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  1. #1
    Member upperfarm's Avatar
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    TS Moschetta Stock Finish Question

    I purchased a FN Brescia TS Moschetta 6.5mm Ser# RA03xxx, dated 42-XX at a local gun shop several years ago. The carbine was brought in to the shop by a person that said this was her grandfather's bring back from WW2. It has a pristine bore, has an Italianicon leather sling, cleaning rod, bluing almost looks new, and is a good shooter. My question regards the finish on the stock, which I haven't seen on other Italian weapons from this period. It looks like a dark shellac, which has been chipped due to handling over the years. The finish was put on after the numbers were stamped into the stock.

    Is this an Italian wartime expedient finish, or did someone refinish the carbine at a later date?

    Thanks in advance for any opinions.

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    I personally have never seen an Italianicon rifle with that finish but that doesn't mean they didn't do it. Another oddity is the lightness of the wood underneath. I can't say I ever saw a carcano that was that light before either. Does the stock have any cartouches on it and does it match the serial of the receiver?

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    Member upperfarm's Avatar
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    Serial number on the stock is the same as on the receiver. There are no other markings on the stock. I was going to remove the finish, but have learned the hard way not to mess with the old stuff until I find out more about it. I checked with another internet site that has an Italianicon Weapons forum, and came up dry. A guy had a photo of a similar vintage TS, but the wood looked like it had a dark stain, and it was oiled. This is definitely a surface coating.

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    They stained them red, they oiled them, they stained and oiled them. I've even seen a few that were varnished. Never seen one with a dark solid shellac like yours. I would hold off on removing it for a bit though. It's possible it was a captured rifle that made it's way through some other countries process. Being a bringback would reduce the odds of that but you never know for sure if it was a bringback or a purchase by the grandfather.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Looks like a "treacle rifle"

    Quote Originally Posted by Aragorn243 View Post
    I can't say I ever saw a carcano that was that light before either.
    Well here is one: "Roma", an arsenal-refurbished (NOT Bubba!) FAT41 has been on the forum before.




    -And as you can see, the stock is a very light beech, which has been lacquered. N.B. it is not shellac. Since the stamping is applied over the lacquer, i.e. afterwards, one may deduce that the finish was applied by the arsenal, and that light colored beech is therefore a legitimate stock wood for a late Carcano.

    The moschetto does indeed appear to have a shellac finish, judging by the way it has flaked off. It is easy to check this - simply swab away in an inconspicuous corner with a rag wettened with alcohol (denatured spirits) and the shellac will start to dissolve. If you are a) very careful and b) very patient, it is possible to remove scratches in the finish in this way, but the flaked off patches are a diiferent matter.

    However, the very fact that the (presumed) shellac has flaked off - even in areas where no dings are visible in the wood - suggests that it adheres poorly to the underlaying surface. Note I wrote surface, not wood, as I suspect that the dark shellac was applied over an originally oiled stock, and therefore did not bind well where traces of oil remained. Look in particular in the 1st photo at the top of the woodwork by the side of the bolt. That was never an arsenal-applied finish, but something slathered on by Bubba over an improperly prepared surface.

    In other words, my opinion (and that's all it can be at this distance) is that someone though that the light colored beechwood was "inappropriate" for an old milsurp and created what I term a "treacle rifle", deliberately darkening it in the hope that it would look more like walnut. If you search the forums for "treacle rifle" you will find other examples, with before- and after- photos to support my recommendation in such cases: to strip off the treacle and oil the stock.

    And, like Roma, you may well find that the wood looks beautiful underneath.

    Good luck - and let us see the result!
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 09-13-2016 at 10:29 AM.

  8. Thank You to Patrick Chadwick For This Useful Post:


  9. #6
    Member upperfarm's Avatar
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    Thank you for the reply. The coating is shellac, and it is easily removed with denatured ethyl alcohol. I rechecked the stock in the area where the number is stamped, the coating fills the numbers, and definitely was not done after the coating was applied. Will post photos after I clean it up, and I plan on putting "real" linseed oilicon on it when it is cleaned up. It does not look like they sanded the stock at this point. Best regards, upperfarm

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