We offer a range of gun bluing and gun restoration services to help you achieve the results you’re after. Not sure what you need, or what it costs? We can explain what services are right for you and tell you more about our fees. Get in touch below.
Gun refinishing – From disassembly to assembly, each gun is evaluated for safety, disassembled and divided into an appropriate container for each type of restoration service to be completed. Wood is removed, and the restoration process is initiated immediately as often this will be the most time consuming part of the restoration. All parts are cleaned and media blasted to remove and stop all rust progression. Parts that need to be replaced are ordered or made in house. Proper fitting of parts is evaluated before the next stage of restoration. Normally, external parts with pitting require sanding or machining before they are finished by hand to the desired sheen. A normal finish is 400 grit, then top polished to enhance sheen after it is blued. What we call a high finish would be the equivalent to a 1200 grit, or above. As seen below in an example of our work, the Winchester 1890’s pits were removed with a surface grinder; then the receiver sanded to a 400 grit. The barrel was refinished by hand to a 320 grit using a technique to keep edges perfectly crisp. On many guns the edges of the octagon will be rounded over, which is a sign of an improper restoration. After parts are prepared, each part goes to the bluing tank, or the kiln, for case coloring. After assembly, the gun is checked for proper function and returned to the owner.
Gun bluing – Our custom Dulite, dual-temp bluing setup is the Cadillac of bluing for any project. Each gun is thoroughly cleaned in a heated cleaner that removes all oil and contamination before a hot water rinse. Next, the parts go into the first bluing tank, heated, and boiled at 280F. After they are suitably blue, the parts are moved to the next tank, heated, and boiled at 305F. This process properly blues hardened steel and old, nickel-steel parts such as pre-1930 Winchester barrels. Then, parts move on to a warm water rinse and quickly into a Dulite oil tank where the metal pores are sealed with an expensive oil and wax mix that helps to protect the firearm for years to come. Dulite salts have been used by gun manufactures for 80 years and are considered the best in the industry.
Stock making and refinishing – Refinishing or adding custom wood is a great way to customize or enhance your gun’s appearance. Most woods used 100 years ago were plain walnut, with little to no figure. Sanding and refinishing by hand with oil brings out the natural beauty that wood has to offer. Sanding and shaping begins with 220 grit paper then progresses to a sealer coat of a special oil/poly mixture specifically designed for use on gun stocks. After a few days the process of wet-sanding by hand begins with oil. Proper technique and time between coats means that when you get to 1500 grit the wood is as smooth and beautiful as can be attained and is ready for the final touch. A week later, its time to start the 2-4 coat hand rub process that creates the perfect custom sheen, creating a custom, finished stock that everyone will know was not a factory job. The same applies with highly figured walnut or maple where the outcome can be stunning. The depth of the appearance after finished never ceases to amaze me. Checkering is done after the wet sanding but before the rub out process. We have a Terrco wood duplicator which allows for custom wood duplication on many different vintage models; including Winchester 1894, 1873, or 1890’s, Marlin 92 or 94’s, Remington model 12’s, and several vintage Stevens Favorites or Crackshots. We can also use your old stock as a master to duplicate a new stock if we do not currently have a version of your gun. The gentleman we purchase our blanks from has over 10,000 affordable amazing wood to choose from, which is often hand selected by myself while I visit his facility a few times a year. We always have many beautiful pieces available in our shop in Colorado.
Bore replacement – Often guns that are more than 50 years old, that were not properly cleaned after use, have extensive pitting in the barrel. If the gun is intended to be a shooter, then it is always wise to replace the bore with a replacement barrel liner. This process is not complicated, and if done correctly, it can be very difficult to see after. The barrel is drilled out completely for the barrel liner. The liner is permanently epoxied into the barrel, then the end is turned in a lathe with a special tool to reduce the seam at the end of the barrel where the liner was inserted into the barrel. The chamber end is reamed and fitted to properly hold the cartridge. After bluing, it is often hard to even see the liner has been installed.
Case color hardening – Case-coloring is a great way to create a one-of-a-kind gun. The process of refinishing, polishing, and baking in a special charcoal mixture for a few hours, followed by a quench in cold water, creates a uniquely special gun. No two are alike. This requires an open mind to enjoy the variations of colors and patterns a gun will obtain. Some old metals do have issues with case coloring and we will advise accordingly. This is a lost art that is done differently by all, but our method creates very little metal distortion while giving great, consistent color variations. Often people consider this option when re-engraving is required due to the deep level of pitting. A case colored gun hides imperfections that bluing will not, therefore is a viable option to save money in many circumstances.
Whether you want to restore an old gun or enhance a great gun with custom wood, we have the machines and knowledge to help you create that special, one of kind, gun.
Strategy starts with pictures, evaluating the firearm, creating a plan for restoration level, then carrying out the plan with the flexibility to change, when needed. Come back soon as we are producing short videos that will explain and show the process of a gun restoration.
Focus is given to each detail, at every step. A quick restoration with improper tools and techniques is evident in many restorations seen today. Keeping straight lines and creating a beautiful finish is our goal on every gun that leaves our shop. This is why we limit our projects to a manageable level; so quality is never compromised.