Well, I finally got it cleaned up!
I traded up a nice vintage Winchester 1893 earlier this week. It had to be the nastiest firearm I have ever bought in my life- I think it was filled with "00" grease! Dating it to 1895 by the serial number and it's low production numbers and Winchester voluntarily offering a new 1897 to anyone that wanted to turn their's in, it's a bit of a more scares bird. I'd wanted one for a while, but I just could never find one in a nice enough condition mechanically to suit me at a price I could justify.
The barrel has very, very few pits and the action is immaculate- likely because of the grease. I don't think it has been shot all that much, as there is no visible wear. I think this has been sitting for quite some time. However, the down side is that someone spray painted it black (and I'm working on that now with mineral spirits and acetone).
I'm going to load up some brass hull black powder buckshot this weekend. I'll load some #1 and #00 and I'll pattern this thing and see how this 30" barrel does. I know that some cowboy shooter do and have used real 1893's, but after disassembly and cleaning, I wouldn't recommend it for hard use, as it is more fragile than it's brother, and I can see many things that would wear very quickly if shot regularly can can't be readily replaced with a call to Numrich or Jack First. Heck, there is no schematic for this gun that I can find.
We'll see how this 115 year old shotgun does.
Now, to find a Burgess and a Spencer...