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Showcase cover image for antique shotgun stock repair

Project Information

Here is an antique shotgun stock I restored for a friend. The shotgun is an 1897 Winchester 16ga and has been my friends dove gun since time immemorial. Unfortunately it had to be stored and got caught in a flood.

I cleaned the stock. Opened up and plugged that huge crack and refinished the stock as shown. I did not try to make the wood look like new. That would have been dramatically out of place on this fine old gun. Neither did I try to exactly reconstruct it's original finish. It's value to my friend was not as an antique but, a working gun. But I did want to keep within the spirit of the old gun finish. What I did was finish it in a blend of blo blend ("boiled Linseed oil"), a very traditional gun finish but, unfortunately a high maintenance, low durability finish. My blend was adding a little "Tru-Oil" to the blo. By itself Tru-oil is a very durable finish but to me always made me think of a layer of plastic laying over the wood. To me, nothing beats the look of a hand rubbed oil finish. That stock is 12 coats.

Of course I did up the pump fore arms to match. My friend was very happy since he thought he was going to have to by or have a stock made. The results made me happy too.

Gallery

Comments

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Looks like you did an excellent job and the final product looks great. It's a lot harder to get the final look right on this type of repair than you'd think, and you have succeeded.
 

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Is that bondo in the crack? You managed to cover it up nicely with the finish. Bravo!
 

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Very nice repair, Great work!
Finish fits the gun.
 

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nicely done
 

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looks good,nice work.
 

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The correct way to make a repair or an addition is to make it look like it has never had anything done to it. Make it all look original. I think you have succeeeded in that endeavor. Good work on this project! Your friend should be proud too!!
 

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Looks like a very professional repair to me. Your friend should be pleased.
 

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Thanks!

No. NO Bondo. That was a piece of hardwood dowel. I didn't have any walnut so used what I had to most closely match the grain. I roughed out most of the crack. Forced CA glue into the small amount left, then fitted in the dowel and matched it to the stock radius.

Getting it all to stain and conform to the appearance of the rest of the stock was a challenge. Lots of staining, wiping, solvent washing… But, in the end I am satisfied that I managed it. I am glad you all see it that way too. :)
 

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Great job looks really nice!
 

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Nice save !
 

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Does your work lessen the value any? I have always been told that restoring an antique gun will hurt the value. If he is going to keep using it, OK. Custom stock work is expensive- probably more than the value of the gun itself.
 

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That is awesome. My uncle shoots with a Winchester 16 ga. although not one dating to 1867. looks great.
 

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Knothead62. In this case the value was undiminished due to the extent of the damage to the stock. Note the before pics. The stock was unusable with original finish largely gone. Restoration or replacement was his only options. And it didn't cost him a dime. I did it because he was my friend and I enjoyed doing it.

You are correct that purchasing such work from a professional can be very costly indeed. You are also correct that altering original finish or refinishing a weapon can have drastic effects on value. The question as to the wisdom of doing it depends on the weapon and potential value.

I am a moderator on a weapons collecting forum. A fellow signed on once and posted that he had a Civil War Spencer carbine and that he had stripped the stock. he wanted to know what to do next. All I could tell him was "Cry." That scrubbing probably cost him hundreds possibly in excess of a thousand dollars.
Now this shotgun is different. The model 1897 was made in many versions. If it was a WWI trench gun, it would be very valuable and you would want to be very careful about doing anything to it. Te finish I put on this would be all wrong.
But my friend's shotgun is just a sporting arm made in large numbers. Many are in far better condition for the collector. The value of this gun even discounting the damage would be basically no more than a simple "used gun" price.

This just points out that when dealing with antiques, one should always consult with experts as to what can, should and should not be done.
 

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Hi Jim.

I am the proud custodian of a Remington 20 ga. "Rolling block" single shot. It has been in the family since new and has been passed down to the eldest son of each generation. Until it came to me it had brought home game every year, but my health prohibits me from hunting except for the occasional "good spot" when I'm up to it. Even then, I prefer my H & R 10 ga. magnum break action single shot with the 36 in barrel. The added range is handy here in southern Manitoba as by the time the geese get down past a few hundred miles of hunters, they are flying so high they use oxygen masks! :)

You mentioned being involved with antiques. I wonder if you could give me a rough idea of what I should list the old Remington's worth as for my homeowner's insurance? As I mentioned, it is a Remington 20 ga. Rolling Block "Goose Gun" with a 32 inch barrel. It is in good useful condition but shows its age.

As for the repair job, a gun is a tool as much as a hammer or a saw. Tools are meant to be used. Restoring one to useable condition is to be praised. Thank you for bringing this old warrior back to life.

Paul
 
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