Time to Refinish



Cree Vicar Dave – SASS Life #49907


A few years back I purchased a well used Winchester 1897 pump shotgun at a reasonable price.  It had its share of hard knocks and more than normal mistreatment.  But it had a good amount of character.  The Brisco Kid at “Cowboy Shooters Supply” (www.cowboyshooterssupply.com ) nursed the old relic back ta life for me.  All the mechanical parts now function as designed.  He also buffed off what bluing that was left on it along with most of the rust pitting manifesting the metal with the sheen of a stainless steel shotgun.  The wood, though, was another matter.


After over a half century of neglect the stock was showing its age.  (If your ‘97’ has a decent looking stock it would be good ta just leave it as it is.  This one however was two to three grades below decent.)  I pondered what ta do about putting some luster back into the wood.  The finish was nonexistent, there were scratches,  small dents,  a goodly amount of grime/grease/gook built up on the grip, and the wood had streaks of discoloration caused by oil and or cleaning products.  I decided to start by lightly sanding the wood with a green Scotch Brite pad.  That smoothed it out nicely and took most of the grime off, but the forward part of the stock now was an off white color.  The gook that covered it had bleached out the wood there leaving it a two tone stock, a natural walnut color on the back two thirds and an ugly off white on the front.  Next I tried bringing the wood to one color using MINWAX Golden Oak stain.  But to no avail.  It was still multi colored, just a little darker. 

1897 Winchester Shotgun looking almost like new.  The Brisco Kid did the action job & buffed the steel.  Cree Vicar Dave restored the stock. 


After considering what to do next I said to myself, “Self, you don’t have much to lose now”.  So I sanded it down again, picked up a bottle of cordovan leather dye I had laying around and applied a liberal coat of dye to the wood then quickly wiped it off with a cloth.  This brought the stock to a consistent dark walnut color.  Then I gave it a light sanding to lighten up the color a little and applied another coat of Golden Oak wood stain.  To my delight the color was close to an original texture and to my liking.  A couple of coats of MINWAX Antique Oil Finish sealed the deal.  The pump forearm corncob was likewise treated.  It really brought the old girl back ta life.  It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1a NIV, “There is a time for everything,…”   It was time to refinish that shotgun stock.  I’m glad I took the time ta work on it.  The stock looks great against the silvered colored steel. 


Hope ta sees ya on the trail. 


God bless,