Stripped using denatured alcohol with 0000 steel wool. Then I used BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil ) on the stock. Put on with 0000 steel wool, let sit for a minute, then wipe off with a rag and buff. Repeat. for the next couple of hours. Last coat put on with just a the rag. let sit for a little while then wipe off. Repeat for the couple of days. Then give it another couple of coats. Let sit for a week the another couple of coats. As the wood absorbs the BLO, the grain will start to get darker. The purists will hate you. Face the facts its a $100.00 rifle. Buy another and put it into storage if you need to satisfy the critics. Good luck with it, it will look great when its done. http://7.62x54r.net is a great resource.