Rust Browning finish?

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Catman

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
23
Not sure if that is the correct name for it but has any one done this? I know it is done on black powder rifels but am looking to redo a pistol and want something different. Any pics would be great if you have any. Also any advice as to how to do and how it holds up. I always see lots of good advice here both for and against an idea so fire away :D
 

Ruger1441

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
618
I did a black powder rife years ago and it turned out better than I thought it would. Pretty easy to do and your results will depend on how carefull you are and how many times you do it. the only problem I had was after I had degreased the barrel and was getting ready to do another coat I forgot to wear some cotton gloves and I got a finger print on the barrel.
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,638
Yeah.....I refinished a Winchester reciever, the lever and some of the furniture with "Plum Brown" a few years ago. It was one of the post-64's that uses some sort of mystery-metal that won't take conventional bluing.
It turned out real well...very much like the patina one see's on very old guns.

Be aware though.... That the metal must be heated first, which causes the chemical to release some very acidic fumes. You'll also want to completely wash away all the residue between each application...which will be 3 or 4.
This probaly aint something you want to do in the house...and for sure, you do not want to breathe-in any of those vapors.
Instuctions and warnings are on the bottle.

DGW
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
See if you can find some online pictures of Ross Seyfried's #13. A custom Ruger Bisley .475 built by Hamilton Bowen featuring a sleeved damascus octagon barrel that has been browned. Makes my mouth water!
 

Axehandle

Buckeye
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
1,418
My best experience was on a TC Hawken rifle kit barrel using the gas stove in the kitchen while I was a college student living alone! Best I remember there was no mess! :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol: I did an in-the-white barrel on a 22/6mm FN Mauser about 15 years ago... IMHO It still looks good.. The blue action contrasts well with the brown...
 

REP1954

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
959
CraigC":3rbsbsi8 said:
See if you can find some online pictures of Ross Seyfried's #13. A custom Ruger Bisley .475 built by Hamilton Bowen featuring a sleeved damascus octagon barrel that has been browned. Makes my mouth water!
CraigC, That has always been the gun that all others are judged by for looks with me. Its on the back sleeve of Bowens book I believe.
 

Catman

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
23
Thanks for the responce. Has any one had any experance with doing a revolver? Would like to see some pics to get an idea as to the what it may look like.
 

flatheadsal

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
468
Catman if you can get a Dixie Gun Works catalog it explains how to do this in there, if my memory serves me, flathead
 

targetshootr

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
233
Here tis.

Im003108.jpg



A bad pic from the May '92 G&A article and a similar rear sight.

DSCN02700054.jpg
 

mykeal

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
120
I've done many rifles, pistols (alas, no revolvers) and shotguns. There are basically two processes, one involving heat and the other requiring significant humidity.

The most popular 'hot' process uses Birchwood Casey's Plum Brown. I build a fixture to hold the parts during the heating process and use a butane torch to heat the metal to about 260 degrees, or where water drops sizzle away quickly. The Plum Brown solution is applied with a large cotton shop swab (Brownell's sells them). Yes, the fumes are pretty nasty, so good ventilation is advised. The keys are cleaning/degreasing the metal and keeping it hot to apply the solution. Several coats may be required depending on the finish desired, but the whole gun can be done in a day.

The 'cold' process is best illustrated by Laurel Mountain Browning Solution; it comes with excellent instructions that should be followed to the letter, so I won't go into details here. Again, cleaning and degreasing well is important, although not so much as with the 'hot' process. The key with this method is high humidity; you apply the solution and let the parts sit in a very humid environment to form the rust. This process does require several coats; after the first coat you will think you've screwed up and ruined the parts as it looks terrible, but press on and it will soon get much better. Because the process requires at least 3 hours of setting each coat it can take several days to complete the process.
 

targetshootr

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
233
mykeal":176g4icl said:
I've done many rifles, pistols (alas, no revolvers) and shotguns. There are basically two processes, one involving heat and the other requiring significant humidity.

On a standard revolver barrel, can it wear off like normal bluing?
 

mykeal

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
120
Yes. Browning, like blueing, is actually a coating of rust in which the oxidation process has been halted and thus coats and protects the steel beneath from further corrosion. It can be worn off, depending on the thickness and environment. You can thicken the coating with additional applications, but that has the price of affecting the finish; you will get a deep, uniform chocolate brown that many people don't like, as it tends to take away from the antique look that many people are after when using browning solutions.

There is a process that involves boiling the browned metal in distilled water that turns the rust black. It's a very deep finish in appearance and is quite hardy. It resembles a very dark blue much like the finish Ruger put on my Single Six. The Laurel Mountain instructions (which are also on line) describe how to do it.
 

Driftwood Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
699
Howdy

Not exactly what you are talking about, but here is one of my Colts with a significant amount of natural rust brown on the barrel and ejector housing. This SAA was made in 1968, and when I bought it somebody had already stripped all of the blue off of it, the gun was basically in the white. They managed to strip most of the colors out of the case hardening too. For a number of years I considered getting it refinished, but eventually its appearance grew on me.

This Colt has had nothing but Black Powder shot through it in Cowboy Action Shooting for the last five years or so, and is not always cleaned promptly afterward. The browning of the barrel is the result, and I find it quit pleasing.

So if you really want to reproduce a nice old gun with a browned finish, just strip of the blue down to bare metal and fire a whole lot of Black Powder through it, and don't clean it right away.

088.jpg



barrel.jpg
 

Catman

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
23
Thanks for the replies. What I am looking at is I picked up a mag cylinder for an old Single Six I got this summer. The six has almost no blue left but the mag cylinder does. So need to do something to get them to match but with not a lot of dollars invested. And I can always use a project and learning something new is alway a bonus :shock:
 

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