes. I will sparingly wipe oil over the internal surfaces, contact points in the action and bore. I then wipe down the exterior areas with a silicon oil-impregnated cloth by Hoppe's. I will wipe down the stock as well as the blued surfaces on the receiver, magazine, barrel and trigger guard. Cleaning and lubricating my guns is somewhat of a ritual for me.

I've been over-oiling my guns for 50 years and haven't seen any noticeable stock softening or loosening. I don't think I was soaking them in oil, so I wouldn't have slippery or sticky hands after handling my stored guns. I am kinda touchy-feely when it comes to my collection of guns---I can't go very long without hefting or shooting several of them.

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