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Looking for some good feedback on what I can do with my "new" armorer rehabbed IBM M1 Carbine. I purchased it from Miltech because of their reputation for doing it right. It's 100% expertly inspected and any out of spec parts are replaced before it gets shipped to my local gun store looking like it did in 1944. HOWEVER, the wood is my issue. It looks like a new commercial stock was used, which is great in terms of how we might expect a brand new firearm to look but this is, after all, 75+ year old classic and I'd like the wood to look a bit more aged and certainly less pristine. I had it in my mind that the wood would look rough and dark like the attached pic from Miltech's website. I don't want it to be one of the beat to death RTI models with paint, etc. on it but something rougher, even dull rather than glossy and new like a brand new Mini 14. A family member recommending the black patina product included in the picture and I've now tested it on the upper handguard. In my opinion, it looks slightly darker than the rest of the stock but certainly not dulled down or rough.

I'm trying to be very careful as I'm far from an expert on woodworking or finishing. For example, I'd assume that some sanding prior to using this patina might work but I'd like some feedback before doing so. Any help form my fellow shooters that appreciate these classics would be most appreciated.
 

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Depending on what finish was originally applied on the stock, it can darken over time. I'd say just wax it with what you've got there and USE IT.

The only other way to get that dark look is to artificially weather it, or refinish in a darker color. All those old stocks had years of people's grubby, dirty mitts handling it, and that's how it turns dark. I'd say a lot of it is dirt that was rubbed in with oil from people's hands.
 
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Do you know what if anything was put on the stock you have. It may be some kind of oil but it also could be some type of hard finish. They require different preparation to do anything to the wood beneath.

If you want a classic or battle rifle appearance, I would look to the people selling lightly restored carbine sets on eBay. If your not picky on Cartouche marking, they can be had a decent prices and you could get a nice walnut dark stock.
 

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Replacement with an original stock is an easy option. They're pretty common (untouched or refinished), and if you're patient, you can find one with the correct markings for your IBM. Be aware that any original, used stock, unless it's been sanded within an inch of its life, will also have any number of knicks, dents and scratches. A talented refinisher can "raise the grain" to mitigate the appearance of many of these, but an enthusiastic amateur can ruin or obliterate many of the valuable markings and cartouches through injudicious sanding to remove the knicks, dents and scratches. Get good pictures of any stock you're interested in or buy one from someone with a known public reputation for quality refinishing or buy one that's never been touched and do the work yourself (remembering that "less is often more," and that original character is only original once...).

Consider with overall finish that when new from the factory, the stocks were generally quite handsome and relatively light to medium colored with just an open-grained oil finish. FWIW, I'd say from your photos that your stock looks about right for a new or nearly new rifle. The factories were also not worried about matching stocks and handguards with regard to grain or overall colors.

If you're determined to go the route of trying to enhance or create an artificial patina, I might suggest that you don some rubber gloves, rub that wax onto your gloved hands, and then spend time handling the stock (or completely assembled rifle) mimicking the manual of arms and ordinary carry methods. Allow the darkening to build up where your hands touch the stock. Unless you simply want an overall darker colored stock, you need to avoid a uniform application of the material.

There's no shortage of suggestions here for finishing products (proprietary commercial or home-brew) to mimic the oxidized linseed oil finish of old military rifle stocks.
 
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