Tell me more! Gun stocks..

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
I had someone ask me this question today, with regard to some cherry wood being sold on a CW site...what type of wood was used in gun stocks? I thought maybe oak or ash? I would think a hardwood...I don’t know, but I bet someone here does!
 

ucvrelics

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Walnut was mostly used. Here is a great thread we had on this subject.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
Walnut was mostly used. Here is a great thread we had on this subject.
Thank you!
 

Yankee Brooke

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Location
PA
American Walnut, usually. Although Remington Zouave rifles used fruit wood, that's why the stock had the bright appearance that led to the name.
 

Georgia

Sergeant
I was told by my Daddy that the gun which was brought back from the war by an ancestor ( he traded his army issued gun for the one we have) was considered poor man’s tiger maple on the stock.
A cotton string was dipped into kerosene, wrapped around the stock and then set on fire. Once the areas were sanded down and oiled it gave the illusion of a piece of finer quality tiger maple.

Is this just a fun story or is there any truth to it?
I’ve always wondered and would be interested to hear what the experts on the site think .
 

FedericoFCavada

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
I was told by my Daddy that the gun which was brought back from the war by an ancestor ( he traded his army issued gun for the one we have) was considered poor man’s tiger maple on the stock.
A cotton string was dipped into kerosene, wrapped around the stock and then set on fire. Once the areas were sanded down and oiled it gave the illusion of a piece of finer quality tiger maple.

Is this just a fun story or is there any truth to it?
I’ve always wondered and would be interested to hear what the experts on the site think .
That is how tiger stripes have been added to plain wooden stocks that do not have much "figure" in them. I do believe that there are some stocks modified this way that have turned up a time or two on the forums.

Some very high quality maple wood, and other types of wood, can really produce a wonderful looking grain and figure in the wood.
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Walnut is the first choice for many European military arms as well. And since walnut trees are not that common in England, where did Birmingham Small Arms Trade get the hundreds of thousands walnut gunstocks they needed? W. Scott & Son owned a sawmill operation in Turin, Italy and that is where a large number of walnut stocks came from.
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Also, kind of a minor point about seasoning the wood used for gunstocks... on many Birmingham Small Arms Trade Enfields you will notice a slight shrinkage near the "toe" where the buttplate extends slightly past the wood. The slight shrinkage is from heating the wood gunstocks to speed up the seasoning process. You do not normally find this shrinkage on Enfields produced by London gunmakers.
 

kenysd

Private
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
all CW Springfield guns were American walnut. Beach is used on Italian imports. they call it European walnut.
NOT. Cherry was used in New England long rifles because it was available. the best walnut was from Europe.
Circassian, French, and even British . but American straight grain was the go to wood for US arms.
I was in the furniture trade for 30 years, was an apprentice for my uncle for four years in furniture finishing, and
did antique gun restorations for 25 years. Never saw a US military gun with anything other than Walnut.
NOW. that is not counting custom Sharps, Colts, etc, that were ordered that way. Ken
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
American Walnut, usually. Although Remington Zouave rifles used fruit wood, that's why the stock had the bright appearance that led to the name.
Whoa Nellie!!!! The 1863 Remington Rifle had a walnut stock and the first reference to it being a Zouave Rifle was from Bannerman, who purchased the 10,000 for .54 cents each. They marketed the rifles as Zouave since at that time it was all the "rage" across America and Europe. Simply a marketing ploy.
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
That is how tiger stripes have been added to plain wooden stocks that do not have much "figure" in them. I do believe that there are some stocks modified this way that have turned up a time or two on the forums.

Some very high quality maple wood, and other types of wood, can really produce a wonderful looking grain and figure in the wood.
Using string and burning is a myth. To get the artficial striping it was PAINTED ON.
In some cases India ink was used. Henry Leman used this method on his "trade rifles" made for the Indian and trader/trapper market. There was no reason to do this on military stocks. Now for what its worth Swedish and some Danish military stocks were made of PINE which sounds insane considering how soft some pine is. But it was probably a case of "use what you got". I've read that some European musket stocks were made of OAK and judging from some pieces I've examined this was true. (Not all of them did)
 

drjekyll76

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Location
South Jersey
Mostly it was walnut that was used but I'm sure that any hardwood could be used if there is a shortage. Now some woods you can stain it to look like a totally different wood altogether if know what your doing.
 

Yankee Brooke

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Location
PA
Whoa Nellie!!!! The 1863 Remington Rifle had a walnut stock and the first reference to it being a Zouave Rifle was from Bannerman, who purchased the 10,000 for .54 cents each. They marketed the rifles as Zouave since at that time it was all the "rage" across America and Europe. Simply a marketing ploy.

I could have sworn I read somewhere it was fruitwood...although it was many years ago, so maybe I'm imagining it, misremembering, or it wasn't a very good source. lol
 
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