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Double D
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Need opinions on rebluing or not
Aug 14th, 2017 at 6:31pm
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Back in the good old days (when rifles were cheaper) I bought a Rem.Hep. B Match.  The wood and DST action were nice but the barrel was rust freckled and the bore was only fair.  Fortunately, when I put on a heavy 40-50 S.St. to shoot in ASSRA Buffalo Matches, I kept the original barrel. I am relining the barrel back to 38-55. Now the opinion area: do I polish and rust blue the barrel or do I leave the outside alone.       Thanks,   Dave
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #1 - Aug 14th, 2017 at 7:17pm
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Double D wrote on Aug 14th, 2017 at 6:31pm:
Back in the good old days (when rifles were cheaper) I bought a Rem.Hep. B Match.  The wood and DST action were nice but the barrel was rust freckled and the bore was only fair.  Fortunately, when I put on a heavy 40-50 S.St. to shoot in ASSRA Buffalo Matches, I kept the original barrel. I am relining the barrel back to 38-55. Now the opinion area: do I polish and rust blue the barrel or do I leave the outside alone.       Thanks,   Dave


Dave  How does the whole gun look?????   does the wood kinda blend in with the overall look of the Gun????

OL Deuce
  

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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #2 - Aug 14th, 2017 at 8:01pm
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Ol_Deuce wrote on Aug 14th, 2017 at 7:17pm:
Dave  How does the whole gun look?????   does the wood kinda blend in with the overall look of the Gun????

OL Deuce


Exactly; if the receiver & wood are nice enough that there wouldn't be a glaring contrast between them and the brl, I'd do it, but then also use steel wool on the reblued brl to minimize its "newness."
  
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J Louis
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #3 - Aug 14th, 2017 at 8:21pm
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If you were to go that route I personaly think rust bluing would be the wiser choice as well.

JLouis

  
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Double D
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #4 - Aug 14th, 2017 at 8:46pm
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The wood, prong buttplate, and action look better than the barrel and I will definitely rust blue if I blue it. The steel wool afterwards is a good idea.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #5 - Aug 15th, 2017 at 10:39am
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You couldn't do anything but rust blue on a relined barrel anyway. Any hot blue process would release the liner and ruin it.
But I agree that bluing it would be my choice once it's relined. It might as well look good after it gets a good bore!
  

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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #6 - Aug 15th, 2017 at 1:21pm
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Do whatcha wanna do.  It's already a shooter, not a collector's item.  Rust bluing on a relined barrel to match the wood finish better will add value to a shooter.
  
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Double D
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #7 - Aug 15th, 2017 at 2:47pm
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Vall- I was thinking about drilling for the liner , rust bluing, and then putting in the liner, but you are right, if I install the liner before I blue then I can crown and chamber while it is still in the white and then repolish if necessary.                                                     Bent Ramrod- Thanks for the nudge in the right direction.  I appreciate the ideas and opinions.  I guess that is why we have forums.      Dave.
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #8 - Aug 15th, 2017 at 3:07pm
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What does a fair bore mean? If it were me, I'd think long and hard before taking steel wool to an antique rifle finish. If the rest of the rifle is untouched, I'd try a decent cleaning bore and see how the original shoots. If it shoots okay, then I'd save it and line something else or get a different barrel to shoot. Sorry about drifting in a different direction.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #9 - Aug 15th, 2017 at 10:29pm
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Craig, I think that's excellent advice, if the bore is shootable. I sold a Rolling Block to a friend and told him it would need relining, as the bore looked bad. Before I sent it to him I decided to give it my best shot at deep cleaning it, and attempted to remove any lead in the bore. The result was a pretty nice bore after removing shards of lead with a tight "leadaway" patch.
When he got the gun he sent me a message, and asked why I thought it needed a reline? He never relined it.
  

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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #10 - Aug 15th, 2017 at 10:45pm
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I had a 45-70 Numrich barrel looked like a railroad bed inside but shot very well.
  

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Double D
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #11 - Aug 16th, 2017 at 9:52am
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Vall- I believe it is too rough but I'll give it a try.  Let you know. Dave
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #12 - Aug 16th, 2017 at 3:08pm
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I'm perfectly fine with what ever choices someone makes for their own stuff. I keep thinking back to your original description, a Match B with nice wood, dst action and freckling on the barrel. If the bore is a disaster, then oh well. But, for me, if the bore cleaned up some and it shot mediocre fourish inch groups at a hundred yards, I'd save it. It may be better. Maybe, the 40 barrel could be lined instead. Hopefully, the original forearm is still available and the only extra step or expense would be to machine the barrel down to the original contour.

Only thoughts DD, no argument here. I'm no collector purist, just coming from the point of view that my eye doesn't see improvement if a barrel has changes and the rest of the rifle is a decent hundred years old. Here's hoping it works out just right for how you want it to.
  
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boats
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #13 - Aug 16th, 2017 at 4:17pm
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It's all opinion and everybody is entitled to their own. I avoid most re-blues. So does the general market if you want to re-sell.

In a weak moment I bought a FN 16 G Hammer Shotgun about 1911 vintage that had been "Restored" with a bright blue re-blue.  Then bought a proper American Hammer 16 to replace it.  That dog sat for sale for a long time before a hunter that likes FN Auto Shotguns bought it from me for 75 % of what I paid. Real nice gun too, except for the re-blue job.

Give you another example, I have a S&W M 1905 Target in very good condition on sale at a on line consignment dealer. It was factory re-blued, Serial number has the * beside it which most S&W collectors consider factory reblue markings. He has it listed for half the price of the same gun also listed on his web site, not in Target configuration, fixed sights,  and my re-blue still has not sold. Should say I bought it 50 % of non re-blue value and it's listed for a bit more than I have in the gun.

Offends your eye ? wear dark glasses when you shoot, don't spend money to loose money re-bluing

Boats

  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #14 - Aug 17th, 2017 at 8:40am
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I'd ruble, but with a nice rust blue. Don't take it to some local guy and let them hot dip it. Take your time and find someone who can do a job that belongs on the gun.

40 Rod
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #15 - Aug 17th, 2017 at 9:30am
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boats wrote on Aug 16th, 2017 at 4:17pm:
It's all opinion and everybody is entitled to their own. I avoid most re-blues. So does the general market if you want to re-sell.

In a weak moment I bought a FN 16 G Hammer Shotgun about 1911 vintage that had been "Restored" with a bright blue re-blue.  Then bought a proper American Hammer 16 to replace it.  That dog sat for sale for a long time before a hunter that likes FN Auto Shotguns bought it from me for 75 % of what I paid. Real nice gun too, except for the re-blue job.

Give you another example, I have a S&W M 1905 Target in very good condition on sale at a on line consignment dealer. It was factory re-blued, Serial number has the * beside it which most S&W collectors consider factory reblue markings. He has it listed for half the price of the same gun also listed on his web site, not in Target configuration, fixed sights,  and my re-blue still has not sold. Should say I bought it 50 % of non re-blue value and it's listed for a bit more than I have in the gun.

Offends your eye ? wear dark glasses when you shoot, don't spend money to loose money re-bluing

Boats



Interesting info Boats, as I'd never heard of * meaning a factory reblued on S&W revolvers. I discussed this very subject with Roy Jinks many years ago, and he told me that S&W marked a small rectangle on the grip frame under the grip. For blued guns it was RFB in the rectangle, and for nickeled guns it was RFN. It additionally had a two letter date code for the year beside the rectangle. My New Model #3 had RFN 78 under the left grip frame.
« Last Edit: Aug 18th, 2017 at 10:09am by marlinguy »  

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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #16 - Aug 17th, 2017 at 1:40pm
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boats wrote on Aug 16th, 2017 at 4:17pm:
Give you another example, I have a S&W M 1905 Target in very good condition on sale at a on line consignment dealer. It was factory re-blued, Serial number has the * beside it which most S&W collectors consider factory reblue markings. He has it listed for half the price of the same gun also listed on his web site, not in Target configuration, fixed sights,  and my re-blue still has not sold. Should say I bought it 50 % of non re-blue value and it's listed for a bit more than I have in the gun.


If any further proof of the irrationality of collector prices was needed, this would be it:  how much more "original" can a refinish be than that done by S&W on one of their own products?  Such work ought to add to the history of the piece (someone taking the trouble to return it to S&W), rather than detract from the value. 
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #17 - Aug 17th, 2017 at 4:30pm
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Redsetter wrote on Aug 17th, 2017 at 1:40pm:


If any further proof of the irrationality of collector prices was needed, this would be it:  how much more "original" can a refinish be than that done by S&W on one of their own products?  Such work ought to add to the history of the piece (someone taking the trouble to return it to S&W), rather than detract from the value. 
[/quote]

It certainly didn't hurt my New Model #3 when I sold it! But I had a factory letter from Jinks describing the gun, it's history, and the documented factory refinish.
I think if Boats got a letter from S&W it would likely increase his gun's value. Without a letter, there's no way to know for sure it's factory refinished.
« Last Edit: Aug 18th, 2017 at 10:09am by marlinguy »  

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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #18 - Aug 17th, 2017 at 9:30pm
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I learned my lesson over 50 years ago.  Jay Y.
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #19 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 8:56am
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I have a Hepburn, converted to .22 and built as position/prone target rifle, I expect in the 30s or 40s. The bore looked very rough, showing lots of use. I fire-lapped it thinking what do I have to lose? I was quite surprised at how well it shot after the lapping. If this gun was mine I'd try deep cleaning/lapping before re-lining.
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #20 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 9:38am
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I like to use a very light glass beading and a hot blue. The surfaces are not changed and no metal is removed. Small imperfections and rust pits are cleaned out and are not noticeable after bluing. I need flat surfaces!
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #21 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 9:40am
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This is not a S&W site, but since we are talking re-blue and value will detail my S&W experience a bit more. As example for ASSRA members.

Opinions on originality vary among experts, and no standard on who is an expert.  These days all you need is a computer to be a “expert” When I bought that gun it was advertised as a factory re-blue. I referred to Supica and Nahas’s Standard Catalogue of Smith and Wesson, book I use often. They said “some” opinion is * indication of factory re-blue others including Jinks don’t think so.   I see the same different opinions on Parker Shotgun markings, diverse opinions on what they mean.

No matter, when I bought the gun it has sat unsold priced too high for some time, Collectors did not want to  pay original prices for re-blued. It’s a very nice re-blue and to my eye S&W work, and I have owned two dozen vintage Smiths looked at hundreds more. I did not pay factory original price when buying. Bought it substantially cheaper than all original S&W M 1905 Target gun.

Am not a “expert” just liked the gun and don’t give a hoot about originality.  Have it listed and priced as I think it is, Factory Reblued and just a bit higher than I paid 10 years ago. The market who is the ultimate value setter will probably agree with me on its value.

Advice remains the same, Any re-blue means money spent  and value lost that won’t be returned on re-sale

Boats
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #22 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 10:27am
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I am leaning toward just cleaning up the exterior of the barrel as well as possible. Thanks Boats et al. I do plan to line the barrel as the bore is still rough even after using lead cleaner and a lead removal cloth. I do plan to shoot this rifle and I believe it was Warren Page who said " Only accurate rifles are interesting".  I'd like to thank all the contributors for their opinions and information.  Thanks,     Dave
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #23 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 10:42am
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To be honest, I have 4 Marlins that I shoot in Lever Silhouette class.

One 39a is as I  bought it when I was 12 years old. Many different sight and scope mounts over the years, drilled and filled

Other 39A was the roughest one I had ever seen, I rebuilt it my self including polishing out rust and pitts having the blue done. Refinishing the stock adding target sights. Even weighted the Magazine tube reducing capacity adding weight forward. It's full race while meeting NRA rules.

M 1894 38/40 had a terrible bore, Re-lined now and a great shooter. Looks all Factory except the MVA tang sight in factory tang holes

M 1994 .25/20 in nice shape except for the stock which has been butchered and I will replace.  MVA in factory tang holes.

Fact is I have altered all 4 and will not get out of them what I have in them due to the alterations. No matter then are used for matches and you can't win one with a unaltered Lever Action.  I would never buy a collector gun for heavy use match shooting.

Boats

  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #24 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 4:43pm
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"Only accurate rifles are interesting" by Col Townsend Whelen, I believe.
  
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Double D
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #25 - Aug 19th, 2017 at 1:29am
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40/82... I believe you're right.    Dave
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #26 - Aug 22nd, 2017 at 10:20am
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My rule with antique guns is never refinish.  It's  not just that the "value" diminishes.  It's that the factory and finishers that made it are long gone, dead for generations.  Too many guns over the decades were reblued sometimes very poorly, in the layman's belief that shiney and new showed wealth, but worn showed you were poor. 

When BPCR came out many rifles were rebarreled, re-case hardened, and newly stocked.  The range at Raton looked right out of 1880 with factory new rifles. But all their real history was lost.

On rough bores, one of my most accurate rifles is a 1898 Krag, with a rough bore.  Another is a Colt Bisley with huge pits in the bore.  That one I shot in Cowboy Action. 

Don't look in the bore and decide if you should reline it.  SHOOT the gun, after some serious cleaning, and try different loads.  Rebluing and relining should never be the first option.  To me....
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #27 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 2:13am
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AZshot wrote on Aug 22nd, 2017 at 10:20am:
My rule with antique guns is never refinish.   Rebluing and relining should never be the first option.  To me....


I can't agree with a statement like "never". There are guns with history that should never be refinished, regardless of condition. But there are others with no special history that can be refinished if they reach the point where there's little value as they are.
Case in point. Many years ago I came across a Ballard #4 Perfection that was a first year gun. It also had a rare 34" half octagon barrel, and was unusual enough to save it. But the stocks were junk, and the barrel had a '03 Springfield .30 caliber barrel turned down and stuffed into it as a liner. Then they chambered it for .30-30, and used an electric engraver to write, ".30-30 Black Powder" across the top flat.
I bought it for $250, and began a restoration. I kept it all as it would have been done when it left Marlin, and it's a gorgeous gun. Much better than the abused old Ballard I found originally, and a perfect example of one that deserved to be restored.
  

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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #28 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 9:30am
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marlinguy wrote on Aug 24th, 2017 at 2:13am:
...the barrel had a '03 Springfield .30 caliber barrel turned down and stuffed into it as a liner.


How was the Spfd. brl stretched to 34"?  It was right to restore it, though doing so deprived the Museum of Cob-jobbing of a prize exhibit.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #29 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 11:24am
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Redsetter wrote on Aug 24th, 2017 at 9:30am:
marlinguy wrote on Aug 24th, 2017 at 2:13am:
...the barrel had a '03 Springfield .30 caliber barrel turned down and stuffed into it as a liner.


How was the Spfd. brl stretched to 34"?  It was right to restore it, though doing so deprived the Museum of Cob-jobbing of a prize exhibit.


That was a big issue too! The Springfield barrel was 22", so stopped way short of the muzzle on the .45-70 bore! The gun had Harlow's work all over it!
  

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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #30 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 11:53am
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marlinguy wrote on Aug 24th, 2017 at 11:24am:

That was a big issue too! The Springfield barrel was 22", so stopped way short of the muzzle on the .45-70 bore! The gun had Harlow's work all over it!


Miracle is that a hack-saw blade wasn't applied at the 22" mark! 
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #31 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 11:58am
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I like to keep them original. but I have to fix this on my Hepburn.
Harlow strikes again.

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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #32 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 4:27pm
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Redsetter wrote on Aug 24th, 2017 at 11:53am:
marlinguy wrote on Aug 24th, 2017 at 11:24am:

That was a big issue too! The Springfield barrel was 22", so stopped way short of the muzzle on the .45-70 bore! The gun had Harlow's work all over it!


Miracle is that a hack-saw blade wasn't applied at the 22" mark! 


Had a few of those too! I understand that idea better, as so many old single shots were very heavy, and hunters lightened them the easiest way, by bobbing the barrel!





  

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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #33 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 8:56pm
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No
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #34 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:14am
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I appreciate all of your opinions on rebluing and relining my Hepburn. I have decided to reline it but not reblue it. I'll clean up the bluing as much as possible and shoot it. Thanks for all your input.  Dave.
  
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Re: Need opinions on rebluing or not
Reply #35 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:25am
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You might consider a new barrel with the same contour.  Cost about the same as a reline.  Put a thin blue on it to match the age of the action.  No need to change the wood and the Hepburn can be shot and returned to as good as old.
  
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