Like anything else, different gunsmiths prefer different things when it comes to finishing stocks. It came up on WeTheArmed.com today. Another smith brought up the fact that he doesn’t like TruOil because it dries too fast. That’s essentially true. I know guys that really like it though. Once you get the nack it’s a great finish. Getting use to it is the hard part and you will end up taking your fingers off the stock and leave fingerprints until you learn the right method.
The other smith also mentioned he used boiled Linseed oil. It does dry better than regular Linseed oil but let’s face it, it never completely dries.
For that reason I prefer Tung oil. Not the quick drying stuff. It’s worse than TruOil for fingerprints. It’s usually marked fairly small too, so read the label carefully. I’ve bought the wrong one myself.
Tung oil dries completely and it dries hard. A properly finished wood stock is fairly weather resistant. Once the pores are filled and the finish has cured humidity is no longer a big concern. Naturally you don’t want to soak the stock but it will repel a hunting days weather.
Fact of the matter is…there are a lot of products out there that will do a great job. Gunsmiths use many different finishes with great success. For the amateur wanting to a dd a personal touch…I’d keep it simple and go with Tung oil.