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Receiver bluing flaking problem on Winchesters
May 21, 2019
7:01 pm
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T. Smith said

Hello all,

I would think just as highly of a total "100% correct" restoration as I would an original firearm in 80-85% condition. Doug Turnbull has no problem finding clients that agree with me. Has anyone ever seen a 1930 Rolls Royce, or a 1964 Ferrari GTO. All those vintage cars have been redone and no one complains about their 'non-original' status. Million dollar paintings have been restored. Years ago the Mona Lisa was being cleaned by museum experts. They cleaned off her eyebrows. For years they debated putting the eyebrows back. So far they haven't, but truly it's not the same painting without her eyebrows. 

Restoring a firearm should not draw criticism if the work was done correctly. I have seen case colors that were done better than the Winchester factory.  

Seems the restoration issue is not much of an issue, "across the pond."  Here in the states, it's an enormous issue among collectors.  I've often observed (e.g. in myself) that, "collector" and, "neurosis" are closely related terms. 

May 21, 2019
7:19 pm
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T. Smith said

I would think just as highly of a total "100% correct" restoration as I would an original firearm in 80-85% condition. Doug Turnbull has no problem finding clients that agree with me.  

Quite true, & it's a curious niche they occupy: folks who profess to like "old guns," antiques, that is, but only after all signs of their history have been erased, & they've been made to look brand new! (Or even, as you say, better than new!)  It's a mind-set I sure don't understand, but if such restorations help to preserve the metal-working skills needed to create them, I guess it's a good thing.  (Though I dread the thought of nice, clean, un-screwed with, 70 or 80% guns being subjected to such restorations!  That's a crime, I think.)

Maybe the radical difference in the standards applied to antique car collecting vs. gun collecting derives from the fact that old cars are often subject to even more abuse & neglect than old guns, & that whereas many gun collectors seldom if ever shoot their best guns, antique cars collectors want their vehicles restored to good drivable condition.

May 22, 2019
2:14 pm
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Folks,  Can't resist!  All I will add, though, is that the members of a couple of car clubs I belong to truly worship the unrestored examples of our Chrysler letter cars, if they are in passable condition.  Those unrestored models provide the references to how the paint looked back in the day, how decals were originally placed, what inspector marks were made and where placed, etc.  Now, if the unrestored, original car was driven much, no doubt some parts have been changed over time, such as exhaust, alternator or generator, light bulbs, etc.  Some of their components are not as durable as the steel and wood of an old Winchester.  Just sitting can be hard on them (think of tires as minimum).  There can be parallels, but then they are also significantly different in other aspects.  TimLaugh

May 22, 2019
2:54 pm
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Not that I own any, but old tractors are part of my growing up years and I like old tractors.  Case, Allis-Chalmers, Massey Ferguson, Farmall, Ford, John Deere... yes, love those old tractors.  I sometimes watch the various television shows and auctions that feature them.  In most cases, they have been completely restored and very brightly painted - I suppose to look like how they looked when they drove off the assembly line.  I've seen a lot of these tractors years ago - but never new.  Anyway, I can't say I care for the restored ones made to look new.  They look no different than brightly painted toy tractors on the toy store shelves.  They look very gaudy to me.  Show me one with some faded paint, a bit of patina and you've got my attention. 

May 22, 2019
5:11 pm
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As you can tell from my avitar I have a 64 Fairlane.  It is numbers matching and date code correct.  Just like my Winchesters if you need a part you find an original part that is period correct.  The Ford is harder since each part has a part number and a date code. 

 

There is a market for restored guns.  Everyone has different tastes.  I know what it costs to have a deluxe gun restored and it can be over $5,000 easily.  I just prefer to collect original stuff.  Collecting what you like is the number one rule of collecting.

May 22, 2019
5:41 pm
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Chuck said
As you can tell from my avitar I have a 64 Fairlane.  It is numbers matching and date code correct.  Just like my Winchesters if you need a part you find an original part that is period correct.  The Ford is harder since each part has a part number and a date code. 

 

There is a market for restored guns.  Everyone has different tastes.  I know what it costs to have a deluxe gun restored and it can be over $5,000 easily.  I just prefer to collect original stuff.  Collecting what you like is the number one rule of collecting.  

I like original as well - firearms, cars, tractors, etc.  I think sometimes where people can find a collision is where they collect what they find themselves attracted to, and then are dismayed when it come to disburse, and they discover others aren't as attracted as they are.  It often comes down to whether you are purchasing something for yourself or a future owner.  Let me give you an example:  Winchester M1895's.  I've always thought they were very cool.  It took me a while to learn that the love for Winchesters does not extend to the 95's as much as it does other models.  I've gone down the same road with .33's. 

Another point I will make is that we are often influenced by what other collector's like - often just through being sponges.  If you see enough collectors move along quickly when they discover that '86 on the table is a .33 (or a .40-65), it can make a person take notice.  I have a friend who has a beautiful deluxe '86 in .38/56 - very high condition and pristinely original.  Beautiful case colors.  Every time he shows it, he immediately apologizes for the chambering.  His shame is apparent.  Doesn't inspire the pursuit of an '86 in that chambering.  I think we all witness hundreds of mini-examples of these type experiences/observations over the years and our brain incorporates it into what we become interested in.

I have another friend (now deceased) who told me one of his greatest joys in collecting was going to gun shows and showing off his latest acquisition.  He really enjoyed having many other collectors drool and oh and ah over what he had.  The more he could get their eyes to pop out and experience their envy, the happier he was.  Those who observed this probably never saw him pull this off with a .33 or a .40-65  😉 

May 22, 2019
10:29 pm
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tim tomlinson said 
All I will add, though, is that the members of a couple of car clubs I belong to truly worship the unrestored examples of our Chrysler letter cars, if they are in passable condition. 

The guys on American Pickers are always talking about how much they enjoy finding vehicles in "passable condition"--faded paint without rust or major dents, upholstery that isn't tattered, etc.  They turn up a few MCs in that condition, but very few cars.  Jay Leno (who can afford ANYTHING!) has a number of unrestored vehicles in his huge collection, but they are rare survivors from the usual fate of old cars--which is being regarded as "junk" after the time they stop being driven, but before they're old enough to be regarded as "collectibles."

July 15, 2019
4:03 pm
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Flaking problems were largely extinct after the addition of the "W" marking found on many models. Reportedly due to a change in the alloy used for the receiver (note no flaking usually on the barrels) and/or a new bluing chemistry.

B

July 15, 2019
4:31 pm
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    Sorry about my recent absence. It started with an illness late last year and additionally a few unfortunate accidents between then and now. Plus I have moved from the west coast of Florida to the east coast - I hope I never have to move again!!! I'm on the upswing and should be out and about real soon. I lost a very decent first Model 1894 takedown and a few Colts to unexplained dampness during the move - rusty that is uncleanable.

Regards,

B

July 15, 2019
6:20 pm
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I have three Winchesters that come to mind right off hand that have flaking problems.  All three date to 1927.  Below are pictures of an 1890 and 1894 SRC.

 

James

 

https://i.imgur.com/NOhX3GR.jpgImage Enlarger

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

July 16, 2019
5:57 pm
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All very interesting here!  I've not 'knowledgeably owned' or particularly recall noting any Win lever rifles with this problem! Sounds quite prevalent.
I'm with a 94/95 Carbine latter twenties, receiver finish gone, barrel finish aged-OK; quite decent prior-era refinished Model 53 in 44/40. Perhaps these reflecting such problem. Also abused Model 95, latter twenties, no indication of refinish or such flaking problem. Perhaps I'm missing early indicators on 95. Will need to check next time out of safe. 
Also... 1937 vintage 94 Carbine apparent original finish-aged.  No sign such problem.  Notably Winchester "Proof Steel" barrel.  Could there have been a steel alloy change for such vintage receivers?

Inquiring mind...
John   

July 17, 2019
3:22 am
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steve004 said

T. Smith said

Hello all,
I would think just as highly of a total "100% correct" restoration as I would an original firearm in 80-85% condition. Doug Turnbull has no problem finding clients that agree with me. Has anyone ever seen a 1930 Rolls Royce, or a 1964 Ferrari GTO. All those vintage cars have been redone and no one complains about their 'non-original' status. Million dollar paintings have been restored. Years ago the Mona Lisa was being cleaned by museum experts. They cleaned off her eyebrows. For years they debated putting the eyebrows back. So far they haven't, but truly it's not the same painting without her eyebrows. 
Restoring a firearm should not draw criticism if the work was done correctly. I have seen case colors that were done better than the Winchester factory.  

Seems the restoration issue is not much of an issue, "across the pond."  Here in the states, it's an enormous issue among collectors.  I've often observed (e.g. in myself) that, "collector" and, "neurosis" are closely related terms.   

Ive commented on this issue many times. If a gun is done correctly its ok in my opinion as long as its not misrepresented. Ive been watching this smith on youtube by the name of mark novak I think his channel is called the anvil and makes steady jokes about "Patina". he makes several valid points about some patina is rust and the rusting process needs to be stopped. rust can be removed without removinng finsih being removed and this manuever would be called a preservation. if a firearm is at 40% or below it needs to be cleaned so it doesnt get any worst and the safety of shooting is maintained. if restoration is in your budget by all means go for it. Reading thru these comments I dont see a whole lot of people RESTORING 75-80%+ guns. that I can see being a problem. Ive read over and over about the English refinishing their firearms, supposedly that is why the wood was left Proud to the metal for that exact purchase. iIf the market for collectible winchesters grow the really good pieces will dwindle and at that point the demand for well refinished ones will grow. Its natural when one market rises the next available market grows with it. my 2 cents and its probably not worth that.

July 17, 2019
10:37 am
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Patrick said

If the market for collectible winchesters grow the really good pieces will dwindle and at that point the demand for well refinished ones will grow. Its natural when one market rises the next available market grows with it. my 2 cents and its probably not worth that.  

You are assuming that future generations will collect to the extent previous generations did.

The future ain't pretty.  Future generations have much less interest in firearms and collecting anything, for that matter.  They value "experiences" instead and, due to a heavy student loan burden, have limited funds, anyways.

Brown firearms are getting to be a dime a dozen.  The value will be in high condition specimens.  These guns with patina will languish and there will be no interest in anything refinished.

July 17, 2019
2:43 pm
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mrcvs said

The future ain't pretty.  Future generations have much less interest in firearms and collecting anything, for that matter.  They value "experiences" instead and, due to a heavy student loan burden, have limited funds, anyways.
 

Don't think "limited funds" is the main issue (& anyway, there are plenty of rich spoiled brats), it's simply lack of interest in the history & achievements of this country as a result of years spent in an educational system that deliberately devalues the achievements of America, & Western civilization in general, in order to elevate the status of the Turd World;  all those people, you know, who previously strived to be free of European colonial domination, but now, after running their own countries into destitution, are invading the same Western nations that had formerly colonized them.  Most college students have probably been taught more about ML King & the civil rights movement than Washington & Jefferson (those brutal slave owners!), & the rest of early American history.

This attitude is reflected in ways other than gun collecting, such as a corresponding decrease of general interest in other antiques.  Antiques Roadshow is now re-running programs from 10 or more yrs ago in which values then are contrasted with values today, & in most cases today's are appreciably lower; certain items like early American furniture have fallen to less than half of their previous value.  What's gone up?  Mainly stuff like Oriental art, Indian artifacts, African junk; anything, in other words, out of the American historical mainstream.

July 17, 2019
3:20 pm
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Clarence,

Spot on!

The liberal arts system in this country with regards to higher education, with emphasis on liberal, has led to this.

Sad, really.  17th and 18th Century American and European furniture and artifacts have plummeted in value.  Let's hope early American firearms don't do the same!

July 17, 2019
4:44 pm
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Totally agree Clarence & mrcvs.  When I was in college and grad school back in the late 80-90's, my degrees were in Anthropology & Archaeology.  I had to endure the mindsets of folks who thought Marx and Engles were the greatest gift to humanity.  And it wasnt just in the Liberal Arts community, it was rampant in many other of the universities departments--along with the many other wrong-headed ideas.  This was also about the time of the introduction of "multiculturalism" to the curriculum requirements--a great coup for them to generate more required hours and tax free tuition revenue.  Apparent nothing has changed since then other than the fuzzy-thinking and activism has become the norm and we see it played out day in and day out in the media.  Culturally, we've come to rely on deception of context, "wokeness", being "triggered" or offended, and 20 minute soundbites to form opinions over research and rational or independent thinking.

It is a shame that the younger generation doesnt take notice to the quality or workmanship that went into products in generations past, even for use today.  They have been programmed to think that everything they need can be of lesser quality and when your done with it they can be thrown away and something new bought. The same goes with other antiques and firearms.  Think the flip side of this problem is that we have more things we have to spend money on to sustain the status quo, not to mention the price of everything whether it be vehicles, housing, health insurance, or food, etc. 

Agree with you mvcrs regarding the higher condition firearms, they will (hopefully) continue to rise in value provided the collector base maintains or expands and and there is still interest.  I think the value of brown or lesser condition guns will continue to gradually rise and fluctuate.  There are lots of folks out there who have an interest but not necessarily the funds to purchase the higher end guns leaving a larger buyer base for the lesser ones.  Think about it when you go to the next gun show, what percentage of those folks in that room have the interest and funds to spend $5-10K+ on a high condition gun vs. those willing to lay down 1-2K for a quality but lesser condition gun.  The interest is there either way whether you have the means or not, its just the economy of condition that is different.   Either way, youve got to have and cater to both types of buyer to perpetuate the interest in the hobby. 

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July 17, 2019
6:42 pm
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1892takedown said
Think about it when you go to the next gun show, what percentage of those folks in that room have the interest and funds to spend $5-10K+ on a high condition gun vs. those willing to lay down 1-2K for a quality but lesser condition gun.

That's ME you're talking about!  If I had a spare $5-10K in my pocket, I wouldn't be driving a 22 yr old pickup!

July 17, 2019
7:01 pm
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Roger that Clarence, Im in the same boat, thats why I have such great insight - ha Wink.   My old Ford truck is an oldie too, a little shy of half a million miles. 

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July 17, 2019
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1892takedown said
Roger that Clarence, Im in the same boat, thats why I have such great insight - ha Wink.   My old Ford truck is an oldie too, a little shy of half a million miles.   

Big Red is getting a bit long in the tooth as well... I took delivery of it on December 28th, 2004, and the odometer is now currently reading 320,300 miles.  Damn good thing it has a Cummins power plant, which is good for at least 1,000,000 miles!

Bert

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July 18, 2019
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Bert H. said

Big Red is getting a bit long in the tooth as well... I took delivery of it on December 28th, 2004, and the odometer is now currently reading 320,300 miles.  Damn good thing it has a Cummins power plant, which is good for at least 1,000,000 miles!

Bert  

Bert-

Congrats on finally getting that Cummins engine broken in. Should run just fine from now on. 😉

 

Mike

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