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Color/stain variancespre-64
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January 18, 2021 - 7:28 pm
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I h have always liked the reddish tone to early M70 stocks.  Recently I picked up a Featherweight dating to 56.  The checkering on the stock is crisp, does not appear to have been recut but the stock has more of a brownish tone.  The barrel/action may have been removed at some point (buggered screw in front of the trigger guard) but I see no obvious signs the stock has been refinished.  The metal definitely has not.  Thoughts?

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January 19, 2021 - 1:15 am
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I would say that it has to do with the wood/ stain combo.  Wood from two of the same kind of trees can stain completely differently, based on the tree, the way the wood accepts the stain, and what it looks like when it dries. It could also be a small difference in the batch of stain that was being used at the time. I have been staining wood for 28 years( painter by trade) and even when doing an entire house of the same wood with the same stain there can be varying differences from the actual color your applying- to some reddish pieces, and brown pieces. 

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January 19, 2021 - 2:13 am
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Bill;

Thank you for sharing your insight. I have also stained wood (primarily antique furniture) and have sometimes been surprised by the results. 

One additional question about the stamp on the bottom of the barrel in front of the receiver: “06 55.”  The serial number says the gun was made in 56 but do the indicate the barrel made in June of 55?

Thank you,

JDG

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January 19, 2021 - 2:51 am
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Is it a 30-06? If so I would think the 06 is the caliber and the 55 is the barrel date. Did you use the ‘I when was your Winchester made’ feature on this website to get the 56 date? If so from what I have learned from the guys on this forum would be the barrel was made in 55 and put onto a 56 action.hopefully you’ll get someone else to weigh in and possibly confirm

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January 19, 2021 - 2:56 am
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Curmudgeon said

One additional question about the stamp on the bottom of the barrel in front of the receiver: “06 55.”  The serial number says the gun was made in 56 but do the indicate the barrel made in June of 55?

 

Brls were made in batches, stuck in a bin, used as needed.  Often several yrs difference between brl date & rcvr date.  More often than not, brl is older than rcvr.

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January 19, 2021 - 1:08 pm
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Bill Hanzel said
Is it a 30-06? If so I would think the 06 is the caliber and the 55 is the barrel date. 


clarence said

Curmudgeon said

One additional question about the stamp on the bottom of the barrel in front of the receiver: “06 55.”  The serial number says the gun was made in 56 but do the indicate the barrel made in June of 55?

 

Brls were made in batches, stuck in a bin, used as needed.  Often several yrs difference between brl date & rcvr date.  More often than not, brl is older than rcvr.  

clarence said

Curmudgeon said

One additional question about the stamp on the bottom of the barrel in front of the receiver: “06 55.”  The serial number says the gun was made in 56 but do the indicate the barrel made in June of 55?

 

Brls were made in batches, stuck in a bin, used as needed.  Often several yrs difference between brl date & rcvr date.  More often than not, brl is older than rcvr.  

06 caliber barrel made in 55, sometimes I surprise myself with how I can miss the obvious. 

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January 19, 2021 - 8:57 pm
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Bill Hanzel said
I would say that it has to do with the wood/ stain combo.  Wood from two of the same kind of trees can stain completely differently, based on the tree, the way the wood accepts the stain, and what it looks like when it dries. It could also be a small difference in the batch of stain that was being used at the time. I have been staining wood for 28 years( painter by trade) and even when doing an entire house of the same wood with the same stain there can be varying differences from the actual color your applying- to some reddish pieces, and brown pieces.   

Wood from one end of a piece of lumber to the other end of the same piece can stain differently.  I don’t know if Winchester changed stains?

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January 19, 2021 - 9:32 pm
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I’m not suggesting they change the stains, but when they ran out I always wonder how consistent their manufacturing of the stain was. I highly doubt they got the stain from an outside source, it seems they almost made everything they could themselves from what I’ve read. When we do custom stain matches, be usually make an extra gallon or two because the shelf product seems to vary every now and again,and it can be very difficult to obtain the exact same color even a month later.now I am not saying it’s completely different but when it comes to some people’s ability to nit pick, it’s amazing what they can see. I would love to know what Winchester had going on in the wood finishing room……

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January 20, 2021 - 12:59 am
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Im thinking the rifle was kept in the sunlight and the stain actually faded. I have a walnut secretary desk that has definitely faded over the years. 

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January 20, 2021 - 1:50 pm
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Curmudgeon said
I h have always liked the reddish tone to early M70 stocks.  Recently I picked up a Featherweight dating to 56.  The checkering on the stock is crisp, does not appear to have been recut but the stock has more of a brownish tone.  The barrel/action may have been removed at some point (buggered screw in front of the trigger guard) but I see no obvious signs the stock has been refinished.  The metal definitely has not.  Thoughts?

https://i.imgur.com/klSZqHf.jpgImage Enlarger

https://i.imgur.com/7pFwrPe.jpgImage Enlarger

https://i.imgur.com/g0XkxOf.jpgImage Enlarger

https://i.imgur.com/Huxh2YF.jpgImage Enlarger

https://i.imgur.com/GHvPiHH.jpgImage Enlarger  

I used to buy, sell and trade Model 61’s 62’s, 63 ‘s and high grade Model 12’s.  I definitely saw a change in the color from the reddish hue to the brownish hue about the early to mid 50s. If you remove the butt plate or a recoil pad, you can often see the stain on the end-grain of the stock. Those areas are hidden from sunlight so no color change there. There was definitely a difference. I would think that Winchester wouldn’t bother mixing their own stains because it would be so easy to get it from an outside source. 

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January 27, 2021 - 12:04 am
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Pre-war and post war colors on the higher grade Winchesters must have been done in a different part of the factory than regular production.  They always seemed to have that beautiful honey-gold color.  I have not been able to determine how it was done.  It may have been a color in the varnish or it may have been a separate tint added after the wood pores were filled.  Here is a fantastic and rare 94 that recently closed on GB.  I’m surprised at how reasonable it sold for.  What am I missing?

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/889073914

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January 27, 2021 - 1:06 am
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Old-Win said
Pre-war and post war colors on the higher grade Winchesters must have been done in a different part of the factory than regular production.  They always seemed to have that beautiful honey-gold color.  I have not been able to determine how it was done.  It may have been a color in the varnish or it may have been a separate tint added after the wood pores were filled.  Here is a fantastic and rare 94 that recently closed on GB.  I’m surprised at how reasonable it sold for.  What am I missing?

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/889073914  

There is nothing “fantastic or rare” about that restocked & refinished Post WW II (1949) Carbine.  Winchester discontinued the H-pattern checkering in the early 1930s.  Winchester also did not slop stock finish all over the end grain of the butt stocks.  Look at the completely unblemished bluing in and surrounding the Winchester Proof marks stamps.  Winchester also did not use sling mounts like those that are on that gun.  The bluing on that gun is not the type (Dulight) that Winchester used in 1949.  Instead, it looks like modern hot-salt bluing.  It is a Fake through & through.

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January 27, 2021 - 5:27 pm
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Well, I certainly blew that.  That will teach me to look at all the pictures first.  I knew that the swivels were added and once I looked at the inletting, it was very obvious.  Not done by Winchester. FrownThe checkering has me intrigued though as it looks very original.  Not in pattern but in execution.

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January 27, 2021 - 6:50 pm
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Hi Curmudgeon-

Regarding the under barrel markings, the factory only stamped the two-digit year of manufacture.  In this case ’55.  The other numbers are caliber designation stamps.  Prior to 1956, the factory routinely stamped the caliber designation under the barrel at the time it was chambered (except on H&H Magnum barrels that for some reason were not routinely stamped Confused).  The earliest and most common designation for 30-06 was “1906”, although “30-06” came to be used for a while before the practice was discontinued altogether in the mid-1950s.

Because barrels were chambered before they were polished, they underwent three subsequent rounds of polishing before they were blued.  So it is very common for the caliber designation and/or barrel date to be partly polished out.  Unlike the exposed roll marks, seeing a polished out under chamber stamp is not itself a reason to condemn a barrel as refinished.  In your case, the original stamp was probably “30-06  55” or maybe “1906  55”.

As I understand it, the color of Winchester stocks is derived in part from a somewhat reddish-brown alcohol based stain and also the very dark brown-black filler applied to fill the wood pores before applying the lacquer finish.  I do not believe that Winchester made a deliberate change to the color of the stain or finish until about 1959-1960, when the color of the filler was lightened to better match the poor quality (less dense, lighter colored) walnut being used at the time.  That’s why many of the late pre-64 M70 stocks are a much lighter brown color. 

IMHO the color variation seen before 1960 (and there’s quite a bit of it) is the result of using the SAME finish process (stain/filler/number of lacquer coats) on wood with DIFFERENT characteristics, plus the fact that these finishes were sprayed by hand.  One can imagine that different employees had slightly different spraying techniques that could contribute to more (or less) stain (or lacquer) being applied depending on who was working that day.  As has been suggested, some stocks would take the finishes differently than others, so sometimes they ended up lighter or darker, and sometimes the grain looks very filled and other times less so.  While there was a general attempt to get the wood color/fill consistent, the fact that the same process (number of coats) was applied every time allowed for more variation than you would get from a genuinely hand finished stock, where more/less finish coats would be applied until the desired appearance was achieved.

Just my take… Smile

Lou

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January 28, 2021 - 4:49 am
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Bert H. said

  It is a Fake through & through.  

Well, the seller did say to assume the checkering was an “upgrade”–an unusual admission for any GB seller.  Still, the gun is so OBVIOUSLY completely refinished or rebuilt that it’s hard to believe anyone was fooled–not even the lame-brains who populate GB.  As the restorations of Turnbull & others prove, there is a strong market for old guns made to look showroom new.

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