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Bubba and my 1873 - DOM 1886
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January 27, 2022 - 6:37 pm
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About 10 years ago I picked up this Winchester 1873 44-40 with the idea that I could somehow rectify what some bubba had done to it. It was apparent at the time of purchase that someone took a Q-tip and dipped it into a cold bluing solution and just about outlined all of the edges with it as well as other areas of the rifle. At the time of purchase the outlined areas had a goldish dark mustard color. I tried to correct it by cleaning it with acetone and other chemicals but nothing removed the offending gold outline. Frustrated, I decided to put it away and hopefully come up with a fix some time later. Well here it is 10 years later and I remembered this rifle. I don’t know what brought it to mind but I decided to dig it out from the back of the safe so I could take pictures and perhaps someone here on the forum would possibly tell me how to fix it if at all possible. 

Well, much to my surprise after 10 years of this 1873  sitting in the safe, the gold has turned a brownish color. Although the work bubba did is still visible it has become better with age. The bore is in great shape as well.

I have attached a few pictures. Sorry that they are not that great. Let me know what you think. Angel

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January 27, 2022 - 7:07 pm
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Angel,

Your photos are real dark where you can’t see any detail, just a black gun. Take the photos outside in the shade with natural light. I took one and edited it to lighten it up so I could see.

Bob

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

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January 27, 2022 - 7:55 pm
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1873MAN, thank you for reminding me…it’s been a long time since I have taken any pictures. These will definitely give you a better look. Angel 

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January 27, 2022 - 7:57 pm
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 Angel,

 When someone goes after a gun with cold blue the results are not predictable, sometimes the solution keeps working and colors change and sometimes it rubs off. But always the finished product has no depth. When you shine a bright LED light on real blue or patina you see depth and red grains in it from the original finish. On cold blue it looks dull with no depth, shine, or red. The result can be an improvement when viewed from 3 feet away, but when you look close with a light it’s easy to spot.

 The deed was done before you bought it and if it looks good to you don’t mess with it. The black art of smooze is best left to Bubba.  T/R

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January 27, 2022 - 8:11 pm
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TR, Thank you. Yup, it would of been so much more if they just simply left it alone. Oh well, perhaps in another 10 years it will darken even more and grow a nice patina….Here’s HopingLaugh

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January 27, 2022 - 9:16 pm
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Sixguns said
TR, Thank you. Yup, it would of been so much more if they just simply left it alone. Oh well, perhaps in another 10 years it will darken even more and grow a nice patina….Here’s HopingLaugh  

 I think most of us have guns just like it, I like mine, it’s hanging in my sun room.. T/R

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January 27, 2022 - 9:49 pm
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Angel,

 

Mother’s mag polish (Walmart) will easily remove cold blue, but keep in mind it will also remove any patina. Rub lightly with a soft cloth. If what we are seeing in the pics is a bad blue job it won’t come off. I’ve de-bubba’d many a Winchester in the last 40 years.

 

Steve

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January 27, 2022 - 9:56 pm
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Hey Steve, Thank you for the information! Much appreciated, AngelWink 

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January 28, 2022 - 12:07 am
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Angel,

It looks like it had some original blue on the barrel. The gun looks good.  Too bad someone had to experiment with enhancing the finish.

Bob

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January 28, 2022 - 5:53 pm
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I wouldn’t mess with it.  It probably would only make things worse.

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