Notes on Refinished USGI Wood Stocks
The stocks we sell are genuine USGI, removed from an issued M14 rifle when it was destroyed during the Clinton years. The DoD and Circle “P” marks indicate that this was an original stock from the manufacturer attached to the issued rifle when the rifle was test fired before acceptance by the government.
As there was an action in the stock for a number of years, there is some compression of the wood where the trigger group locks up. Most likely, you will still get an acceptable lock with your action and trigger group. If not, you can shim the trigger group to correct (use thin pieces of metal under the trigger group “wings”). To avoid additional compression on this stock (and any other wood stock you have), unlock the trigger group when you put the rifle in the safe. But be careful when you take it out – don’t want to drop the trigger group on the floor (or your toe)!
Care and feeding of your stock:
The stocks we sell are finished with a coat of penetrating sealer followed by at least four coats of Pure Tung Oil cut 5/50 with citrus spirits.
Tung oil is a penetrating finish, not a surface finish like a varnish, so it is more resistant to chips and scratches. It is not as resistant to moisture penetration however, so if you get your rifle wet make sure you disassemble it and dry the stock as well as the action.
You can also apply a coat of wax, which will add a moisture barrier as well as even out the surface sheen. The best product that I have found is the Beeswax Furniture Polish that we sell - it leaves a satin, rather than shiny, finish and doesn’t build up. Our stocks come with one coat of this wax already applied. If you want to put another coat of TO on the stock, use mineral spirits and elbow grease to take the wax off, sand lightly with 400 grit paper and use the instructions in the next paragraph to put on another coat of finish.
From time to time, depending on how much you handle the stock (once a year or so) it helps to reapply a coat of Tung. Clean the stock with a mild detergent and water, rinse and towel it off and then let it dry and wipe it down with mineral spirits. Use Pure Tung Oil mixed 50/50 with mineral (or citrus) spirits, and wipe on a VERY thin coat with a lint free cloth (I use old cotton sheets for the final coats with just a few drops of tung) rubbing until the TO is very thin and even. Do not use the stuff that HD or Lowe’s sell as Tung oil finish, these almost always contain varnish. Look for “Pure Tung Oil” on the label!
If you put a big ol’ dent in your stock, use a household iron set on high on top of a damp washcloth applied to the site of the problem to raise the grain. Repeat until the dent is gone or you give up. You may have to lightly sand the area to smooth it back out and put on a coat of finish after you do this.