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Model 1873 corrosion/rust on receiver
March 30, 2020
5:47 pm
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1892takedown said

And as TR suggested, might be best to just oil and put away.  For that old gun with that kind of condition that little bit of rust doesnt detract, but a bad cleaning certainly will.        

Agree!

That's exactly what I would do.  On a rare occasion, I "might" use oil with 0000 copper wool...and even then, be careful.

James

March 31, 2020
6:29 pm
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I was very leary of using aluminum wool with an oil to lightly wipe rust areas.  I took a small piece home from the local shop and tried it.  Worked a lot better than I realized and did not mark the bluing.   The local shop swears by Marvel's Mystery Oil and aluminum wool.  I used Breakfree CLP.

March 31, 2020
6:55 pm
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If one hits the bluing with any kind of steel, copper, brass or aluminum wool the swirling will be visible.

March 31, 2020
7:55 pm
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Tedk said
If one hits the bluing with any kind of steel, copper, brass or aluminum wool the swirling will be visible.  

That is what I had thought until I did it. 

April 1, 2020
6:24 pm
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I will just add my comments on tools to remove active red rust and scale rust. I collect 16th century and 17th century Japanese Matchlocks ( Tanegashima). The Japanese will use deer antler cut to a chisel shape and scrape with oil. It removes the rust and leaves the metal and patina alone. They will even shape them into pick size to get into pits. 

For long term storage and display, they mix 50/50 mineral spirits and boiled linseed oil and wipe on the metal and leave for a day, wipe off, and it’s good for years. 

Anyway, for city folk that have never seen deer antler for sale, your pet store chain sell them in 6-9” pieces for dog chews. No need to go bag your own deer just for antler.  

April 1, 2020
9:04 pm
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Highly interesting notes, Justin.

Thanks,

James

April 2, 2020
7:35 pm
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JustinG said
I will just add my comments on tools to remove active red rust and scale rust. I collect 16th century and 17th century Japanese Matchlocks ( Tanegashima). The Japanese will use deer antler cut to a chisel shape and scrape with oil. It removes the rust and leaves the metal and patina alone. They will even shape them into pick size to get into pits. 

For long term storage and display, they mix 50/50 mineral spirits and boiled linseed oil and wipe on the metal and leave for a day, wipe off, and it’s good for years. 

Anyway, for city folk that have never seen deer antler for sale, your pet store chain sell them in 6-9” pieces for dog chews. No need to go bag your own deer just for antler.    

I was taught to use chiseled oak or a toothpick and plenty of oil. If the craters have eaten through the blue they can be removed but will leave the blemish.  No more rough spot or active corrosion.  Be patient and let the gun soak for days.  Pick off what is loose and repeat as many times as you have to.  The oil and aluminum wool will work for surface rust.  Test it out on something else first.  You might be surprised.

April 2, 2020
10:18 pm
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Chuck

Sawada-san, one of the top Japanese experts on matchlocks said that Ivory piano keys were the best scrapers, but that fell out of fashion from a politically correct standpoint. He said he uses oak and magnolia wood also. Seems the old school tricks are still the best. Seems if one has patience to scrape and go slow, it produces the best results.  

April 3, 2020
3:45 am
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JustinG said
The Japanese will use deer antler cut to a chisel shape and scrape with oil.   

Why wouldn't bone do as well? 

April 3, 2020
1:20 pm
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It may, but form a Japanese stance, this requires a historical prospective of Japanese culture. For starters, anyone that worked with the dead and flesh was considered an outcast and lived outside of villages, and armor makers were a special class, and so they would use parts shed and not taken. This is an oversimplification, but the basic idea. Two, bone is hollow and splinters easy. Antler is solid and unlikely to splinter and fracture. So this is the second reason. Not saying it won’t work, but antler and ivory were the tools of choice. 

Same reason BP rifles usually used hard wood for ram rods, nothing more painful than a ram rod splintering and stabbing your hand. 

April 3, 2020
2:53 pm
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  15 years ago I sold a 1873 deluxe rifle to a East Coast dealer, the gun had vivid case colors, dark blue, sharp checkering, and the original varnish. The gun was all original, unmessed with, and showed it's age. The varnish was dark, muting some of the beauty of the figure, the blue and case had tiny freckling of corrosion. A few months later I saw it on the dealers table, I was impressed, and after close examination determined what was done. He had removed the raised portion of the freckling and applied a light coat of hand rubbed clear lacquer on the metal. The wood, except for checkering was rubbed with something to smooth it out and removed some of darken varnish, then applied a very thin coat of hand rubbed Lacquer. From 4 feet away the gun was flawless, but after having it in my hands for 5 minutes I could tell. By adding the lacquer this was more than a cleaning. The gun sold that show for double the money. After that I've seen that look many times on high grade guns, the problem with that look, a gun not showing it's age, it's harder for the average collector to tell if the gun is original or restored.

 The collectors of antiques in general have been paying premiums for original untouched, your gun is original once. You can always clean it sometime later and if you clean do not remove the oil shadows, turn unturned screws, or remove parts that Winchester was the last to assemble. That dealer doubled his money but in my mind the gun is no longer unmessed with. T/R

April 3, 2020
4:51 pm
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I would rather have a rifle that looks its age...preferably one in high condition, but a lesser condition will certainly do provided it strikes my fancy.  From what TR has mentioned, I guess those in the know could take the few that I have in high condition and make a considerable profit, but all I want to do is maintain them as they are to the best of my ability.

James

April 3, 2020
5:32 pm
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TR said
  15 years ago I sold a 1873 deluxe rifle to a East Coast dealer, the gun had vivid case colors, dark blue, sharp checkering, and the original varnish. The gun was all original, unmessed with, and showed it's age. The varnish was dark, muting some of the beauty of the figure, the blue and case had tiny freckling of corrosion. A few months later I saw it on the dealers table, I was impressed, and after close examination determined what was done. He had removed the raised portion of the freckling and applied a light coat of hand rubbed clear lacquer on the metal. The wood, except for checkering was rubbed with something to smooth it out and removed some of darken varnish, then applied a very thin coat of hand rubbed Lacquer. From 4 feet away the gun was flawless, but after having it in my hands for 5 minutes I could tell. By adding the lacquer this was more than a cleaning. The gun sold that show for double the money. After that I've seen that look many times on high grade guns, the problem with that look, a gun not showing it's age, it's harder for the average collector to tell if the gun is original or restored.

 The collectors of antiques in general have been paying premiums for original untouched, your gun is original once. You can always clean it sometime later and if you clean do not remove the oil shadows, turn unturned screws, or remove parts that Winchester was the last to assemble. That dealer doubled his money but in my mind the gun is no longer unmessed with. T/R  

TR, I have a shotgun that still has the original varnish on the receiver.  Some areas of the varnish have been rubbed off so the case hardening has faded.  The areas that still have the varnish are vivid as new.

April 3, 2020
5:39 pm
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 James, This was a eye opening experience for me at the time. In the Colt single action world advanced Colt collectors have been on board as long as I can remember. That said the average Winchester has already been cleaned, screws turned, maybe boogered, and parts changed, or badly rusted, then you have nothing to lose. The beginning collector that gets into high condition guns needs to understand original is only original once. This is not a classic car. T/R

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