Old oil soaked wood stocks are hard to repair successfully unless you know these tricks.
by Paul Mazan
How many old stocks have you seen that were broken at the wrist, repaired and then broken again? If you have been around guns for very long I’m sure you have seen your share. Based on the number of badly repaired old stocks that I have worked on, most folks think all it takes is some glue and perhaps a few screws and a splint or two. When the gun breaks in the same place a time or two they give up the job and put stock repair into the black arts file.
Generally, by the time the gun gets to me the owner has given up hope and simply wants to sell the gun. The few that I quote a repair on are generally of sentimental value to the owner and are obscure or rare enough that no replacements stocks are available for them. They come in with wire wrapped around the broken wrist like a cast. Strips of wood or metal inletted across the break and screwed and or glued in place, rawhide wraps, metal bands and sometimes a combination of several of these attempts and there is always evidence of glue – lots and lots of glue. Many of these repairs were brilliantly thought out and expertly executed but still failed and even if they held they were downright ugly.
The reason for the failure is generally simple to detect.
Read more in our January 2013 issue. Back issues are available.