I couldn't stand the ugly red shellac the Soviets used on my Mosins, so I finally did something about it.
I started by removing the shellac with Denatured Alcohol and 0000 steel wool, then cleaned and degreased the stock as much as I could. Next I applied an Oil Scrub with Boiled Linseed Oil
, 4 coats with 0000 steel wool, followed by one hand rubbed. Finally I sealed it with 1/3 mix (equal parts Boiled Linseed oil, beeswax and turpentine)
I think they turned out pretty good. The wood underneath was pretty nice. Really interesting that both rifles came from the same factory, Izhevsk, in the same year, 1943 yet the wood is so different. I have read that the Soviets used Pine tar to treat some of their stocks, that it probably the case with the sniper.
The top photos are with the shellac, middle is after stripping and degreasing, and the bottom is the finished rifles.
Both are 1943 Izhevsk, the top is a Century Reproduction Sniper.
I am having no luck at all getting a photo of the blonde rifle that does it justice. Artificial light makes it look darker than it is, and sunlight, even diffused by the trees in the photo above makes it look shiny, which it really isn't.
In person, the finished product looks a lot like the photo of the stripped stock, which also looks brighter in the photo than it did in person.
It is also hard to tell from the photo, but the pistol grip area on the blonde is also considerably darker than the area around it. Almost as if some oily handed Russian conscript spent a long time holding it there defending the Motherland from the fascist invaders. Big part of why I love old rifles. I wish they could talk.