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Did the arsenals dye the stocks prior to oiling, or were they just dipped in oil and and later darkened after usage? I cleaned the handguards of my 03A3 with mineral spirits and steam to remove dents and dings, The wood came up a little lighter and now appers to be oil free. I don't want to get cute and start staining things if the only thing required is tung oil. Thanks in advance..
 

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The following is in regard to USGI M14 wood stocks. It is found in the free online book M14 Rifle History and Development at http://www.imageseek.com/m1a

Prior to final assembly, each wood stock was dipped in oil. The walnut stocks were dipped twice but the birch stocks only once. It was found during the first half of 1962 that two coats of oil left excessive oil and residue on the birch stocks due to its different grain and "slower capillary action in absorbing oil" as compared to walnut. (1) Consequently, the procedure was changed to one coat of oil for birch stocks. Commercial producers [H&R, Winchester, TRW] of the M14 rifle sprayed a stain on the birch stocks prior to the dipping in oil. This produced a color very close to that of black walnut. After several days of draining and drying, sample stocks were tested for resistance to smoke and water. The last M14 rifles assembled with wood stocks left the manufacturer in July 1963.
 

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whip, put some mineral spirits on that stock to see what it will look like when the BLO hits it.

If your stock has a grayish color when dry, the that is chemically damaged wood. To get the reddish-brown color back, you will have to sand off a little bit. Don't run off and start sanding, you can always sand later....
 

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The color of 1903 stocks is generally darker but many contribute it to the oils oxidizing over the years. Whatever the cause, you will probably need to stain to match color. Boiled Linseed Oil will darken wood slightly more than Tung Oil but you will probably need to stain the handguard to match your stock. See this post http://battlerifles.com/viewtopic.php?t=36535
for advise on staining to match the original color.

Good luck with your project.
 
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