Re: New rifle today 375 RUM in a 700 BDL - Best way to seal wood stock
I would sand the factory finish off and start fresh inside and out to make sure you get a well stabelized stock. Properly sealed, it can be every bit as weather stable as a synthetic.
Sand the whole thing down to bare wood. Be careful not to alter any dimensions you don't want changed, and be careful not to round off any angles or lines.
Now, you are going to need a LOT of true oil for this. Buying enough is expensive, but worth it.
Use 1 part thinner and 1 part true oil, to thin the oil finish. Boil this soloution, and soak the stock in the boiling soloution for 2-3 full minutes before taking it out and allowing to air dry.
This gets the oil very deep into the wood.
Next, sand the stock (except for the chekered area) with very fine steel wool to help cut off the whickers the boiling will raise.
Now, use the true oil as directed (or by another favorite method if you have any) as if you had not done the boiling step. Make sure you seal the pores very effectively, inside and out.
Glass bed every portion of the wood that will not be on the exterior. Even if you float the barrell, use acraglas or similar bedding in the barrel channel. This stuff is gtreat for sealing up any nonexposed area. Don't forget under the buttplate or recoil pad, and don't forget under the gripcap.
Once the glass has cured, use an epoxy (not a poly) finish OVER the oil finish. If you don't like the high gloss of the epoxy, you can knock that glossy look down with some 1000 or 800 grit paper and have a semi gloss, satin, or matte finish.
Make sure you mask off the checkering, and use a thinned poly finish brushed into the checkering. You just can't get the poly into the checkering without ruining it.
Finished and sealed in such a way, this stock shouldn't ever move on you, regardless of temperature or humidity variations. There's just nowhere for water vapor to enter or leave, and so the wood cannot expand or contract.