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Old December 15, 2008, 01:15 PM   #1
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Finish on C&R rifles

I don't know how to ask this without sounding completely new, but here goes - I've bought several milsurp rifles (91/30, M38, M95, K31) and the wood on those was in good shape. There were a few dings and dents, and places where the finish was worn off, but they were all basically brown. However, at a recent gun show I saw several Enfields, 24/47s, and other Mausers (mostly Turkish) that were almost black. I don't think it's the original finish, because I've seen others that were dirty and covered in cosmoline, but not that dark. I know it would be hard to be specific without seeing the rifles, but can anybody suggest what made them so dark?

Last edited by jsmaye; December 15, 2008 at 04:28 PM.
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Old December 15, 2008, 03:55 PM   #2
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If linseed oil is used on stocks, over many years it will darken the wood a great deal. Don't know about "black", I would have to see what you were talking about. If they were truly black, it is either not original finish, or they were in a fire! I have seen the insides of milsurp walnut stocks that are basically black, from oil absorption and it results in sort of a wood rot where the wood gets soft and crumbly in the worst cases. And since the wood is saturated, it is not repairable.
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Old December 15, 2008, 05:32 PM   #3
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A lot of the milsurp stuff you're getting from German and Russian arsenals has been "arsenal refinished" and put in warehouses for decades.

Turk Mausers go all over the place. They're basically "put together" from whatever parts Turkey had available. English guns seem less prone to have been refinished.
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Old December 16, 2008, 07:32 PM   #4
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You can tell a lot about a military's weapons maintenance traditions from its surplus. Look at a SMLE from England or the UK versus one that's come here via India or Pakistan, or compare a USGI Garand or '03 with a MAP rifle that spent time in Turkey or Greece.
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