Just curious about individual preferences. I read many times where people make a comment similar to "No checkering, thank God". Is this strictly a cosmetic preference, or something more functional? Which is it for YOU?
I like the sans checkering if I have to refinish because there is a lot more work involved when checkering is present. But I do have several with checkering and I find it pleasing to look at. So it has never caused me to purchase a rifle nor has it stopped me. Same thing as pistol grip or straight stock. I like both.[/code]
Checkering was introduced to add appeal and function to a rifle stock. Most feel that anything over 20 lpi is not for grip and function but more for looks. In refinishing,strip the ckering as with the rest of the wood, then cover with masking tape and finish the stock. Then remove the tape and seal the ckering with a good sealer only. This will give protection and add a slight contrast to color. Most finish products are subject to clog the ckering and leave it not near as sharp which detracts from the finished product not only in appearance but in function.
I personally like checkered rifle stocks, as long as the checkering is in the area of 22 LPI or finer. Coarse checkering does nothing for me, and is more apt to chip.
The more exotic patterns, as used in the upper grade Marlins of the late 1800's are just beautiful to my eye.