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I have always heard about guys that find a old rifle in a barn that they tore down .... Now I am one of them . I found out what the gun is and its valued in nice shape in the $6000.00 to $7000.00 range. Sadly , mine is not in the nice category as seen in pictures .

My question is on how to get the rust off it safely ??? Or should I take it to a GOOD restorer to have it done ??? Is there any around Salem Oregon ??? I am in Silverton . And would it be worth even doing . Darn thing weights a little over 10 pounds .....

Any thoughts or suggestions would be great. THANKS

=================================================================================

Here is some info I found on it .......

Engraved Edwin Wesson Percussion Target Rifle
This . 45 caliber rifle was designed for use in shooting matches. Made by Edwin Wesson (the older brother of Daniel Wesson of Smith & Wesson), it was used in the Civil War by Edwin J. Stanclift of the 8th Company, 1st Battalion, New York Sharpshooters.

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Sbarton

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I'd recommend looking at americanlongrifles.org.
You'll find some of the best muzzleloader builders in the country there. They may be able to set you on the right path.
It's your rifle to do with as you please, but with that pedigree, I'd caution you to hire out the work.
Good luck with it. I'm looking forward to seeing it in a restored state.
 
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If it were me I would fully disassemble the rifle using proper fitting gun screwdrivers taking great care not to bugger or break any of the screws. Once disassembled soak all metal parts in CLP. After soaking scrub the rust with fine brass (NOT steel wool) and fine brass brushes using a liberal amount of CLP. Rinsing occasionally with WD40. Brass picks are also useful to clear crevasses (I make my picks from pieces of HO model railroad track, make sure its brass).

Next attack it with more WD40 and soft clean nylon brushes and soft rags to remove the golden hue left from the brass. Wipe down once more with CLP, wipe off all excess CLP and reassemble. As a final step hang on the wall in a secure location.

This should make it much more presentable and salable, help preserve it from further damage and leave it in condition for a professional restoration without having caused damage in the process.

I would not have it professionally restored unless I intended to keep it.
 
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If it were me I would fully disassemble the rifle using proper fitting gun screwdrivers taking great care not to bugger or break any of the screws. Once disassembled soak all metal parts in CLP. After soaking scrub the rust with fine brass (NOT steel wool) and fine brass brushes using a liberal amount of CLP. Rinsing occasionally with WD40. Brass picks are also useful to clear crevasses (I make my picks from pieces of HO model railroad track, make sure its brass).

Next attack it with more WD40 and soft clean nylon brushes and soft rags to remove the golden hue left from the brass. Wipe down once more with CLP, wipe off all excess CLP and reassemble. As a final step hang on the wall in a secure location.

This should make it much more presentable and salable, help preserve it from further damage and leave it in condition for a professional restoration without having caused damage in the process.

I would not have it professionally restored unless I intended to keep it.
WOW .... Great info . THANKS .... after reading all the comments , and not being a collector of this type of gun . And FOR SURE , not wanting to do all it will take to make it look presentable again .... I am thinking it would be better to let it go to someone that enjoys this type of restoring . So , I am going to sell it .... Any ideas on what a semi-rare gun in this shape would sell for ??? Just looking for a fair price for both me and the buyer . THANKS for your imput !!!!
 

Mikej

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I want to follow this. As mentioned above @Andy54Hawken is THE resident black powder pro here to help you with info.

I was told by one of our other members, @Velzey, (Tim Copeland) a resident quality gun smith I believe it was, that boiling it in water was a way to neutralize rust on a firearm. You might consider him for the job if your looking to get it restored for yourself.
 

Heyjoe

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Awesome, brother that thing is neat. As to your inquiry I’ll have nothing to add except that you ought not sell it and if you have a pro refurbish it, I’d make damn sure it was the absolute best in the trade.
 

Mark W.

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I was hoping Andy would happen a long. But as he hasn't ill mention there are reproductions of the Wesson target rifle. The reproductions have the same shape patch boxes as this one. Before you get to excited you might want to make sure this is a real example. Do you have a photo of the rifling? I'm here in Silverton and do have more then a little experience with muzzle loaders. I did spend 8 years as trader at blackpowder Rendezvous. If your interested in having me look at it pm me.
 
Figures...
I go away for a weekend camp out with archery and muzzle loading rifles...and someone posts a neat gun find...:D

As noted above by @Mark W. there are replicas of the Wesson rifle to be found.
These replicas are around 40 -50 years old now and may show age / wear / and the like , much like what is seen on your rifle.

Please note that I am not saying that your rifle is indeed a replica...just something to consider here.

As for cleaning it....
Make sure that it is empty.
With the rifle pointed in safe direction , cock the hammer and check to see if there is a cap on the nipple.
( You won't have to full or half cock to check )
Then remove the ram rod and drop it down the bore..if empty...you should hear a metallic "clink"...if loaded the sound will be a dull "thunk"

Assuming that the rifle is empty ....
A light touch with bronze or brass wool and CLP is a excellent start to removing rusk from the metal.
I would only remove the "active" rust and not try to remove any patina or browning.
Andy
 
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Gunsmith Mark Novak boils the rusty firearm for an hour or so and then uses a true carding wheel which is made up of super fine wires.


Figures...
I go away for a weekend camp out with archery and muzzle loading rifles...and someone posts a neat gun find...:D

As noted above by @Mark W. there are replicas of the Wesson rifle to be found.
These replicas are around 40 -50 years old now and may show age / wear / and the like , much like what is seen on your rifle.

Please note that I am not saying that your rifle is indeed a replica...just something to consider here.

As for cleaning it....
Make sure that it is empty.
With the rifle pointed in safe direction , cock the hammer and check to see if there is a cap on the nipple.
( You won't have to full or half cock to check )
Then remove the ram rod and drop it down the bore..if empty...you should hear a metallic "clink"...if loaded the sound will be a dull "thunk"

Assuming that the rifle is empty ....
A light touch with bronze or brass wool and CLP is a excellent start to removing rusk from the metal.
I would only remove the "active" rust and not try to remove any patina or browning.
Andy
Thanks for the info Andy ..... I took it over to Mark W. house today for him to look at , and we pretty much decided that it was an early Repro . I don't have the want to clean it up , so going to try to find a new home for it with someone else , as a Wall Hanger , or for someone to try to clean up . Just need to figure out a fair price on it . Don't think its worth much ..... THANKS again .... Doug
 
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