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If the choice were offered before buying, would you prefer a stock with an oil finish or "poly" type finish?
I prefer an oil finish as I happen to think it brings out the beauty of the wood better than poly, looks more natural/less plastic and don't have to worry as much for swirls.
 

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IMO, I believe a High Gloss Finish brings out the most from any piece of wood. I do however like a Oil Finish better for a shotgun stock. I live in S. Florida. We sweat down here 8 months out of the year. My face stays put better on a Oil Finish Stock. While the High Gloss Stock looks nicer, my face tends to move/slide around a tad more when the heat is on---Shall we say!!!! break em all Jeff
 

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I like both. Warmth of a beautifully hand rubbed oil finish on a fine upland side by side, and tough but eye catching lacquer on comp guns
 

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Oil is easy to maintain and holds up much better to dings, scratches and dents and with a little effort you an get that close to poly brilliance (polish and a wax finish). Some of The hybrid finishes such as Truoil are very easy to repair and you get the best of both worlds.
 

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Guys with poly finish have them redone way more times than a low build oil finish.you can steam out oil dents.
Poly brings out the grain much better but a good ding is nothing to help it Except strip refinish.but this usually applies to skeet shooting as broken targets are rain upon you.
 

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I shoot a nice high gloss Zoli, and an Oil beretta. I like the Zoli better. Especially with a little scruff on my face. I find that the oil can have open pores and it grips and rips when I have 1/8” scruff. I would love to refinish the Beretta in a gloss finish and have plans to do that later down the road. I’ll ask for suggestions in a thread when the time comes...

Or use the search function... :biggrin2:
 

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Oil finish for me I feel like the wood speaks to me that way, but can see the beauty in poly as well. Just preference.
 

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Depends. I like low gloss poly on field rifles, although I have a beautiful Browning A-Bolt .22 with good wood and that hard glossy poly finish that Browning is famous for.

On my Italian shotguns I like an oil finish and I take care of them with wax or refresh with Tung oil. Mine came from the factory with an oil finishes and I like it. I'm not much of a heavy sweater like some people so I have no trouble maintaining the oil finish. And as has already been pointed out, a scratch or gouge on a poly finish is more difficult to repair.

I grew up with and have owned more Browning and Winchester break action shotguns than any other brands, so a glossy finish on them seems just natural and normal. I do hate a glossy shine-like-the-mouth-of-hell finish on any center fire rifle. Just hate it.

As with most things in life it's all just personal preference.
 

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Modern oils or poly blended oil with filled pores.
It takes longer, looks better, and is easier to maintain.
Gloss finishers are much faster to apply but damage more easy.
In my mind hand rubbed oil with filled pores look classic like art and hard gloss finishes look like a car with too much chrome.

CT
 

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The few guns I had with oil finish were very porous, and felt very rough, not smooth. I prefer a nice gloss finish.
 
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