There are always lots of questions about the Shellac that the Russians used on the Mosin Nagants and k98's that have been stored away for years. My belief on this is that the shellac is nothing more than a preservative like we use cosmoline for. The Shellac that has been applied is not a permanent sealant. It appears it was used to proctect the rifle while stored but needed to be removed when the weapon was issued. I know some of it was applied over grease and dirt on the rifles which makes it more prone to flaking off. Just handling the rifles makes the shellac flake off. I beleive that once the shellac was removed then some other type of sealant was to be applied. Anyway my thoughts. Any others?
are you trying to justify removing the shellac and applying BLO or poly?
My take on it... the shellac was there to be the final finish, but being typical russian workers, they slapped it on in order to meet quantity quotas, not quality. So one thick layer of shellac applied over dirt and oil 20-50 yards ago will start to flake when its handled. These rifles were intended to be last ditch ww3 type rifles... they really didn't need a long lasting quality finish.