Refinishing heirlooms

Discussion in 'Engraving & Refinishing' started by IDVague, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. IDVague

    IDVague New Member

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    I wanted to ask for opinions on whether or not to consider refinishing old family heirlooms that are not in bad shape, but certainly not perfect. I know the arguments about refinishing actually being detrimental to market value, but these guns are not ever intended to be sold for profit, only passed down to another generation. Should keeping the original finish take priority over returning them to a NIB type look? Some are requiring more and more attention to maintain and keep them from rusting, etc. Give me your opinions, I asked for them!
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I chose to keep the heirloom I received original. But adding a little piece of yourself may not be a bad idea.
    I also found that if you have a little history in documented form, it is appreciated by the future heirloom receivers even more.
     

  3. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    In my opinion there is nothing wrong in restoring family heirlooms especially when you do not intend to sell it off. I also believe there is nothing wrong in restoration as a whole. You don;t see many folks driving around in old clunkers at car shows do ya?

    Sorry this is a late post but I've been gone for a while and I'm just making the rounds..
     
  4. IDVague

    IDVague New Member

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    You make a good point about the car shows, I've never understood the reluctance to refinish or restore guns. I understand that an all-original piece is great if it is in pristine condition or even very near that, but beyond that I'm all about restoration.
     
  5. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    The reluctance (I believe) comes mostly from purists who believe you are destroying the history of the firearm that you're restoring that each nick and dent could tell a story. To an extent, I agree with them, however, I've seen a lot of old firearms that gained their nicks and dings from improper storage in wharehouses too.

    My thing is restoration. New, old, military or non, there is nothing prettier to me than bringing an old firearm back to it's original glory. The key is to make sure it's done correctly and to period.
     
  6. IDVague

    IDVague New Member

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    I agree. I have some guns that are family pieces that I like as they are, but I would do a restoration if it was needed to preserve the gun for future generations. But, when I pick up a nice piece that has a worn finish from a lot of holster carry, or rust from improper care and storage, I have no issue with restoring those. My very first firearm was a Winchester Model 370 single-shot shotgun. It began to rust on one side of the receiver when it was only a few years old. I kept a liberal amount of lubricant on it, but it was permanently scarred nevertheless. I observed another one at a gun show years ago that had the exact same problem and a friend had one in the same condition. At that point I felt there was some inherent defect in the bluing for it to be that common, so I took mine in for refinishing. The gunsmith recommended case hardening which turned out nicely, I think. It makes the piece unique and saves it from further damage all at the same time.
     
  7. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    You could take some detailed digital pictures first & store them with the firearm & online. That way, you could have a picture of your cake & eat it too.
     
  8. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    That's exactly what I do for every firearm I restore. I also provide the pictures to the clients if they so desire.
     
  9. ALSGUN

    ALSGUN New Member

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    If one has a firearm and it needs a touch up or repair you would do it, so if my grand dad had a gun and it needed the same and he did it would that make it less valuable to me, I think not. I believe that as long as it is done properly and not modified to modernize it...go for it.