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Discussion Starter #1
bought 2 M95 8x56r hungarians today
Lousy bore great wood
good bore lousy wood.
Would simply change around except they are numbers matching.
How far can you take the wood and or finish without ruining the weapon?
 

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If you have a home depot or lowes near you,go pick up a can or 2 klean strip premium
stripper,and a bag of 0000 super fine steal wool,spray the stripper on and use steal wool,carefully around markings and go from there.do yhis untill you feel the stock is clean and do it lightly
 

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The Gunboards crowd tends to be of the "purist" nature and anything done to the rifle that takes away from it's originality is considered ruining the weapons. I subscribe to this belief, and if you did what was recommended above, I would believe the collector value would be greatly diminished.

But, in the end, it it your rifle. Do with it as you wish.
 

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... anything done to the rifle that takes away from it's originality is considered ruining the weapons...
C'mon man, as long as he doesn't use anything coarser than 100 grit on his belt sander them guns will be OK. :D
 

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USMCsean in a way I agree with you as to leaving as is up to a point.What is your opinion
on restoring 2 1903-A3,both have fiberglass stocks,one has proper dated barrel and markings and the other has a replacement barrel.Should they be left as is or should I find the correct stocks and cartouches?
 

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German K98

The Gunboards crowd tends to be of the "purist" nature and anything done to the rifle that takes away from it's originality is considered ruining the weapons. I subscribe to this belief, and if you did what was recommended above, I would believe the collector value would be greatly diminished.

But, in the end, it it your rifle. Do with it as you wish.
I have a German K98 that I got from a neighbor who brought it back from a German battlefield.The person carved his name and id number on stock and floorplate.Should I leave
it as is in it's original form or should I refinish it.
 

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Ask yourself what are you looking for in a gun like that. An inexpensive shooting device? Then yes, go ahead - sand, wood putty, polyurethane lacquer, etc.

If you see in this rifle a collectible weapon with rich history - don't even think about refinishing it.
 

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I agree with ALL of you, which is another way of saying there is no invariable answer.

I have been repairing and restoring military stocks for 50 years, and each one is a judgment call. Sometimes a difficult call, sometimes not even close. It comes with experience and the ability to foresee what you will wind up with. Some stocks simply cannot be touched without destroying that "look" that reeks of original finish; others simply reek, and whatever is done --if it's done skillfully and with restraint-- will probably be an improvment. It all depends on how much (if any) original finish it still has, how badly it is gouged, bruised or so worn and impregnated with dirt that it looks rough-sawn, whether it has any cracks that need to be repaired (if you intend to shoot it), whether it is blackened with rust stains (which are almost impossible to remove), and the relative appearance of the metal (a great disparity is painfully obvious). Doing nothing is usually better than plunging ahead.

Forget trying to make the stock look new, or even look nice. If you do anything, just settle for just making it look LESS ABUSED, or MORE CARED FOR than it actually was.

M
 

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Survivalist, you will get a million different answers to your question. The statement below posted by MGMike is the best (IMHO):

"Forget trying to make the stock look new, or even look nice. If you do anything, just settle for just making it look LESS ABUSED, or MORE CARED FOR than it actually was."

Nick's advice is also good, he knows his collectible guns.

dukeofaz, the first two you discuss are no longer military rifles and you can do just about anything that you like with them, you can never make them "original" again. The Kar98 is more or less in it's correct military condition. The guy who picked it up out of the pile of surrendered arms after the fighting was over scratched his name on it and it is now a legitimate part of the rifle's history. Clean it carefully leaving the GI's name on it and let it be. Don't try to make it look new, you'll be fine. All of this is my opinion and I don't think anyone would disagree (but we'll see. :) )
 

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Speaking of Mannlicher/Steyr finishes, am I wrong in guessing that they used wood dyes back in WWI instead of wood stains or finishes? I removed the shellac from mine and it seems very different from WWII finishes.
 

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I removed the shellac from mine and it seems very different from WWII finishes.
They were refurbished several times after WWII.
 

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Ask yourself what are you looking for in a gun like that. An inexpensive shooting device? Then yes, go ahead - sand, wood putty, polyurethane lacquer, etc.

If you see in this rifle a collectible weapon with rich history - don't even think about refinishing it.
What a great answer. Ole'!
 

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The 2 '03-A3's and K98

TP i agree with you.the 2 03-A3's got replacement wood stocks,with proper cartouches and an OG cartouche.The first 03-A3 is in retirement,girlfriends dad carried it on the D-Day
invasion.The K98 is also in retirement as is because of it being picked up a month before the
war ended
 

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One can clean a stock without diminishing its value as a collector's item. I have used Murphy's Oil Soap and a finger nail brush to scrub gently with. Then it can be recoated with the original finish. I think the m95's used BLO, which I would put on cut 50/50 with turpentine. I'd go with one diluted coat to bring out the original color.

CDFingers
 

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TP didsome research and talked to a few WW 2 armorers that I know.Most of the rifles that we used were rebuilt at least once during the war,due to the ammo and correct cleaning.The only rifle that was not rebuilt was the M1 carbine and that used non corrosive ammo from the beginning
 

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The only rifle that was not rebuilt was the M1 carbine...
Oh, they have been rebuilt alright. Maybe not all, but I would wager most.
 

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Oh, they have been rebuilt alright. Maybe not all, but I would wager most.
Rebuilt many times over and often by multiple countries!

I think the more reasonable statement would be that fewer of the M1 carbines required barrel replacement during rebuilds because of the benefit of non-corrosive ammo. This is in comparison to the M1 Garand,1903, 1917, etc. many of which were rebarreled during rework.
 
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