I just bought an old Stevens 14 1/2. It was dirt cheap and it functions fine. The stock and foregrip's wood are in decent shape as well. There is very light touches of surface rust on the barrel/reciever, not deep at all, pretty much a "dusting" of rust, which is apparently extremely easy to remove.
One problem. It seems that the bluing is completely stripped off on the entire rifle. Of course, this makes me want to re-blue it. I honestly think it looks good this way, but I'd like it more true to it's original form. The issue is that I don't know how to blue the receiver. It's less blued than the barrel. Would I just make one or two less passes of bluing? Or would I use something totally different? You can probably see I've never blued anything before...
The other thing is that it's missing a trigger guard, which I'm sure I'll be able to find somewhere, so that's no big deal.
I guess the problem here is me being a noob. This is how the rifle should normally look.
It's the top rifle if you didnt know
But yeah, looking around for a good picture of one in good condition, it would seem that a lot of these have lost their finish one way or another, despite being in damn good shape. Why do you think this is?
Thanks a lot to anyone who can help me!