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  #1  
Old 07-17-2013, 2:58 PM
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Default M44 Refinishing... To Do Or Not To Do

I have this M44, all original with matching numbers and great bore. It is an outstanding rifle and a regular shooter. The stock is perfect with no cracks or repairs, but the finish and shellac have seen better days. I was thinking of stripping it down to bare wood, but I am a real mouth breather when it comes to wood finishing. Any tips would be welcome. I have searched a lot and everyone has a different technique. What works well on Mosins?




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  #2  
Old 07-17-2013, 3:30 PM
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I don't know Bobby, might be the lighting, but that M44 looks pretty nice to me, does it really need a re-finish?

If you do decide to re-finish it, I have heard of everything from BLO, Tung Oil, etc. to actually re-shellacing it with genuine Russian Shellac flakes. If it's a shooter, personally I would just leave it but it's your choice, of course.
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2013, 3:38 PM
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If you choose to refinish, use steel wool to remove the shellac.. if needed a liquid paint remover can be used. then more steel wool. when you have the old finish removed, I use mineral spirits to wipe the stock down to make sure it is completely clean. let it dry for a day after this and the apply 2 coats of Tung oils and buff away. Some people like to use a wax coat on top of the oi and buff to a high luster. its all personal preference
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Old 07-17-2013, 3:42 PM
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I vote leave it alone. I refinished one of my M44's and even though it looks pretty good, I really regret it. It didn't even really need it, but I was bored and needed a project to work on.
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Old 07-17-2013, 3:44 PM
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yup, put some steel wool with a little bit of Mineral Spirits on it...scrub and it will come off. Then put some Lemon Oil, BLO, or Tung. But since its only a Mosin...id Put some a bad arse Tiger Stripes on it and Bubbah it up


Make it look like this Plus the Fireballs. Gorgeous, bubbah would be proud.
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2013, 3:46 PM
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Looks fine as it is or send it to 0321jarhead. He does really good work on those old military guns.
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Old 07-17-2013, 3:51 PM
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Some more traditional and conservative folks in the collecting community would say "No, no, no! Sweet Mother of God, Please don't do it."

Others, who claim to be a bit more open minded, would say "Really bad idea, leave it alone!"

There you have it, both sides of the argument.
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Old 07-17-2013, 3:52 PM
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Looks fine as it is or send it to 0321jarhead. He does really good work on those old military guns.
Yup! +1000
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Old 07-17-2013, 4:31 PM
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Just touch up the shellac finish. It is very easy http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...54&postcount=2
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Old 07-17-2013, 4:58 PM
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Okay Bubba... Do as you please....

Seriously just leave it be.

Whoring it up will not make it shoot any better... It's perfect as it is.
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  #11  
Old 07-17-2013, 5:02 PM
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I am honored that the zen masters of C&R posted to my thread. I will abide by their collective judgement and leave it as is. It is really a spectacular rifle so I appreciate everyone's input.
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  #12  
Old 07-17-2013, 5:04 PM
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And I guess that answers what would have been my second question regarding my newly received Sino-Soviet..... The flaky shellac stays!
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Old 07-17-2013, 5:23 PM
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DO IT
Before

Stripped and sanded 100,220, 320

Pre-stain.

2 coats Minwax Gunstock stain.

She shoots and functions like a dream too!

The last pic really doesn't do it justice.
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2013, 5:24 PM
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This brings up the question then of preserving and protecting these old rifles as they are. What do you all do to them to keep them from deteriorating further?
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Old 07-17-2013, 5:33 PM
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Just like any other rifle - keep everything clean and well lubed. If you shoot milsurp ammo, clean the bore and bolt face immediately after shooting it. The standard bore cleaning process is to: remove the action from the stock. Boil some water in a kettle on the stove. Pour the boiling water down the bore. This will neutralize any corrosive salts that may remain in the bore from the corrosive surplus ammo. Then clean as normal.
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:33 PM
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I will bet it has already been through an arsenal refurb and had the original shellac replaced at that time. I'd redo it if that is what you like.
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:45 PM
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I'd leave it be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruinGuy View Post
What do you all do to them to keep them from deteriorating further?
Don't leave them out in the rain? They are pretty hardy rifles...
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I am currently cleaning it and I noticed when I squeeze the snake this white paste like substance comes out. What the heck is this crap?
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:50 PM
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I would leave it. Just my .02 though. It adds character
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:03 PM
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I guess I should clarify. I know cleaning and maintenance for the metal. I meant in a case like Bobby's rifle, where there are some exposed patches and flaking finish such as shellac - if you don't replace that finish, what do you do to maintain the wood?

I was using Minwax, but switched to Howard's. that, however, does have oils and so can change the color of the wood, especially if bare. So, I'm wondering what others use to preserve their stocks?
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:28 PM
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You can always refinish it if you truly want, but you can never undo the process. Think about it, everyone is "messing" with their mosins because of there low price tags, but eventually prices wont stay low long as "original" condition mosins will get harder to find.
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:14 PM
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If you plan to shoot it and keep it, I'd refinish it. The war time shellac is horrible and will flake more and more. If you are going to flip it, then leave it alone.
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:40 PM
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It looks nice, but it's yours. Make it beautiful like skylovia's if you want.

Lay off the steel wool tho.
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  #23  
Old 07-17-2013, 8:48 PM
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Originally Posted by skylovia View Post
. The last pic really doesn't do it justice.
No, I'm sure it looks much worse in person!
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by kouye View Post
If you plan to shoot it and keep it, I'd refinish it. The war time shellac is horrible and will flake more and more. If you are going to flip it, then leave it alone.
Then it's fortunate that it is in post war shellac
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I am currently cleaning it and I noticed when I squeeze the snake this white paste like substance comes out. What the heck is this crap?
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Don't D&T a virgin milsurp rifle. You'll burn in collector hell.
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  #25  
Old 07-18-2013, 9:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Ricigliano View Post
And I guess that answers what would have been my second question regarding my newly received Sino-Soviet..... The flaky shellac stays!
Yeah, that looks like something picked up off a dead VC in a rice paddy somewhere along the DMZ in 1968. I wouldn't mess with that - especially if it is one of the rare, elusive, and highly sought after first year Sino-Soviet SKS rifles.
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Old 07-18-2013, 2:51 PM
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I think I have an idea for your SKS:
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Old 07-18-2013, 7:24 PM
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Just clean it up a bit. Don't strip it.

Give a scuff sand and put a new coat on it. Maybe wax it. I did just that with a Romanian and it looked much nicer.

If its not damaged, don't strip it.
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Old 07-18-2013, 7:28 PM
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I see Milsurp and I agree. I finish wood for a living, and I still follow his 'how to's'
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Old 07-18-2013, 9:25 PM
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I think it looks great the way it is. If it was me I would probably just apply some Howard's feed-n-wax and call it a day.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanPedroShooter View Post
Just clean it up a bit. Don't strip it.

Give a scuff sand and put a new coat on it. Maybe wax it. I did just that with a Romanian and it looked much nicer.

If its not damaged, don't strip it.
If you "scuff sand and put a new coat" on it you have ruined it's true collector value.

Sure it may "look nicer" but it would no longer be original, and most collectors would never buy it when you decide to sell in in the future.
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Old 07-19-2013, 4:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SVT-40 View Post
If you "scuff sand and put a new coat" on it you have ruined it's true collector value.

Sure it may "look nicer" but it would no longer be original, and most collectors would never buy it when you decide to sell in in the future.


This should be posted in just about any refinishing/bubba'ing thread.
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I am currently cleaning it and I noticed when I squeeze the snake this white paste like substance comes out. What the heck is this crap?
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Don't D&T a virgin milsurp rifle. You'll burn in collector hell.
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Old 07-19-2013, 5:55 PM
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If you plan on selling it one day, then leave it alone. If you plan on keeping it forever, do what you want to it. I have mosins that have been refinished and , they are old beat up shooters that i plan on keeping forever. If I ever did sell any, it would be the matching number safe queens.
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  #33  
Old 07-19-2013, 6:49 PM
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thanks to everyone for the advice I will probably leave it as It is a good shooter in a hundred percent reliable. Why mess with a good thing?
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Old 07-19-2013, 6:59 PM
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I think you should re-finish it...it'll make mine worth more! Seriously, if the numbers match, leave it the heck alone, and pick up a mis-match to Bubba up at the next gun show, if you just have to Bubba up an original War Relic. Look what Bubba has done to K-98's, it's tough to find an original un-messed with example, and when you do, it's for a premium price.
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Old 07-19-2013, 6:59 PM
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Ah! Just read your new post! Good man!
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Old 07-19-2013, 8:30 PM
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I guess it depends on what you have them for. I don't buy rifles as an investment or to sell later, I buy them to shoot and use.

If putting a new coat of original shellac or touching up the existing shellac will preserve the beauty and condition of my rifle for another 50 or 60 years, than I have no problem doing it. Especially as the arsenal did the same thing, albeit with what looks like a broom.

I guess you could argue that if you don't want the semi-original crap finish that comes on a re-arsenal Mosin, you shouldn't buy one? Does removing the cosmoline ruin its true collector value? How about shooting it? What about taking it out of the box it comes in? I feel like you could take this argument deep into the realms of silliness.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanPedroShooter View Post
Does removing the cosmoline ruin its true collector value? How about shooting it? What about taking it out of the box it comes in? I feel like you could take this argument deep into the realms of silliness.
1. Depends on the rifle, on a normal common year/nothing rare refurb no.
2. Also depends on the rifle. Some are shooters, some are too rare and should be safe queens.
3. Nope

You could take it to all the depths of silliness, but that would be plain nuts
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My neighbors think I'm a construction worker named Bruce.

Little do they know that's just my stripper outfit and name.
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Originally Posted by ChopperX View Post
I am currently cleaning it and I noticed when I squeeze the snake this white paste like substance comes out. What the heck is this crap?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff L View Post
Don't D&T a virgin milsurp rifle. You'll burn in collector hell.
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  #38  
Old 07-20-2013, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHP FAN View Post
Look what Bubba has done to K-98's, it's tough to find an original un-messed with example, and when you do, it's for a premium price.
It is funny you mentioned K98's!

I got a RC K98 recently. Not peened, waffenampts everywhere. Nice bore. Good solid walnut stock. I have always wanted to sporterize one of these and trick it out. I am dropping it in a Hogue rubber stock and I have a high end Tasco scope that I am going to have tapped and mounted to it. Maybe a bipod too.

The M44 I will leave alone though.
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Old 07-20-2013, 5:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosinnagantm9130 View Post
1. Depends on the rifle, on a normal common year/nothing rare refurb no.
2. Also depends on the rifle. Some are shooters, some are too rare and should be safe queens.
3. Nope

You could take it to all the depths of silliness, but that would be plain nuts
I agree, obviously. He did ask about a particular gun though right? I suppose I was surprised to see my suggestion to recoat or touch up the flakey re-arsenal shellac singled out over scrubbing the finish off with steel wool for instance....

If that wont 'ruin the true collector value', I am not sure what will. Perhaps the half a dozen other suggestions to boil, scrape or strip it?
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Old 07-20-2013, 6:14 AM
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If you've got a little Bubba in you go snag a T53. Refinishing those stocks is a service unto mankind. Leave the Russians alone.
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