Rifle Stock (Reshape and Refinish)

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Project by Brett posted 05-16-2015 06:43 PM 1981 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey folks!

One of my other hobbies, other than woodworking, is shooting airguns. Yes, a grown man shooting BB guns in his backyard! ;) Once I got into the world of higher end adult airguns, I realized that there are some pretty high quality equipment out there, not just the stuff that is offered on the shelves of WallyWorld!

This is a Weihrauch HW77K .177 caliber spring powered air rifle. It came with a nicely shaped and finished beech hardwood stock with classic styling. After some time with this particular rifle, I found that some of the finer details of the stocks shape were neglected from the factory. I decided to do some refining of the shape (for looks and fit) and refinish the beech wood to make it look a bit warmer and hopefully add some depth to the finish.

This project contained a few firsts in woodworking for me. First was the checkering. Never did it before. It’s not as difficult as I had read about but not as easy as I anticipated in my mind. There is a bit of a learning curve and patience is a must! Overall, I don’t think what I did here was too bad. In fact I am pleased with it. Not perfect, but pleased.

Another first was staining. I am NOT a stain person! I use the wood for a project based off of it’s color. I couldn’t do that on this one. I had to use a stain or something to color the wood a dark brown. Beech is also known for it’s ability to BLOTCH so this was a bit intimidating. I used a pre-stain conditioner and then a gel stain to help prevent the BLOTCH and get a more even color. Like I said about the checkering, it’s not perfect but I am pleased with the color and the evenness of the color over the piece.

I also struggled with what to use for a topcoat, to protect and beautify the piece. I settled on a simple lacquer from a can. DEFT in satin sheen. I sprayed multiple coats and then I finished it off with some 1500 grit sanding and then some paste wax. It has a great satin sheen and it feels like silk in my hands.

Now I have a rifle that I am much more pleased with and proud to sport in my backyard sniping adventures!

Thanks for looking and comments always welcome!!!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

10 comments so far

View redryder's profile


2394 posts in 2520 days

#1 posted 05-16-2015 07:59 PM

If what you refer to as “checkering,” I am thinking of as “knurling” and it is shown in photo 3. Then that is pretty amazing and it would be interesting to know how that is done in the wood shop.

Also a before photo of the stock you didn’t care for would be nice to see. I think I understand that this is the original stock and you took it down to bare bones??? I have a couple of older “abused” rifles that I would love to get up the courage to re-do.

And just a side comment. An air rifle with a recoil pad???

The end result looks great….......................

-- mike...............

View Brett's profile


926 posts in 2178 days

#2 posted 05-16-2015 09:28 PM

Hi Mike! Thanks for the comments.

On a rifle stock, the cut pattern is called checkering. Here is a quick insight to it’s definition and purpose.

Here is a very well done video on how to checker a rifle stock. It will give you the visual and instruction of how to lay it out and to cut the checkering. You can also see the tools used to do it. The tools are basically little files on handles. It is interesting to watch and do. The key is to take your time and lay the lines out straight and parallel. It sounds easier than it actually is! ;)

As far as the recoil pad goes…. it’s not really to absorb the recoil, I don’t think. It’s more for a traditional look, grip on the shoulder and in some cases, the air rifles DO recoil but not enough to say that the pad is needed like in a magnum powder rifle or shotgun.

Here are a couple of videos of my airguns just so you have an idea I what I have shown here. Cocking an airgun Shooting my newest airgun Shooting and my take on HW77K after some work. Original stock that I changed out for “old” style and then reshaped/refinished.

I like “spring” powered airguns where a large, powerful mainspring is compressed (when cocking) with a piston and seal that engages the trigger sear when cocked. There is a volume of air in a compression chamber now and when the sear is released, the spring powers the piston and seal forward creating high pressure air in the chamber that forces the pellet down and out of the barrel. This powerplant creates a two-way recoil of the rifle. The first recoil is pushing back on the action and into the shooter. When the piston and spring reach the end of it’s travel, the weight now goes forward creating “reverse” recoil, not as much as the intial “bacwards” recoil of the beginning of the firing cycle but it is there and that is why a scope must be “airgun” rated otherwise the recoil will damage the scope. Sounds crazy but true. Once you tear up an expensive scope by shooting it on a little pea shooter, you learn that lesson real quick! :)

I don’t have any real good pictures of the before on the stock. I wasn’t able to show the “problem” areas with a flat picture. Basically the butt and grip areas were left very thick and they weren’t symetrical. Also the drop of the bottom of the butt was more like a sagging belly than a straight line! ha ha! There was a stamped checker pattern in the grip but reshaping and thinning quickly took that away. That gave me the perfect opportunity to try my hand at checkering! It’s not perfect but I am pleased with the outcome and I have always appreciated the “human” element in projects, especially wood.


-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View MedicineMan's profile


107 posts in 1886 days

#3 posted 05-16-2015 11:33 PM

Very fine job! Well done in many aspects, woodworking, staining, finishing, checkering….ALL OF IT IS VERY WELL DONE!
Thanks for sharing.

View robbiethewood's profile


124 posts in 1663 days

#4 posted 05-17-2015 01:06 AM

Hi brett
you done a fine job on this gun stock
man you sure tuned this piece to suit yourself
i say the young lad would love to get his hands on it :)
lovely job

Take care my friend


View ralbuck's profile


1793 posts in 1685 days

#5 posted 05-17-2015 01:25 AM

I have to agree with “Medicine Man”—very nicely done!

I can loan you my “Henry-.22” for an encore presentation on the checking! It has a real walnut stock; so will be easier If you have never fired a “Henry” DO NOT—You will have to go buy one!

The .177 is fun to shoot although mine are cheapie Crossmans with 1 plastic stock and one with a “junk-wood set-up. Still fun to shoot and reasonably accurate!.

-- just rjR

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16787 posts in 2524 days

#6 posted 05-17-2015 01:43 AM

Very nice work on that stock!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Roger's profile


19709 posts in 2222 days

#7 posted 05-17-2015 01:05 PM

Very fine Brett. Thnx for those links as well.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View calisdad's profile


275 posts in 928 days

#8 posted 05-17-2015 02:18 PM

Very nice! I bet it does feel like silk in your hands.

With a lot of checkering being stamped out these days, those who truly appreciate hand made stocks like to see some imperfections here and there to distinguish between the two. It’s not a flaw, its character.

View Ken90712's profile


16863 posts in 2607 days

#9 posted 05-17-2015 05:12 PM

Amazing work, great project.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View majuvla's profile


8685 posts in 2286 days

#10 posted 05-18-2015 06:32 AM

Realy professional work. I’m not the hunter but I like it very much.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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