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Old June 14, 2022, 09:20 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: July 15, 2014
Posts: 5
Restocking an old rifle

Got a great deal on an otherwise beautiful rifle.
Browning/FN high power safari in 7mm mag, salt wood stock that has a full split right behind the receiver. So replacing the stock feels like my first step to get this in shooting shape.
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Old June 15, 2022, 12:35 PM   #2
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Have you had it out of the stock? The metalwork under the stock line often has cancer on those saltwood guns.
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Old June 15, 2022, 07:24 PM   #3
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Lots of replacement stocks out there for commercial Mauser 98 rifles. You can buy a Boyds and get it up and running quickly, or work up a Richards Microfit stock for it. The main difference between the Browning High-Power Safari and a regular 98 is the bolt stop and the quality of the finishing work.

As far as the salt wood stock goes, you will have rust on the metal, some worse than others. I just sold a Browning T-Bolt that had a salt wood stock on it. It had a bit of rust and pitting but not terrible. I have seen them from almost no rust/corrosion to terribly pitted, there is no way to tell how bad yours will be until you take it out of the wood.
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Old June 16, 2022, 04:42 PM   #4
Unkl Chuck
Join Date: December 21, 2012
Location: south of the piney woods,TX
Posts: 51
Take your rifle apart and evaluate it before you delve too deeply into this project.
Regarding the stock, without seeing it, this is merely a wag. It may be 'repairable' or a replacement may be in order. In the past, I have used the WEST Epoxy System to make some very interesting repairs in wood. Musical instruments, guns, boats, and houses. This stuff is typically sold for boat and aircraft building and repair as well as custom tabletops. A quick search with the google will give you much more information.
Good luck.
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Old June 16, 2022, 05:25 PM   #5
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
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Use the old stock as a pattern.

Take the stock duplication class at some NRA Summer School and then their stockmaking class. Make your own! It's not that hard.
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Old June 17, 2022, 04:27 PM   #6
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Man, whoever came up with the idea of salt-curing hardwoods sure made a mess.

For those unaware, hardwoods were packed in salt to speed the curing over kiln curing.. Morton Salt developed the process for furniture in 1965.

From 1966 to 1972, this wood may have been used for gunstocks, thinking it was safe and supplying a big demand. Over time, the slight hint of salt in the wood usually causes corrosion in metalwork touching the wood. It can be minor, or a major headache. Many fine firearms were ruined by salt wood. It’s a well known problem in Browning shotguns of that era… which is a real shame as the figure in the stock is a feature many shotgunners prize.
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Old June 17, 2022, 08:39 PM   #7
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So I have gone two different directions with this.

I have a Boyd’s for my custom Franken-Mauser. But for one of my “abomination” conversions, the stock was split and destroyed and dented and beat, insert word of choice here for how bad this piece of wood looked. The Boyd’s was just a red hair short of “plug and play” or “drop in” as the gun community likes to call it. Needed the action pocket relieved just a dash for the fatter front ring, and the barrel channel opened up for the bull barrel. Also needed the bolt cut out. A single day’s work. Plus re-applying the clear coat that I took off when cutting the wood.

I purchased a surplus stock from an LGS, sanded off the old finish, repaired any gouges or dents, etc. Sanded it flush and smooth, no steps for the barrel bands anymore. Think Mannlicher style. Opened up the action pocket and barrel channel to do what I needed it to do.

Two coats of Watco Danish Oil, one of boiled linseed oil, and was back in business.

Either option would suit you well, once you assess the damage from the saltwood. Best of luck!!
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Old June 18, 2022, 01:37 PM   #8
Unkl Chuck
Join Date: December 21, 2012
Location: south of the piney woods,TX
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stinkeypete, I have to agree with you. 'salt curing' hardwood is high on my questionable idea list. In my opinion, air drying is probably the best with kiln drying second, don't bother with third place.
I've got some walnut and maple air drying in the back of my shop, probably good to use now. Got some Japanese BlueBerry salvage wood air curing to experiment with.
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