Oiling a rifle with a wooden stock?


February 13, 2013, 11:36 PM
I just bought my first rifle, a Mosin Nagant.

I was stripping it to give it a thorough cleaning, and it occurred to me that I don't know what to do about oiling the surfaces of the metal for rust prevention.

On the one hand the metal parts need to be oiled, but on the other hand oil + wood = the milsurp collector's nightmare; a stock with soft and weak wood due to oil impregnation.

Now, I know that a thin film of oil is all that's needed, but oil has a way of migrating and wicking its way into places where it is not welcome, especially as there are areas where metal comes into direct contact with wood.

What (if anything) do you guys do to keep oil where it is needed and stop it damaging your stocks?

Also, do you periodically take your rifle apart to oil the metal surfaces that are normally inaccessible because they are under the stock?

I know I'm probably just overthinking this, but I don't want a rusty rifle with an oil-saturated stock :D

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February 13, 2013, 11:49 PM
Dissasemble the rifle, degrease, and lightly oil moving parts with some gun oil. I will typically use the last oil patch that went down the barrel to wipe the exterior of the bolt and whatnot. The metal shouldn't be dripping. The wood on the Mosin is likely shellacked.

February 13, 2013, 11:51 PM
Oh and btw the wood is likely already inpregnated with grease and oil from when the rifle was put into storage. :)

February 13, 2013, 11:54 PM
Arent M-N's generally soaked in Cosmoline?

I don't have a Mosin, but speaking generally if you don't leave the thing drenched in oil, this is a non-issue. Clean it up, lube it, wipe off excess, and re-assemble.

You could use something waxy on the parts covered by the stock, I suppose.

February 14, 2013, 12:09 AM
The wood was shellacked, but it was so weak that it would scratch off easily with a fingernail, so I decided to refinish the stock.

I scraped away all of the shellac, and to my utter astonishment, there was NO oil or cosmo soaked into the wood, it looked brand new.

I am now performing the rather laborious process of applying a hand rubbed boiled linseed oil finish.
I'm doing the 'once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, once a year thereafter' thing.
I just put the seventh coat on this morning, so I am done with the 'once a day for a week' part...

As you can probably imagine, I am anxious to keep the wood in good condition after going to all this trouble, hence my question :D

So, periodically remove the stock to access the metal parts, and only leave a very thin film of oil.

Got it, thanks.

Dr. Sandman
February 14, 2013, 12:35 PM
And don't feel bad if you foul anything up. A first Mosin is a great learning experience!

February 14, 2013, 12:39 PM
I use R.I.G. (Rust Inhibitor Grease).



It stays exactly where you put it.
And just a thin film protects against rust for a very long time.


February 14, 2013, 02:14 PM
I use Ballistol for both wood and metal

February 16, 2013, 11:48 AM
I have some extra stock sets if you screw it up!~ :)

February 16, 2013, 12:40 PM
You could apply paste wax to the barreled action while it's separate from the stock, then oil the exposed bits after putting it back together. It works for me.

February 16, 2013, 01:29 PM
My Daddy taught me to put on a little gun oil, spread it all over with your fingers, ( I like the smell), then try to wipe it all off. An old t-shirt works really well.

February 16, 2013, 03:10 PM
The linseed oil will flood the wood pores and prevent the gun oil on the metal from soaking in to any great extent. You may get little spots of gun oil marking in the action and barrel channels but it won't wick it all away and leave the metal rust prone. The BLO is already taking up and filling the porosity of the wood which would have produced that effect.

And as mentioned removing the action and lightly re-oiling or using some other rust inhibitor now and then does the trick.

I find it amazing that your stock wasn't slathered in cosmoline. You must have gotten one that they missed. The rest of us have had to sweat out the cosmo by putting the stocks out on a hot sunny day or otherwise warming up the wood to thin the cosmo into "sweating out" and wiping it away frequently. In the end it never does ALL come out.

Like you I found that the shellac had lost it's bond to the wood. I assumed that it was due to the years of being packed with cosmoline and it getting between the wood and shellac as both of my Mosins saw the shellac flake away during cleaning the wood down with some solvent to remove the cosmo.

February 16, 2013, 03:18 PM
Remove the stock and use linseed oil on the stock to bring out the grain on the wood. When it dries, apply a coat of wipe on poly or two or three till you get the stock to the shine and finish that you want, be sure it completely dries first. Then reassenble the rifle and oil away, the oil will not stain the stock or get through the poly finish.

You will have yourself one heck of a beautiful rifle then.

Just my 2 cents.

February 17, 2013, 01:50 AM
Put a little oil on a clean patch and wipe down the metal with it. I like to wipe off the excess. Unless you pour a gallon of oil on the gun and let it soak for a week, it will not damage the wood.

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