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Old November 16, 2017, 10:38 PM   #1
Carmike
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Splitting stock...

Hello all,

Newbie here. I took my Win 94 Trapper (in .44 mag) hunting last weekend, and when I got home to clean the gun before putting it back in the safe, I noticed there's a small split in the stock. It wasn't there before (as far as I know). The weather was cold, a bit wet, and I did bring the gun from the cold into a warm cabin to dry it off, run a boresnake through it, and wipe it down with a lightly oiled rag to hopefully prevent any rust. The gun wasn't dropped or maltreated in any way, and it was fired at a deer.

Did I do anything wrong, or do stocks just split from time to time? I can attach a photo if that would make a difference in the answers, and I'm honestly not too worried about it, but I would like to prevent it happening to other guns (or getting worse on this one).

Thanks for any tips/advice/suggestions!


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Old November 16, 2017, 10:53 PM   #2
FrankenMauser
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Where did it split?


On lever guns, split wrists (the most common split) are usually caused by one of three things:
1. Bad inletting.
2. Loose tang screw.
3. Using the rifle as a club.


It probably wasn't your fault. It does happen.
Be sure to get it fixed sooner than later, or you may end up having to replace the stock, rather than being able to repair it.
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Old November 16, 2017, 10:55 PM   #3
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Yes. Some stocks split. Some rifles and shotguns are known for splitting stocks and limbs because of either their design, or the wood they used in that model/batch. I don’t think yours is one, and it may have just been something in the wood. I would call Winchester after you’re done for the season and see what they say. I would wager they tell you to send it in and they’ll put a new one on.
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Old November 17, 2017, 12:20 PM   #4
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Not by my measure

Quote:
Did I do anything wrong,
Probably not but we need more info to work with. I can think of three possible location that splits happen. All can be a fixed. ....

Quote:
or do stocks just split from time to time?
Not just from time to time as there is always a good reason. I have never seen a split stock from just sitting in a safe or even in a closet. I have seen stocks get loose and if not corrected, could lead to more problems. ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old November 17, 2017, 12:35 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, the gorgeous wood of wooden stocks sometimes splits along the grain, or anywhere else it wants to...

These things are fixable.
I fixed a BSA meteor stock that had split (b/c in my 14 year old wisdom, I'd exercised bad trigger control and set it off when the barrel was fully open to cocked) by using some brass screws, dowels and generous amounts of epoxy.

I bought a Ted Williams with a broken stock nose that a real gun smith fixed up and the fix is hardly noticeable.

Good luck getting that old girl back to working!
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Old November 17, 2017, 12:47 PM   #6
Carmike
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Ok, maybe this works...Here's a photo.

It's my favorite gun, so while the problem seems small now, I certainly would like to prevent it getting any worse. And of course, I'd like to know if I could do anything to prevent it occurring again in the future.
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File Type: jpg split stock.jpg (57.8 KB, 116 views)
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Old November 17, 2017, 01:11 PM   #7
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"...Did I do anything wrong..." Nope. The change in temperatures and humidity can do that.
Small cracks are easily fixed with a needle style epoxy applicator and a clamp. Your's will need opening a tick first. Plan 'B' is another butt stock.
http://www.gun-parts.com/winchesterstocks/
"...call Winchester..." Trappers are out of production. Probably not under warrantee. Wouldn't hurt to ask though. http://www.winchesterguns.com/support.html
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Old November 17, 2017, 02:30 PM   #8
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One more picture ???

Carmike,
You really did well on that picture. Could you take another one further up to see where it started. My measure now, is that it didn't just happen and actually took some force to get it to this point. As I said before, it's fixable. .....

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Old November 17, 2017, 03:34 PM   #9
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I'm with Pahoo here.
Can you please get a photo of the wrist further forward?
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Old November 17, 2017, 03:38 PM   #10
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I had the original beech stock split on my Marlin Camp Carbine 45. Wood glue, clamps and plenty of curing time solved that.
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Old November 17, 2017, 03:43 PM   #11
Don Fischer
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No idea what would make your stock split. But a couple thing's I found on bolt action's to tight a fit in the rear tang may well cause a split and on any rifle or shotgun, a wood stock than in the butt has short grain at the toe rather than straight grain running up the stock are prone to split off the toe of the stock.
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Old November 17, 2017, 04:21 PM   #12
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It's wood. Wood splits. It happens eventually, sometimes sooner rather than later. When a tree is living over 50% of it's weight is water inside of the wood. After it is cut the lumber is dried to 5%-15% moisture content with about 10% being ideal. Any dryer and it will be brittle and break easily.

Over years each time the humidity, temperature, or altitude changes the moisture inside the stock expands and contracts. Over time the wood reaches the point where it will no longer be elastic and it cracks. As it expands and contracts it also puts different pressure levels on the action and/or barrel changing the point of impact. And this can happen just sitting in a safe.

Adding wood finishes that seal the wood prevent more moisture from getting in, but does nothing to prevent expansion and contraction of the moisture inside. Some wood is more likely to do this than others. Some guys never have problems, some do. Those living in dry, arid climates, or even wet climates are less likely to have issues than those living where there are dramatic swings in humidity and temperatures. But the more expansion/contraction cycles it goes through the sooner you'll have problems.

Improper fit can speed things up, as can recoil. There isn't a lot of wood in the tang area of lever actions and that is a common area to see cracks develop. You probably didn't do anything wrong other than use the gun. Leave it in the safe in a climate controlled room, never shoot it and it won't crack.
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Old November 17, 2017, 08:29 PM   #13
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I can get another picture up Sunday when I get back home from hunting (the Trapper stayed home this time, alas).

And it certainly could've happened before, I just didn't notice it until I got home from hunting last week.

Thanks for all the input, guys. I'll be back on Sunday with another photo.
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Old December 3, 2017, 12:36 AM   #14
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Ok, I'm sorry for the delay in getting new pics...Thanksgiving, work, kid, etc. etc.

Anyways, I hope the pics help. If I need more, just let me know. And thank you for any advice!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gun 3.jpg (78.0 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg gun 2-1.jpg (91.3 KB, 82 views)
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Old December 3, 2017, 07:58 AM   #15
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looks like it split along the grain lines, to me a new butt stock is in order. eastbank.
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Old December 3, 2017, 08:05 AM   #16
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Looks to me like it's been that way for a while...

Also looks easily fixable...
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Old December 3, 2017, 11:33 AM   #17
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Easily fixed, but before you do anything I'd call Winchester.
It may be a long shot, but depending on when the gun was made, you may get a free stock from them. Worth a phone call anyway.
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Old December 3, 2017, 12:15 PM   #18
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Good advice !!

Quote:
Easily fixed, but before you do anything I'd call Winchester.
Great advice and better than a 50/50 chance that they will work with you. The worst they can say, is; NO !! and it would not hurt my feelings. Regardless, I would still make the fix on the stock. ......


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Old December 3, 2017, 12:47 PM   #19
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The grain direction in that stock is LESS than optimal....Slab cut with significant "runout" in exactly the wrong direction in the wrist..... [weakest area of the stock, with the most stress]

If you replace the stock look for one where the grain follows the wrist with out running out.

That stock was a "split waiting to happen".

Send those "excellent" photos along to Winchester if/when you contact them and you may just get lucky.

Last edited by michaelcj; December 3, 2017 at 01:00 PM.
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Old December 3, 2017, 05:08 PM   #20
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Wrist crackings are quite common as we all know the wrist area is the weakest place on a stock. I've always thought such cracks are caused from a improperly klin drying of the walnut?
Although I'm not that experienced in How extreme or Not_ a crack is? All cracks period are disheartening to me. I would strongly suggest.
Be careful with its repairing as I've seen a few stocks where the remedy (appearance afterwards) was far worse than the nearly invisible crack.
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Old December 3, 2017, 07:54 PM   #21
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Definitely an inevitable failure. That's bad grain structure for most stocks, particularly undesirable on most lever gun designs.

Repairable (to better than new).
But not your fault. Well, it could have been aggravated by rough handling, rough transport, or improper storage (using it as a coat rack, for example); ... but it was still an inevitable failure and I don't think it was your fault.
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Old December 3, 2017, 10:12 PM   #22
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As stated above, it can be fixed via injection with some thin epoxy and proper curing.

Another thing that a gunsmith can checking is the inletting at the rear tang. It occasionally helps to bed the rear of the receiver or tang at a stress point (such as the wrist) so that the bedding absorbs the impact rather than the wood.

Wood is flexible. It will swell, shrink, bend. I wonder if the tang is tight in the stock and the wood shrunk due to the temperature, creating pressure.
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Old December 4, 2017, 01:45 AM   #23
Carmike
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Man, this is a great forum.

Thank you all for the advice. I don't mean to play dumb, but it was tough to get a photo that showed the crack, esp. since it was right down the grain. I can't tell from the comments if they're sarcastic or not regarding the "excellent" photos.

I will definitely contact Winchester, without expectations of any kind, but if the photos need work, I can try to get better lighting, angles, etc.
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Old December 4, 2017, 08:24 AM   #24
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Carmike, those are great photo's.
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Old December 5, 2017, 10:52 AM   #25
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No sarcasm from me either..... Your photos are "forensic grade"... Clearly show the defect/crack, and clearly show the grain direction and location.
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