I'm not sure what being an ML instructor has to do with knowledge of historical gunsmithing techniques.
Very true and if you really want to get picky, most were not finished at all and got protected by normal usage and handling. I currentny have a Tower Replica that is just killing me not to blue. I'll probably go with Brown and that's not being true to the era. Look at your BrownBess and all that came before.
I too am a Hunter Safety Instructor and given the time frame, one third is primarily about safety. The rest is the Shot string and then Loading and shooting. We only slightly touch on historical items. The only reason I know that is becuse I use to be a Buckskinner and am still a student myself.
Excuse me for getting off the subject at hand ....
Be Safe !!!