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November 20, 2023 - 8:43 pm
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Hey guys I have a beautiful Winchester in 32 special from 1958 that is almost flawless except for one spot on the barrel that is sort of a smudged rust color. About an inch or so long. Thee bluing on the rest of the rifle is perfect. I have tried the normal bluing compounds to no avail. Is there any type of coloring stick like a sharpie marker that can be used to just cover the spot up. There is no pitting at all just as smooth as can be. I was just hoping with all the new technology today there should be something that could mask the spot better than what it is…..Tricks of the trade so to speak..

Thanks

Steve

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November 20, 2023 - 8:56 pm
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My recommendation would be to clean that area with a Kroil soaked copper wool pad and see what it looks like after you are done.

Bert

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November 20, 2023 - 9:47 pm
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Wonder if, despite the rust color, the mark could be made by something other than rust, because there’s no reason the touch-up blue you used wouldn’t have had some effect.  Did you de-grease the area with a solvent like acetone before using the touch-up? 

No new technology I know of, but your idea of the sharpie, IF you could find the right color match, seems worth trying.

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November 21, 2023 - 3:05 pm
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Sounds like some blood on the barrel that wasn’t cleaned up?

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November 21, 2023 - 3:19 pm
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Tedk said
Sounds like some blood on the barrel that wasn’t cleaned up?

  

Think that would probably leave pitting, or some roughness at least, not “smooth as can be.”

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November 21, 2023 - 8:12 pm
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Here is a pic of what I am talking about. It is on the feed tube

 

https://i.imgur.com/qCKVnYh.jpgImage Enlarger

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November 21, 2023 - 9:51 pm
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Looks to me like there might have been VERY light surface rust that was removed before pitting could develop. That doesn’t explain why your touch-up blue failed to have any effect…unless the metal was rubbed with one of those silicone-impregnated cloths.  If that happened, no solvent will remove the silicone. Think your best option is to have the mag tube reblued, because you’re never going to get a perfect match with cold blue anyway. 

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November 21, 2023 - 10:39 pm
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Doesn’t look smooth to me, significant pitting there

Agree on the refinish/reblue

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December 27, 2023 - 10:07 pm
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For cold bluing, I use “Van’s”… clean the area with alcohol, wipe dry with clean cotton cloth, repeat until the wipe doesn’t have grime come off the area, then heat with hair dryer…. using a Q-tip, apply Van’s to area… let set for a minute and then wipe off… repeat as necessary.  I’ve had great results with this product and it doesn’t have a residual smell like Birtchwood-Casey… I’ve also used Brownell’s 444, it works fine, I prefer the depth of color Van’s produces better.

YMMV… all steel is different… good luck.

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December 28, 2023 - 12:54 am
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Ben Tolson said
For cold bluing, I use “Van’s”… clean the area with alcohol, wipe dry with clean cotton cloth, repeat until the wipe doesn’t have grime come off the area, then heat with hair dryer…. using a Q-tip, apply Van’s to area… let set for a minute and then wipe off… repeat as necessary.  I’ve had great results with this product and it doesn’t have a residual smell like Birtchwood-Casey… I’ve also used Brownell’s 444, it works fine, I prefer the depth of color Van’s produces better. 

Ben,  Have you used Brownell’s Oxpho-blue, & if so, what did you think of it?  Heating is important, small parts I set on a hot plate at the lowest setting, then drop in a small container of the bluing solution.

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December 28, 2023 - 1:53 am
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 I have found if I want the cold blue to be permanent you have to use heat to set it and water to stop it. So much for “cold” blue. T/R

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December 28, 2023 - 2:50 pm
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clarence said

Ben Tolson said

For cold bluing, I use “Van’s”… clean the area with alcohol, wipe dry with clean cotton cloth, repeat until the wipe doesn’t have grime come off the area, then heat with hair dryer…. using a Q-tip, apply Van’s to area… let set for a minute and then wipe off… repeat as necessary.  I’ve had great results with this product and it doesn’t have a residual smell like Birtchwood-Casey… I’ve also used Brownell’s 444, it works fine, I prefer the depth of color Van’s produces better. 

Ben,  Have you used Brownell’s Oxpho-blue, & if so, what did you think of it?  Heating is important, small parts I set on a hot plate at the lowest setting, then drop in a small container of the bluing solution.

  

I may be wrong (too common lately) but I recall Oxpho-blue is the new name for Brownells 444 blue….  cold blue is a “crapshoot”… but sometimes you have to weigh all the aspects… you will still have pits in that magazine tube with a full re-finish & it still won’t look original.  It might be easier to find an original replacement…

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December 29, 2023 - 4:13 am
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Brownell’s was selling Oxypho in the mid Eighties and I’m pretty sure sold 444 in the same catalog. My experience with Oxypho was that it actually worked better on oily metal, something confirmed by the tech guys at the company. It will not replicate a bright blue, though, and is better for coloring screws and their rehabbed slots, etc. 

I’d take the suggestion to gingerly going over the spot with Kroil soaked wool. Gingerly means don’t make spot bigger with the wool. If you get bare steel and it’s still a small spot, you can try to degrease it, apply a little heat with nothing fiercer than a hair dryer, then rub some blue of your choice on. If it turns dark enough to be less distracting than before, quit. If you want better than that, the other suggestion to have a competent gunsmith pull the magazine tube and hot salt reblue it, is the option. Don’t let him talk you into reblueing the whole gun. The mag tube doesn’t have a lot of information he can buff out. He should be able to use the barrel as an exemplar for the level and direction of polishing. 

- Bill 

 

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December 29, 2023 - 4:30 am
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Zebulon said
Brownell’s was selling Oxypho in the mid Eighties and I’m pretty sure sold 444 in the same catalog. My experience with Oxypho was that it actually worked better on oily metal, something confirmed by the tech guys at the company. It will not replicate a bright blue, though, and is better for coloring screws and their rehabbed slots, etc. 

I’d take the suggestion to gingerly going over the spot with Kroil soaked wool. Gingerly means don’t make spot bigger with the wool. If you get bare steel and it’s still a small spot, you can try to degrease it, apply a little heat with nothing fiercer than a hair dryer, then rub some blue of your choice on. If it turns dark enough to be less distracting than before, quit. If you want better than that, the other suggestion to have a competent gunsmith pull the magazine tube and hot salt reblue it, is the option. Don’t let him talk you into reblueing the whole gun. The mag tube doesn’t have a lot of information he can buff out. He should be able to use the barrel as an exemplar for the level and direction of polishing. 

  

Yup, I agree with Zebulon.  If your are talking about 44/40 and Oxpho bluing solution they are 2 different formulas and are both still offered by Brownell’s.  The Oxpho (liquid and creme) IS more suited to oily surfaces.  I have 5 different “cold” blues on my shelf and it depends on what the job is as to which one works best and, sometimes it is a combo.  Re-rust bluing is one of my first options See Mark’s excellent Cinnabar video), then cold bluing, and as a final resort then a full refinish with the original method.

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December 29, 2023 - 2:40 pm
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JWA said

Yup, I agree with Zebulon.  If your are talking about 44/40 and Oxpho bluing solution they are 2 different formulas and are both still offered by Brownell’s.  The Oxpho (liquid and creme) IS more suited to oily surfaces.  I have 5 different “cold” blues on my shelf and it depends on what the job is as to which one works best and, sometimes it is a combo.  Re-rust bluing is one of my first options See Mark’s excellent Cinnabar video), then cold bluing, and as a final resort then a full refinish with the original method.

I’ve always used Oxpho because it seemed to be the formula Brownell’s touted most fervently.  Used it once to blue a 20″ scope tube by pouring enough Oxpho to immerse it into a wide plastic bag–my “bluing tank.”  Came out pretty well, though certainly no factory job.  That tube would have been an ideal subject for practicing rust-bluing, but that I considered far too esoteric for such an amateur as myself.

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