Cleaning up a Winchester 77

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reuben_j_cogburn

Blackhawk
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Mar 5, 2006
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alaska
A friend has this old model 77, that has been lying in a closet for decades,. Rusty and neglected, I came across it while cleaning up the camper it was stored in..
He had it for a long time but never did anything with it. Now that he has begun building a family with his wife, he mentioned it might become his first son's rifle...
But I couldn't let him give it to him, in that condition.... A light coating of protective rust and all...
So I took it and started to wire wheel off, all of the surface rust, and the "not so pretty", patina underneath. After I get it cleaned up I will cold blue, and maybe.... maybe, sand and refinish the stock...
As you might notice in one pic, at some point, the rear sight was removed and re-installed, backwards....
The magazine is also missing, and I am trying to urge him to follow a few ebay auctions to replace the missing mag...
I tell ya.... this young kid better like guns!!!...:rolleyes:
 

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Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,746
Location
Richmond Texas USA
I have not had much luck with cold blue. You might think about browning it instead which I have had great luck with. Seems to hold up better.

Here is a 66 that I did the stock and browned the metal parts.

1656385217326.png






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Built these over 40 years ago with brown barrels
1656385436769.png
 

Mauser9

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 20, 2022
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429
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Ma.
Good for you on the improvements. Am sure it will look much newer when completed. Well worth the effort to restore a quality rifle. Good luck with it.
 

eveled

Hunter
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Apr 3, 2012
Messages
4,428
Forced patina is common in the knife world. I always wanted to try a forced patina on a firearm.

Degrease the metal. Then apply an acid vinegar or mustard are common. Onions apples potatoes can all be used too. Let it sit for a while clean it off Neutalize the acid with baking soda and or boiling water. then rub it with an oily rag.

The resulting finish is far superior to cold blueing.

I guess a forced patina is similar to the old browning finish, but with more common stuff.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
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Dallas, TX
Forced patina is common in the knife world. I always wanted to try a forced patina on a firearm.

You apply an acid vinegar or mustard are common. Onions apples potatoes can all be used too. Let it sit for a while clean it off Neutalize the acid with baking soda then rub it with an oily rag.

The resulting finish is far superior to cold blueing.

I guess a forced patina is similar to the old browning finish.
That sounds really nice. I haven't seen anything like this.

I haven't had any luck with cold bluing either. Actually, I did cold blue a barrel once. I looked at it a couple years ago, and it now has a very nice patina, almost a rust blue finish. But that took 20 years to happen.
 

eveled

Hunter
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
4,428
If you look up how to brown a rifle barrel you will see it involves getting a uniform layer of rust to form then converting the rust to a hard finish. Some nasty chemicals are used, seems easier to use mustard.

My father and I built a CVA kit a long time ago. He bought a kit to brown it and it is still protected today.
 

reuben_j_cogburn

Blackhawk
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Mar 5, 2006
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Location
alaska
I did briefly consider browning... but rejected it.. I just didn't think it would look right on this rifle. When I got the initial rust removed, the receiver was patina'd, and it looked wrong on the "space agey, looking rifle....
I've done cold bluing in the past... At the gunshop in Deerwood, we'd touch up blue a lot when removing or replacing sights, etc. Any job that didn't require (or justify), a total reblue. like anything else it just takes time to prep the parts right, don't take shortcuts ( and to take my time....)..
After I get done wire wheeling, I'm going to buff it with some shammy cloth, on a wire wheel.. See how that works....
Good idea, about advertising here...(y)
 

6GUNSONLY

Hunter
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Nov 30, 2004
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Location
Alabama, in the bend of the Tennessee River
You can do repeat applications of the browning solution until you get the color you want. It will progress from brown to plum to near black. I finished a T/C Hawken . 54 cal muzzleloader kit with Birchwood Casey's Plum Brown finish 40 years ago and it shows very little wear, although it's spent many a day in the woods.
 

kmoore

Buckeye
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Mar 29, 2017
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Idaho
I had one of those for years, rarely shot it. It was a good shooter. Back in the 80s I wanted an additional magazine. I found one from a aftermarket co. that I cannot remember the name. It did cost a lot but was finished great and worked fine in the rifle.
 
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