Rick99: I have two 99's in 300. The 99F I bought new in 1955 or 1956. I have shot it a great deal, thousands of rounds, most of which were cast bullets. I have had to relieve the tang twice since purchased due to wood shrinkage and set back of the the long side tenons. The first time I realized I had a problem the stock was not cracking but the wood behind the tang was starting to swell upwards from impact of the tang against the thin wood area. I scraped some clearance and I'm guessing that may have been about 1965 -1970. A couple of years ago I saw the clearance was almost gone so redid it. The stock hasn't cracked at all but I saw the warning sign.
Last year I purchased a 99EG from a fellow who advertised it on this forum and it turned out lived relatively close to me. It is a 1951 production if I recall and I doubt it had been fired 20 times before I acquired it. In checking it out I noticed that there was enough relief behind the tang as manufactured to prevent any problems. It has since been fired several hundred times with cast bullets and I believe I can see a slight reduction in the clearance but it is not critical as yet. Barring accident I don't anticipate either rifle developing a crack but I am very attentive in watching for developing problems.
Another preventive measure I use when acquiring a 99 is to remove the butt and seal the ends of the tang tenons to block absorption of gun oil. Over time oil soaked wood softens and is prone to set back more than wood that does not contain gun oil.
I have noticed that many of the late production rifles had poorly grained and poorly fitted wood as delivered by the factory. Production costs for the 99 had probably reached the point where no time could be allowed for hand fitting in the critical stock areas.
Almost all cracks are repairable and most repairs that are done properly will be hard to see and add many years of life to the rifle.
It's not rocket science, it's just preventive maintenance like having your car serviced to prevent breakdown ---------------------------------------------------------
More info... Posted by Carbon12, Jan 25, 2007:
If you have the nerve, you can try and gently pull the crack apart just enough to see if the interior wood is oil/grease stained. If the wood is stained, the crack most likely pre-existed the temperature shift/reassembly.
How can it be fixed? First, you should decide if you want a 'collectible' safe queen or a shooter. If it is the former, leave it as it is. If it is to be shooter, epoxy is as good a choice as any. To be an effective repair, the goal is to create a ~0.005 gap between the upper tang and the butt stock so as to transfer 100% of the recoil forces to the lower tang-butt stock contact surfaces. This can be done with epoxy bedding.
If you want to maintain the 'all original' character of the rifle and still be able to shoot it without extending the crack it now has, then you can try creating the same ~0.005 gap between the upper tang and butt stock with a carefully fitted shim between the lower tang of the receiver and the buttstock. I use soft brass shim stock. A pattern for the shim can be made with a small piece of business card. The business card is rolled into a 'U' shape and fitted to the 'U' shape inlet for the lower tang. A dab of high tack grease at the tip of the threaded end of the stock through-bolt is used to mark where a hole needs to be punched in the shim pattern for where the stock bolt passes through. Trim the bottom of the pattern so that the shim will be flush with the bottom of the tang and the grip of the butt stock. The width of the shim should be no wider than what it takes to cover the width of the tang. What you do not want to do is make your shim so wide as to transform your lower tang into a wedge. Doing so will only make you cry when you split your butt stock into two or more pieces. In fact, for the actual shim, it is recommended to feather the edges of the shim such that there is a smooth transition from the shim to the side of the tang instead of a step.
I have done this with two of my own 99s and have had no further extension of the original crack. This is with several years of moderate shooting.
An addional point that should be mentioned is that a consistent POA-POI relationship in 99s is dependent, in part, to a solid contact between butt stock and receiver. Shimming, such as I have described, between the butt stock and receiver has not raised a problems with accuracy in neither of my rifles.
Comments from 300jimmy (3/2007):
The stock bolt should be snug. Not loose, not gorilla tight. Check it occassionally. If too loose, this can negatively affect accuracy as well. If tightened properly, the stockbolt lends to improved accuracy.
The bearing surface between receiver tang (lower tang where stock bolt engages) and stock should be the primary bearing surface between the two pieces. If there is a gap at the interface shim it. Make sure the edges of the shim are tapered as they come around the radius to evenly distribute the recoil. This primary bearing surface needs to be maximized. Secondary bearing surfaces are where the cheeks pads meet the receiver. The top tang should not bear recoil.
Replace aluminum stock bolts with steel ones. The mix of aluminum and steel threads tend to loosen over time due to differing coefficients of thermal expansion.
Don't let wood bearing surfaces get saturated with oil which can soften the wood and change bearing pressures.
Do treat the wood with respect. Don't drop, bump, pry or apply a leverage to the stock. I think many a cracked stock has been dropped on the butt or fallen on by a hunter in the woods.
Hope this helps you stay crack free. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted 10/25/2011 by Gnoahhh
I guess I'm one of the few people left who doesn't believe in Gorilla glue very much. Sure, it'll bond with strength in an imperfect joint, but not nearly the strength of a good epoxy. Plus all of the polyurethane glues rely on water moisture to cure. If the wood is dry (and it better be) and it's in a low humidity environment, one has to wet the joint surfaces or the glue will take about three days to cure. I find the clean up from using it to be on a par with epoxy.
CN (cyanoacrylate) glues are ok, but not for major wood glue ups. Generally too brittle with no gap filling with strength. There are formulations of the stuff intended to overcome that but given the cost of a tiny tube of it versus the same in epoxy, it's a no-brainer.
300jimmys suggestion isn't very far off base because it addresses the issue of creating a fresh wood surface for the glue to bond with. Pretty important in an old oil soaked stock. If it's a fresh break or crack get some glue in it and clamp it shut. Heck at that point yellow carpenter's glue is plenty good enough. If it's an old crack you must get the crud and corruption out of it and expose some fresh wood before you glue it or you are just pissing in the wind.
Probably more important than fixing the crack is to determine why it cracked in the first place and correct that issue too, or you will be re-gluing that tang again.
Forget the acetone, lacquer thinner and mineral spirits for cleaning up glue squeeze out. They're all too volatile for a patinized decades old gunstock finish. Ok for unfinished new construction. For epoxy and polyurethane glues use vinegar or denatured alcohol-sparingly. Gary's suggestion of waxing up to the crack is a good one too. In a perfect world one would put the exact amount of glue in the joint to preclude any squeeze out but not starve the joint. Out of about 23 million joints I've glued in my life that state of perfection occurred maybe three times.
Why does everybody bow and scrape at the altar of Brownell's AcraGlass? It's nothing more than a good epoxy, albeit with a higher price tag and the panache of the Brown-"give me all your money"-ell's name on it. Their Gel is nothing more than the AG resin pre-mixed with colloidal silica. Just stop into any shop that works with epoxy and bum a handful of the fluffy weightless stuff and mix your own. If you ask them nicely they may even give you a bit of epoxy to do the repair, or only charge you a buck or so.
If your lever does not stay up to the receiver when the rifle is not loaded it is because the lever is not applying enough force to the bolt to hold the lever up in place. We refer this to "lever bit". To fix you must close the arc of the lever by tapping a few times with a rubber or rawhide hammer. It doesn't take a lot and is a trial and error task. Once you remove the butt stock and review the "attached" photo and your rifle it should be pretty clear as to what you want to do. If you need help just ask.
I thought I would pass on his info to all of you who may need a hard to find sight. His name is Mr. Bean. His company's name is "Sights and Antique Guns." He is located in York, PA and ships. (717) 755-9070. Maybe some of you can note this for future reference. I remember that he had tons of tang sights. Many other models for different firearms as well. They call him the "Sight Man". Nice man and very helpful to work with. His motto is that if he doesn't have it, he can almost always find it for you. Prices seemed to be reasonable based on the many people who were commenting around his table. He also stated that he often has Stith(sp?) mounts.
My gunsmith taught me how to fix this problem. We tightened two of mine. The problem is these get the threads banged up so the trick is to return the metal to where is was.
Take a small ball peen hammer. Grind the face of it smooth so it will not ding the metal. Starting on the threads LIGHTLY tap the threads straight down all the way around. Take your time and work all the way around the barrel. Then take and lightly tap the shoulder of the barrel that butts to the reciever and make sure all of that metal is laying back down. Take your time, work all the way around and lightly tap. You are only trying to move the little dinks and out of place metal back to where it started, not making the barrel out of round with heavy strikes.
Next starting on the chamber end, lightly tap the top of the threads in a motion towards the muzzle, like you are lightly glancing the face of the hammer towards the muzzle, again this is light tapping. You want to move the metal towards the muzzle end that is dinked up, not the rest of the threads. You then do the same for the threads at the muzzle end towards the chamber end, this helps the threads pull the barrel into the shoulder of the reciever. Apply grease to threads and try it. If it needs more, start the process over again.
I did not think this was going to do anything until I saw it with my own eyes. I had a very loose Savage 250-3000 model. It would go past the index by a good 110-120 degrees. When we finished I had to use the forearm to get it the last 1/8 of an inch to index. It is now bank vault tight and has been for the last 300 rounds. Hope this helps. Ryan
"Effective this week I have retired as historian for Savage, Steven and A.H. Fox. Thank you all for your inquiries over the years. I am pleased to have gotten to know many of you at Fests or personally.
Going forward, you will be able to continue to have your Savage firearms researched. The records are going back to Savage and you may send your inquiries to Savage Arms, Historical Information, 100 Springdale Rd., Westfield, MA. 01085 Signing off and Thank you. John T. Callahan" (Note changes in next paragraph}
Here is the current info, 2021:
The current letters are done by the Center Of The West Museum in Cody. $75 for a non-member (ouch). On the bright side, if you have several guns to letter it's cheaper than it was at Savage if you become a museum member with a firearm membership. Can be cheaper than even Callahan was if you need a dozen lettered.
Scroll to the bottom of the following web page and there's a link to their site.
Rotor (carrier spindel) spring adjustment. If you have problems with the magazine not accepting enough rounds (or not feeding all of the rounds) you might have a rotor that is wound too tight (or not enough).
"If you look just above the cartdidge counter window, you'll see a small screw. If you remove the forend and look at the end of the receiver you'll see a ring that is slotted. You'll need a flat bladed screwdriver with a slot cut through it so it fits well into the slots on the ring. Now being careful. loosen that screw above the window. It only has about 6 or 8 threads on it IIRC and then it's a straight shank beyond that. DO NOT FULLY REMOVE THIS SCREW YET!!! While you are loosining that screw, you want to have the slotted screwdriver in place holding the rotor from turning. On the rotor, there are a series of slots around the diameter for that screw above the window to engage. If you rotate the rotor ever so slightly you can feel the slot on that screw. Holding the rotor in place, gently remove the screw. Once that screw is fully removed you should feel resistance on the slotted screwdriver. This is where you have to be careful. 2 people really help, although I did it alone. Rotate the rotor only slightly (clockwise if too tight and counter-clockwise if too loose)and place the screw you removed back into the hole you took it out of. You'll feel it contact the rotor. Carefully rotate the rotor until the screw engages the next slot in the rotor. Replace the screw once it's in a slot and thread it in. You want to go no more than one slots adjustment and I think you should be OK. I hope I haven't confused you any more than you already might be."
Tightening the safety in an 1899/99, 90,000 to 1,000,000 and the later lever safety Model E�
Posted by Hemlock Ranger: Awhile back someone posted about this problem. A local gunsmith knew what was wrong with my .303 E. After I told him it developed the problem after being taken down and cleaned. Sure enough, the tiny spring that fits in the slide was missing. He heated a small piece of flat spring steel and bent it into a nearly flat S. Then filed and honed it to fit the hole in the slide and achieve the desired amount of friction to hold it in position, yet slide fairly easy. He said the little piece is easily lost when taken apart, and does not look like a spring or any other gun part.
Posted by Skidrow: (to make the safety tighter using the original spring) take out that little "S" shaped spring � and spread it a bit. That should increase the friction and tighten up the slop in your safety. Just make sure that when you spread it that you don't set it up so that the ends of the spring dig into the surrounding metal.
Posted by 99trix: Here is the post 90,000 safety. The s shaped spring is what creates the resistance to prevent it from flopping back and forth.
Here is the pre 90,000 safety. Sometimes you can get enough pressure on it to open it slightly without taking the rifle apart. But spreading the end is what creates the resistance on this style.
Well as promised here is the lyman tang sight "how to". I will try to keep this as logical and as easy to follow as possible.
First the picture of the tools used. A set of snap ring pliers (to remove the retaining screw), small screw driver (for popping off the lever and lever stops) and a 1/4" wrench (to remove the lock nut).
Now so you can follow me I will give you the terminology that I am using for each part. From left to right in the photo.
Retaining screw Lever lock Lever lock stops (damaged) Dohickie Cross bolt (notice the dohickie spring in the small hole on the left) Stem assembly Lock Nut and underneath is the base
For the stems that are not properly align, you only have to loosen off the lock nut, adjust stem and retighten. The shoulder on right side and the lock nut on the left side sandwich the stem to hold it in the position to the lock.
Caution on removing the cross bolt (it will come out with the lock nut removed) is that the dohickie will come flying out.
A couple of important notes. On the ring on the left hand side of the base there is a notch on the bottom of the ring. This is what the dohickie locks into when the stem is raised to the shooting position.
The stem assembly has a slit in the stem. This slit must face forward on reassembly or the eye piece will be in backwards. Unlike the Marbles the Lyman stem will only fit into the assembly one way. If this is in backwards, so will the eye piece (I know this one from experience).
Here is a picture of the cross bolt removed with just the locking nut taken off. In this picture you can see the dohickie in place and a part of the spring.
The next group of pictures show the disassembly of the cross bolt. I have removed the stem to make it easier to photograph, but you might still have the locking nut in place and just working on cleaning up the locking lever. The removal of the locking nut will allow the cross bolt to come out, but the removal of the retaining screw just removes the locking lever and locking lever stops.
Here it is with everything removed from the lever side. You can see how the dohickie is in the bottom notch. The cross bolt only has to come out about 1/8" and the dohickie goes flying (know this from personal experience also).
Assembly is pretty straight forward. The cross bolt has to go in with the dohickie in place. You can preassemble the lever locking side without the cross bolt in place or you can do it in place it doesn't matter. As for alignment I just used one of my other sights to get the right angle and tightend it at that point.
I was at the range yesterday for a (way) pre-season rifle sighting-in session (I really should have been shooting my bow). Prior to leaving my house, I decided to bore sight the 2 99F's I was taking. I happened to bore sight the first rifle with the forearm off. I centered the scope cross-hairs within the bore sight reticle, then attached the forearm. I happened to recheck "zero" with the Tasco Bore-sight and the scope cross-hairs were 3 boxes (on the bore scope grid) lower than they were with the forearm off. I unscrewed the forearm and sure enough the scope and the bore sight lined up again. Now, I DO tighten the forearm screw, but I'm NOT putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on the screw (not overtightening).
Now, I know this has been discussed before, as the "put an O-ring on the barrel stud" seems to ring in my brain. On a side note, between the 24 web-site, and the "HullTruth" web site, I feel I've received a College education in boats and firearms (thanks in part to all of you). So...... I didn't have any O-rings hand, BUT, I did have a box of assorted faucet washers, so, for better or worse, here's what I did:
I drilled a oversized hole in the existing hole of the SMALLEST faucet washer that was in the assortment. The oversized hole matched the size of the outer diameter of the barrel screw stud. I then placed the rubber washer (flat side toward barrel) on the barrel stud. Looking at the underside of the wood forearm, I noticed the hole was not "clean" like a drill bit had just bored the hole, but was jagged (this was true on several of my 99 forearms) like it had been filed. Maybe it's just because it's a 50+ year old rifle? In any case, the conical part of the rubber washer keeps the forearm from torquing on the barrel (poor mans free float?) and my point of impact no longer changes when I attach or remove the forearm. YAY!
Once again, I know this isn't my idea, but has anyone else used faucet washers?
Here are a few pics. I hear there worth 1,000 words, but I seem to have given you both :-)
There is so much good info in this thread that it needs to be saved by every user and collector of Savage 99s. I have repaired a number of stock cracks in my day and everything here posted is "spot on". I would only add that Acetone is a great disolver of gun oil and that a liberal application before attempting to glue-up may save the day. I greatly appreciate the effort, the photography and the knowledge that is being passed along by unselfish people. Thank you, Rick 99 and all the others!
I found in a old marbles catalog you could buy a repair kit if your spring went bad and I found the patented drawing so I could get an idea what i was in for inside and went in.
Im sorry, I only have my cell phone for pics.
here is what I found.
stripped down the sight has a sleeve that is pressed in to the base and is keyed to the base on the screw head side.The sleeve does not move in the sight. It acts as the axle for the moving part of the sight. It also has a extended lip on both sides that work with a pin in the "spring caps" (ill show them in a minute).
I didnt get a photo of the spring but it looks like the one in this auction. marble spring auction
what holds the spring are two parts I will call spring caps. they are both the same but one has a threaded I.D. and one has a hole large enough for the screw to go through. The each have a pin that moves between the raised lips of the steel axle like bushing. These pins and lips along with the O.D. of the spring cap control how far the sight springs up.
you can see the pin at 12:00 and the hole that the end of the spring goes into at about 4:00 ( you need to have the spring anchored at the 4 o'clock position relative to the 12 o'clock pin position on each of the hubs.
my sight was not working because the steel sleeve on this side was buggered and had burrs that caused the spring cap to bind when you tried to put the sight up. a little file work and it works just fine.
As a side, if your sight doesnt come up far enough, file work on stop (9:00 position) of the steel sleeve on this side would let your sight come up more.
lastly are the two outside caps. they kind of act like bearings for the back side of the spring caps. the one on the screw head side is a through hole, the one on the other side is a nut that acts as a lock nut up against the spring cap.
To take the sight apart, first you need to take off the outside cap/locknut on this side of the sight. then you can unscrew the screw from the spring cap with a screwdriver.
to put it back together I put the spring into the hole of the right side springcap and slid that with the outside cap onto the screw.
put that into the sight. make sure the stop pin in the screw cap is between the stops of the bushing in the base.
start the spring cap on the left side on the threads of the screw. make sure the spring end is in the hole of the spring cap.
Then i tightened the screw until it starts to bind on the sight. I flipped the sight all the way back and grabbed the spring cap with a pliers and turned it counter clockwise until it catches on the sight stem. then I tapped it to the right a little, tightened the screw and it drew right into place.
I had to try a couple of times to get the screw set to the right place so that I could put on the lock nut without having the sight get to tight to move.
Continued for stem problems...
For what its worth, Dave has been foolong with this sight for some time with help from others and it still wouldnt work.
Problem was, the stem would go down into the sight very far.
What I found was that it had been taken apart in the past, I knew this because the locking ring was in place upside down.
To take the elevation and locking ring off a marbles, pull the stem and pinch the two tabs at the top together a little. Inside I found dirt and crud that was stopping the stem from going down all the way, alon with the bottom of the tabs pinched a little tight.
Cleaned it out, spread the bottom a little and put the rings back on.
with the rings on you can push the closed tip of a needle nose into the top to spread the tabs out, but not too much or the stem is sloppy.
Now the stem will screw all the way down to the bottom.
Don't know if you can visualize an early 20th century American country store with an old potbelly stove and a bunch of chairs around it filled with good ole boys sipping coffee and telling tales. That's pretty much what you've got here. Everybody's got an opinion and everybody gets their chance to get listened to. Some know, some want to know and some will never know. There's bluff and blow and true knowledge with favorites and whipping boys. Its all free and most of its worth what you pay for it. Its up to you to snatch those little pearls of wisdom and squirrel them away. The companionship is what makes it work and for the most part we're all better for it.
Posted by Calhoun: Steve_No posted this link yesterday in the campfire. If you look through the page, there's a Chicopee Falls instruction manual for a solid frame 99, poor Lewis machinegun scan, as well as a pdf for the 1900 catalog.
Figured quite a few folks would like the pdf for the catalog at least. Not to mention some of the other hundreds of manuals listed there.
Dan Stangerone 104 Pollywiggle Ln Pleasantville, NY 10570 ds1911verizon.net
Works on about anything. Osborn Optical Systems, 6324 N. 79th Lane, Glendale, AZ 85303. Email is: optical-repaircox.net
Quality Scope Repair 538 Cross Hill Lane Fordsville, KY 42343 270-799-3012 (if I don't answer please leave a message. If you don't leave a message I wont return your call. Email is the best way to contact me) qualityscoperepairoutlook.com
The difference in the Stith mount is due to the evolution of the Weaver scope dimensions. The first version of K4 and KV had smaller objective bells and Stith used that elaborate front tube on that one. The bell got bigger and they designed the simple version. The 60 series Weavers are even bigger and Stith never built a tube for them.
The first series Weavers were marked with an S inside a diamond. The second series added an L to the diamond S. The third is the 60 series.
Stith made a plethora of mounts for a wide variety of scopes including German offerings. The early Kollmorgen scopes were 26 mm and there is a whole series of mounts for them.
As Jeff mentioned the hook would have to be sweat soldered on to a 410 barrel - the wall of the 410 barrel would probably be to thin for a dovetail. which is why it used the odd mount. Numrich has the parts for the bracket but do not have the screws, for this mount your barrel needs a small round cut for the cross screw, I assume it must have one, mine has two, possible for slightly different length forearms.
The large screw is a standard 5/16" thread with a shank just over 1 3/8" with a rounded end where it contacts the front of the forearm and looks like it has almost the same head size a standard Allen head bolt. The original screws have diamond knurling and most hex head cap screw are straight knurled so it would look almost original if you plugged the hex socket.
The small screw is a #5-40 and are available from Brownell's in 1" lengths, full threaded.
I have/had an extra complete bracket but I cannot find it at this time.... evidently my bracket must also have had a set of legs...
Pictures are form an older cell phone, very poor quality.
I found the tap's & dies on eBay (from China, I think). I made some using long wood screws that had a length of un-threaded shank to work with.
Don't try to turn the screws through the die using a screw driver in the slot, wood screws are to soft & the head will get damaged, clamp on the other end either in vise or a drill chuck. Grind down the wood screw threads a little if you have to to get them to go through the die easy enough that the head isn't damaged.
Just to add another note, the 5-48 screw is also used to attach the No 29B sight to the Model 1904 and the No 27B to the Models 1909, 1911 & 1912.
The 3/16-36 is also the size of the plugged hole forward on the barrels of 1919 NRA's (for an optional barrel sight, the 29B, or a scope block) and to attach the version of No 29B sight used on the 1922 SPORTERS. It's also the same thread as the front tang sight screw for Winchesters.
The heads on the wood screws usually have a wider slot and a higher contour so they could be filed down a little to look more like the originals.
Per Lightfoot: I believe that the screw that holds the model 99 bolt stop and trigger spring is also a 5-48.
Would that Savage hadn't switched to an oil finish by the 1930's. The worst wood finish possible, IMO. But, they, and everybody else including the national arsenals, went that route so it's what's to be used if re-creating an original finish. They used oil not because it was the best finish but because it was dirt cheap. Be aware of what finish is proper for which model and which era. Varnish was used a lot earlier on. (Note: lacquer or shellac was never used. Shellac is crappy on wood that has even a slight chance of getting rained on.)
Some general thoughts:
As for commercial oil finishes, meh. I mix my own of a roughly 50/50 blend of pure tung oil or boiled linseed oil and a high end spar varnish. I mix up only enough for immediate use. (It doesn't matter if you use tung oil or linseed oil- they're identical in their characteristics, and the gun companies as well as varnish makers use/used it interchangeably in their formulas depending on how good a deal they got on a batch.) The best oils are obtained from art stores, not hardware stores, gun shops, or Brown-give-me-all-your-money-ell's. Be sure the label says "pure" on it, in as many words.
If filling pores (and you should for an elegant finish), use a substance such as varnish or epoxy painted onto the wood and sanded off leaving the pores filled. Repeat as necessary until pores are filled completely. Commercial grain fillers run from crappy to sort of ok, but rarely do any of them stay firmly in place and not shrink over time. The worst approach, in terms of longevity, are those techniques that require wet sanding in with a slurry of finishing oil and sanding dust. A royal waste of time IMO. Sure epoxy filled pores are very labor intensive but it stays in place and doesn't shrink. A job worth doing is worth doing right. The best approach when building a stock from scratch is to use thin-shell (English, French, Turkish, blah blah) walnut to minimize pore size and quantity, than American black walnut. (That last is sort of tongue in cheek.)
Stains: ditch the hardware store quality oil based stains.They are too laden with solids and as such tend to muddy the figure in a piece of walnut, and are susceptible to ultraviolet degradation. Use an alcohol based analine dye instead. Colors will "pop", and you will thank me later.
Learn how to re-cut checkering when refinishing a gunstock. No job looks as unfinished as a stock that was given a dandy finish but the checkering was ignored, no matter how good the original checkering was.
Lastly, and I almost forgot, the most important thing is to take your time. All good things come to those who wait. And don't forget to finish off the whole Magilla with a coat of quality paste wax. (No car wax please, it has silicone in it.) That will actually impart a modicum of water resistance to the finish that an oil finish simply can't provide.
... I use Epifanes glossy varnish- best in the world in my opinion. Captain's isn't bad, nor is Man O' War in truth. The better grade of spar varnish (ie: more expensive- you get what you pay for) the more solids it'll contain which translates into durability. Also, always use glossy varnish- UV protection is better than with matte or semi-gloss. If you wish for a dull finish, final rubbing out will provide that.
Air in the container will start the polymerization of finishing oil (tung) thus denigrating its effectiveness. Go to an art store and buy tiny bottles of fresh pure oil for each project- there's plenty in there to do a stock.
As for sanding, if done properly with a stiff or semi-stiff backer there's nothing wrong with it. Scraping in lieu of sanding is an option but not many people know how to do that anymore.
Definitely do not use steel wool in any step of the process. Teeny particles will break off and embed themselves in the wood. You'll discover them the first time the wood gets damp and little brown rust freckles pop out. Not a guarantee, that, but it happens and I won't take the chance if I don't have to. If the need for wool arises, use bronze wool instead. Regardless though, never ever use hardware store grade steel wool without first de-oiling it with solvent. They lightly oil the stuff so it doesn't rust on the shelf. Better yet, buy cabinet grade steel wool such as Liberon brand.
All this said, for my own projects involving new wood I simply do a complete spar varnish finish- 8-10 coats sanded between coats, rubbed out and waxed it'll look like a London Oil finish and provide a world's better finish than any oil finish ever was. I use oil if refinishing a stock that was originally oiled, or as in the case of a M1903A1 Springfield I re-stocked recently.
Here is a statement I copied from an ebay seller many years back:
A lot of watchers/buyers are unclear about the chronology of Weaver early K model scopes, so here is a general guideline. It may not be 100% correct, but is very close:
1946/47: Weaver introduces the K model in 2.5X and 4X. First models have tiny friction-lock adjustment screws, no adjustment caps, black painted brass lens ring on front, no lens ring on rear. Adjustment saddle tends to turn copper color over lengthy period of time (50 years or so)
1948: Black painted brass lens ring added to rear. No proof marks are on the scopes
1949/50: Round top adjustment caps are added, 1X and 6X models added, "S inside a diamond" proof mark appears
1950-55: An assortment of proof marks appear, individually and together..."S inside a diamond", "P inside a circle", "L" by itself, but often with an "S"; chronology of marks cannot be established, location of marks varies from alongside "El Paso, Tex" to just below, to way below, sometimes not on a consistent line or spacing. Location of branding/model printing also appears anywhere from just above threads (on very rare occasions, just inside the threads) to midway up to adjustments, to just below adjustments. This is one of the indications of the frantic production pace at Weaver just to keep up with worldwide demand, which often doubled and even tripled in one year. Even though the roll printing process was not always precise, there has never been found any indication whatsoever that the quality of functional parts was ever compromised to keep up with production.
1951/2: Silver adjustment dials used in place of black dials
1952: 8X and 10X models are added
1955/6: 6-ring bullseye adjustment caps appear, Model "60 in a box" appears (NOT 60B)
1957: Model "60B" appears, with first constantly-centered reticle in a 1" scope
1959/60: Brass lens rings are replaced by black plastic rings. "Bullseye" caps replaced with beveled top, knurled side caps for better grip with gloves.
After 1960, it is a bit easier to keep up with changes, as they did not occur on a sometimes-weekly basis, as they did in earlier years.