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Old May 9, 2011, 08:51 AM   #1
davidaker
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1861 Springfield - white barrell

I've got a reproduction 1861 Springfield that had set in storage for a long time and is pretty rusted. The barrell had a stainless look (white?). I going to get some naval jelly and remove the rust. Should I use a brown or blue finish?
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Old May 9, 2011, 09:02 AM   #2
MJN77
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That would be up to you. Original Springfields had an armory bright (polished white) barrel. It all depends how authentic you want it.
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Old May 9, 2011, 09:24 AM   #3
Hardcase
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After a hundred and fifty years, this is what mine looks like:





Just in case you want to attempt something other than the factory (non) finish.
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Old May 9, 2011, 03:35 PM   #4
Hawg
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Just an interesting note. Enfields came blued but the U.S. Army made the soldiers polish the bluing off.
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Old May 9, 2011, 05:43 PM   #5
MJN77
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Quote:
Just an interesting note. Enfields came blued but the U.S. Army made the soldiers polish the bluing off.
Actually, that was up to the whim of the unit commanders (company, regimental, brigade,etc.) Some did, some didn't. It was done for "busy work" or to emulate the look of the Springfield rifle muskets. Looking at Civil War photos, you can usually tell weather a musket was blued or polished.
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Old May 12, 2011, 07:57 AM   #6
4V50 Gary
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Historically, 1861 Springfields were neither blued nor browned. They were left brightly polished. Still, it's your gun so you decide.
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Old May 12, 2011, 07:38 PM   #7
James K
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I have an 1861 that is still armory bright and doesn't look like it was ever "cleaned". Just a bit of luck to have escaped the almost inevitable rust.

The idea of making and issuing rifles in "armory bright" was that failure of the soldier to maintain his rifle would be clearly evident to an inspecting officer. Eyewitness reports say the sight of a well-drilled unit, marching in close order with bright muskets and bayonets shining in the sun was truly spectacular. Camoflage was known and practiced in irregular units, but in the regular army it was not only impractical but pointless - you just don't hide a miles long column marching along in formation.

Jim
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