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Old December 9, 2012, 11:24 AM   #1
GI Sandv
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Join Date: December 16, 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 65
Refurb old Browning SA-22

I inherited an old Browning Semi-Auto .22LR. It was my grandpa's once upon a time. It was the varmint gun at the family farm-house out at grandpa's old hunting land until two winters ago. One of my cousins left the water on in the house over the winter, the pipes burst, and everything got destroyed. The .22 came through, but worse for the wear. I've had it sitting around for a little over a year now and finally decided to restore it.

The wood is in good condition, although discolored, and I will be refinishing that. All the internals are in good working order and I have shot it numerous times in the past year. The biggest issue is the bluing on the barrel and receiver. Large portions were destroyed, rusted, gone altogether, etc. I discovered that vinegar will remove this so I undertook to remove all the bluing last night. The barrel is clean and the receiver is sitting in vinegar at this moment. However, much as I had feared, there is significant pitting all over the barrel. I've sanded the outside, gone over it with a wire brush, etc. As a result, there's no more rust but the pitting covers most of the outside of the barrel to a depth of approximately 1/2 - 1mm. It's enough to easily see, although it's very slight to the touch. At this point, I'm wondering what the best approach with this pitting is before I refinish it. I don't know whether sanding it down smooth would benefit it any, or might potentially decrease the barrel's durability. I haven't tried any of the after-market products out there for bluing a barrel, or other types of surface coating/finishing. I'm not sure whether these would fill in the pits after one or two coats, thus providing a smooth external surface, or whether the texture from the pitting would still show up. Perhaps there's another way to smooth out a steel surface? I'm open to thoughts and suggestions, so if anyone has them, please let me know.
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Kahr PM9, Springfiled XD9, Browning BPS 12Ga., Browning SA-22.
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:30 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,005
Duracoat offers a filler, Durafil, over which you apply their paint type coating.
I know of nothing else meant to fill pits in gun steel.

The only way to really remove pits is to remove metal around the pits down to the bottom of the pits. That will not make your barrel dangerously thin but unless very well done, it could leave waves and divots from the polishing.

If it were mine, I would be sure it is cleaned of rust, then bead blast and blue or Gunkote. Live with the pits and go shooting.
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