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October 6, 2021 - 10:26 am
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For personal information do you know what kind of blue Winchester used in the late 1800s early 1900s for the 1873 models. 
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October 6, 2021 - 1:41 pm
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[email protected] said

For personal information do you know what kind of blue Winchester used in the late 1800s early 1900s for the 1873 models. 

  

You need to be more specific… are you asking about the barrel bluing, or the receiver frame bluing?

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October 6, 2021 - 1:52 pm
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  The blued finish was applied to the polished metal by a rusting process that employed a solution of mercury chloride and other chemicals, (rust blue). On a original gun you can see fine grains of red, if examined with a bright light. As the blue ages it can turns color to plum or brown. As the alloy of the metal and polish changed so did the appearance of the finish. Turn of the century 73’s had a bright blue blue. T/R 

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October 6, 2021 - 2:07 pm
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TR said
  The blued finish was applied to the polished metal by a rusting process that employed a solution of mercury chloride and other chemicals, (rust blue). On a original gun you can see fine grains of red, if examined with a bright light. As the blue ages it can turns color to plum or brown. As the alloy of the metal and polish changed so did the appearance of the finish. Turn of the century 73’s had a bright blue blue. T/R   

The receiver frames were not “rust” blued. That process was used on the barrels & magazine tubes.  

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October 6, 2021 - 2:13 pm
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I believe receivers were carbonia (charcoal) blued until the superior “machine” bluing process was developed late in ’73 production.

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October 6, 2021 - 2:14 pm
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clarence said
I believe receivers were carbonia (charcoal) blued until the superior “machine” bluing process was developed late in ’73 production.  

I agree… and I believe that small parts (loading gates & screws) were Nitre blued.

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October 6, 2021 - 3:13 pm
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 Sorry, my information came from Arthur Pirkle’s book “Winchester Lever Action Repeating Firearms” Volume 1 page 193. Maybe to general or maybe outdated. T/R

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October 6, 2021 - 6:51 pm
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TR said
 Sorry, my information came from Arthur Pirkle’s book “Winchester Lever Action Repeating Firearms” Volume 1 page 193. Maybe to general or maybe outdated. T/R  

Both outdated and too general.

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October 9, 2021 - 1:54 pm
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i am presently in the process of restoring my winchester 1873. i paid a very good price for it but it was in a mess. it was missing several pieces the forend was broken and the metal was badly rusted and pitted. I am in the process of restoring it to the most original condition possible. to blue the metal what is a current method which could resemble as much as possible a original blue. keep in mind that this rifle will remain a shooter and I will restore it for me.

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October 9, 2021 - 2:12 pm
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The issue you have is your going to have is your going to spend a lot of money to have it blued to the right color unless you are going to try it yourself. Not many people can do it or have a working formula. If you take it to the typical gunsmith it will be blued to the modern black blue and be buffed on a buffing wheel. The guys that can make it look right do most of the metal prep by hand which adds labor cost.

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October 9, 2021 - 2:25 pm
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[email protected] said  I am in the process of restoring it to the most original condition possible. to blue the metal what is a current method which could resemble as much as possible a original blue.

Not something you can do yourself, & expect good results, without a LOT of experience.  Unfortunate you paid a “good price” for a gun in that condition, but now you’ll have to pay more to a qualified gunsmith if you expect a good job.  If the metal is “badly rusted and pitted,” it would have to be sanded & polished before it could be re-blued–no job for an amateur, unless you consider yourself especially skilled at working with your hands.  You can probably find a You Tube video to show the proper way of doing it.  I think you’d be better off to remove as much of the rust as you can with steel wool & oil, & try to be satisfied with that.  You could apply “cold blue” to darken the metal, but the results would not be very satisfactory.

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October 9, 2021 - 9:18 pm
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  Keep in mind, new blue with rust pits, rounded corners, and under sized will not look original. You can go the brown/smooze route, antique it. Some people like the old, been there done that look. It’s very expensive to make metal flat again, that’s why the restoration people use donor guns. T/R

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October 10, 2021 - 9:32 am
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08AE8AFD-A286-42DC-B2ED-6272DF75A227.jpegImage EnlargerC8D0D583-1D75-4D4C-878E-82FA7FB62FBF.jpegImage EnlargerE8B0DCE1-C5C3-4714-9001-27ED5969D998.jpegImage EnlargerA2954BA6-E76F-44F3-834F-C51527231204.jpegImage Enlarger72EA02E5-F7AA-4077-8D2E-BF45E7D3BBC2.jpegImage Enlarger8953CDCC-00D2-4CD1-92D6-8CA41FF6BCDC.jpegImage Enlarger9E1C4369-4E76-46DF-92B6-DEA81858D476.jpegImage Enlargerto start I sent the parts in a basin of evapo-rust. then I took each piece and sanded them to remove the rough effect. I used 800 grain wet sandpaper. I don’t want to remove all the scracht it’ the story of this gun but I would have to polish and then blue.

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October 10, 2021 - 1:35 pm
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Well, I admire you’re restraint in starting with 800 paper–I’d have started with 400.  Given the terrible condition of the surface, I think it might look better if browned, rather than blued.  It’s easy to find out:  apply one of the commercial browning solutions, & if you don’t like the results, wipe it off with your Evaporust.

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October 10, 2021 - 2:51 pm
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  The value of of your gun is the fun your having doing the work. Any money spent on the gun from this point forward will most likely not add resale value, but all  hobbies cost money. Enjoy the time spent. T/R

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October 10, 2021 - 2:57 pm
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I see someone already has tried to clean up the gun before you got it. They used a file on the receiver. The gun will look better with a browning rather than a blue finish.

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October 11, 2021 - 9:50 am
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thank you all. i just ordered plum brown birchwood casey. I can't wait to try it. I am also impatiently awaiting several parts missing from the rifle. i live in canada and the antique gun parts are all on the american side. with the covid the delivery is very slow. but its actually prolonging the fun
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