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There is a benefit to buying surplus Browning Hi Powers

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by old11bravo, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. old11bravo

    old11bravo Everett, Washington Well-Known Member

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    You can explore, learn and experiment on them without worrying too much about screwing them up.

    Today I did a detailed disassemble of the Browning Hi-Power I got from Bud's Guns. Talk about a sense of accomplishment and a real confidence booster for gunsmithing skills!

    Tom (cruffler on TOS) has offered to let me use his blasting gun to strip the finish and educate me on the art of "rust bluing". What a top notch guy. Really want give props to this fellow firearms community member. Tom is taking the time to teach a curmudgeon like myself an indispensable skill. Great guy I tell you!

    I will update with pics and results as this project progresses. Here is the detail strip of the Browning Hi-Power.

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  2. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to seeing more of your project,
    Thanks for sharing.
    Andy
     
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  3. old11bravo

    old11bravo Everett, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Going to strip this tomorrow. Pretty excited about it.

    I want to do it soon as I'm afraid that I'll forget how to re-assemble it.
     
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  4. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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  5. old11bravo

    old11bravo Everett, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Deadeye, you da man!! Thank you sir!!
     
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  6. PDXSparky

    PDXSparky Keizer / Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Can't wait for the stripped photos.
     
  7. old11bravo

    old11bravo Everett, Washington Well-Known Member

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    The media blaster we were using went tits up on us so we ended up wire wheeling most of the pistol. I have a video of some of the wire wheeling and I'm working on adding the pics as I type.



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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
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  8. old11bravo

    old11bravo Everett, Washington Well-Known Member

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    So I applied my first coat of "rust bluing", let it sit for about 14 hours and carded it. I took these pictures just before applying the second coat of bluing. I am using Laurel Mountain Forge Barrel Brown and Degreaser. I will probably apply a total of 3-5 coats depending on how it looks after each coat.

    I realize it is far from professional looking but I am gaining several benefits from this experience.

    1) I'll have an idea about the process of bluing and what a science it actually is.
    2) The Browning Hi-Power will look better than it did when I received it from Bud's Gun Shop. (even if I just left it rusted!)
    3) Gained a great friend and mentor in Mr. Cruffler who has been guiding me through this process and generously lending me the few required tools.

    Here are the pictures after the first coat and carding. More coats to come and more pictures of the gun when I'm finished!

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  9. old11bravo

    old11bravo Everett, Washington Well-Known Member

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    I thought I would add some pics to show how scary it looks after it has rusted for some hours.

    Looks like something you'd throw away:

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    Then you scald the rusted pieces of metal in boiling distilled water and it turns the rust to carbon (black and soot looking) which you then card off to reveal the beautiful bluing finish:

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  10. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've done a couple of firearms using their products and everything came out just great.
    It's a very forgiving product and for the price, it can't be beat.
    I degreased the steel wool carding with acetone to remove any oils.
     
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  11. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Hey? There seems to be a couple of parts missing in that first set of photos. Where is the all important mag disconnect? :)

    PS: Make sure to sand out the knick on the slide.
     
  12. old11bravo

    old11bravo Everett, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Oh darn! I must have misplaced that pesky little mag disconnect! Whatever will I do now?o_O

    Just finished re-assembling. The biggest pain was the trigger pin, which is ironic because I already had it out once to lose the mag safety disconnect. I guess it just never gets any easier.

    Lights bad right now so photos tomorrow hopefully. I'm pretty impressed. It aint perfect, but a damn sight purtier than she was.
     
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  13. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I found that placing the pieces in a plastic box along with a damp sponge and then sealing the lid speeds up the rust process. Plus it keeps that ammonia like smell down.
     
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  14. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Nice. Awaiting pics.
     
  15. old11bravo

    old11bravo Everett, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Are there flaws? Yes!! Is the finish better than it was when I received it from Bud’s Guns? Yes!! Total cost of gun from Bud’s was $349 shipped. Cost of bluing job? About $15 total for distilled water and the Laurel Mountain Rust Browning and Degreaser solution. Everything else my good friend Cruffler had for me to borrow which was basically a wire wheel, steel wool pads and water displacing oil to finish it with. The friendship, knowledge and encouragement shared by Cruffler however, was priceless!

    Am I glad I did it? Hell yes!! I would do it again in an instant!! This really brought this beat up old surplus Browning Hi-Power back to life. Now I’ll go shoot the bajeebers out of it and build some character upon it. This one will bring me extreme pleasure and enjoyment to shoot. My trigger finger is itching to get it out to the range!

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  16. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The beauty of the Laurel Mountain Forge mixture is the added soap compound that helps eliminate any finger prints when handling the bare metal during the rust process.
    It's a very forgiving product for a novice.
     
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  17. old11bravo

    old11bravo Everett, Washington Well-Known Member

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    I am admittedly a novice, with this being my first ever bluing attempt. However, I am so pleased with myself, I dare say I may be trying this again. I just need to find another firearm that looks like it has nothing left to live for, and breathe life into it again!
     
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  18. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    I like it. That's an excellent finish for a fighting gun like the High Power. Nothing fancy, just business. :cool:
     
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  19. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    BTW, I'm a High Power junkie.
     
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  20. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    o_OAs a youth I spent 1000's of hours hand polishing many handguns and rifles, most of them WWII surplus, the tooling marks were always extremely deep. Some of my work, a WW2 Mauser action turned into an 'Express Rifle' actually ended-up on the cover of a big gun magazine (no credit to me). I started with 80 grit and worked down to 800 grit, you could see yourself in my mirror polish and the stampings looked as good as the day they were struck. I still have that skill but would not touch a piece for under $1600. The work is just that demandingo_O
     
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