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Discussion Starter #1
What was the original (WW2) finish on the Russian rifles? Was it the redd shellac or was it a plain wood? Thanks
 

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I doubt they used garnet shellac.
I have an Finn (non-refurbed) 1939 Tula 91/30 in it's original Tula marked stock and it does NOT have shellac on it.
It also does not seem to have the Finn pinetar mix, but it does look to have had oil rubbed into the wood (but not to the extent that it created a "build" finish).
 

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All my RUSSIAN Mosins have some type of shellac. I always presumed it was applied at re-arsenal but never really researched it.. I really don't know if they were ALWAYS that way?
NONE of my FINNS have any kind of shellac and seem to use the Pinetar or some other (Possibly Oil Based) Finish?
HTH...
 

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Hi, I think all the red shellac was added with post war refurb. I have 2 PUs that were not refurbed, from Samco, and they both have a brown oil looking finish a lot like linsead oil. I also have a 91/30, not refurbed, with the same brown oil(not shinny or slick) finish.

Ted will know for sure. It is probably somewhere on his site.

From Left to Right

1 and 2-- Finn stocked/captured, but Century put togethers, No Shellac
3-- Replica
4,5 and 6-- Post war refurbs, all with Shellac
7-- Hungarian M-52 with probable Viet Nam applied mud varnish
8 and 9-- Samco, not refurbed, brown oil like finish(made more shinny with Howard's)
10 and 1-- ex-PUs, post war refurbs, with Shellac.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Who is Ted?
 

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The PUs from Samco came from Yugoslavia and don't have the original shellac on them. The original Russian shellac was done much more sparingly and put on better than the after WW2 arsenal slop jobs. These will have a much different look than they slop jobs.
Some Finn marked Russians will have original shellac on them and some will have had it removed and have a oiled look to them. Some Finn made rifles like the M28 and M28/30 will have a varnish finish.

It has been said here many times that the original finish for a Russian made rifle was shellac.
 

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Shellac was always the original finnish on Russian produced rifles.
 

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Who is Ted?
He's a gummit plant, sent here to feel us out for the next revolution. He keeps track of facts about Mosins to maintain his cover.

SlimTim
 

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Well I appreciate the confidence some of y'all have in me, but stock finishes are not my strong point. I just don't have enough experience with truly original condition rifles that others do. However, I do know that the typical original Russia/Soviet stock finish was shellac. The current imports that we are seeing were refinished, with shellac, during the last rearsenal in the '70s. It is my theory that the original shellac was not the deep red that we're familiar with and that even the rearsenaled rifles were not this color when they were original done, but that the shellac has turned darker with age for some reason, possibly impurities, or just a natural process. I have a couple of rifles that I refinished years ago before I knew better :eek: and I used an amber shellac because that's all I could get readily. They came out an almost orange color, which thankfully kept me from doing any more. However, after several years they seem to have turned darker and are nearer to the currently imported rifles. Also, on the current imports many of the post war replacement stocks I have are not as dark a red as the older stocks. Maybe the dark red is due in part to a reaction with the older shellac that was already on the stocks, or even just because there is a build up of more layers.

Finns are a whole other ball game and there is more variety in the finishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So if all the Russian rifles had shellac finishes was it the red shellac or a plain natural color?
 

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I have several old war dogs that show no sign of shellac but probably had shellac at one time. Shellac is a poor finish and not used to last for decades.
 

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Saifa, It is hard to say what color it originally was because the color darkens with age and most likely different colors/cuts were used over time. Denny
 

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Mr. Flashy Pants
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I have several old war dogs that show no sign of shellac but probably had shellac at one time. Shellac is a poor finish and not used to last for decades.
I agree. The ones I refinished (still kicking myself) were like this. When someone says, "my Soviet Mosin never had any finish on it, was that a wartime expediency?", I just shake my head.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One day old. This looks like the place for answers though.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have a 91-30 that shows no sogn of a shellac finish. To protect the stock should I just go with a 1/3 finish & give it a good rubbing in?
 
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