Hello, I just got a 42 Izhevsk 91/30, and it has a hardwood stock. I was thinking of taking of the shellac and putting on a nice oil finish, but I'd like to know what wood I'm working with first. I have a Chinese SKS stock that seems to be made out of the same kind of wood, I'm thinking cherry but I'm not sure. I can post pics of the rifle if they used more than one type of wood. Anything else I should know about before refinishing a 91/30 stock?
Also, I have heard that laminate stocks are the norm, and I have heard that hardwoods are the norm, so which is it? I thought laminates were. My sister thinks the factory was likely out of laminate stock wood, so they just found some trees, cut em down, and used that for there stocks for the day, but I don't know about that.
On the Mosin Nagant, laminated stocks are post-WWII, as the technology to manufacture these was not present in the USSR until during the war. They are typically therefore less 'used and abused' than the solid wood stocks which are likely pre-war and some people like the asthetic of the laminate, which will have varying wood layers and colors.
Also, the laminate stocks are stronger and more resistant to changes in shape due to moisture and humidity. Since you will be buying a rifle that was likely preserved with the thick grease called "cosmoline", you will need to thoroughly clean the rifle and the wood stock and most people find that the lainate stocks are less grease-soaked and therefore come out of the cleaning and refinishing process looking sharper.