Showing posts from August, 2010

Marine spar varnish as a rifle stock finish

I refinished a rifle stock with spar urethane. Why? The idea was to produce a waterproof stock, for use on a go-anywhere utility rifle. While there are good synthetic stocks in abundance, these days, that are impervious to moisture, I already had the wooden stock and a little bit of time on my hands. Also, I kinda like wood. You can apply spar varnish over a factory varnish finish, just roughen up the original finish a little bit with fine sandpaper--220 grit or so. Be careful to seal the stock completely, with plentiful spar varnish inside as well as outside, and take off the buttplate and seal the wood under there, as well. Using multiple thin coats, build up a thick protective film that encapsulates the wood and keeps moisture from reaching it. Does it work? Sailors have used this stuff for years to seal wood against the elements and it seems to work for them. How does it look? You be the judge. I used satin finish varnish for less shine afield, and I think it looks nice.

Future Rifle

The scout rifle was a good attempt, thirty or so years ago, to come up with the ideal all-around rifle. How well it succeeded is open to debate. In any case, enough time has passed to ask what we have learned and where we go from here--how to make an even better general purpose rifle. In the Americas, at least, the all around rifle was for a long time the .30-30 lever action, and for many people it still fills that role just fine. It is compact, fast handling and convenient. Its accuracy, range and power are not all that might be wished, but good enough for a whole lot of uses. Self defense, pest control, deer hunting, or just a bit of fun at the target range, the .30-30 has it covered. Then, at least for people who felt they needed something better than the .30-30, the general purpose rifle became the scout, or other full powered carbine with a bolt action. The bolt action's power to weight ratio and durability afield, its potential for fine accuracy and its proven reliabilit