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Bluing and Browning history.

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by MattMaier, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. MattMaier

    MattMaier Washington Member

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    Hi all. I'm interested in building muzzleloaders as a hobby, and I have been wondering about finishes, as in which one would be more historically accurate for the firearm I'm building.

    I really like the blued finish, and I am reasonably certain I can do rust bluing with the equipment that I have. I am not sure how historically accurate this is, but I usually see either a blue or a bright metal finish on arms dating from the 1840's on up through the civil war. Examples including the Enfield rifle-muskets and revolvers of the period. However, some of my planned projects (including a matched pair of colt navy pistols) include a flintlock swiveling breech rifle and a northwest trade musket, both of which I'm sure would have been popular up until the 1830's. So for that period in question (late 18th century up through the end of the fur trade era), other than the bare metal finish on military weapons, which would be more historically correct? Browning or bluing?
     
  2. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Take a look at "Laurel Mountain Forge" products.
    I have had very good results with their products and you don't have to be too concerned in completely degreasing the firearm, because it has a strong detergent in the formula. The same bottle can do rust brown or a dark black bluing.

    Laurel Mountain Forge
    P.O. Box 52
    Crown Point, IN 46308
    phone/fax: (219) 548-2950
     
  3. Tigershark

    Tigershark Stanwood Member

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    I do restorstions and you could do slow rust blue or plum brown. It takes about ten days and you need a long tank to boil water in. Do your research and build a damp box. I agree, Laural Mountain Forge products are excellent. I love plumb brown barrels.
     
    jbett98 and (deleted member) like this.
  4. netcarrier

    netcarrier Portland, Oregon Active Member

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    Hi MattMaier,
    If you are in the Portland, Oregon Area I have a DVDs that show How to do the Slow Rust, Nitre Bluing, Hot Caustic Bluing, and Metal Refinishing. You are welcome to come by and watch them.
    Tony Portland, Oregon Area
     
  5. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    slow rust would probably be the best, hot bluing can be a bit risky, requiring a bit more investment
     
  6. Tigershark

    Tigershark Stanwood Member

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    I agree on both counts. I do hot salts bluing, while I love doing it, it is very hazardous but the results are worth it.
    For the type of finishing you are doing, slow rust bluing and browning is more of the period if you are trying to be authentic. The main thing is the preparation.