During one weekend I had a chance to help my father-in-law dust off some of his firearms. We came across his Midland gun company (Parker Hale) 30-06 bolt action rifle. He shared some of his hunting stories that he had with this rifle back in the “good” ol days, including how the wooden stock cracked from fore-end to the internal magazine.
Out of curiosity, I decided to call a gunsmith to find out how much it would cost to repair the stock. I was quoted $350 for a full repair, which was not worth it since the rifle had previously been appraised at $450, in excellent condition. A brand new stock was not an option either because I couldn’t find anything locally or online. However, while searching the web, I did come across a budget-friendly and simple DIY repair. Having nothing to lose, except maybe getting shot by my father-in-law for wrecking a sentimental piece, I thought I would give it a try.
DIY stock repair
Now you’re probably thinking “oh he is going to glue it together.” Well, that is exactly what I’m doing! Zap-a-Gap and Gorilla Super Glue are the two glues of choice since both are shock resistant due to their unique formulas and both hold better and last longer than other superglues. I did have a problem finding a bottle of Zap-a-Gap going to places like fishing stores, Wal-Mart, and even arts and crafts stores. The Gorilla Super Glue on the other hand was easy to find at my local hardware store. I picked up a bottle at Home Depot for under $10.
Gluing a stock
I do have to admit gluing a stock seems pretty simple, as long as you don’t glue your fingers together. Make sure that all sides of the crack are covered evenly but do not too much glue as it will seep out and dry on the wooden finish. As you can see in my photos, I have firsthand experience in the disaster of using too much glue. While this was happening, I was picturing my father-in-law loading up his shotgun like he did when I started dating his daughter. I wiped the seeping glue off quickly and clamped the stock together to let it dry for 24 hours. After the glue dried I used really hot, soapy water on a rag and laid it on the glued area. Some of the glue loosened and wiped away easily but not all of it. At least the stock is in better shape than it was before.
Does it work?
Testing the rigidity of the stock went well. I fired a couple of boxes of ammo through the old Midland and found no separation of the glued area. Unfortunately, I was able to feel the glue that had dried on the stock while shooting because it was slightly uneven in places. However, it didn’t bother me too much as it was so minor and the price of repair really kept me in a good mood. But it’s not my opinion that truly mattered. I’m not going to lie; I was nervous about showing my father-in-law what I had done to his rifle and, if he didn’t approve, just how fast and how far I would need to run.
A repair from a gunsmith or a new stock would be the proper repair to any damaged stock. But, if you are unable to afford either, this inexpensive DIY will help hold your stock together for those future hunts. Heck, it even got the father-in-law seal of approval!