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Hey everybody. I'm trying to do a little research on a stock a buddy has on an M44. When he got it, the stock looked like it was made from a railroad tie, just filthy black. When he got it degreased, you could see a few different colors in it. He got some linseed oil on it, and wow! the colors just popped out. It kind of looks like a Finn stock, it has some tigerstriping to it, but there are a few patches of an almost olive green in it. He's thinking it may be Arctic birch, but can't find any pictures of an Arctic birch stock that has the green color. Any ideas?? I can't lay my hands on it for pictures so, according to some, the stock doesn't exist, but I swear I've seen it. Any help will be apprciated. Jim....
U.S. Marine Corps 1975-1979
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Only wood i know that gets those greenish streaks is poplar but that was not a gunstock wood. The predominant woods for russian stocks was birch and beech. Realize that those stocks have a long history and who knows what finishes, chemicals etc have affected the wood. I would not recommend sanding it because you would lose history and possible markings but degreasing alone would not necessarily remove stains and stuff.
Guessing your greenish streak is from exposure of brass or copper to moisture or other chemicals at the same time. Is the greenish area around the sling slots? Could just be discolored wood. I've worked quite a bit with European birch from Scandinavia that comes on wood stove pallets, and it's not uncommon to find unusual staining including greens and blue's. It's a light colored wood and absorbs water and whatever is in the water quite readily. I'm sure the Russians would have used the wood regardless of color so long as it was sound.
Thanks to all for the replies. The greenish area is about in the middle of the stock, just about where your cheek would rest when firing. There is also some yellow and brown in there. It's actually kind of pretty. I don't remember seeing any green around the sling slot, and he did not sand the stock, because his attitude is "You wouldn't sand George Washington's teeth, would you?". I think he said he used Brownell's whiting powder and acetone, then cleaned it with Goop hand cleaner, finished off with BLO. I wish I could get pictures up of it. I'll see what I can do. Like I said, it's a really neat looking stock. Jimi....
U.S. Marine Corps 1975-1979
I also think the Russians did some weird things to their shellac and some interesting field expedient finishes. I have a couple of mosins that definitely had contaminated shellac, and possibly a field expedient finish such as used motor oil, coal tar, oil based paint, God knows what applied, then an arsenal refinish over the top sometime post war. One is blotchy red-brown. If I had to guess, I'd say red lead marine paint cut with a thin oil. This rifle was refinished in the Ukraine post war-rebuild, the "stain" appears to be penetrated into the wood, it is a pre or early war stock. The other interesting stock I would guess was treated with coal tar or creosote. The grain is black, sapwood normal color. It shows evidence of a sandblasting or similar treatment. Also an early stock. Also a Ukraine arsenal refinish. Also have a couple with definitely discolored shellac. Maybe the barrel was getting low and they tossed in some mystery goop to make it last. Used to get to pick through the crates at a local retailer when they were under $100 apiece, so I picked some cool ones.