Old Gun Restoration

Where Fellowship and Camaraderie lives: that place where the CPS membership values fun and good fellowship as the cement of the community
Post Reply
User avatar
Kerdy
Smootchie
Smootchie
Posts: 17106
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: North Carolina

Old Gun Restoration

Post by Kerdy » Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:25 pm

Does anyone have experience restoring old guns?

When my dad passed he left his guns to me and my brother. My brother only picked three to keep so I have the rest. The problem is, they are old. Some are from the 50's. Over the last couple of decades my dad did not take good care of them and they have seen better days. Rather than spend more money than they are worth having a professional restore them I am hoping to do it myself. This way I can set two rifles aside for my nephew and grandson when they come of age. One of the single barrel break action shotguns is stuck and I am not sure if its loaded, so that one will go to a gunsmith before I mess with it.

I have watched some videos and gone to some boards to see what people say, but a lot of it is arguing about who is right on the boards and the videos are okay, but they are either really good with equipment I don't have or they look like something one of my uncles would have done.

If I do get to do this, I will post photos and maybe a video for you guys to see how it turns out. Thanks!
"Let it be understood that those who are not found living as He taught are not Christian- even though they profess with the lips the teaching of Christ." - Justin Martyr  ( c.160 )

“Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.” - Venerable Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

User avatar
FredS
Patron Saint of Pipe Smoking
Patron Saint of Pipe Smoking
Posts: 25036
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: NOCO (Northern Colorado)

Re: Old Gun Restoration

Post by FredS » Thu Jun 03, 2021 5:53 pm

Bloodhound is yer man here.

The only thing I'd say is to decide what you want to do before doing anything. Do you want to sand down to bare metal and wood and start new finishes? Or do you want to fix little things like loose sights and stripped out swivels and then oil 'em down just to get them in working order? I'd work on them one at a time so I don't lose interest halfway through and find myself with 10 baskets of disassembled guns. And stay of the forums unless you need specific parts or advice. Those guys love to spend other peoples money and you'll get so far down restoration rabbit holes you'll never find your way back out.
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

User avatar
Jocose
a very large Chinese lizard man named Wu
a very large Chinese lizard man named Wu
Posts: 25743
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Moonbase Alpha
Contact:

Re: Old Gun Restoration

Post by Jocose » Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:02 pm

Gonnae get some pics up mate.
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS

"This thread makes me sad." ~ SlowToke

"The yutz is silly Jocose. I have him foed yet still have to view his stupid and annoying thread titles." ~ Goose55

User avatar
Hovannes
Minister of Unanswered Threads
Minister of Unanswered Threads
Posts: 29356
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: In the fertile San Joaquin Valley

Re: Old Gun Restoration

Post by Hovannes » Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:24 pm

I've restored a few----a 1917 Enfield and 03 Springfield.
It was fun :D ---I wish I still had them :headwall: .
Important to decide how far you want to go into the restoration. You can easily destroy the value of some rare historic guns so do your research first.
Four issues you'll likely need to address are probably surface rust, bore condition, wood finish and broken parts.

Replacement parts are where you find them. There are several dealers in obsolete gun parts accessible on line.
Plenty of modern products can really do a good job cleaning up bores(unless corrosive ammo was used) and if your wood stock has an oil finish, sometimes all it takes is a touchup. A synthetic finish might require complete stripping and refinishing though.
Surface rust is a big issue. Kroil or EeZox (sp?) and extra fine steel wool will get the rust off at the expense of any original finish left.
Go slow, good luck and have fun and don't scrimp on getting new screw drivers with the correct size blades!
perpendicularly parked in a parallel universe

User avatar
Bloodhound
Loves Nickel Bands
Loves Nickel Bands
Posts: 11370
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:00 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains / Colorado
Contact:

Re: Old Gun Restoration

Post by Bloodhound » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:52 am

Yup...what FredS and HOV said.

I have restored some for fun and profit and do some clean up and "Shade Tree" gunsmithing.

There is a lot of difference between "Restoration" & "Refinishing" & "Clean Up". If you want to hit me with some pics and details of what you would like to do to the guns, I can give you some product names and some of the tools and skills you will want to use. Just PM me and I'll share some thoughts.

For the most part you can refinish a gun to working condition with a protected surface for the wood and metal with the general tools and products you have at hand...or can get locally for not a lot of $$. Don't tell the folks at Brownells I said that :)
Scott ( aka - Thor )
Do Justice...Love Mercy...Walk Humbly With Your GOD

User avatar
Kerdy
Smootchie
Smootchie
Posts: 17106
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Old Gun Restoration

Post by Kerdy » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:21 am

Thanks, guys! BH, I will send you a PM soon with my email so I can get you those pictures.

They are not expensive guns or worth much, but they were my dads so I want to fix them up so they work and look nice. Mostly .22 rifles, a few shotguns, a couple of pistols, and one Chinese SKS. One of the pistols is a Black Powder .44 replica. I actually have no use for it, but it looks cool.
"Let it be understood that those who are not found living as He taught are not Christian- even though they profess with the lips the teaching of Christ." - Justin Martyr  ( c.160 )

“Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.” - Venerable Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

User avatar
Kerdy
Smootchie
Smootchie
Posts: 17106
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Old Gun Restoration

Post by Kerdy » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:33 am

FredS wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 5:53 pm
Bloodhound is yer man here.

The only thing I'd say is to decide what you want to do before doing anything. Do you want to sand down to bare metal and wood and start new finishes? Or do you want to fix little things like loose sights and stripped out swivels and then oil 'em down just to get them in working order? I'd work on them one at a time so I don't lose interest halfway through and find myself with 10 baskets of disassembled guns. And stay of the forums unless you need specific parts or advice. Those guys love to spend other peoples money and you'll get so far down restoration rabbit holes you'll never find your way back out.
A couple of them are in very bad shape so I will have to go to bare metal and refinish the wood. Others are not so bad. I already told my wife I will work on one at a time. I am going to start with the worst one, which is the oldest shotgun. The forearm is missing and will need to find one, then refinish the wood on that and the butt stock. The shotgun itself is really rusty. If parts need to be replaced, I will probably just have a gunsmith do it, depending of the difficulty. I tend to spend several days looking at other people doing the work on the internet before I decide.

Thanks!
"Let it be understood that those who are not found living as He taught are not Christian- even though they profess with the lips the teaching of Christ." - Justin Martyr  ( c.160 )

“Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.” - Venerable Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

User avatar
Kerdy
Smootchie
Smootchie
Posts: 17106
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Old Gun Restoration

Post by Kerdy » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:35 am

Jocose wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:02 pm
Gonnae get some pics up mate.
As soon as I start working on them I will post pictures from start to finish.
"Let it be understood that those who are not found living as He taught are not Christian- even though they profess with the lips the teaching of Christ." - Justin Martyr  ( c.160 )

“Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.” - Venerable Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

User avatar
Kerdy
Smootchie
Smootchie
Posts: 17106
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Old Gun Restoration

Post by Kerdy » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:37 am

Hovannes wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:24 pm
I've restored a few----a 1917 Enfield and 03 Springfield.
It was fun :D ---I wish I still had them :headwall: .
Important to decide how far you want to go into the restoration. You can easily destroy the value of some rare historic guns so do your research first.
Four issues you'll likely need to address are probably surface rust, bore condition, wood finish and broken parts.

Replacement parts are where you find them. There are several dealers in obsolete gun parts accessible on line.
Plenty of modern products can really do a good job cleaning up bores(unless corrosive ammo was used) and if your wood stock has an oil finish, sometimes all it takes is a touchup. A synthetic finish might require complete stripping and refinishing though.
Surface rust is a big issue. Kroil or EeZox (sp?) and extra fine steel wool will get the rust off at the expense of any original finish left.
Go slow, good luck and have fun and don't scrimp on getting new screw drivers with the correct size blades!
Do you mean gunsmithing screwdrivers? Is there a quality gunsmithing set that isn't too much I could order?

None of them are what I would consider rare or historic. Just old. Between the 50's and 80's.

My brother picked out the oldest rifle (55-56) and it looks to be in good shape except the forestock is cracked. It fits together well, so I am hoping since its only a .22 it will be easy enough to fix.
"Let it be understood that those who are not found living as He taught are not Christian- even though they profess with the lips the teaching of Christ." - Justin Martyr  ( c.160 )

“Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.” - Venerable Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

User avatar
Hovannes
Minister of Unanswered Threads
Minister of Unanswered Threads
Posts: 29356
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: In the fertile San Joaquin Valley

Re: Old Gun Restoration

Post by Hovannes » Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:22 am

Kerdy wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:37 am
Hovannes wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:24 pm
I've restored a few----a 1917 Enfield and 03 Springfield.
It was fun :D ---I wish I still had them :headwall: .
Important to decide how far you want to go into the restoration. You can easily destroy the value of some rare historic guns so do your research first.
Four issues you'll likely need to address are probably surface rust, bore condition, wood finish and broken parts.

Replacement parts are where you find them. There are several dealers in obsolete gun parts accessible on line.
Plenty of modern products can really do a good job cleaning up bores(unless corrosive ammo was used) and if your wood stock has an oil finish, sometimes all it takes is a touchup. A synthetic finish might require complete stripping and refinishing though.
Surface rust is a big issue. Kroil or EeZox (sp?) and extra fine steel wool will get the rust off at the expense of any original finish left.
Go slow, good luck and have fun and don't scrimp on getting new screw drivers with the correct size blades!
Do you mean gunsmithing screwdrivers? Is there a quality gunsmithing set that isn't too much I could order?

None of them are what I would consider rare or historic. Just old. Between the 50's and 80's.

My brother picked out the oldest rifle (55-56) and it looks to be in good shape except the forestock is cracked. It fits together well, so I am hoping since its only a .22 it will be easy enough to fix.
Brownells is a good place to look for screwdrivers as they have tip sizes specified for different manufacturer's models and the tips are cheaper than buying complete screwdrivers, although the wooden handle screw drivers are sure nice as well.
What's going to be most cost effective depends on what you'll be working on.
The important thing is not to bugger the screw slots (which is something ordinary non-hollow ground screwdrivers excel at!)
perpendicularly parked in a parallel universe

Post Reply