Almost everyone I know prefers an authentic hand-rubbed oil finish, although to be truthful it’s better if you use a nice chamois leather to rub it with.
All my guns both rifles and shotguns have had their original finish removed and an oil finish applied.
It’s just so much easier to keep the stock in good shape when you compare it to a polyurethane finish (one scratch and the finish is buggered). With the oil finish, any marks or scratches are simply taken out with wet & dry paper with a little linseed oil on it and then re-finished. A couple of weeks later and it has blended in without any visible difference.
Some stalkers(deer hunters) complain that it doesn’t stop them from absorbing moisture in very wet or wintry weather, but as I always say, if you are using a rifle in very wet/extreme conditions, then you should really be using a composite stock anyway. :wink: