Well I figure that 110-150 years ago they were carrying guns around that were only a few years old and they were nicely blued and / or colored case hardened, not stripped down to bare metal.
So.... I preferred to leave the metal finish on my Cimarron 45 colt alone. What I did notice, that struck me as not period correct, was that the grips had glossy polyurathane on them. I've never liked a glossy plastic looking finish on wood grips on any of my guns, so I stripped off the poly finish with fine sandpaper, steel wool, and lacquer thinner and put an old style rubbed oil finish on the grips. Makes a Peacemaker type revolver look much more authentic and normal scuffs and scratches easy to hide.
LEO, NRA member, Native Texan. Shooting and hunting for over 45 years!