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To refinish, or not to refinish?? - Winchester 1906
August 13, 2012
10:34 am
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August 10, 2012
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Hello. Here is my problem:

A few months back I bought a Winchester 1906 from Cabela's for $450.
The gun is all original parts and after doing some research on the serial number, I found out that it was made in 1919 (and overall, I just like how it looked and how it worked. Love at first sight).

Almost all of the bluing has been removed, exposing the bare metal. There is a slight patch on the receiver of the original 1919 bluing, but that's it.

However, I am having a problem.

I don't know how I'm storing the gun differently than how it's been stored for the past 93 years (I keep it in a gunsafe with plenty of silicon packets) but the gun is deteriorating very fast. Every time I open the safe, I find the gun covered in rust (just the 1906, though. All my other guns are fine). What WAS a shiny metal silver on it is now stained rusty brown, and I'm fearing that, in a matter of a few years, the gun is going to basically turn into a pile of dirt.

My brother is a very handy gunsmith and has refinished and reblued several of our guns (even built a new stock for a Mauser VZ24) and he said that he'd be willing to reblue my 1906, which would make it less susceptible to rust.

I am aware that this will greatly, if not completely, ruin the gun's historical value (since everything on it right now is original, out-of-the-box circa 1919). So here's my question:

- Should I go ahead and refinish the gun and ruin it's antique status?

- Or are 1906s (from 1919) with all-original parts extremely rare, and would I be ruining something that's worth alot more than I think?

My brother has to go away to college in a few weeks, so I'm kind of pressed for time on this. Any response would be appreciated asap.

~Brian Fisher

August 13, 2012
11:33 am
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My concern is why is it rusting? You said you have silicon packs in the safe. Do you mean Silica? Like most dehydrator packs they will absorb so much moisture and then need to be replaced or baked in the oven to dry them out. Get a digital humidity gauge and put that in the safe for a day and see what it says. You want around 50%. If it 50% or lower than you have a problem with something on the gun causing the rust. Do any other guns in the safe showing any signs of rust?

Bob

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August 13, 2012
1:35 pm
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Pictures are worth 1000s of words?

I wouldnt say its extra rare too have a 1919 gun with all its part "rare" but I wouldnt go and reblue just reblue it either.

Your safe situation is very strange, especially if only its just the one gun rusting. What are you putting on it? A good coat of gun oil may help.
Very Odd indeed!

-Maverick

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August 13, 2012
8:34 pm
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@1873man lol Yeah, I meant Silica packets. Every now and then, we'll find some rusty spots on other guns, but they aren't nearly as bad as the Winchester 1906. However, all our other guns are either blued or parkerized, while the 1906 is the only one that is bare metal. I'm guessing this would have something to do with it. We do also recharge/replace the packets every now and then.

@maverick We coat the guns with Hoppes no.9 solvent. I may have answered my own question here. A few days ago, my brother recharged a silica packet and told me to put the 1906 in a hard plastic gun case with the packet. I just checked on it just now and there is no rust on it at all. I'm thinking that it may indeed be a problem with the gun safes.

Here are some pictures. It was hard to get it to show in the photos, but most of the gun is bare metal.

http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx234/CptFarfegnugen/DSCN0723.jpg?t=1344914676
http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx234/CptFarfegnugen/DSCN0727.jpg?t=1344914676
http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx234/CptFarfegnugen/DSCN0728.jpg?t=1344914676

I'm glad you guys are helping me out. I really value the gun for its antique status and was not looking forward to rebluing it.

August 13, 2012
8:54 pm
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Your problem is Hoppes no 9 is not a preservative. Its a cleaning solvent. Get some decent oil and oil it up. I have had old Winchesters for many years that had bare metal and never rusted in a gun safe. I use G96 or Snake Oil for displaying even motor oil will work.

Bob

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August 14, 2012
11:29 am
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Try EEZOX. It comes in regular or spray can. Its outstanding and I have had it on guns in storage for over 40 years and No Rust. It is a synthetic and does not bother bluing or wood finishes. If you have surface rust it will remove it. If you need more info send me an email. Good luck 🙂 🙂

August 14, 2012
1:42 pm
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I would be hesitant to use something that removes rust. If you have a old patina finish on a old gun which could be a form of rust and you use something that removes it, now you have a bare metal gun. If you have a gun with lots of blue it, it my not affect it but I still wouldn't want to use.

Bob

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August 15, 2012
1:38 pm
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Bob I have over 50 Winchesters etc. and have tried EEZOX on all types and has not affected any of them. The biggest help with it is on lifting surface rust. I have used it on Damascus/Twist Steel etc. If someone is hesitant try it on a small area. I still use it today and it works great without harming bluing; wood stocks etc. 🙂 🙂 Frank

January 24, 2013
8:04 am
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This may have been mentioned but make sure your safe is on an interior wall. I had a small safe with a few hunting rifles while stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. (edge of the rain forest) Had it lag bolted to an exterior wall out on the enclosed sunporch. First time I opened it after installation was maybe 2 months... Everything had a fine coat of rust. All the rifles were blued and with a light coat of oil. Moved it into the bedroom closet on an interior wall and never had another problem. I did have to wipe them down every few months and reoil.

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