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 10 When is a walnut stock not walnut? (Read 1223 times)
olBEAR
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When is a walnut stock not walnut?
May 28th, 2018 at 6:42pm
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Last February I purchased a Model 1899 carbine from Cabela's in Lacey, WA. It obviously was not all correct (cutdown 1898 rifle stock and an 1898 rifle rear sight). The price was less than $500 and my Mil. discount took the price down even further ... so I jumped. I almost purchased a 1898 carbine stock from the internet but it went before I had the funds. I was able to replace the rear sight with a 1901 carbine sight (I am still in sticker shock at the price of carbine parts).
The purpose of this post is the cutdown stock. This stock has been sanded heavy. No stamps visible but the cutout insert is visible at the tip and the grasping grooves are very shallow. The wrist is very thin, much like a 1896 stock but the bolt cutout shows it to be a 1898.
The wood does not appear to be walnut, it is lighter. I have no information pertaining to Krag stocks being anything other than walnut.
Opinions?
In the photo I have included a 1898 Krag rifle for stock comparison purposes.
  
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FredC
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #1 - May 28th, 2018 at 6:55pm
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I have read here on KGA that original stocks were dyed, maybe the sanding removed some of the dye? Does not look light enough to be one of the Italian walnut stocks that I have been seen on this site. A Italian stock that has been dyed could be another possibility.
  
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olBEAR
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #2 - May 28th, 2018 at 7:08pm
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Thanks Fred,
Were these Italian walnut stocks used as replacement stocks after the end of Krag production much like the birch M1 and M14 stocks were used?

olBEAR
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #3 - May 28th, 2018 at 7:26pm
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Easy Peasy : Just a different walnut!

Your full length Krag is American black walnut.

Your cut-down rifle stock may be Italian walnut. (IMHO - This stock was reshaped and thinned down in the wrist area by the person who cut it down and sanded it).

Around 1899, Springfield Armory was short on their supply of cured domestic stock wood. A N.Y. lumber supplier, Louis Windmuller and Roelker, eventually supplied 33,000 stocks of Italian walnut.

From my observation, these lighter stocks have a distinctive grain and often 'tiger-stripe'. They will usually have Cartouche dates of 1899, 1900, or 1901. The stocks and hand-guards were often stained dark to fit in with the other rifles in a military unit.

Attached are two pictures of my Italian walnut stock that was stained to darken it, long ago:
« Last Edit: May 29th, 2018 at 4:01am by butlersrangers »  
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olBEAR
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #4 - May 29th, 2018 at 1:33am
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Thanks for the reply.
Did they make carbine stocks in this Italian walnut or just rifle stocks?

olBEAR
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #5 - May 29th, 2018 at 2:01am
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IIRC - I have seen carbine stocks of Italian walnut.

I believe the attached photo is an Italian 1898 carbine stock, that has been stained 'darker'.

The hand-guard looks like American Black Walnut to me.

It is easier to tell when you can see the grain in person.
  
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olBEAR
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #6 - May 30th, 2018 at 1:17am
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Thanks again,
I guess I'll just fill in the rear swivel cutout, add the cutout for the band spring and dye the stock dark walnut. Then I can add a reproduction upper handguard and wait until I find a 1898 carbine stock.

olBEAR
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #7 - May 30th, 2018 at 2:53am
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A lot of the model 1898 carbines were probably updated at the Armory to model 1899 configuration.

These updated carbines probably should not have an 'acceptance cartouche'.
  
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Cannonsight
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #8 - May 31st, 2018 at 1:06am
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My '96 carbine with it's original 96c stock has a nice tiger stripe to it. We flintlock shooters call it "curl".
  
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Fred G.
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #9 - Jun 1st, 2018 at 5:50pm
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Here is my only Krag. It has a field replacement stock made of Italian Walnut.
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« Last Edit: Jun 3rd, 2018 at 2:23am by Fred G. »  
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olBEAR
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #10 - Jun 3rd, 2018 at 1:11am
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Beautiful stock.
  
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Fred G.
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #11 - Jul 2nd, 2018 at 12:03am
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Yes sir, it surely is That, ol BEAR!
It seems some of the supply of Italian Walnut was used for the Model 1896 firearms still in service.
  
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Kerz
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #12 - Jul 2nd, 2018 at 10:01am
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Excellent looking rifle!  Thx for sharing the pics
Vic
  

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butlersrangers
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Re: When is a walnut stock not walnut?
Reply #13 - Jul 2nd, 2018 at 3:25pm
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Fred G. does have a real beauty.

I imagine a lot of model 1896 and model 1898 Krag 'Replacement Stocks' could be of Italian walnut. This is likely because this was a ready source of walnut, during a shortage of 'cured walnut', during 1899 to 1901.

IMHO - Color is a potential clue, but, can be deceiving.

Krag American Black walnut stocks, (as well as, 1903 Springfield stocks, until sometime in the 1920s), were stained with a Logwood Mixture. Refinishing can leave these stocks appearing lighter in color, than they were originally.

Italian walnut Krag stocks and hand-guards appear often to have been stained, (maybe at the unit level?), to better match other arms and give 'Uniformity'.

I think wood grain is a great clue on the European/Italian origin of some Krag stocks.
Fred G.'s stock shows an area of fine 'crescent grain', just above the trigger-guard, that seems present on some of the Italian wood. (Photo-#1).
'Tiger Stripe' also seems a reliable indicator of Italian wood. (Photo-#2).
Italian stocks may be stained on the outside, but, 'underneath', (barrel channel and action area), remain light in color. (Photo-#3).
  
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