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November 11, 2001, 06:51 AM
What would be the parameters in cleaning up an old, say WWII weapon(s). If you were to clean up the wood like new (remove all the grease and grime), would that ruined the historical value? Where is the line? Is the just so long as you do no damage to the firearm?
:confused: :confused: :confused:

November 11, 2001, 11:53 AM
In general, if the firearm has any significant value, you should be very careful about excessive "cleaning". I'd do some research before I did anything more than cleaning out the old 50 year old grease and the like. Refinishing the stock or rebluing will normally reduce the value of the piece.

Personally, I don't own anything worth more than about $1500, and I clean them up to please me, not some preceived "collectable value", but that's just me.

James K
November 11, 2001, 10:23 PM
Some cleaning is OK, but for heaven's sake don't remove any cartouches or other markings. Sanding off some cartouches will reduce the value by a few hundred dollars.


November 12, 2001, 11:42 PM
see I haven't been far off in that I would never do anything to destroy the historical value, like sanding of any sort. I was considering some light chemical cleaning, not altering; I would never refinish or reblue. Over that 55+ years gun oil collects on the stock(s); on one the oil is almost like Cosmoline (different consistency) only thicker. These guns range in value from $150 to $4,000. The most valuable looks like it just came out of the factory.
The next question is if anyone has any suggestions for a cleaning agent? I have got a derelict stock and was going to try some solutions on it, Oxy-clean, Hormby’s, 407 and an industrial cleaner I have to see what they will do, before touching the real firearm.
:cool: :cool: :cool:
:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Walt Sherrill
November 13, 2001, 10:03 AM
For most guns, the guys on the Curio & Relics list, which include some of the most knowledgeable collectors around, recommend any good degreaser and, in the serious cases, EASY OFF oven cleaner. (But they recommend a specific type of EASY OFF, and I don't remember which variety...)

Once all the old oil is out of the wood, they reapply boiled linseed oil. Nothing else. (For the Japanese surplus rifles, you've got to do something different, as those weapons had a lacquered finish.)

Go to www.Crufflers.Com to learn about the list, and to subscribe. You'll find many kindred souls, there.

Ooops. That's www.cruffler.com . Sorry.