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Conservator recommendation
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November 23, 2021 - 3:43 am
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Greetings from Dallas.

My wife and I have 2 historically significant Winchester rifles.

One, a Model 1886 45-90, has an excellent patina with a few small patches of rust near the barrel base. Serial number indicates the rifle was made in 1895.

I hope to find a qualified conservator to help halt the rust, and also provide advice on a system of preservation over time.

We will never shoot the gun. It’s a family heirloom.

I figured this group of collectors may have good advice on qualified conservators.

Thanks in advance for your help

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November 23, 2021 - 4:45 am
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Adam Starr said
Greetings from Dallas.

My wife and I have 2 historically significant Winchester rifles.

One, a Model 1886 45-90, has an excellent patina with a few small patches of rust near the barrel base. Serial number indicates the rifle was made in 1895.

I hope to find a qualified conservator to help halt the rust, and also provide advice on a system of preservation over time.

We will never shoot the gun. It’s a family heirloom.

I figured this group of collectors may have good advice on qualified conservators.

Thanks in advance for your help  

Whatever damage the rust has done can’t be undone, but the many modern corrosion inhibiting gun oils (dozens of brands: https://ayoungblog.com/blog/top-12-gun-oils-to-prevent-rust/) will stop it from worsening, with some minimal surface treatment, such as scraping the rusted spots with a sharp plastic scraper to remove (if possible) surface scale.  The exact nature of the problem, & the best remedy, is impossible to assess without good photos.

What makes your ’86 “historically significant”? 

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November 23, 2021 - 4:46 am
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If you can upload pictures we can help you figure out what to do.

Bob

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

Email: [email protected]

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November 23, 2021 - 5:21 am
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Thanks for the replies. I can’t seem to upload photos to the site but I sent some via email to Bob.

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November 23, 2021 - 5:53 am
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Here are the pictures

The gun is not a high finish gun so hiring someone to remove the rust is not necessary. 

Putting a rust stopping oil on it would stop it from progressing or it could be removed with a little work.

Bob

IMG_2820-1.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_2828.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_2832.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_2887.jpegImage Enlarger

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

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November 23, 2021 - 8:02 am
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Thanks Bob, i will give that a try

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November 23, 2021 - 1:40 pm
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 Adam,

 Unless there’s a good reason, do not take a screwdriver to your screws! Your gun has a natural patina look that should not be removed by a “cleaning”. Using an oil base product like G-96 on the metal parts only will stop the rust and remove dirt, do not get it on the wood. Wood will soak up the oil and other rust products and darken. Less is more in the case of your gun. I like the look of your gun , you can stop the rust, and then apply wax to preserve. T/R 

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November 23, 2021 - 2:12 pm
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I’d just wipe it down.

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November 23, 2021 - 3:00 pm
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Tedk said
I’d just wipe it down.  

I agree.  Scraping the worst area of pitting with a brass tool might make the surface a little smoother, but the pits would still be just as obvious.  Unfortunate as it is that the gun was neglected in the past, guns in this condition are the only kind that can now be shot or hunted without excessive anxiety, which is what I’d do with it, if it were mine.

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November 23, 2021 - 7:13 pm
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What makes your ’86 “historically significant”?   

My wife’s maiden name is Hatfield. She’s Devil Anse Hatfield’s great great granddaughter.

Her Father recently passed. He used to tell us he had a few of Devil Anse’s rifles. While cleaning his home we found this rifle and another in an attic crawl space. We also found Dr Elliott Hatfield’s medical school diplomas. Elliott was one of Devil Anse’s sons.

For advice on the guns I contacted a friend, who put me in touch with Mr Vinny Martin. Mr Martin at recommended I join this site.

I’m glad I did. Lots of great information here.

I realize provenance is tough to prove – but it’s good enough for our family. We will never sell the guns, but I hope to preserve them for our kids & their kids.

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November 23, 2021 - 7:46 pm
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 Adam,

 I love guns with history and am glad you posted your gun for us to see. It’s important not to mess with this gun, original is only original once.

 I suggest you start a written record of all information to preserve the history forever.T/R

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November 23, 2021 - 8:33 pm
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TR, already underway!

thanks!

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November 29, 2021 - 10:57 pm
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 “There is but one answer to be made to the dynamite bomb and that can best be made by the Winchester rifle.”

Teddy Roosevelt 

4029-1.jpg

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December 4, 2021 - 4:11 pm
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Vince, that’s him. I think that photo was staged to promote a production about the feud. But I’m no expert

I think this may be a Model 1886 rifle, and it could be the one we have. But who knows. The Hatfields owned a LOT of Winchester rifles. They were also partial to S&W pistols, we discovered…

Hatfield-260-3.jpgImage Enlarger

 

This photo was taken after the feud, I believe.

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December 4, 2021 - 6:25 pm
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Adam Starr said
 I think that photo was staged to promote a production about the feud. But I’m no expert

Every other photo of him shows him wearing a typical man’s suit coat of the period, so this must be a promoter’s stunt of some kind.  This outfit looks like it came out of a wild-west stage production.

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December 4, 2021 - 6:53 pm
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clarence said

Adam Starr said
 I think that photo was staged to promote a production about the feud. But I’m no expert

Every other photo of him shows him wearing a typical man’s suit coat of the period, so this must be a promoter’s stunt of some kind.  This outfit looks like it came out of a wild-west stage production.  

It is hard to tell from that photo. It could be a Marlin.

Maverick

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November 10, 2023 - 8:42 pm
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Update. The Model 1886 we didn’t touch, save for cleaning off dust, and used an old penny on a few small patches of rust.

Then we coated it with a fine wax used for conservation of guns.

The model 1894 had such extensive bright red active rust, I was worried it would get worse over time. So we had that rifle restored.

I’ll try to post pictures. The gunsmith did a beautiful job.

 

Thanks to the members of this forum for their advice and suggestions. You folks helped a lot.

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November 11, 2023 - 10:15 pm
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Really sad to hear that you restored a Winchester.  I can’t see where you had posted pictures of the 94? 

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November 23, 2023 - 3:12 am
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Chuck said
Really sad to hear that you restored a Winchester.  I can’t see where you had posted pictures of the 94? 

  

Hi Chuck

the 94 had lots of active red rust. It seemed the safest path to take.

I’m still unable to figure out how to post pictures to this site but will do so if I can learn how.

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November 23, 2023 - 7:11 pm
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I’m not the one to ask about posting pictures but some use photo bucket.  Post there then send us the info so we can open it.

Family guns with provenance are the best.  I have a couple but no family worth giving them too.

It is too late but sometimes the red rust is the easiest to remove and stop.  A lot of oil and 0000 steel wool with light rubbing can do the job.  Craters can be picked off but any pits are the worst.  Once the finish is damaged there is nothing you can do but live with it.

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