Mopane Wood for Rifle Stock

M McDindi

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I'm wondering if anyone has had a custom rifle stock made from a good piece of mopane wood? I know when it's real dry it can be pretty brittle, but we have some mopane wood bowls we've brought back that are used a lot. They are well "oiled"/"seasoned" from salad oils/dressings etc and soups and meat/stew serving bowls and place settings. NEVER put in a dishwasher, just hand washed. Mopane is also used at for the placards for our European mounts and came from the taxidermist well "oiled". Have seen a lot of tables there made from pretty straight grained and figured very thick mopane planks etc. I know when it dries, it is pretty light weight.

Just wondering out loud, what others might think of using a nice piece for a rifle stock in a light recoiling rifle like 308 or 30-06. Finished with multiple coats of boiled linseed oil to seal and maybe keep it from becoming too brittle.

Open to thoughts/comments/ideas.
 

Velo Dog

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I'm wondering if anyone has had a custom rifle stock made from a good piece of mopane wood? I know when it's real dry it can be pretty brittle, but we have some mopane wood bowls we've brought back that are used a lot. They are well "oiled"/"seasoned" from salad oils/dressings etc and soups and meat/stew serving bowls and place settings. NEVER put in a dishwasher, just hand washed. Mopane is also used at for the placards for our European mounts and came from the taxidermist well "oiled". Have seen a lot of tables there made from pretty straight grained and figured very thick mopane planks etc. I know when it dries, it is pretty light weight.

Just wondering out loud, what others might think of using a nice piece for a rifle stock in a light recoiling rifle like 308 or 30-06. Finished with multiple coats of boiled linseed oil to seal and maybe keep it from becoming too brittle.

Open to thoughts/comments/ideas.

Hello M McDindi,

Regarding olive wood, I have pondered this same question.
We have a large butcher board in our kitchen made of a plank, sawed from an old California olive orchard tree.
The rich colors and beautiful grain pattern would make most walnut gunstocks crawl away in shame.

One can only guess there is some unwanted characteristic of such other-than-walnut tree species, in terms of chipping or cracking perhaps ?
Now that I’m on this rant, I wonder if oak would be suited to hard recoiling rifles.
It’s heavy and the grain is usually very straight.
Red oak is not gorgeous, but not ugly either.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

Dewald

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I think it will crack under the constant tension of action screws if not pillar bedded, and from moderate recoil. About the only indigenous wood I’ve seen stock makers use in Africa is Acacia galpinii, aka Apiesdoring or Monkey-thorn in English.
 

M McDindi

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Thanks gents. Wasn't thinking of olive wood, just mopane and specifically the heart.

Just found an interesting link about the wood. The Wood Database - Mopane.

From their description, it might be to hard on tooling to work with.
 

fourfive8

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Been a few years so not 100% on details but I remember the subject of using various local woods for gunstocks being discussed around the campfire one evening. Specifically mopane, leadwood, Rhodesian teak, mahogany and maybe one or two others. IIRC the locals had knowledge of mopane being tried for gunstocks... they gave the impression that it tended to spit/crack over time.
 

Velo Dog

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Thanks gents. Wasn't thinking of olive wood, just mopane and specifically the heart.
Sorry man,
I wasn’t trying to derail your thread.
Was only trying to show that at least one other person has had the same thoughts as yourself, regarding unusual wood varieties, as potential gunstock material.
I wish you all the best,
Velo Dog.
 

IvW

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Mopani will not work, too hard and brittle.....some others may

The indigenous wood types that we use:​


Peltophorum Africanum
huilboom-150x150.png

Huilboom / The Weeping Wattle

Burkea Africana​

Wildesering / Wild Syringa

Dombeya Rotundifolia​

drolpeer-150x150.png

Drolpeer as we use at MJ Weapons / South African Wild Pear

Spirostachys Africana​

tambotie-150x150.png

Tambotie

Ziziphus Mucronate​

blinkblaar-150x150.png

Blinkblaar-wag-n-bietjie / Buffalo Thorn

Senegalia Burkei​

Swartapiesdoring.png

Swartapiesdoring / Black Monkey Thorn



Vachellia Karoo
soetdoring-150x150.png

Soetdoring / Sweet Thorn

Give MJ Wapensmede a call
 
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IvW

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Drolpeer and Tambotie is probably the best option....
 

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