Gun finish removal?

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3rdTennCo.C

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I've got an old gun that someone at some point has put a browned finish on for rust prevention, its pretty beat up and uneven now, how do I go about removing this finish to redo it? Is it similar to removing bluing like using birchwood cases blu and rust remover?
 

3rdTennCo.C

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Would that help dissolve the browning on it? I know that browning is a thicker and harder finish right?
 
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Booner

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Would that help dissolve the browning on it? I know that browning is a thicker and harder finish right?
It should.
From my understanding of bluing or browning, (and this isn't technical), it's really nothing more than a colorized rust treatment put on the gun is a systematic manor, and it gives a small amount of protection against rust. It takes several applications and removing, or carding, of browning or bluing to get it on evenly. The last act of bluing may be the application of a base to stop the acid etching of the metal, a wash with water, then an oil coat. Sometimes heat is added, to turn the brown to blue. But all of this is from my memory so that is suspect!

Bluing isn't a "hard coat' finish. If it were, then your gun would not rust, or scratch. I think of bluing as a process that fills in the pores of the metal that gives them some minor protection against rust. More than likely, your old gun was browned to keep the bare metal from flashing in the sun and scaring game, or to reduce glare on the barrel when sighting. Prevent rusting? No, or at best, very little. The old timers knew that after they used their gun, they needed to wipe it down with something greasy or oily to protect one of their major investments. Just as they knew that after they worked their horse, they needed to cool it down before it was put away.

Vinegar will remove the coloring back down to the metal, with perhaps some minor etching of the metal.

BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, how about showing us a picture? Anything you do may reduce it's value.......
 
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Frederick14Va

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An image of your project would greatly assist. When you say "Browned Finish" meaning like bluing?.. or has someone coated it with shellac / linseed oil type of mixture to prevent rust. The latter was a common habit used on farm tools as well as wall hangers so they didnt turn into a rust bucket. Restoration - removal methods thereof would be much different
 
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johan_steele

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I would suggest taking a small bit of Hoppes 9 on a qtip and applying it somewhere it won’t be seen. If it cuts right through it it’s a shellac that is all you’ll need. If you aren’t intending to shoot it leaving it be with just a few coats of Kramer’s Best is a viable option.
 
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3rdTennCo.C

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If it is a shellac then the hoppes 9 bore solvent is all it would take to remove it?
 

Booner

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I am looking to shoot it with some light target loads
Oh no, I don't like the direction that this is going.
What do you consider a "light load" is for a 100+ year old shot gun? When this gun was new, it was probably "proofed" with a double charge in each barrel to prove, at the least, that it could handle a double charge without blowing up. Do you honestly think that this shotgun could stand a double charge, even a "light load" today? Because at some point, you could screw up and drop a double "light load" down one of those barrels. It happens. What does the bore look like? I don't mean to your eye, I mean have you had a gunsmith bore scope it and said it's good to go? Have your removed the breach plugs to check out the chamber? I'd want that done if I was going to shoot it. Corrosion, not visible to the naked eye, has had over 100 years to work on those barrels.

I see at least 3 modern screws on it, indicating a few "bubba" repairs, a crack behind the right lock panel that's going into the wrist, and the tang does not look tight up against the stock, as well as the locks plates also look loose in their mortices. In it's present condition, I don't want to be around if you decide to shoot it. I have a lot of respect for the power of black powder, even with a "light load."

However, it does look like it may be in good enough condition that a competent gunsmith may be able to bring it into shooting condition.
 
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3rdTennCo.C

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Id consider a light load at about 30 grains of FFg. Perhaps I will take it to another gunsmith, but my local guy said that it should be fine with light loads (Half loads and he put it) for target shooting. The bored to the naked eye looked only as though they had surface corrosion, no major pitting.
 

Booner

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Id consider a light load at about 30 grains of FFg. Perhaps I will take it to another gunsmith, but my local guy said that it should be fine with light loads (Half loads and he put it) for target shooting. The bored to the naked eye looked only as though they had surface corrosion, no major pitting.
Well, thank you. I hope I didn't offend you. I realize you didn't ask for opinions on the gun's shootability, but I only pointed out it's possible problems for concern for your safety, and what I would think about and do if I wanted to shoot it.

I do wish you good luck with it, what every you do.
 
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