This is a discussion on Wood Stock Protectant within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Hi,
I will be buying a SA M1A NM very soon and I would like to know what my best option is for protecting the ...
I will be buying a SA M1A NM very soon and I would like to know what my best option is for protecting the wood against the elements. I'm not too concerned with scratches and digs, but I am very concerned with the wood warping or expanding due to exposure to freezing temps, rain, snow, and summer heat. With that being said, what, if anything, can I do/apply to the rifle to protect it and preserve the accuracy of the bedded National Match? It must be a long lasting protectant because from what I've read the stock shouldn't be removed on more than an annual basis to preserve the bedding.
To really get good penetration, I still prefer boiled linseed oil. My USGI walnut M-14 stocks are generally dry when I buy them and it takes 4-5 applications and buffings to restore the lustre to the wood. This way, any additional type of finish is optional.
I use boiled linseed oil or pure tung oil on most of mine, but I don't get big changes in humidity here. I have a couple of stocks that I've spar varnished, using thinned coats to soak the end grains especially, as well as any stock openings. Yeah, it looks sort of plasticy but I believe it's a better moisture barrier than the PTO or BLO. From what I've read, Tru oil wouldn't be a bad choice either, especially if several coats are applied. Basically if you want to totally eliminate any stock shifting you're going to have to go with a synthetic.
I have also heard of people creating some astoundingly beautiful Birch stocks using Cabots deck stain. I know, sounds crazy, but it really works. I tried it once.
When I built my cedar patio set, I helped a buddy of mine turn his beat up old birch stock (an old Savage 7mm), into what looks like a Big Red, because we used the Cabot Mahogany Flame stain. Looked fantastic.
Cabot outdoor deck stain is a blend of Tung-Oil and mineral oils to fully penentrate and seal the wood from some of the worst conditions imaginable. My patio set has been outside in the PacNW weather for 3 years now, and still looks the same as it did when it was first built. You can get it in many colors, even natural for plain wood grains.