Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 11/1/2009 4:38:26 PM EST
I got my first M1 a couple of weeks ago - an H&R.

I finally got around to cleaning up the metal today, and was wondering if it would be sacrilegious to refinish the wood stock. It's got that dark-burgandy/cosmoline-soaked greasiness to it. It's in good shape with some nice cartouches that I would need to be careful with, but I've refinished several old mil-surp stocks in the past without any problems. I'm confident I can do a good job. I just want to check with you experts to make sure I wouldn't be offending the M1 gods by doing so.

Thanks for any input.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 5:00:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 5:08:09 PM EST by JohnRippert]
There are some people that think doing pretty much anything to a surplus firearm is sacrilegious. I always degrease and refinish my Garands. I use Dawn dishwashing liquid first, followed by Simple Green degreaser and again with the Dawn to clean out the SG. A few days drying and then refinish with BLO.

The least invasive method I have heard of, besides doing nothing, uses a piece of cheesecloth with BLO to clean off the surface grime. When the cheesecloth gets too filled with gunk fold over and find a clean spot to keep going. That does not do anything for deep down grease buildup. If a stock set is too oil soaked then the only real way to get it out is to use heat.

Wrapping the stock in paper towels, inserting in a black plastic bag and leaving it on the dash on a hot summer day.

Judicious use of a heat gun to bring the oil/cosmoline to the surface to be wiped off, the key word being judicious.

Building a "Cosmoline Cooker" that is usually a metal tube of some kind with the heat being provided by 100watt light bulbs to get the temperature high enough to cook the oils out.

The only things I frown on are finishes that are not GI, like polyurethane or varnish being applied to a Garand.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 5:05:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 5:05:51 PM EST by bloodsport2885]
Invest in a new stock or do as little as possible (ie no sanding, just cleaning). The CMP has some decent ones, but for a similar price there are others with beautiful wood grain.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 5:42:44 PM EST
Cartouche. As your rifle is from the CMP.........I'll assume you got the "real deal."


Preserve and protect it.

Me........I'd refinish. But, be extra careful around the cartouche. If you can't see it.......well, full speed ahead.

Aloha, Mark
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 7:31:39 PM EST
It is yours do as you please,However if the stock has Value IE a wwll SA GLG , a winchester,, or an IHC with a channel dated stock it would shoot the value right out of the stock
I have some I have refinished some I will not touch
Just depends on you and your wants
Just so you know do not use BLO (boiled linseed oil) Use Tung Oil Pure Tung Oil
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 7:32:05 PM EST
Murphy's Oil Soap does a nice job on M1 stocks. The patina will remain but the stock will lose its dark red appearance. Pure Tung Oil will provide a good GI finish. If you don't want to strip the stock, set it out in the sun and wipe the oozing grease off with a rag that's damp with mineral spirits. Acetone or MEK will work too but the fumes are nasty. Do not sand the wood.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 8:34:50 PM EST
For anyone who's curious, here they are:

The eagle with the stars above it...does that cartouche have a name? Is "cartouche" even the right word to use in describing it?
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 8:16:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 9:41:51 AM EST by ma96782]
The eagle w/ 3 stars over it is the DAS (Department of Defense Acceptance Stamp - post WW2).

The large P is a "proof marking." Meaning that the rifle with this stock had a "proof round" fired through it and it passed the government's test.

But............as you know..........parts and stocks get switched around frequently. Do you remember reading this on the CMP site?

Over the past 65 years, most M1 rifles have been arsenal rebuilt, refinished, rebarreled or repaired at least once and often several times. Most will show signs of service (often considerable) and replacement of various parts. They are seldom encountered with all original parts and original finish as delivered from the manufacturer. Such "original" rifles, even in well-used condition, are highly prized by collectors.

IF you're really interested in your rifle and parts............invest in some good books..............


There are two books on the M1 by Duff.

Here is a free web site with more info on cartouches..............


Aloha, Mark
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 8:52:09 AM EST
I've bought several M1's from the CMP.

I've refinished the stocks on everyone one of them. I use that spray on gel/foam stripper I got from WalMart. I spray it on (inside and outside) and let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes and then scrub the stock (inside and outside with a green 3M pad and water from a hose. I wear heavy rubber gloves as that stripper lights my skin up like it was on fire. I do this twice and it seems to get the oil/grease out of the stock.

When I sand it down I work around the cartouches on the stock to leave them as sharp/complete as possible. I've never bought a safe queen so the stocks always had lots of "character" as my wife calls it. Most of the nicks and dings are a little lighter after the sanding, but still there to some extent.

I've used boiled linseed oil on some stocks and they looked okay but I've had a couple (H&R stocks for some reason) that looked like pure crap after several coats of BLO, sort of dull or sand blasted looking. I found that a few coats of tung oil over top of the BLO made them look great and since then I've only used tung oil.

I did polyurethane one M1 stock. I got a Dec. '44 Springfield from the CMP. When I stripped the crud off the stock it was some of the most beautiful wood I'd ever seen and I couldn't bare to cover up that grain/swirl with stain or oil.

I really like my M1's. They work. They're accurate. They will get the job done if I ever have to do it.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 10:33:42 AM EST
From what we've been shown, it's in pretty nice shape. Cook the grease/cosmoline out and see what you get. I'd think carefully about doing any more than that.

Link Posted: 11/2/2009 12:38:29 PM EST
Thanks for all the input.

I believe I'll go the Murphy's-oil-soap/Pinesol route to begin with, as the stock isn't super greasy. Maybe scrub some of the rougher spots with a scotch-brite pad. I'll just remove some of the superficial darkness to begin with.

In the past I've stripped stocks with oven cleaner and a garden hose with good results, but I'm reluctant to be that aggressive with this one. Temperatures are cooling so letting it sit out in the hot West Texas sun won't be as effective as it normally is.

The rifle is in great shape with mirror-like rifling, but it won't be a safe queen. It'll be shot and well taken care of. I just don't want to ruin it right out of the gate.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 5:06:22 PM EST
Here is what I did. I took an old m14 stock and used a furniture refinisher I picked up at home depot. Took some good macro shot's as well.




Now this last one is very interesting. I created a filter and applied it to both photo's to get a black/white image and bumped up the settings till it was harsh, VERY interesting results.


Top Top