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Thread: Pre-War Mosin Nagant Stock Finish

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  1. #1
    Contributing Member Singer B's Avatar
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    Pre-War Mosin Nagant Stock Finish

    I got lucky and picked up a 1930 91/30 yesterday (yep, one of the very first 91/30s) at an auction. The bluing looks great (re-arsenal?) and it is in a pre-war stock. The problem is the stock has been "bubba painted" with a spray paint camo pattern (I'm sure it fooled a lot of deer!). I have reviewed earlier threads but none of them mention what the original finish on a pre-war Mosin Nagant stock should be. The stock on this gun needs to be stripped and I want to return it to its original finish. Can anyone advise what that would be or where I can find the info on it? I know it is not that nasty red shellac finish. Thank you for your help!

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  3. #2
    Contributing Member Singer B's Avatar
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    I should mention it is all matching (receiver, butt plate, bolt and magazine floor plate).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Singer B View Post
    Can anyone advise what that would be or where I can find the info on it?
    Varnish. If you don't want to make your own from chips, you can use 'Tried & True Original Wood Finish' Rocklers sells it

    EDIT: Varnish is -- WRONG -- See my last post below
    Last edited by usabaker; 06-02-2020 at 09:02 PM.
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    Contributing Member Singer B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usabaker View Post
    Varnish. If you don't want to make your own from chips, you can use 'Tried & True Original Wood Finish' Rocklers sells it
    Excellent, thank you. The other threads didn't identify what they used so I figured I would ask again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Singer B View Post
    The other threads didn't identify what they used so I figured I would ask again.
    The original Sovieticon finish changed in formulas over the years of manufacturing but all of them were made from either amber and later copal with linseed or hemp oil and a solvent. The amber and copal is why you see a lot, well most, of the stocks with flaking issues. I have a paper on the Mosin Nagant finish someplace, I'll have to look for it. I put it away for safekeeping and I'm not sure where that is anymore LOL.

    I'm sure you will find others with a different take on the finish here, my information is from being right where you are now and looking for the "actual" soviet finish. I am by no means a Soviet Rifle finish expert. But do know that Tried & True Original Wood Finish is the best choice for what you want in MY OPTION if you are not into making your own finishes from raw materials.

    Added Note: I didn't mention that Tried & True Original Wood Finish is not a 'spar varnish' which is closer to the soviet finish. Tried & True Original Wood Finish has a polymerized linseed and beeswax base formula. It will wear better and not peal or flake over time. If you want a 'true' varnish then get something with a high content of spar in it.
    Last edited by usabaker; 06-02-2020 at 08:01 PM.
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    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Singer B, I had a brain FART... because I have been fixated on the Russianicon Revolution period lately my brain did not process your question correctly. It was not until I was driving down the street I realized PRE-WAR; what you didn't say, and the part that didn't register in my pee-brain is how far back pre-war did you mean also overlooked the whole part about being made in 1930.

    You see, as I said the original Soviet finish changed in formulas over the years especially between 1891 and 1941. Up until around 1911/12, the formulas centered turpentine varnishes made up of amber or copal with oil like linseed, poppy, or nut oils. After that, the finishes were primarily a shellac type finish. Yes, the reddish color. So really what I am saying is what year is your rifle will really be the deciding factor in its stock finish. AND THEN, you have to take into account any arsenal refurbish stamps to indicate when the stock was refinished (shellac over the varnish or oil finish in some cases)

    Yours is 1930, but are there arsenal marks? More then like likely the finish was shellac. How the finish was applied is a WHOLE other thing. Sorry for my oversite.
    Last edited by usabaker; 06-02-2020 at 08:57 PM.
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    Contributing Member Singer B's Avatar
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    No problem, you are at ludicrous speed on this while I'm just backing the Yugoicon out of the garage. This rifle is pretty cool, in that 1930 was the first year of manufacture for the 91/30, so this is one of the first 40,000 made. I can't see any refurbishment marks on it since whoever had it applied some other type of varnish and the camo paint patches on it pretty thick. It is all matching so I'm thinking it may have lived a privileged life somewhere until Bubba painted it. I'll strip it tomorrow and see if there are any refurb marks on it. A really nice rifle like this truly needs to be put back to it's original look and feel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Singer B View Post
    in that 1930 was the first year of manufacture for the 91/30, so this is one of the first 40,000 made.
    She is a pretty rifle, Hex at that. I have a host load of Mosin Nagant, all different variants. two still in the cosmolineicon. I have some info on them if you need any. Just PM me if you want what I have electronically and ill email the stuff to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by usabaker View Post
    She is a pretty rifle, Hex at that. I have a host load of Mosin Nagant, all different variants. two still in the cosmolineicon. I have some info on them if you need any. Just PM me if you want what I have electronically and ill email the stuff to you.
    Will do, thanks!

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    I found this tonight on a GunsBoard Forum from 2016. I would assume the "boiled oil" is BLOicon?

    All prewar instruction mention VK-1 (including repair manuals). 1930 production specification (for just adopted M91\30) mention that walnut stocks must be soaked with boiled oil, birch stocks were painted to the colour of walnut (with mordant), then soaked with boiled oil, than polished. So in 1930's finish was changed. I have no doubts that some stocks in Izhevsk during war were issued without laquering. I have one like this, seems that it is soaked with boiled oil (and it is not the only that I saw).

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