Yugo M48 Mauser Question

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Zone' started by mr_flintstone, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    I recently got an M48BO. It's actually an early 4-digit matching serial number M48 that has been "scrubbed" and reissued as a BO model. It took me about 3 hours to get all of the metalwork cleaned of Cosmoline with a bucket of mineral spirits and a paint brush. The stock was pretty dry. It was 92 the day I was cleaning, and the stock was just a little sticky. Because I wanted to shoot it, I just gave the stock a quick wipe down with mineral spirits. After everything was dry, I oiled all the metal parts and reassembled. It shot great. 1.5 inch group at 50 yards.

    I'm struggling with what to do with the stock. Should I leave it as-is (it's got pretty good color, and doesn't seep any when shooting on a hot day), should I finish cleaning the stock and hand rub with BLO or Tung oil, or should I strip it, sand, and re-finish with something modern? If it were an M1903 or an all original Garand it wouldn't be a question, but the Yugos aren't exactly collectible and I can't see losing much value in refinishing. I don't want to commit C&R heresy, but it could look really nice with a good finish on it.

    What do you guys think?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  2. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    I am a traditionalist when it comes to historic firearms, and I personally make no changes that can't be undone, regardless of how common a rifle is. I made the mistake of getting rid of the wooden furniture for my Ishapore MkIII, 2a, about 15 years ago, and I regret it to this day. For my Mosins, I kept one all original, and for the other that I put into an Archangel stock, I kept the furniture so that it can be put back into it's original state.

    With all of that said, I would recommend just oiling the stock. If you are set on doing a refinishing job, maybe you can find another set of old furniture to refinish.
     

  3. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    I looked for a good while this morning. A complete furniture set for this gun would run about $175. That's nearly what I spent for the gun; so that's probably not an option. I don't want to ruin the gun with poly or something like that, but would a light sand To smooth it up a little and new tung oil or tung/BLO mix be all that bad?
     
  4. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    You can change it back out of its poly stock, back into the original wood furniture, so that isn't necessarily total ruination.

    As far as sanding goes, that could be a little bit too much. I would think that just rubbing it down with some oil, as it is, would do the trick.

    SWAGA, what are your thoughts about sanding? You are the resident traditionalist.
     
  5. Perhaps steaming out the dents will help? Sanding the stock is considered undesirable by some. It may not be collectible right now, but it may well be in the future. Kind of like all those Springfields & Mausers that got "sporterized" after WW 2. What would they be worth today in unaltered condition? :wah:
     
  6. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    I am ALL about the BLO, personally. And the Yugo was done with BLO from the beginning.

    It's easy to apply, easy to maintain, relatively inexpensive, not sticky or gooey or shiny or any other negative thing. You do have to re-oil every once in a while, but you don't have to get crazy about it. Just remember...they used it because it was cheap, not because it was the best.

    Also...sanding is the worst thing you can do to the wood on a gun. It cuts fibers into very short small bits, even if you sand with the grain, unless you use extremely fine paper, which turns into burnishing, really. Yes you can still paint over it with a polyurethane or whatever, but eventually, it will be in trouble. Your best bet is burnishing, where you actually are scrubbing off loose bits or wood, and compressing the wood's surface into a smooth hard area. Then you can oil it, and rub that oil, which is basically more burnishing, and repeat until it looks right.

    Real gun folk use scrapers to remove an old finish, and I don't mean paint scrapers or chisels. And no chemical strippers, they penetrate and will cause issues later in your new finish.;)

    For a BLO gun, use steel wool and BLO to do an oil scrub. You are using BLO to float the crud, and the steel wool to scrub the crud off. Scrub, wipe with a towel, scrub, wipe, until you like the look.
    Then go to a cloth, and rub the BLO in, let it dry, and repeat until you are happy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  7. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    That was something else I was wondering about, too. I don't know if it does anything to the existing finish, but if it doesn't pose a risk to it, it just might be a good idea.
     
  8. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    So, steam - 000 steel wool - BLO would be the best for keeping it original, but getting out some of the dents?

    If I wanted to be lazy, could I just leave it like it is (even if it has a little cosmoline still in the stock) and put BLO over that?
     
  9. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    I like to say the wood tells you what it wants. It can want a dark rich stain or dye or nothing. Its all up to you.
     
  10. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    Cosmolene is a petroleum based grease. It's good for metal, bad for wood, over time, as it softens the wood, breaks it down, and weakens it.

    I'd get every bit of Cosmo off, if I could.

    This is how an old gun should look, to me. This is my Garand, with BLO. Mild sheen, not shiny, all the character still in the wood.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  11. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter


    I've left my SKS the way I bought it.
    Personally I wouldn't touch it apart from light cleaning.
     
  12. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    I outfitted my SKS with a Tapco stock, handguard, and mags. I kept all of the original stuff in case I want to go back or sell the gun at some point.

    I did refinish a Mosin stock once, assuming my M44 would never be worth more than the $120 I paid for it. I slightly regret that now but to be honest I don't plan on selling it so it doesn't matter.
     
  13. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    I don't see Mosins(with the exception of the rare ones) ever being a collectable. Sure the price is going up but that is due to no more being imported right now. Wait for someone to find a warehouse full and watch prices drop again.
     


  14. That's what people said about Mausers & Springfields back in the 1960's. :eek:
     
  15. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    Beautiful weapon
     
  16. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    I got rid of old furniture for one of my rifles. That was a mistake. I was much younger and didn't quite grasp the historical value part.

    Your approach to your SKS is what I did with one of my Mosins.


    I left my Type 56 in its original state, too. It also only got a good cleaning.
     
  17. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member


    I've seen and heard of several people doing it.... Didn't hurt the finishes....
     
  18. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    I have a certain Type 56 that might get that done to a couple of spots, next year, then.
     
  19. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member


    I haven't personally done it myself.... I need to.... IIRC, a wet washcloth, and a wood burning tool worked pretty well...
     
  20. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    I am going to be the dissenter here. Does your Yugo have an importers stamp or engraving? If so, it's already lost most of its value to a serious collector. To me that makes it a shooter.

    I would do what Moona said and let the wood talk to me. Spray on oven cleaner does a good job of drawing cosmoline out of wood. A damp rag and a steam iron will draw out most dents in the wood.

    One of my favorite finishes is Tru-Oil. Prep your stock, wipe on a thin layer of Tru-Oil, I use my fingers, let dry, buff with 4aught steel wool, repeat until you get the finish you want.

    I have a Chinese T-53. It is missing the cleaning rod, has a mis-matched bolt, and an importers mark. But, it's a good shooter and I only have $75 in it. I might get $150 for it if I was lucky. Somebody, I am pretty sure it was on this forum, posted a picture of a Mosin painted red. I kind of liked the look. Thinking seriously about doing the same to mine!