I'd still strip it down a bit using Turpentine to get any current finishes off. Once the wood is dried, are you wanting to stain it? Varnish?
I use Tom's 1/3 Military mix in a natural color (doesn't really stain) and it's a combination of Turp, BLO, and bee's wax. I'm sure is some other stuff in there too, but it doesn't really darken the wood. He has a darker version available too and I've heard good things about it.
And the stuff is really inexpensive from www.thegunstockdoctor.com.