View Full Version : Can an old case hardened reciever be "refinished"?

May 29, 2011, 05:02 PM
I have an old Iver Johnson single shot shotgun that my Grandpa bought after returning home from Korea to shoot critters on the family farm. He gave it to my dad, and my dad gave it to me. It's nothing fancy, and not worth anything, but I'd like to give it to my son someday (he's only 4 now). It has a case hardened finish on the receiver, which is worn, rusty, and slightly pitted. I don't think the finish can be saved. I know case hardening is not a very deep or durable finish. Can I steel wool/buff it clean and have it blued or case hardened again? I was planning on having the barrel re-blued anyway. I also found a few internal parts as well as a new stock and forend on Numrich that I hope will fit ok. The wood on it now is pretty beat-up and cracked and beyond refinishing. I'm not looking to make it perfect, just trying to clean it up and pass it on to the next generation. It would also be cool to have my Grandpa see the finished product while he is still with us.

Any help or input would be appreciated.

James K
May 29, 2011, 06:10 PM
The receiver can be polished and blued. Having it case colored would cost more than the gun is worth and few shops can do it. Try cleaning the receiver with copper wool* and oil (not steel wool) and maybe you will be able to remove the dirt and rust without removing the colors.

*In super markets for cleaning pots and pans


May 29, 2011, 06:59 PM
Just a cold blue can work wonders. I like Brownell's Oxphoblue.
Don't spend much on it. Other than being "Grand Pa's shotgun" is is worth nothing.

May 31, 2011, 08:02 PM
Thanks guys. I think I'll look into the DIY blueing. Don't want to spent a bunch of money. This gun usually just sits in the save. Just having fun tinkering with it.

May 31, 2011, 08:06 PM
Cold bluing on a large surface is usually splotchy and doesn't last long.

May 31, 2011, 10:51 PM
I had a Parker re casehardened decades back, not cheap.
There was someone who sold a DIY kit that was actually some sort of paint on finish but that was maybe 40 years ago.

June 1, 2011, 11:38 PM
If you disassemble, remove the rust and blueing and polish the metal, most gunsmiths don't charge much to drop it in their hot blueing tank whenever they do a batch of guns. My smith only charges me $40 to hot blue if I do all the prep work. It's somewhere between 150-225 for him to do everything. Preparation is the difficult and labor intensive part of blueing. It does determine how the blueing job will turn out, so you must do a good job.

June 2, 2011, 08:38 PM
I might look into doing the prep work myself. I might visit a gunsmith this weekend.