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Thread: Color of German Walnut Stocks

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bob in OHIO's Avatar
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    Default Color of German Walnut Stocks

    All trees push their waste productes to the center of the tree via ray cells. Trees with distinctive "heartwood" like walnut and cherry produce their color as those waste products accumulate in the tree's center (see cross section of Black Walnut from OH). This colored wood towards the trees center is termed "heartwood" which is surrounded by the younger wood called sapwood. In contrast, beech does not have a disctinctive heartwood color. Not all walnut has identically colored heartwood due to tree genetics and the environmnetal influences.

    German gunstocks w/ walnut come in a variety of colors partially due to both sap- and heartwood were used. The Germans also stained their stocks as evidenced from looking at the raw barrel channels. Modern walnut gunstocks are steamed to distribute the heartwood products more uniformly through the wood. I doubt the Germans steamed their stocks....

    While there are gradients of color in German stocks I tend to classify the color as simply: tan, red (or roan), and brown. Tan stocks appear to be largely sapwood. I wonder about the red v. brown stocks ... and am still pondering the effect of wood color, tree species, applied stain, and toning due to age.
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  2. #2
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Very interesting stuff Bob, and great pics as usual. Pic stickied.

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    Moderator² Loewe's Avatar
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    I agree, very good information (you should write an article!), - have you considered the experiments done by Mauser regarding substitute woods? I know walnut is the topic here but curious how far you have taken the study of wood use?

    They used many different types during WWI, including maple, oak etc.. Mauser Archives also has a list of inventory over the years that were interesting.

    Seems like walnut was most preferred, but beech was the favored substitute. While oak and maple were less desirable but were used in small numbers during WWI. Of course laminate took over during the second, it is interesting that experiments continued with oak etc.. as you would think they knew the results by the experiments with oak in the First World War?

    I would guess something else was at work when Mauser used oak again in 1943?

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    Senior Member Badger's Avatar
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    Thanks very much Bob ...

    Appreciate the background ...

    Regards,
    Doug

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    Senior Member don w's Avatar
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    Thank you Bob. That was extremely informative. I doubt I ever would have learned about this subject anywhere else.

  6. #6
    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Actually, Mauser didn't use Oak in 43, it was Elm. I think we covered that- Bob suggested it was Elm, so Bruce sent a sample to a lab (paperwork is in the appendix of the book).

    Great info Bob! You are a wood nazi.....
    Order the new K98k book at www.thirdpartypress.com
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    Moderator² Loewe's Avatar
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    Yes, I remember that now that you mention it.. I will have to check what Storz and Mauser Archive list it as? Wonder if Imperial era was elm or oak..


    Quote Originally Posted by mrfarb View Post
    Actually, Mauser didn't use Oak in 43, it was Elm. I think we covered that- Bob suggested it was Elm, so Bruce sent a sample to a lab (paperwork is in the appendix of the book).

    Great info Bob! You are a wood nazi.....

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