Need Advice Please - Proper Caring for Antique Weapons, Particuarly the Wood.

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Disneypors

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I have several questions on caing for my 1800s weapons. Let me start by saying I live in Florida which is very high humidity, but I do not live by the ocean so salt is not a concern. So, on the wood which is my greatest concern and the part I have the least knowledge on i assumed something to dehumidify the safe or closet the weapon is in would be good, but one person told me he was conerned that could cause the wood to crack or split and I should be careful with dehumidifying. Im hoping several people here are true experts and can tell me exactly. I love my 1860 Specner Carbine and dont want to harm it. I also would like to know if there is anything I should put on the wood, some kind of wood oil or something else. I have never treated wood on a firearm.

on the metal parts, when putting them away is a basic wipe down with gun oil fine? should I be using something specific that is better for antinques? Is Hoppes fine? I usually leave internal components, especially ones that rub against each other well oiled (esspecially on guns I shoot), and I am unsure as to how I should treat the outside metal such as the barrel and frames. Is something like Break Free Collector Gun Wipes a good storage oil for 100+ year old weapons?

again, any advice is welcomed and appreciated! I am pretty new to the world of antiques and although I only have one civil war rifle currently I also have a late 1800s winchester as well as a late 1800s S&W revolver. Thank you.
 
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Disneypors

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Here is a great paper from the NRA and also a site that will answer a lot of your questions.
https://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/caring-for-your-historic-firearm/
Thank you once again ucvrelics, I appreciate how much help you have been giving me. That article was very informative and I plan to read it again soon to get more out of it. Of course that was focused on weapons that do not get fired and although the jury is still out on my spencer, it may not but my later 1800s do get fired. Anyway, I appreciate all the help and the first part about the humidy changes was VERY interesting and VERY scary living in Florida where we get huge swings in the humidity. Im going to look into items to help keep a small area more stable. thank you
 
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ucvrelics

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Thank you once again ucvrelics, I appreciate how much help you have been giving me. That article was very informative and I plan to read it again soon to get more out of it. Of course that was focused on weapons that do not get fired and although the jury is still out on my spencer, it may not but my later 1800s do get fired. Anyway, I appreciate all the help and the first part about the humidy changes was VERY interesting and VERY scary living in Florida where we get huge swings in the humidity. Im going to look into items to help keep a small area more stable. thank you
Don't make me drive all the way to Florida:D Do NOT fire that Spencer:furious:
 

DixieRifles

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Thank you once again ucvrelics, I appreciate how much help you have been giving me. That article was very informative and I plan to read it again soon to get more out of it. Of course that was focused on weapons that do not get fired and although the jury is still out on my spencer, it may not but my later 1800s do get fired. Anyway, I appreciate all the help and the first part about the humidy changes was VERY interesting and VERY scary living in Florida where we get huge swings in the humidity.
I've lived in the Mississippi Delta and the edge of the desert in Texas so I know the problems. My brother's Mauser rifle would grow mold on the leather strap.

I'm still experimenting with Ballistol, which is a freak of nature--- a water soluable oil. It claims to be excellent for cleaning black powder residue as BP dissolves in water. After you finish swabbing the bore, the water evaporates and leaves an oil coating----a long with a Licorice odor.
Link: https://ballistol.com/uses/firearm-cleaning-lubricant/
Be sure to read the section under "Gun Stocks".

Last month I bought some more Ballistol including a can in liquid form that you mix with water in a spray bottle. I have been using aerosol cans but this concentrated liquid form will be cheaper.
They also sell small wipes. One collector said he could use one wipe to wipe down his display of 15- 20 rifles.

BTW, WD-40 seems to leave a nice shine to my finished wood stocks, without leaving an oily film. And WD-40 smells better than Ballistol.
 
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johan_steele

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I’m no fan of ballistol for antique arms as I had a friend who used it and swore by it until he didn’t. I swear to god WD40 attracts dirt.

Don’t get me wrong I use ballistol for maintenance but not for preservation or restoration. Kramer’s, Natchez, Renaissance wax all work well. I use Kramer’s as it’s a one stop product which can be applied to wood or metal. It also does a good job restoring or maintaining wood. After 5-6 coats I rub down the item every six months or so.
 
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redbob

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I’m no fan of ballistol for antique arms as I had a friend who used it and swore by it until he didn’t. I swear to god WD40 attracts dirt.

Don’t get me wrong I use ballistol for maintenance but not for preservation or restoration. Kramer’s, Natchez, Renaissance wax all work well. I use Kramer’s as it’s a one stop product which can be applied to wood or metal. It also does a good job restoring or maintaining wood. After 5-6 coats I rub down the item every six months or so.
One of the main ingredients of WD-40 is fish oil and I've had it leave a gummy residue, but's it's great for a lot of other things.
 

Disneypors

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After 5-6 coats I rub down the item every six months or so.
I should emphasize that although I still haven't decided on my spencer (as people like uvcrelics are urging me not to fire it), I do fire my weapons. I am not entirely sure on how that may change things for their care and storage.

I also want to agree with you about WD-40. I had someone recommend to me to use that in the action instead of gun oil in my Winchester, but I know WD40 will attract dirt. Ive seen locks that have it get clogged with dirt and ****, I can't imagine using it in the action of a firearm.
 

johan_steele

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WD40 instead of gun oil... shudder. That’s a mess I’ve been paid to clean up before.

As a note I own no weapons I’m unwilling to shoot. With one exception I’ve shot everything I own and that one is simply because I’ve not had a chance. I use Kramer’s on all except my modern firearms. In those I favor ballistol or Frog Lube.

At the range I use alcohol for a quick clean and water when I return home. Then a coat of Kramer’s when clean and dry.
 
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Listen to the voices of experience. If you purchased the firearm as a shooter, then have at it. If you purchased as an investment or it is a collectable, then remind yourself where in God's Green Acre will you find a part if destroyed or damaged. The answer is most likely you will not. Most large production arms, you will probably make out OK. If a matching number part, it ain't happening. IMHO
 

Disneypors

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Listen to the voices of experience. If you purchased the firearm as a shooter, then have at it. If you purchased as an investment or it is a collectable, then remind yourself where in God's Green Acre will you find a part if destroyed or damaged. The answer is most likely you will not. Most large production arms, you will probably make out OK. If a matching number part, it ain't happening. IMHO
John, thank you for the reply. I buy everything with the intention of shooting it as long as the condition seems safe. It is nice if something goes up in value but I only sell items I find I dont like (usually). I have always believed guns are made to be shot but in the case of my spencer since it turns out that it was able to be ID'd, a number of people are urging me to not touch it and I am considerring that. But I dont believe items such as these should be soley investments. Protectnig history is one thing but the value is another thing entirely. The value should only be realized by my heirs after I pass and since its found money for them, if its worth $10 they still got a gift lol
 
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Drew

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Look, I cleaned up a bicycle chain with WD-40 last week. Then I coated it with chain wax to protect it.

A freaking bicycle chain.

Do not put that stuff on an antique firearm, please.

If you must shoot the Spencer, put it in front of a qualified gunsmith before you do so. You could hurt yourself and blow up the value of the rifle in the process if it's not up to snuff.

Congrats on the piece and remember, expert advice is worth paying for. You're not paying anyone here.
 
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Disneypors

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Do not put that stuff on an antique firearm, please
OMG I would never put wd40 on one of my firearms (antique or otherwise), i only mentioned someone suggested wd40. I am asking for advice on the care of the weapons here and sorting through the advice I get. as for paying for advice, if Ifind someone I would trust enough in my local area I wouldnt mind that.
 
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