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steel-pounder
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hepburn rescue
Aug 30th, 2017 at 3:56pm
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Hi all,  I have a very badly miss treated Hepburn in my possession, serial number 3092. and chambered for 45.70. It was rusted almost to the point of being a solid piece of metal. Over the last several weeks I have managed to get everything freed up and functioning. And I believe most of the parts are still useable. The barrel is hopeless but could be relined and used to keep the original barrel or just rebarreled. anyway do to severe pitting I am thinking of doing a plumb brown finish to simulate the rusting and leaving the provenance of this piece instead of welding the worst pits and filing the action smooth again. Wondering what the thoughts of others are?
  
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Schutzenbob
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #1 - Aug 30th, 2017 at 4:36pm
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steel-pounder,

Luckily, Hepburn's have lots of metal to work with, I've never agreed with the notion of trying to make an old rifle look new again, I much prefer pits and dark spots to polished purple. I like my guns to have that comfortable "lived in look."  Wink
« Last Edit: Aug 30th, 2017 at 5:51pm by Schutzenbob »  
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #2 - Aug 30th, 2017 at 5:29pm
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It's your rifle, you should do what makes you happy.
I very much like your idea of a "sympathetic" restoration.
Shiny stuff worries me, but I like it too.

Aaron
  

WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and supporting factual or anecdotal evidence.
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westerner
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #3 - Aug 30th, 2017 at 5:40pm
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Hepburns are known uglies. Rust won't hurt the looks. Can we see it? We won't laugh or make smart remarks. We like ugly single shot rifles here.

Bob, what is your ugliest rifle? I mean really ugly. Maybe I should start a thread.




                   Joe.





  
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Schutzenbob
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #4 - Aug 30th, 2017 at 5:50pm
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Joe,

It isn't polite to hijack a thread, but since you asked for it, this is my 20 bore Cape Buffalo Rifle;
  
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steel-pounder
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #5 - Aug 30th, 2017 at 5:57pm
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Yeah that is what I was thinking. no wood on mine but was going to "distress" the timber to go along with the rest of it. Ill take some WIPpictures and post. didnt think to take any of the rusted hulk before I started the electrolisis.
  
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westerner
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #6 - Aug 30th, 2017 at 6:24pm
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I didn't really hijack it. Only half hijacked it. I put some nice polite stuff in those posts.  I got your twenty bore gun beat all to hell. Look at this one! Ed Brown slug gun in the all time ugly dishonorable lowly .39 caliber. Top that!

By the way, Bob, you're an Accessory.



           Joe.
« Last Edit: Aug 30th, 2017 at 6:29pm by westerner »  
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westerner
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #7 - Aug 30th, 2017 at 6:41pm
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steel-pounder wrote on Aug 30th, 2017 at 5:57pm:
Yeah that is what I was thinking. no wood on mine but was going to "distress" the timber to go along with the rest of it. Ill take some WIPpictures and post. didnt think to take any of the rusted hulk before I started the electrolisis.


Can't wait.



       Joe.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #8 - Aug 31st, 2017 at 12:25am
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steel-pounder wrote on Aug 30th, 2017 at 3:56pm:
anyway do to severe pitting I am thinking of doing a plumb brown finish to simulate the rusting and leaving the provenance of this piece instead of welding the worst pits and filing the action smooth again. Wondering what the thoughts of others are?


Never thought rust pits were considered provenance, or anything I'd want to keep. I'm not a fan of restored guns, but some guns are too far gone to leave as they are found. And more so if the wood is gone, and it needs replacement.
  

Vall
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40-82Hepburn
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #9 - Aug 31st, 2017 at 8:43am
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SP, this sounds like an interesting plan. Looking forward to seeing the "final" results.
  
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steel-pounder
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #10 - Aug 31st, 2017 at 10:27am
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marlinguy wrote on Aug 31st, 2017 at 12:25am:
steel-pounder wrote on Aug 30th, 2017 at 3:56pm:
anyway do to severe pitting I am thinking of doing a plumb brown finish to simulate the rusting and leaving the provenance of this piece instead of welding the worst pits and filing the action smooth again. Wondering what the thoughts of others are?


Never thought rust pits were considered provenance, or anything I'd want to keep. I'm not a fan of restored guns, but some guns are too far gone to leave as they are found. And more so if the wood is gone, and it needs replacement.


part of my thinking of this is to remove the biggest part of the rust pits I am afraid I will have to thin the receiver too much to get them all out.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #11 - Aug 31st, 2017 at 11:16am
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steel-pounder wrote on Aug 31st, 2017 at 10:27am:
part of my thinking of this is to remove the biggest part of the rust pits I am afraid I will have to thin the receiver too much to get them all out.


I have a young fella who's father is a certified welder, and taught his son to weld. He's in college locally and does all sorts of welding out of their garage for cash. I've had him weld up bad pits after I draw file the shallow ones out. Usually charges me $20-$30, but occasionally it's run up near $100 for a lot of welding.
After it's finished, I draw file again, and then polish it and send it off for CCH. He uses a mild steel filler, so the tig weld isn't a PITA to draw file, and CCH nicely.
  

Vall
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #12 - Aug 31st, 2017 at 10:20pm
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westerner wrote on Aug 30th, 2017 at 6:24pm:
I didn't really hijack it. Only half hijacked it. I put some nice polite stuff in those posts.  I got your twenty bore gun beat all to hell. Look at this one! Ed Brown slug gun in the all time ugly dishonorable lowly .39 caliber. Top that!


By the way, Bob, you're an Accessory.



           Joe.


Joe   how do you shoot that thing???? Upside down !!!
I didn't see any Side Sights ????  Thats a late 1800s trick gun LoL   over the shoulder shooter  Wink Grin Grin Grin Smiley

Ol Deuce
  

Do The Best With What You Got !!!
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westerner
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #13 - Sep 1st, 2017 at 1:55pm
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The regular way.  Looks bad but is shot like all rifles. While we're waiting check this one out. A Ed Brown FBW rifle. Note the stock work. Classic Ed Brown.


           Joe.
  
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #14 - Sep 1st, 2017 at 3:24pm
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Well, in years to come, restoration on that one will be a piece of cake. Just toss it behind the seat in your pickup and in a few months it'll be as good as new. Smiley
  
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steel-pounder
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #15 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 12:35am
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hey all forged out the upper and lower tangs today and got the lower tang tig welded to the trigger bow and rough filed to shape. here are some pictures of the action after cleanup but before welding and the welded tang.

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receiver and trigger bow rust mostly cleaned up. broken tangs.

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forged tangs

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side view of tangs. still oversize.

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lower tang welded to trigger bow. and shape refined.
  
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n.r.davis
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #16 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 8:50am
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nice work, but you know that already, gives me hope.  David
  
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steel-pounder
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #17 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 9:04am
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thank you sir.

  
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marlinguy
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #18 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 9:41am
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Did you mill the recess into the inside of the lower tang for the mainspring yet?
  

Vall
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steel-pounder
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #19 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 11:30am
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Yes, I just have to locate, drill and tap the holes now.
  
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #20 - Sep 6th, 2017 at 7:37pm
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What does "forged out the upper and lower tangs" mean? If they broke off I would make sure that action is steel and not malleable iron like a Hopkins and Allen I have and keep dreaming of making a steel receiver for.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #21 - Sep 6th, 2017 at 9:14pm
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tdmidget wrote on Sep 6th, 2017 at 7:37pm:
What does "forged out the upper and lower tangs" mean? If they broke off I would make sure that action is steel and not malleable iron like a Hopkins and Allen I have and keep dreaming of making a steel receiver for.


All Hepburns are forged steel, not cast iron. Forged steel doesn't mean you can't break it. It simply means it's tougher to break. I've seen numerous rifles with 2 piece stocks that had broken tangs from the owner falling and landing across the receiver, which broke the stock and tang(s).
  

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steel-pounder
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #22 - Sep 7th, 2017 at 10:00am
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tdmidget wrote on Sep 6th, 2017 at 7:37pm:
What does "forged out the upper and lower tangs" mean? If they broke off I would make sure that action is steel and not malleable iron like a Hopkins and Allen I have and keep dreaming of making a steel receiver for.


I have some iron bar from the same era as this receiver. so I forged some of it into the same siz/shape as the tangs. Then tig welded them onto the receiver and trigger bow and filed to the proper shape.
  
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #23 - Sep 7th, 2017 at 10:35am
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Sounds like a proper fix. The top tang is notably weak due to the large screw-hole for the stock mounting screw, which is also a good place for rust to form. Breaking the lower tang is tougher to do. One of my Hepburns had a very nice receiver, but the trigger guard was almost rusted away. Must have been some sort of galvanic corrosion going on over the years which resulted in same.
  

Glenn
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steel-pounder
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Re: hepburn rescue
Reply #24 - Sep 7th, 2017 at 11:53am
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SSShooter wrote on Sep 7th, 2017 at 10:35am:
Sounds like a proper fix. The top tang is notably weak due to the large screw-hole for the stock mounting screw, which is also a good place for rust to form. Breaking the lower tang is tougher to do. One of my Hepburns had a very nice receiver, but the trigger guard was almost rusted away. Must have been some sort of galvanic corrosion going on over the years which resulted in same.

thanks SSS, Not really sure what I doing on this since it is something I just decided to do. But I do have a lot of experience and knowledge of metals, welding and heat treating as well as shooting. so just using what I have and doing the best I can and relying on the good knowledgeable folks here to help me out.
  
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