Alkanet or not to alkanet that is the question? My answer is this "it is your gun so re finish it in the way you see fit. But there is always a but isn't there, so I will start with this "a gun or any thing else for that matter is Original only once". So the question is do I try to re finish my gun as close to original as possible or do I just re finish it using todays products both have plus and minus points on their side.
Original finish especially if the gun is getting on in years it will use products that where available at the time of its manufacture. As far as guns are concerned they require maintenance especially the stock finish, well if you have a pair of good leather shoes you don't expect to only polish them once in their lifetime do you? Today we folks want every thing fast and over the last fifty years technology has worked towards the removal of the maintenance person and maintenance of every day objects in our lives, Motor vehicles and Electrical goods come to mind.
So why would I use original products on a hundred plus year old gun, they do say a picture is worth a thousand words so in the picture is my hundred and fifty year old gun that was completely refinished after mechanical restoration in the nineteen sixties because the only finish it had was 100% rust. The stock colour is Alkanet with traditional Brit finishing oil with a Linseed oil and Copal base, this requires a maintenance rescheme of the tip of your finger dipped in Linseed Oil and rubbed into the stock, winter months wax polish applied to the stock especially the wood to metal joints to keep water out and to give that English gun stock luster. Wax is also applied to the barrel browning to keep the water out well it is rust after all.
After the restoration gun in the picture did not look like it does now in fact it looked rather to bright and new looking but over the last sixty years its looks have mellowed with age looking more like a Victorian lady rather than a 1020's flapper after the finishes have aged even down to the barrel browning wear. This may not be for you and you would like your gun to look continually new and that is what a lot of modern finishes will give you because they do not age as the older ones , and there is nothing wrong with that because in the end it is your gun to do with as you see fit.


The only lessons in my life I truly did learn from where the ones I paid for!