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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.
I have an issue that I'm not sure what the best approach is- I have a Mosin 91/30 PU that has a bad case of eczema...
Yes, the varnish is flaking off in such a way that it has become annoying...
What's the best solution for this (other than leaving the stock alone) for dealing w/ this problem; in such a way that the rifle appears as original as possible?
How did the Soviet armorers deal w/ these sort of issues?
Or, what's the best way to deal w/ this, like I said, & maintain the originality of the piece?

thanks in advance; J.D.
 

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I've seen too many times people try to imporve on flaking shellac and go wrong. While I know you spoke of an option other than leaving it alone, I still defer to leaving it be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unfortunately, it's not like pine-tar...
I imagine the Soviets would just clean the stock w/ solvent & rags, & dip the whole stock in a vat of varnish, brush it & let the rest drip dry? (I'm basing this assumption on what the stocks on mosin refurbs look like...)
Not a pretty process, but then I'm not looking for pretty...
 

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. . . What's the best solution for this (other than leaving the stock alone) for dealing w/ this problem; in such a way that the rifle appears as original as possible?
How did the Soviet armorers deal w/ these sort of issues?
Or, what's the best way to deal w/ this, like I said, & maintain the originality of the piece?
How did Soviet armorers deal with it? They slopped on another coat of shellac with the proverbial toilet brush. :)

This is one of the catch-22s of collecting-as much as history minded collectors want to stop the hands of time, a rifle that is actually used occasionally (and eventually even one which languishes in a safe) will change with time. And like it or not, the fact remains that some of the "originality" is lost whether one chooses to retouch the newly damaged areas or to leave them alone.
 

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Couldn't one argue that the Soviets Bubba'd their own stock slapping shellac on them? Were they not shellac'd as post war refurbishment or post war productioin?

As for the OPs question, it doesn't sound like there are a lot of options. Keep it how it is and do nothing. Go find more shellac and make the color right or otherwise refinish and put some other coating on it. I'd be inclined to agree with Relic that they probably just put another coat over whatever was there or the area in question is how the Soviets dealt with it.
 

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I disagree and have posted a separate thread on this issue. If the finish is now dog crap, its time to do something ... its called preservation .
It could be restoration if you used the original tools, technique and product, otherwise is is an alteration, not preservation. Since none of us know for sure what tools, techniques or products were used, it is better to leave it original. A surplus military rifle does not have to look like a Weatherby.
 

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OK. If you really have to do something about it. Get some denatured alcohol and put some in a spray bottle. Mist the stock. The DA will "melt" the shellac back onto stock and stop the dandruff. Don't rub or brush. Mist. You don't want the DA running down the stock.

(If you tell anyone I told you this, I'll deny everything.) :tisk:
 

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Some of you guys are a real hoot. You say never do anything to restore from the way the MN is, yet you same purists go about happily replacing broken or worn out parts and pass the piece off as original. I guess if one can hide the crime out of sight, it's OK.
 

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The shellac on refurbished examples (the largest majority available) was applied after they were taken from service. Evidence for this is the sloppy job that left shellac on the magazine, receiver, butt plate etc. If you choose to keep, for all time, the handiwork of some bored, half drunk industrial worker from the '50 or 60', then that is your choice.
I re apply shellac on mine (including my Molot PU sniper). I don't have any closet queens - all go to the range.
If you have a MN with an original service finish then that would be a different story and you would want to think carefully about what to do.
 

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I feel there's a difference between applying or reapplying a finish and replacing a worn, damaged, lost, bubba'd, etc part. The problem would potentially lie in how it was represented after the work was done. I'd say replacing a broken firing pin, a band screw, a bubba'd band in my case, etc would be different than replacing flaking shellac, touching up worn bluing, or otherwise. In my two cases where I've decided it was necessary to do something about a problematic part, I replaced bubba'd bands and screws and installed a missing stock piece and the needed screws; the other was when I swapped out my Balkan M91 stock out for a correct Finn stock after I asked and determined that someone swapped the stock anyways.

In the first case I am keeping the bubba'd bands and pins that were formerly on my M28 and will represent it as such in the future, stating the parts had been replaced. With the Balkan stock, I'll likely sell it but I will keep a record that the stock is a replaced Finn stock where the last stock was already there due to a swap. I have several pieces that have worn finishes, rough stocks, flaking shellac, etc and I would never do anything to mess with those finishes as something like shellac would be a permanent alteration and would seriously hurt the value IMO.

Sure, I would replace a broken cleaning rod (while keeping the original with the gun), and I have a spare M28/30 handguard for my M28/30 with a cracked handguard, but I'd never reapply pine star or shellac to a piece unless it could be absolutely determined that the stock was stripped by bubba and even then I probably would leave it as is unless the stock was totally stripped of any finish and left with no finish of any kind.

Some of you guys are a real hoot. You say never do anything to restore from the way the MN is, yet you same purists go about happily replacing broken or worn out parts and pass the piece off as original. I guess if one can hide the crime out of sight, it's OK.
 

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Why not just pick up another stock and put the original away?
 

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In milsurp collecting like any other endeavor in life there are many slippery slopes, and this is one of them.

If one takes a hard line that a collectible firearm is pure only if left in the same condition as when it was last in military possession, then changing parts, whether "incorrect" or broken (or even replacing missing parts on a rifle which was imported in that condition) is no better than refinishing. And only marginally more original than Bubba's poly-just more "realistic".

Am I saying one shouldn't replace parts that have broken from use or that have been "improved" by Bubba? No, I'm not, but I am saying that we might as well admit that there isn't a hard-edged demarcation between black and white-there's a gray area.
 

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so what you are saying is that maybe you shouldn't leave a peice of history unprotected simply for the sake of "purity"....blasphemy, you will be burned in public square for that kind of talk. let those stock flake and rot away.
I disagree and have posted a separate thread on this issue. If the finish is now dog crap, its time to do something ... its called preservation .
 

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In my mind, there is a big difference in replacing a missing cleaning rod and refinishing a stock because it isn't pretty enough. It all boils down to personal philosophy. But, yes, I do think that stock refinishers should be dragged behind a truck through a thorn patch, be violated by a rabid armadillo, then be hung, drawn and quartered. ;)
 

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In my mind, there is a big difference in replacing a missing cleaning rod and refinishing a stock because it isn't pretty enough. It all boils down to personal philosophy.
Agreed!

There are plenty of reburb lonly stocks out there.. heck aim was selling them $15 not too long ago. Grab one, inlet it for a PU scope and put whatever finish you want. Save its original.. best of both worlds right there.
 
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