Well, since no one replied, I went with a very light sanding and applied my regular reddish stain, but immediately wiped it off, instead of allowing it an hour to really penetrate. It looks good so far, and appears to be pretty close to the original color. Tonight I'm gonna put some Minnwax sating poly on it and see what I've got. If it looks like it will be good, then I'll put several coats of poly, with 600 grit sanding between coats. The process I've been using for years comes out beautiful. Deep, deep, deep luster on the finish. Almost too pretty to be on an AK. LOL.