Black walnut is a great wood to work with, so much so that it is hard to know which characteristic to like more — its beauty or its workability. Black walnut’s shock resistance, combined with its stability and relatively light weight make it an ideal material for the wooden parts of a rifle. It polishes to a very smooth finish, and the color ranges from creamy white in the sapwood to a dark chocolate in the heartwood. Black walnut wood is dark, hard, dense and tight-grained. More recently, the late woodworking icon George Nakashima is known for his use of live-edge black walnut in many of his signature pieces. This hardwood can fetch handsome prices because it is durable and when stained, it has a beautiful texture and color. It is fairly common, and good quality black walnut lumber is not hard to find. Over the years, natural walnut wood develops a lustrous patina. For instance, walnut was the wood of choice for gun manufacturer Smith and Wesson for their rifle, shotgun, and pistol stocks. It's prized by woodworkers for its strength, grain and color. Another noted use was (and continues to be) for gun stocks. With that said, there is no getting around the fact that you will pay more for walnut than for other domestic hardwoods. This type of walnut is a bit lighter in color than black walnut, which is extremely durable, making it ideal for use in furniture and other pieces that require durability. Black walnut wood is a highly prized hardwood. This finish gives walnut a dark yet warm color, and if you choose to apply it by wet-sanding, this too can fill the grain as above. Tung oil varnish can be used by itself, and then buffed to a semi-gloss … The appearance is only slightly different – but different nevertheless.