good post BB, when I did my Hawken project I used an acid on a 250.00 piece of wood that turned it a yellow color then heated it up to turn it black. At that point I was sweating that I just ruined a really nice piece of wood even though I was following the directions. Then as I sanded all the maple stripes were showing up and in the end it came out great. Finishing a gun stock is a good project. Take your time removing the old finish and don't remove hardley any wood as then all the metal parts will extend past the wood and not look very good. As BB stated a good refinish kit for guns is probably a place to start especially if you want to keep the existing stock.