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I've seen pics of a couple of antique Marlins that looked like they'd been restocked with maple with no stain. Awful light colored wood.

I grew up messing with Osage Orange and while it's purty, it's bad to split and crack when dried. I did make a set of grips for a Ruger Blackhawk in 41 Mag that I used to own out of it though and they looked sharp after I let them turn from yellow to orange in the air before applying a finish to them. It'd be hard to get a piece as big as a butstock or forearm dried without splits and cracks though. On those grips, I started out with a half dozen small pieces to dry and only two didn't split or crack.

I've never messed with purple heart or ebony.
 
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