Friday, February 26, 2021

It Almost Brought Tears To My Eyes...

 ...when I was cleaning my Remington 870 Express Combo 12 gauge shotgun yesterday and I saw that there was a small crack in the wood of the buttstock on the bottom side where it meets the back of the trigger guard. It was never there before or at least, I do not remember it. While it sure looks like it soaked up more of the stain when I refinished it years ago, I would swear it was not there until now but then the little gray cells do not have the RAM capability they once had I suppose. 

The more I look at it, the more I think maybe it's been there awhile & I did not notice or forgot about it. It Still bothers the heck out of me, in as much as I am concerned it may expand and have a bad result.

I am guessing that maybe the wood treatment I used darkened it like that or maybe it was sweat from shooting it on a hot summer's day at the range last year (and man it was hot) or just whatever air and humidity to which it was exposed did so even though cased with desiccant in the case. I treat the wood regularly and never expected to it crack. Of course, that could be the result of firing it too. Many thousands of rounds have gone down its bores (has two changeable barrels), mostly 12 gauge slugs and 00 Buckshot but some bird and small game shot too.

I guess after 33 years 3 months & 15 days, anything was possible but I did not expect that. It's almost like a friend got hurt and is in need of care. It truly is virtually a friend and a long term one at that. I purchased my tried & true friend back on 11/11/1987 at Herman's Sporting Goods in Queens, NY and it definitely has been and remained among my favorites, in the top 5 if not the top 3 (maybe even number 1) over all those years. I carried it on the job on many an operation, in the field on many a hunting trip (took my first deer - an 8 point whitetail with it), my son hunted with it as well and we both used it on many a range trip including blogger-shoots in NH and West By God Virginia! Admittedly, in recent years, it has seen more of the inside of a case than it has of targets or deer downrange since the old shoulder cannot take the beatings it once was able to withstand with gleeful merriment but it still comes out a couple to few times a year to be shot with as much enthusiasm as ever.

Now, I am considering drilling a very small hole with a very small drill bit at the end of the crack to stop any further expansion. If anyone has had success or failure with that method of preventing a hairline crack from getting bigger, please chime in in the comments section. I may just leave it as is but really am concerned that it might continue to expand if left unchecked; so, if based on your experience, you think it best to leave it as is, please let me know likewise. The crack getting worse and possibly cause a piece of the wood to fall off would be catastrophic as far as I am concerned. So fixing it, to stop the crack in its tracks, is my thought for the moment but I do not want to make it worse while trying to do that. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

All the best,
Glenn B