When you say a matte finish, do you mean a low gloss satiny sheen with a film build or more of an oil finish where the wood doesn't appear to have a layer of clearcoat?
I have a couple of 700's which have what I think is a lacquer finish, one very glossy, from the mid-70's, the other a satin from the 80's I think. I have another which has an oiled stock, it's a heavy barreled .308 from the 70's.
I believe I've read that they used nitro-cellulose lacquer on the stocks until the last decade or so. I know that many of the Military and Police intended 700's have an oil finish and that can be duplicated with Tru-oil. The Tru-oil is easy to use, but does require regular application until you reach the look you want, which can take many months. It doesn't give you the film build that the lacquer would, but I'm not sure which look you're after.
A forum community dedicated to professional woodworkers and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about shop safety, wood, carpentry, lumber, finishing, tools, machinery, woodworking related topics, styles, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!