Refinishing gun

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by texaswoodworker, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker Active Member

    Hi everyone. I'm new to gunsmithing and was needing some advice on refinishing an old side by side shotgun. It had been stored outside for several years and had a lot of surface rust. The blue is pretty much gone but luckily it has not pitted much so I'm wanting to make it look like it did when it was new. The problem I'm having is that I'm not much of a metal worker (I work mostly in wood) and do not know the best way to sand and polish all of the parts so I can re-blue them. Can anyone give me a push in the right direction?

    Thank you.

  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Making an assumption that THIS gun has no collector value- because rebluing a gun will wreck that-

    Bluing of steel is controlled rusting- black iron oxide instead of red. Naval Jelly will strip bluing in seconds- it contains phosphoric acid.

    Bluing will not cover bad surfaces- it just changes their color- they still look bad. For a hobbyist, I am going to suggest wet-or-dry sandpaper, wet with light oil. A gunsmith would use power tools, such as a felt wheel, flapper wheel, etc. But you can do a nice polish if you take your time using just hand power. Start with 120 grit, wet with oil, use the "shoe shine" technique. pits and grooves will collect black gunk to show where you need to keep polishing. Then clean it off, move up to finer grade, repeat, and then to a finer grade. 400 is probably fine enough for what you are doing. You CAN push it higher. For a final polish on some steels, I use white jeweler's rouge on a felt wheel or bob, but that is pushing things a bit.

    For FLAT surfaces, use a flat backing block to prevent rounding sharp edges.

    Rather than a cold blue (cold blue is like kissing your cousin- better than not getting kissed at all, but not much) why not do some research on rust bluing? Simple process, not a lot of methyl ethyl killya used- and it gives a nice finish. It DOES take time.

  3. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker Active Member

    Thanks for the advice. I will give it a try and see how it works. Your assumption was also right. The gun is very old but does not have much monetary value. I checked and simular guns only sold for about $200.

    Thanks again

  4. gunparts

    gunparts New Member

    you nite sandblast it.

    you mite sandblast it and then parkerize the metal, but you need to get the rust out of the pits or the rust will work its way out from under the parkerizing in time. There are some home kits for about $30 bucks out their. you need to heat the solution up to about 130 degrees and soak the metal till the little bubbles stop coming out of the metal.I bought a Larger kit from Alerganey Arsernal? on spelling and it worked well for me I Parkerized about 20 Guns and all have come out fine. Good Luck Brian G
  5. Jake15

    Jake15 New Member

    I would use cloth backed sandpaper starting with 120 grit and working up to 220 grit, starting with a shoe-shine motion then crossing with each grit. then I would cold blue it, but thats just me. A padded vise makes sanding easier, and if you do cold blue it please be sure to wear a mask and rubber gloves. you can get the cold blue from midway usa for less than $9, and one 3oz bottle is enough for one gun.