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Old January 1, 2014, 03:43 PM   #1
Safestuffer
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Rusty Handgun Thread

Hi,
Lets see your rustiest, crustiest, most pitted handgun you have, and the story on how it got that way and why you still have it!
Mine is an Army Special that I bid on only because I wanted the grips, as they were original and SOMEHOW pristine even though the rest of the gun looked like it was raised from the Titanic. I paid less for the gun, shipping, and transfer, than I would have for the same set of grips alone off Ebay.
When the gun came in it was ROUGH. Orange was the most prevalent color. The cylinder latch pin was broken and the cylinder hard to open. However, broken latch pin aside, the gun was very tight and crisp. The bore was surprisingly good.
So I decided to save her. New grips, a new latch pin, some minor filing on the cylinders to correct some peening from the broken latch pin, and some work with steel wool and oil, and she was shooting once again.









How about yours?
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Old January 1, 2014, 04:10 PM   #2
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That definitely looks rough. Is this the before your restoring efforts? The bore looks amazing.
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Old January 1, 2014, 04:47 PM   #3
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That's after being scrubbed with steel wool and clp to get the orange crust off. There's a little pitting in the bore, but it still shoots great with wadcutters!
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Old January 1, 2014, 05:27 PM   #4
Tom Matiska
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I've tinkered with electrolytic rust removal It won't get rid of the pits, but will get rust out of the pits before coating. Washing Soda and a battery charger can do a pretty good job.
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Old January 1, 2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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So would oiling and scrubbing have stopped the rust, particularly in the bore?
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Old January 1, 2014, 07:13 PM   #6
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This is about as rusty as it gets around here.....



My dad had the Marine MP detachment in Wilmington NC back in the early 60's, and took this off someone while at work. It sat in his drawer until he died, and was never fired by us. It was loaded when he got it. I found a couple of others like it in that drawer, and none of them I would risk shooting. Mostly .32-.38 caliber junkers that are way out of time and in rough shape barrel/cylinder wise.

I also found this one in the same drawer, and after finally figuring out what caliber it was (.32 S&W) and rounding stuff up, I have been shooting it (black powder loads), as other than some light rust on the finish, its tight and times up well. Shoots about 6" off POA at 10' though.

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Old January 1, 2014, 10:16 PM   #7
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1849 Colt plowed up by my grandfather in a field here around 1942. It still has five loaded chambers, and one completely intact cap on one nipple. It hung on the wall at the old farm house for many years, until one day someone was looking it over and said, "There's something scratched into the butt". Under magnification, it clearly says, "C Smith April 29 1861". With the advent of modern computer data bases, I've been able to find three pieces of correspondence from a C Smith to his boss, Nat Stein, who was an Overland Stage agent based out of Virginia City, Montana Territory at the time, and the signatures on the letters are a spot-on match to the scribing on the butt. These three letters were "posted" from Horse Prairie Station, Red Rock Station, and Junction Station, Montana Territory, all three of which I've located on maps of present day southwest Montana.
The hammer is free, the trigger is free, the loading lever is free and even still has its latch spring intact. The cylinder is rusted onto the base pin, or it could probably be made to shoot again.

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Old January 2, 2014, 12:22 AM   #8
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WOW, safestuffer. That old colt is amazing. I thought a couple my guns were in bad shape, but dang.
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Old January 10, 2014, 09:19 AM   #9
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Not a revolver, but buy far and away the crustiest gun I own:

1914 US Springfield Armory 1911. Caught while fishing in a lake in 1962.



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Old January 10, 2014, 09:47 AM   #10
Mike Irwin
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This is a surprisingly interesting thread, so I'm going to call an audible and make it a general handguns thread for showing all of your rustbuckets...
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Old January 10, 2014, 11:57 AM   #11
Martowski
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These pictures and the stories behind them are amazing. I especially enjoy the old cap and ball revolver plowed up by jbar4ranch's grandfather, and the 1911 caught while fishing in a lake.

Makes you wonder how those firearms got to the places they were found.
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Old January 10, 2014, 12:45 PM   #12
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I grabbed up and NORINCO 213 a few days ago. It looked not so good with the beginning to brown look.

I cleaned it up, shot it and dang the thing looks almost new now. I think the Chinese used some good steel in the production of these banned pistols.
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Old January 10, 2014, 01:04 PM   #13
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Okay, I'll play...

Mine wasn't as beat up as the ones above. The before images don't do the rust and pitting justice. It was one sick puppy, but mechanically sound.

Before...





After Fords restored it...



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Old January 10, 2014, 01:11 PM   #14
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No longer mine, but this was dug up in a field in either Kentucky or Tennessee; I forget which. The person who bought if from me made a video of his successful effort to fully restore it to shooting condition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B28_VN8Q6YE [IMG][/IMG]

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Old January 10, 2014, 10:32 PM   #15
bedbugbilly
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Great thread - I'm really enjoying the photos and stories!


highpower3006 - that 45 was certainly a great "catch". I'm sure you'd love to know the history of it. Do you suppose that just "fell overboard" or was possibly "thrown" after being used in a crime?
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Old January 10, 2014, 10:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
highpower3006 - that 45 was certainly a great "catch". I'm sure you'd love to know the history of it. Do you suppose that just "fell overboard" or was possibly "thrown" after being used in a crime?
I bought it off of the fellow that fished it out. At first he thought he had a big catfish, they don't fight, just drag along the bottom. Obviously, it had been in the water for years, so it is very unlikely that there is any way to trace it at this late date. It did have a full magazine in it, so I am inclined to think that it fell overboard, rather than something more nefarious.
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Old January 14, 2014, 01:59 PM   #17
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Don't let anyone tell you stainless steel can't rust......
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Old January 14, 2014, 07:39 PM   #18
mete
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Stainless steel can certainly rust and corrode !!
That problem of rust under the grips can be eliminated. Moisture is drawn under the grips from capillary action .Clean the grip frame , apply RIG grease or a silicone grease to fill the space , then replace the grips.
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Old January 14, 2014, 11:07 PM   #19
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texagun, what did they do, leave that poor revolver on a boat on the ocean?

I have a couple of C96 Broomhandles that came out of China. When I got them they had a fine coating of rust. A bit of cleaning revealed guns with zero finish and some pitting



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Old January 15, 2014, 08:19 PM   #20
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Here's my contribution - "THE AMERICAN DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER" (spelled out in large block letters on the top strap) by H&R, circa 1883. .38 caliber and just about the size of a J-frame. This gun was never buried, it only looks like it. They're worth a few hundred $ in good shape which this one obviously is NOT. I guess they were the Saturday Night Specials of their day. Reloads are accomplished by pulling the spindle pin and taking the cylinder out the right side. It's DA only (of course) and the action still works. Not a bad little 1880s carry gun IMHO.

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Old January 19, 2014, 09:20 AM   #21
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Another not a hand gun but I find this thread very interesting and wanted to add this one.
This was my Grandfathers gun. The story I got (no idea if it’s true or not) was that he used the gun for bird hunting and the thing started going off when the pump was set forward. Got so mad he broke the stock and set it in the corner of the garage. This would have been some time in the 20’s.
Over the years at some point the barrel was used to break up something with a sledge hammer (at least that’s what it looks like).
I’ve thought seriously about getting the old girl working again but the biggest problem is that the threads on the receiver for the barrel are striped.
Don’t know if that’s repairable or not, I would also have to find a barrel and stock.
Not for the value but it would make a nice wall hanger.
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File Type: jpg Win.jpg (189.5 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg Win 2.jpg (163.4 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg win 3.jpg (220.2 KB, 56 views)
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Old January 19, 2014, 11:17 AM   #22
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Spacecoast I totally forgot about this one. Maybe they are twins.
Serial number is 108394

When my father passed away 15 years ago I took all his tools and tool box and box’s of tools.
Several months later going through all the boxes, stuffed in the top of the one tool chest he kept in the garage I found this wonderful piece.
It was wrapped in a greasy rag.
The grips are missing but the gun actually feels solid for an HR and the trigger in double action is very nice. On par with a Ruger SP series. Single action it's about 1/100000 of a pound.
Never fired it and don’t think I ever will.
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File Type: jpg H&R 32 S&W CTGE.jpg (215.4 KB, 59 views)
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Old January 19, 2014, 01:50 PM   #23
RickB
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Someboy gave me (most of) a Webley RIC revolver, yesterday. Really rough, inside and out. I think a month-long kerosene bath might loosen things up.
I'll see if I can post a pic.
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Old January 19, 2014, 03:37 PM   #24
Elkins45
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Mine is an Argentine Sistema Colt.



I bought this gun at a Gander Mountain store about 7-8 years ago with the intention of making it a project gun and turning it into a carry or range gun. I think I paid $249 + tax for it. It functions fine but the sights are almost nonexistent and the trigger was horrible. I dramatically improved the trigger by replacing the mainspring and sear, and swapped in a long trigger, but that's all I've done. I bought a bag of other parts, new sights, grips, a bottle of black Gun Kote, etc. to fix it up but I just lost interest.

The latest Blue Book says these guns are worth $500 at 60% finish. I can tell you that if somebody offered me $500 for it I would throw in my big bag of replacement parts and shake their hand with gusto! I'm coming to the realization that I'm just not a 1911 guy anymore.
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Old January 20, 2014, 08:41 AM   #25
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This Model 40 was purchased from a shop in San Francisco in 1962. The owner stored it on his boat down in the marina and the sea air caused corrosion to cover every bit of metal. It was sold to a shop and they polished it as best they could and then parkerized it over the pitting. Absolutely looks like hell (much worse looking in person). But it functions perfectly and it made the perfect carry gun. Can't cause any additional damage from using it and if lost or stolen no tears will be shed. I packed it for about 15 years. Now it's part of my emergency preparedness kit.





This 1968 Colt has that "patina" gun dealers like to speak about. Patine is another word for corrosion. No pitting, but no finish either. Got it cheap at a local show ($205) and have considered sending it for a nickel finish.


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