I had a lot of PM's and questions lately about refinishing stocks, so I decided I'd try make a little project the next time I did a gun.
I found a post on the forum for a $50 mosin nagant and I decided to pick it up and see if I could turn it into something pretty. PrimeredJunk was nice enough to meet up and hand it over. Mechanically the gun was sound, there was a broken magazine clasp and some other small issues, but I was able to fix all of them quickly.
So, here is what we started with:
I noticed immediately the gun was a Hungarian M44 Carbine, which is the preferred country of origin when it comes to Nagants since hungary generally had superior machining and tooling, their guns are tighter, and better overall - the most sought after Mosin-Nagant would be the M/52, which is the hungarian sniper rifle. Because of this, I checked the gun thoroughly and it looks fairly worn, but the bore was in good condition, and overall this is the nagant I wanted in my gun case. The ammo (7.62X54R) is about as cheap as it gets, so it will be a fun shooter.
The furniture is in terrible condition, appears that it's been an issued rifle which continually banged against the grunt while on a sling. The metal is rough, and rusted in places.
I decided my goal for this gun would be to make a very pretty show piece. I will never take it out hunting, and really it will spend most of it's time in my case, so my approach to this one will be different, as I will use higher quality (but less durable) finishes and methods.
First step in any refinish is to throw a damp towel on the wood and place a hot iron over it. This causes the deep dents and impressions in the stock to rise up to a more flush level. I wouldn't mention a step in any process unless I knew it actually worked, and this does certainly work.
After that, I started sanding down with 80 grit, then 150grit.
Here is the stock after sanding:
Minwax conditioner and masked off metal.