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Thread: G98/40 Stock Finish

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    Default G98/40 Stock Finish

    Hi folks. Have a question about the stock finish on a G98/40 I recently picked up, but being my first post, a little background info. Somewhat familiar with 98 Mauser rifles. Have a ‘MOD. 98’ that me and my dad put together with so called duffle bag parts (still have a busted off stock, couple of barrels and assorted parts) and have shot and reloaded this gun for over forty years. Gets pulled out a few times a year for CMP matches. I am much more familiar with US Milsurps (M1s, 30 Carbines, M1917s, etc). More of an accumulator/shooter type, but have a respect for history and try to preserve it as much as possible.

    Ok, on to my 41 G98/40 stock finish. Purchased a one with a group of guns from an estate a while back. Metal is in good shape with original finish with all the numbers matching. NoGo gauge checks out. Rifling is strong and shiny. Missing front sight hood (could be a lifelong search for one), cleaning rod and there is no sling. The wood is clean and original, with the number in barrel channel matching the metal, although I did not see a number on the butt piece, however, I did not completely remove all the metal from it. Unfortunately, sometime in the past the stock made a visit to the house of Bubba. Looks like some heavy sanding occurred, although there are ghosts of a few of the original stock markings. After sanding it was sloppily refinished with what appears to be lacquer or varnish. Bubbly finish with runs in it. Not pretty. At least it preserved the wood which has a light reddish look. Applied a bit of 70/30 isopropyl in an inconspicuous spot under one of the barrel bands and looks like finish could easily be removed, although with possibly with something a bit stronger.

    How is best to approach ‘restoring’ this stock? Want to end up with a preserved shooter (remember I am a accumulator/shooter first, not necessarily a collector), but don’t want to degrade it for the next owner. I have thought about it for a while now and the runny bumpy finish simply bugs me. Whatever I do, I do not want to cause any more damage. Thought was to carefully remove the finish with minimal or no damage to the patina that is under it. Next would be what to refinish with. Prefer real tung oil instead of linseed oil if appropriate. Tung oil is what I have used in the past for Milsurps and muzzleloader stocks that I have made, so I am comfortable with it. Not sure what would be considered a correct finish for a 1941 German contract rifle. Have attached a few photographs for reference.

    Looking forward to opinions and advise.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Ok, over 10 days and 67 views with no responses. Guessing I posted in the wrong place? If not this forum, where should I go to to get advice on correct finish for a 41 G98/40? Was hoping to get some guidance or suggestions on how to proceed and was lead to believe this was the place.

    Apologies and thanks in advance for suggestions on where to go to find the information.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
    Ok, over 10 days and 67 views with no responses. Guessing I posted in the wrong place? If not this forum, where should I go to to get advice on correct finish for a 41 G98/40? Was hoping to get some guidance or suggestions on how to proceed and was lead to believe this was the place.

    Apologies and thanks in advance for suggestions on where to go to find the information.
    Carefully strip the shellac or varnish with a method you mentioned. Let the stock dry a few days, the natural color should return. You can use linseed oil or Howard's feed n wax, it's already been sanded so you shouldn't be too worried about collector value. As far as the numbering on the stock, the serial number should be stamped in the barrel channel, hand guard, and on the keel as well.

  4. #4
    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    You can search online forums for days and get 100 different methods for stripping. Honestly, once a stock has been sanded/shellacked there really is no good way to fix it. Personally, I'd probably knock the shine down with the alcohol but not try to completely strip it, it will look ugly when you are done. Just melt it enough to knock down the majority of it and buff it up with a cloth. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube as far as sanded stocks goes.
    Order the new K98k book at www.thirdpartypress.com
    Don't forget to visit www.latewar.com for info on late war 98k's.

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    Moderator˛ Pisgah's Avatar
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    I agree with Mr. Farb regarding not being able to put the toothpaste back in the tube. I collect G98/40's and would likely leave this one the way it is. I doubt that you would improve the appearance much. My fear is that it could be worse.
    WTB/WTT: (1)late E/H marked bcd stock either standard or semi-Kriegs; (2)unnumbered late MO Zf-41 stock, Kriegs or standard stock; (3)transitional late unnumbered type dot stock which uses bandspring and has bayo mount but no cleaning rod hole; (4)unnumbered byf standard stock as typically found on some byf 44 K and L block rifles; (5)unnumbered E/H bnz standard stock as typically found on bnz.4 and bnz 44 N, O, and P block rifles; (6)any bnz Kriegsmodell stock either with E/H or without

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    I have been doing this to about 1500 stocks since 1992:

    http://www.trfindley.com/pgstkref.html

    I use a sander that does not leave sand marks made by Porter Cable.

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    Appreciate the opinions/feedback. So far the only thing that I have done is remove the finish that was on the barrel and receiver. Apparently Bubba applied ‘finish’ without removing barrel and action, nor even concidering masking off the metal. Whatever the finish is, it is easily removed with alcohol on a cotton rag.

    I will NOT be using any type of sander or sandpaper on the stock. Not an appropriate or well thought out option. Consider it a one way dead end street with no opportunity to back up. Removing any material (wood), no matter how minimal can not be undone or reversed. However, I still believe I could gently desolve most if it all of the poorly applied finish without harming the wood underneath.

    If I decide to desolve whatever the topcoat finish is, question is still what next possible steps should be. Stain is an option I am reluctant in pursuing. Difficult to undue. Those that collect originals, what type of finish is found on originals? Quessing an oil finish.

  8. #8
    Moderator˛ Pisgah's Avatar
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    I don't do wood repairs. I'm not saying that I don't agree with them. Sometimes I do. Just saying that I don't do them. I tried my hand at "improving" stocks a long time ago on a mismatched Vz-24 stock. I am still traumatized. I do get many of my duffle cut stocks reattached, but that is a different matter and not what you are asking about. I am not an expert on how the Germans finished their stocks. I would guess it was some type of stain and light oil. Late war stocks usually look like they were stained and not oiled.

    I am a G98/40 collector. I think they likely were finished about the same as any Kar.98k rifle from the same time period. Your one photo makes the stock look like it was lightly sanded. Another looks like it has a buildup of some kind of clear type finish. I actually don't think it looks too bad. I would be tempted to leave it like it is. I just worry that whatever you do could make it worse and I don't think it is that bad now.
    WTB/WTT: (1)late E/H marked bcd stock either standard or semi-Kriegs; (2)unnumbered late MO Zf-41 stock, Kriegs or standard stock; (3)transitional late unnumbered type dot stock which uses bandspring and has bayo mount but no cleaning rod hole; (4)unnumbered byf standard stock as typically found on some byf 44 K and L block rifles; (5)unnumbered E/H bnz standard stock as typically found on bnz.4 and bnz 44 N, O, and P block rifles; (6)any bnz Kriegsmodell stock either with E/H or without

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