Breechldrs Tinned Burnside

Feb 5, 2021
I recently bought a burnside that I'm told has a tinned finish. The rifle belonged to Thomas Daly jr. 1st leiutenant Co. F 132nd regiment N.Y. and would have seen service in North Carolina. There is a distinct pewter color that is worn off on the right side and under the barrel band it is shiny silver. I am told this was a special finish for costal climates. What do you all think? I will post pictures as soon as I learn how to transfer from phone to computer.


Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
May 7, 2016
Looking forward to seeing the photos as I have never seen a tinned Burnside.

Jeff in Ohio

Oct 17, 2015
It can be difficult to tell old tinned finish from old nickel finish. Old nickel gets duller looking and less bright. But nickel was originally bright. Tinning was never bright. The fact that this is shiny bright where it was covered and protected by the barrel band suggest to me that this is old nickel.
In the 1880s or so, nickel plating was not expensive, and many local hardware stores could provide nickel plating. This produced toxic waste, and today, the opposite is true - rebluing is cheaper and more available than nickel plating.
I think old nickel is attractive, since it usually has dulled to a pewter color (as you describe your Burnside) and it is an old, historic finish.