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Old October 31, 2011, 07:04 PM   #1
Armchair Bronco
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How do you 'relic' a modern parkerized or blued barrel?

The process for "relicing" a modern electric guitar is both common and well understood. There are lots of sites that explain how to do this, along with step-by-step pictures showing how to transform, say, a modern Fender Telecaster into a beat-up beauty from the 1960's.

However, I haven't been able to find anything similar for parkerized or blued barrels and barrel shrouds. I'm considering purchasing a modern SA replica of a World War II firearm, but I'd like to "relic" some of the exterior parts of the metal (like the receiver, trigger guard, shroud, & barrel) so the gun looks like it was made back in 1941, not in 2011.

Are there any sites that explain how to do this?
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Old October 31, 2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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I build and repair/restore guitars been doing it for 40 years. I also do stock work. I have owned actual relics both musical and ballistic.

Now I can appreciate honest wear and enjoy pondering the history of nicks and dings on either, but I don't understand purposely trying to make something into something it's not.

One of the problems we seem to have in this country is too much sizzle and not enough steak. [style before substance].

There are plenty of honest WWII arms out there with honest wear buy one or if you're "stuck" with new enjoy it and know that the honest wear it gets in your care over the years is something your grandkids can talk about with pride instead of embarrassment.

My 2 cents.

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Old October 31, 2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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Most people hate it when they get scratches in their gun. However, one can appreciate remembering where and how the scratches and holster wear came to be on their old favorite. Most of us can appreciate and look in wonder of how a true relic came to have its scratched and worn finish.

Now if you want to buy a new pistol and make it look old find an old dirt and gravel road. Tie one end of rope to the rear bumper and the other end to your new pistol and drop it on the grown then drive for a couple of miles. Instant worthless POS. But it sure will look like a relic.
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Old October 31, 2011, 08:57 PM   #4
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Yep Jerry, ol' P.T. Barnum wasn't far off the mark "Sucker born every minute" and "Never OVERestimate the intelligence of the American Public".

What I get a kick out of is that the guitar companies charge an extra couple of hundred dollars for a perfectly nice new stratocaster that they've turned a couple of angst-ridden teenagers loose on with an old bicycle chain. Unfortunately most of us still aren't gonna sound like Stevie Ray.

MJ

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Old October 31, 2011, 09:36 PM   #5
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I remember when I was first married refinishing some beaten-up old furniture so it would look nice. Next thing I know the in-thing is buying nice furniture and beating it with a chain to make it look old. I could have save all the work and been part of the in-crowed.

And to think I nicked a screw on my 06 scope mount the other day and was PO’ed. A little cold blue and no one will ever know the difference. But I’ll always know its there and how I did it.
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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I appreciate the feedback I've received (nothing's worse than no feedback), but with all due respect, I was asking initially for advice on HOW to do something.

*I* get to make the decision about whether I want to artificially relic something. I'm not trying to hoodwink anyone, either. The gun would be for my own use and my own enjoyment. I don't plan to sell it and present it as anything other than a reliced modern version of a World War II gun.

When I was a kid, I used to build lots of models of WWII tanks and airplanes. I enjoyed spraying the models with weathering paints to make them look more realistic. I'm just curious how one would do the same thing with a gun.

And, no, I don't plan on dragging the gun behind a truck, either.

As I said, I appreciate the feedback, but my initial question still remains unanswered. And as far as I'm concerned, it's a legitimate question.
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:52 PM   #7
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Sorry, but I believe most just find something wrong with anyone taking a firearm and deliberately defacing it. You’re correct! It’s yours! Go ahead and screw it up. But don’t expect “true” firearms aficionado to help.
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Old October 31, 2011, 11:42 PM   #8
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Yep, I've certainly come to the wrong place. For what it's worth, these responses are no different than what one typically gets from so-called "Cork Sniffers" on guitar sites:

Q: Hey, I'd like to add a Bigsby to my guitar. What's the right way to do this?

A: How dare you ask such a question! Adding *anything* to your pristine Gibson is an affront to the Rock and Roll gods! Either you roll with what came off the assembly line, or you stop asking such dumb questions around here.

Listen, relicing a blued or parkerized barrel is NOT "defacing" it. Not by any stretch. If you don't want to offer any advice, fine. But don't get all preachy. I didn't ask for your permission or approval. I asked a simple, straightforward question and so far I haven't received *ANY* useful feedback. If you don't know how to do this, then fine. (My guess is that none of the respondents so far know how to do this, BTW.)

I'm planning to buy a replica WWII gun, not something that was born in the trenches and survived the landings on Normandy or the Battle of Stalingrad. By definition, such guns are "fakes", aren't they? Yes, they are. They were never used to fight back an invading army, only to evoke the memory of such battles.

And if you're so much against "relicing" a new gun, then shouldn't you also be against anyone who takes an old gun and has it re-blued or re-parkerized? After all, by your logic doing this is changing the gun from "the way it was"...whatever that means. Sheesh, guys, either answer the question or stop the preaching.
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Old November 1, 2011, 12:29 AM   #9
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It's going to be difficult to reproduce the finish of a WWII issue 1911. People have actually gone to great lengths attempting this - such as baking their pistols in cosmoline.

But if you want a reasonable facsimile, get an SA GI or RIA A1 and sand it to reproduce the wear pattern from a WWII issue 1911 holster. Then rub cosmoline into the finish.

Whatever you do - DO NOT alter the markings. There are BATF regulations concerning the required markings on a pistol. You can't legally change them to reproduce the correct markings for a WWII 1911.
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Old November 1, 2011, 12:49 AM   #10
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Actually Armchair Bronco I did tell you how to do it. However you’re so offended by me telling you you’re running a good firearm that you missed it. So here it is again. Tie a rope to the rear bumper of your vehicle. Tie the other end to the object you wish to turn into a relic. Drag it down a gravel road. I guarantee it will look like it went through a war.
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Old November 1, 2011, 07:12 AM   #11
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Lets see here, my SA Mil-Spec is parkerized and the wear marks that are showing are as such and I shoot it in IDPA, USPSA, Steel , and carry CCW. The front of the slide on both sides with regards to the edges, front sight edges, the rear edges on the slide, the bottom corners of the frame are all showing that the finish is worn. I guess you can hit all the edge lines with a scotch brite pad and remove the finish on the sharp edges. All my wear marks are coming from use.
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Old November 1, 2011, 07:31 AM   #12
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As you are "considering purchasing", why are you not just buying the original? Shooter grade 1911, 1903, Garands and Carbines can be had for the same price as the modern repros.
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Old November 1, 2011, 08:00 AM   #13
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I don't know HOW they do it, but you can buy antiqued SAA repros at a higher price than pristine. They look old and worn in a picture or from a distance but close up it is obvious that they have been treated with something that strips off most of the finish and then had imitation wear marks added by tumbling and or sanding. Thing is, the imitation wear marks do not follow the lines of actual wear by hand and holster. I know of nothing like that available for World War guns.

I guess you could get an inexpensive Filipino copy and develop your own methods. How different can it be from a guitar?
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Old November 1, 2011, 03:38 PM   #14
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Jim I think you hit on the easiest way to do it. Find someone that reloads and throw it in their tumbler next time they are cleaning brass. If you ship me the slide and frame I'll give you a good deal… say $100.00. I think I could get over the regret of doing it for that.
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Old November 2, 2011, 02:50 AM   #15
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ScotchBrite pads and motor oil.
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Old November 2, 2011, 01:36 PM   #16
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I think a soda blaster would do wonders for making it look old without damaging the metal. You can get one of these from Harbor Freight for cheap assuming you have an air compressor to power it...

Tony
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Old November 5, 2011, 12:25 AM   #17
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I understand the original posters question. I too have been wondering the same kind of thing, not for a military gun, but an old Winchester. I found a worn old 92 in 25-20 that I am going to have re-lined but it is missing the magazine tube and since an original replacement is proving elusive, I am going to buy an aftermarket one and age it to match the gun. Why would this be such a bad thing? If I put the shiny new blued one on the old lever that would look pretty retarded, who wants a "two tone" Winchester? I have never understood people who think they have the only idea that matters and anyone elses is wrong. There is a big difference between dragging a gun behind a truck and knocking the high spots off the bluing for a more used apearence. I don't undersand "relic" factory guitars either, but I would never look down on somebody who owns one if that is the guitar that makes them happy. A friend of mine owns a Colt Python that is the most worn snake gun I have ever seen. The sides of the barrel and cylinder are totally devoid of bluing and it has tons of wear. I like that Python better than any other perfect shiny safe queen Python I have ever seen because I could actually use it and not be afraid to "dammage the resale value" I actually sold MY Python because it was too nice. Many years ago a logging company near here was making good money and replaced the entire fleet with brand new Macks. The drivers were so proud of the new rigs that productivity dropped 10-15%. after a few weeks of this the foreman walked down the row of parked trucks one morning with a 8 lb hamer and put a sizable dent in every one, that way the drivers didn't need to worry about that first scratch... Mabe that is the same idea behind the original post? if it's not your gun he wants to modify, and it's not a safety concern, why should you care? I think everyone needs to take a step back and not be such a bully, if we all had the same collection and interest life would be pretty dull.

Sorry, rant's over.

I think I have heard that vinegar takes off bluing?

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Old November 5, 2011, 07:50 AM   #18
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I can see the sense in teying to age a repair part on an old gun to make it match. I'd be tepted to do the same thing. Aging a new gun to make it look old might even make sense if it was a new production of an antique model, although the case would be easy to make that the practice is dishonest.

There are plenty of people that have bought what they thought were 150+ year old guns only to find out later they were aged recent reproductions worth only a fraction of what they paid for it.

And vinegar DOES take off bluing!
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Old November 8, 2011, 09:35 AM   #19
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Actually Armchair Bronco I did tell you how to do it. However you’re so offended by me telling you you’re running a good firearm that you missed it. So here it is again. Tie a rope to the rear bumper of your vehicle. Tie the other end to the object you wish to turn into a relic. Drag it down a gravel road. I guarantee it will look like it went through a war (quote)

what a asinine remark!
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Old November 8, 2011, 11:06 AM   #20
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A friend thought he could age his c&b repro by hanging it in the shower to steam and rust. It just got a little blotchy, the modern steel was tougher than the old.
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Old November 8, 2011, 02:51 PM   #21
Bill DeShivs
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Antique guns were new once.
Old guns don't have to look old, either.
Matching finishes on replacement parts is another matter entirely.
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Old November 8, 2011, 03:30 PM   #22
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Unfortunately I suspect OP may have given up on this post, kind of a shame really.

Won't be as quick as chemicals, but might be more fun Get a GI holster, carry the gun in it, and shoot the crap out of it every chance you get. Clean it when it malfunctions. Why not? That's what they did with the originals

Parkerized really isn't all that tough to wear - have had a Parked RIA for a couple weeks as my EDC - showing holster wear already.
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Old November 16, 2011, 11:39 PM   #23
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the man asked a question, answer the question to the best of your ability or be quiet. all of you.

One problem i have with enthuists as that they all seem to have this air of superiority and find a thousand ways to tell you you're wrong without sharing anything useful.

Bronco - i don't know of any sites but if you have experience doing this with guitars, you aren't going to have trouble with the rifle. Are you planning on making the wooden pieces yourself? The image i have in my head is restoring something like a lee enfield to its original form but did you want to add in the aged look or were you just restoring it?

If you were aging after restoring - have a look at artificially aging wood. its done a lot when clockmakers are restoring old clocks and cant have a panel of new wood so just google 'artificially aging' wood or metal or paper. i just did and theres lot of hits.

If you do it, post pics, I'd like to see it.

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Old November 16, 2011, 11:50 PM   #24
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It sounds like a dishonest way to increase the percieved value of reproductions.

The last gunshow I had a table at I saw a vendor that had excellent condition antique holsters, Nazi relics, and bayonets. He also had a book with order forms for cartouche stamps.

He'd probably be able to answer the OP's question.

I think alot of us feel uneasy about responding to a question like that because there are so many scammers and counterfeiters out there.
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Old November 18, 2011, 05:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
davery25: the man asked a question, answer the question to the best of your ability or be quiet. all of you.
So the moderator died and someone made you king? And you’ve been here a whole month. Wow!
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