Refurbishing


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When an antique gun is corroded and pitted and not of special interest refurbishing may be considered. To the right you see a picture of a Belgian proofed 9 mm pinfire revolver once belonging to a rural policeman. It is severely corroded and pitted, one wooden grip is broken and the extractor pin is missing. This gun was (ab)used as a toy by some Belgian kids till the parents decided to get rid of it. When disassembling this gun some screws proved to be stuck making it necessary to drill them out. Furthermore it became clear that the trigger return spring and main spring were broken. Since this gun suffers from very deep pitting drastic measures are necessary.


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First all metal parts have to be degreased and soaked in Rustyco, a rust solving solution.
After soaking for two days in a rust dissolving solution the metal looks like shown in the picture on the left. Now grease and rust have been removed the damage is clearly visible. Proof mark, inspector marks (spangled Y) and partly illegible engraving (THE B*** AMERICAN ***) will be lost when deep pitting is removed by grounding, sanding and polishing. Given the fact that no marks of a craftsman can be found on this gun it isn’t of special value so losing the proof marks and engravings is acceptable.

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As can be seen in the picture on the right most pitting has been removed on the frame by grinding, sanding and polishing the surface. Course grinding was done using a small belt sander. Sanding was done manually using P500 waterproof sandpaper. Polishing was done using a course buffing compound (black) and fine compound (white) on a buffing machine.

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Since pitting on the cylinder was very deep a lathe was used to remove all traces of corrosion.
Aligning the tool bit took quite some time since the cylinder is slightly tapered and the depth of pitting varied along its surface. Severe pitting and corrosion made this gun unsuitable for shooting but in order to maintain maximal strength and original appearance as little steel as possible was removed.
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The barrel showed some severe pitting too and was polished retaining its hexagonal shape until most pitting was removed.
Polishing was performed as described earlier.

As mentioned above all springs and some screws were broken. The extractor pin, it’s spring and screw and the lanyard ring were missing and had to be recreated. The extractor pin was milled on a lathe form a large bolt and the spring securing it was made from the blade of a scalpel.
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All other springs were forged from special steel. The picture on the right shows some parts that had to be replaced. When this revolver came in my possession the wooden grips had been taped to the frame and were painted using garden stain. One grip was broken and the screw fixing the grips to the frame was beyond repair. Garden stain was removed from the wood and its surface was sanded using 180 grit sandpaper to promote stain absorption. Then the grips were lightly sanded using 320 grit sandpaper to remove extended wood fibers. After two layers of Red Mahogany stain had been applied three layers of Tru-Oil Gun Stock Finish revived the grips to their original state. In order to fix the grips to the frame a new brass screw had to be milled on the lathe.

Below two pictures of the final result:

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