Much-needed rifle repairs
Deer season is over for the year and most of my gear has been put away until next fall. I’ve washed my clothes, cleaned my rifle, and stored my tree stands but, some maintenance needs to be done before I head to my favorite woods again. I could neglect it of course, but that would be foolish.
When it comes to my deer rifle I’m old school. Synthetic stocks may be functional but they don’t give me the same satisfying feeling as does a rifle fitted with a wooden stock. I have two rifles both in .243 Winchester caliber that I use for deer hunting. The Sako is a tack driver I bought when I was first married more than 50 years ago. The other is a Remington Model 7 that is as sweet a rifle as has ever been made. Both have wooden stocks and even though I’m careful not to scratch or nick the wood it sometimes happens.
I had the Remington with me last December and it was quitting time. Approaching a low barbed wire fence, I opened the bolt, unloaded the rifle, and placed it on the other side of the fence. As I stepped over the top wire the stock somehow came into contact with one of the barbs on the wire and the finish on the stock of the little rifle was slightly scratched. Putting the gun away for the season with only slight damage to the stock was not an option. Like a dented bumper on a new truck, it had to be fixed.
Fortunately, the fix was an easy one. My go-to solution was found in a bottle of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil Gun Stock Finish. Touching my finger into the bottle of Tru-Oil I was able to get just the right amount of finish on my fingertip to apply to the scratch. By applying a small amount of finish to the stock and then letting it dry between applications the damage gradually began to fade. Four applications later, the blemish all but disappeared. My little Remington was as good as new.
I can’t understand how anyone could put a fine rifle away without cleaning it or at least giving it a spray with an anti-rust product. Yet, I know guys who, after getting a deer or finishing the season just hang their rifle on a rack until it’s needed once again. I’m not one of them.