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Thread: Would you refinish it or not?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Denver, CO
    Me, too. Iíd leave it alone. Maybe a little oil on the stock, but ultimately itís your call. Just bear in mind that if you cheap out on the refinish it will look it. I donít know what used M61s sell for, but I can guarantee that a good refinish will cost more than the rifle is worth, in all probability.

    Just shoot it like it is, remember those who came before you, and donít worry about what it will sell for after youíre gone. It wonít matter to you then, anyway.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"

    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

    Walter Laich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Cypress, Republic of Texas
    remember you can always get it refinished later--give some of these ideas above a try
    NRA Life
    USPSA L1314
    SASS Life #48747
    RVN War Games, 2nd Place

  3. #23
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    May 2011
    NC Montana
    All that matters is ---- would refinishing it cause you to enjoy it more or less.

    Last year I disposed of a small collection of various rifles for a widow. There were two 61s in the group. A LR and a WMR. They had both been refinished. I knew the deceased owner and I know he had the refinish done to enhance his enjoyment of them. You may feel differently.

    I'm sorry for the loss of your son. Maybe you can find another worthy, future owner. Wouldn't hurt to try, anyway.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master bdicki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Massachusetts&Central Florida
    Iíd leave it alone.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Walla Walla, WA
    Personally I would not. Every nick, scratch, etc would continue to remind me of my uncle and the time spent with him

  6. #26
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Southwest Ohio
    I also would leave it as how you received it. To me a refinished gun is almost like it was someone else's but in it's original condition you know it was in the family.
    On another forum I was said to be very American in thought for not refinishing a normal shooter rifle. He said in Europe they would do a professional restore on well known firearms. Not the same thing as it's original once and in my thought refinished isn't the same.
    But it's your rifle and do what you think best.

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy redhawk0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    North East, USA
    If it has sentimental value...leave it alone. I wouldn't even think about refinishing my Grandfather's Ithaca 16 gauge Mod 37 Featherweight. The stock had a pretty strong crack in it...I did force some glue in the crack and clamp it tight....but the finish hasn't been touched.

    Now...I've purchased used firearms from a LGS....some have looked pretty rough. Without sentimental attachments...I've refinished them and they look great and I'm proud to own them....

    I'm proud to own my Grandfathers shotgun too...but for a different reason. Some things just shouldn't be modified unless it is unsafe in its current condition. (cracked stock, broken parts...etc, just as an example)


    The only stupid the unasked one.

    Not all who wander....are lost.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Switzerland of Ohio
    Repairing a cracked stock, and rubbing in some linseed oil, I put in the category of ordinary maintenance, btw. Wood has to be given a drink now and then or it dries out and cracks. I do that quite often, as an act of responsibility toward a fine old piece.

    What I REALLY hate to see is a nice Stevens single-shot tarted up with a garishly bright and thoroughly unoriginal "pinto" color case job, and a highly polished reblue of the barrel that rubbed out half of the rollstamp. Or the same rifle where a "restorer" tried to hot blue the receiver, which only turns them purple.

    I'm working on a sadly abused 1895 vintage Favorite now, which the receiver needed some sanding-down to get rid of some pitting. When that's done I will BROWN the receiver (Birchwood Casey Plum Brown) and the replacement barrel so that they will look old. If it were a more valuable arm, I might have the receiver re-case-hardened, but with no attempt to "color" it, prior to browning. The replacement barrel BTW is an original that someone reblued (without aggressive polishing) at some point in time. It will have to be chemically stripped of the bluing before I can brown it. It will not be polished out. Favorites were utilitarian grade guns. Only a very few deluxe models got more than a cursory pass at the polishing wheels before they got blued.

    A process I want to try out when I get to a nice old (lettered to 1900) Savage 99 in the shop is the "French Gray" finish. Electroless nickel over a surface prepared by wet blasting using very fine aluminum oxide grit. Beautifully warm to see and feel, and absolutely rustproof. I have to do something - the poor thing must have lain in the dirt for a while - one side is sadly pitted.

    Restoration CAN be done tastefully, but it does not enhance the monetary value of a gun to me. It's more like nursing a mangy stray back to health.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Central Virginia
    Only you can make that decision.

    I have been down that road and took different paths on different occasions.

    A gun that belonged to my father was handed down to me and will not be refinished. He purchased it new and later it was the first gun I shot. It's well used and it shows but it was never abused. I'll take care of that gun but I will not refinish it.

    Another gun, well used and purchased by the special woman in my life had no history prior to me receiving it. It was in need of refinishing so it was re-blued. That gun is important to me but its history for me started when she gave it to me.

    For the OP, I would suggest leaving the guns as they are and shooting them. If there comes a time when they go to someone else, that person can decide to refinish them or not.
    In the meantime, clean them after shooting, apply a thin coat of oil or grease before you store them in a dry place and enjoy them as is.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
    Chev. William's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Sun Valley, California
    I only have a few "Original" firearms.
    My father's M1903A3 and M1911s, my M1 Rifle M1 Carbine, my I.J. "Cattleman" 44-40, Marlin model 56 un-serialized .22LR and two 1873 Winchesters in 44 WCF.
    The rest are no longer 'original' as I mostly used them for Projects or acquired them as "Parts kits" and made them into firearms similar to the EM but not finished as new.
    Even those "originals" were Armory rebuilt one or more times.

    The "Parts Kits" have varying levels of use and finish from rust brown to Plum to faded Blue to even faded purple on one with a single os far refinished in a sand blasted Satin Blue-black. these are done for Practical use not Collector Resale or even Museum reproductions.
    A Ruger Standard Auto .22LR started out with a ~4 1/2" barrel fitted with a blank firing adapter to fire Grade 7 PTL blanks is now fitted with a 6" bull barrel and target sights.
    A Stevens Favorite is converted to Center Fire and used with two different barrels, one is a '.25 Stevens' and the other is a '.32 Long'. Both are used for target Shooting now.
    A Stevens Model 44 Center Fire Converted also with '.25 Stevens' and '.32 Long' barrels is used for Load Development with my various ".25ACP wildcats" of cae lengths ranging from .400" up to 1.380".
    A Ruger center fire converted .22Cal Single Six converted to .25ACP with a 10-5/8" barrel and multiple interchangeable 8-shot cylinders for my various Wildcats cartridges.
    A Ruger Single Six in .32 H&R revised and now being fitted with several re-purposed 6-shot .22MAG cylinders rebored to .32 and chambered for Colt and S&W family cartridges.
    A Stevens 1915 Favorite fitted with a .600" Wide breech block and larger BB pivot Pin being converted to Center Fire for .25ALS load development.
    A Stevens 1915 Favorite with a Scratched and pitted Receiver being fitted to a Stevens Full Octagon '.25 Stevens' barrel with an extra BB converted to Center Fire available.
    A 1890 Winchester Pump (5 digit serial) that is fitted to feed both .22WRF and .22WMR interchangeably.
    A 1890 Winchester Pump that was refinished and is also fitted to feed both .22WRF and.22WMR interchangeably.
    A 1890 Winchester 'Kit' being converted to .25ACP and possibly .25ALR of .960"case length which will eventually be finished to tel it apart from the .22LR and WRF versions.
    A Marlin Model 56 "Levermatic" being converted to .25ACP with a New 23 inch barrel having 1 turn in 9.8" rifling.
    And a few others.

    Cleaning and oiling is mostly done for maintenance and preservation. Refinish is only done when needed for use by the arm involved.

    Just my Preferences.

    Chev. William

  11. #31
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Western NC
    If it functions and shoots good I would leave it as is. That is it's job.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check