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Do You Have A Sticky Wicket?


Have you ever had a "sticky wicket"? Okay, after you have looked to see exactly what a wicket is, you may say "no". However, if you are the owner of one of those guns that had a nice rubbery, easy to grip stock* when it was new, that has turned into a gooey attractant for any and all things, you may feel that have a sticky wicket.

This gooey mess is not limited to gun stocks. I have at least one camera and one spotting scope that have the same problem and years ago, had a slip-on recoil pad that seemed to turn to black jelly.

I have been told that the reason for the change from "easy to hold with cold or damp hands" to "almost impossible to let go of", was caused by a bad batch of material. Whoever mixed up that batch must have been a big  fan of Br'er Rabbit tales. That goo just would not let go.

I also have one of those guns and having read so many tales of misery on Internet forums, decided to see if I could find a cure for that problem.

I have an older SBE that has gone through a lot since I bought it in 1991. Originally, it had wooden stocks but when the black synthetic stocks became available, I put a set of those on it. At some point, I painted the whole gun in a camo pattern. After a while, I got tired of that and bought some "Non-Toxic-Non-Flamable-Biodegradable" paint remover to take it back to its original color.

My hope was that this "gentle" paint remover would remove the paint from plastic and metal, without melting the plastic. It worked very well and quite quickly. In just a few minutes I could see the finish start to bubble. I removed all the paint, did not damage the stock and was back where I had started.

Having had success with that venture, I decided I'd try it on my gooey gun. What could it hurt? The gun was basically unusable as it was.I coated the stock very liberally and kept an eye on it t, waiting to see the finish bubble.

When the bubbles started, I used a plastic scraper to remove the gloppy mess, and wiped it all down. After I'd removed all of the paint remover I could, I  wiped it down with some alcohol and sanded a few places with 1000 grit sandpaper. 

The surface of the stock  is now a very flat black and not at all sticky. That whole process took no more than 30 minutes.

Now I have several options. I can leave it as it is, I can paint it or I could have the stock or the whole gun dipped. Regardless of what I choose to do, I feel really good about this gun again.

 *I have used stock to include the forend as well

I used paint remover on my gun and it worked as described. There are so many variables that I can not recommend that you likewise. I can't be responsible for any consequences of your attempt to duplicate this process.

This is the product that I used:

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