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tntmo

Gun refinishing? - Easy, reasonable, DIY, etc

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My buddy's dad recently offered me a couple of his old shotguns and a black powder rifle, they are not in good shape and need refinishing.  None of them are valuable, even in good condition the entire lot is probably worth $300-$500 but they could be good shooters or in the case of the black powder rifle, a good display. 

I would like to refinish the barrels and receivers but haven't ever done that.  I don't want to invest too much into these guns, but would like them to look okay and stay looking decent for the near future.  I know the basic process of bluing the pieces, heard of Cerakote (seems too expensive for these firearms), Duracoat, Alumahyde, even just painting them with Krylon.

Anyone ever done something similar and have recommendations that won't end up costing a bunch and will be easily doable at home?  It's not worth sinking $200 into the guns, they aren't sentimental to me or my buddy's dad.  He was going to bring them to a gun buyback, as much as I hate to see that happen it would make more sense than investing a lot into them.  I'm fine with investing some time.

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Hey Tom,

 

I am big into firearms and some light gunsmithing. I haven't ever refinished anything though. Depending on the weapon, re-bluing may be the best choice. But, if you don't have the setup and don't want to spend the money, then rattle can with high temp engine paint might be the best way to go. Keep the breach and the bore clean and untouched. I wouldn't do any more than inspect for pitting and corrosion. After that, deep clean with solvent & patches (maybe even ultra sonic cleaning if you have one), then heavy oiling for long term storage (just remember to remove excess oil before firing) or normal light oiling for short term/frequent use. If you or anyone on here doesn't know how to clean their firearms and or wants someone to help them out or just look over their shoulder, let me know. I really enjoy it. 3-4 hours cleaning my guns feels like 5-minutes. Also, I don't need much convincing to go to the range either.

 

Not to pry, but when your buddy's dad gave you the weapons, did you go complete a PPT at a FFL? Maybe it is better if you don't answer the question.

 

For anyone that needs help with Firearm related items (Buying/Selling/Transferring, Gunsmithing, Reloading, issues, laws, storage, transportation and so on) a great online resource is www.calguns.net. It is a very interactive online firearm community for California, though, we have lots of members all over the states and throughout the world.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, erik_26 said:

Hey Tom,

 

I am big into firearms and some light gunsmithing. I haven't ever refinished anything though. Depending on the weapon, re-bluing may be the best choice. But, if you don't have the setup and don't want to spend the money, then rattle can with high temp engine paint might be the best way to go. Keep the breach and the bore clean and untouched. I wouldn't do any more than inspect for pitting and corrosion. After that, deep clean with solvent & patches (maybe even ultra sonic cleaning if you have one), then heavy oiling for long term storage (just remember to remove excess oil before firing) or normal light oiling for short term/frequent use. If you or anyone on here doesn't know how to clean their firearms and or wants someone to help them out or just look over their shoulder, let me know. I really enjoy it. 3-4 hours cleaning my guns feels like 5-minutes. Also, I don't need much convincing to go to the range either.

 

Not to pry, but when your buddy's dad gave you the weapons, did you go complete a PPT at a FFL? Maybe it is better if you don't answer the question.

 

For anyone that needs help with Firearm related items (Buying/Selling/Transferring, Gunsmithing, Reloading, issues, laws, storage, transportation and so on) a great online resource is www.calguns.net. It is a very interactive online firearm community for California, though, we have lots of members all over the states and throughout the world.

 

 

Thanks, I had considered BBQ or engine style paint for the two shotguns.  One is a bolt action JC Higgins (Sears) and the other a Winchester 1400.....neither very valuable but both could be good shooters.  The black powder rifle is an old kit gun, that one I wouldn't probably shoot even though it appears to be sound.  It's just too much of a PITA for me, but it would look nice cleaned up and the brass polished.  It wouldn't look right painted IMHO, so that one will probably be my practice at bluing. 

I am fully aware of CA gun laws and follow them as required.  I haven't been on CalGuns in a while, it was where I planned to ask or research these questions but I like to ask my friends/family here.  I know we have a lot of people with similar interests in this group.  

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I had my dads service pistol re-blued for his birthday once. Smith and Wesson revolver.  It's fairly ruined the smooth action.  That thing never 'pulled' the same again.

I guess the question is, what do you want to achieve?  A better look?  A different look?  I think we need to meet at your place and consult over some proper thinking juice. 

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By the way,,a little rust pitting never hurt anyone.  Makes it look properly used and handed down.  The way guns should be.

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10 minutes ago, ThumperBob said:

Tom, I have refinished several muzzle loaders using the browning method. They turn out very athletic looking. Here is one procedure on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UJD27dwoOQk

Thanks, I have heard of browning vs bluing.  I'd really like to make that one look good, just as a tribute to my buddy's dad.  He built it from a kit 30-40 years ago and said he was really into the black powder scene.  He was casting lead balls,  went to BP match events, had a period correct outfit, etc.  I know he loved it, but hasn't been into it for a while.  If it turns out nice, maybe he might want it back and I wouldn't have a problem with that.

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2 hours ago, La Mesa Mike said:

Tom,  

they will fit in my oven if you want to cerakote them...

 

Thanks, will look into it.

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I will search, too, but let me know what you find out on the muzzleloader. I know companies will ship them to CA residents without FFL involvement, along with powder, bullets, etc. I built a Thompson Center, similar to the one Bob posted, when I was 16. I browned the barrel and Dad blued his. Both turned out looking good and shooting okay.

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Correct, the black powder rifle is considered an antique and doesn’t require transfer paperwork.  

I am probably going to look into browning the metal on this one.

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7 hours ago, tntmo said:

Correct, the black powder rifle is considered an antique and doesn’t require transfer paperwork.  

I am probably going to look into browning the metal on this one.

+1👍

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