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Old December 18, 2012, 09:09 AM   #1
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Remington model 11

Hey guys, I have a model 11 that I love to shoot. The previous owner took very good care of it so no rust at all. My question is that I have been thinking of re-blueing the gun and re-finishing the stock. I just want it to look good. The gun just has normal wear on the metal and wood. Is it worth it to go through this just for looks?
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:42 PM   #2
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Whether or not it is worth it is your call. I will tell you that a worn gun looks lots better than a poorly refinished one.
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Old December 20, 2012, 08:36 AM   #3
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me covering up the patina of that old humpback is to try and hide the stories it has to tell.
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Old December 20, 2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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A lot also depends on whom you send the gun to for refinishing.

At Lassen College we were taught to polish our guns on the buffer wheel. That of course could remove marks (which we avoided by applying less pressure). At Trinidad State everything is polished by hand. I saw an engraved shotgun that the instructor was polishing (we worked our on project and when we didn't bug him with questions, he worked on his own project). Anyway, the engraved shotgun was reblued and you couldn't tell that any of the engraving was removed. He's that good. My point is to be careful who you take it too.
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Old December 21, 2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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At a shop where I once worked, the job of polishing was given to a guy who had some good skills, but unfortunately none was in polishing. To say he was ham handed would be to insult ham.

Someone once told him, "Lean a little harder on the wheel, Joe, that gun still has some markings on it!" Having no understanding of sarcasm, he did just that.

Believe it or not, most of the customers liked the shiny finish and didn't seem to care that "all that dumb scratchin" was gone.

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Old December 22, 2012, 10:52 PM   #6
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For the stock, you could give it a little sprucing up with some Johnson's paste wax on 0000 steel wool. You're not looking to bear down on the steel wool, just give the stock a light buff-down and remove haze and surface gunk.

As for the steel, if the blueing is in good shape, then all you need to do is wipe it down with a light coat of oil. An old gun in good shape that doesn't have damage or rust is entitled to have a patina of age.

Refinishing: Worst possible of all worlds is someone buffs out the metal on a wheel. Corners get rounded, details are lost, lettering is washed out. Real refinishing means real work, polishing by hand with polishing paper backed with a hard object. I have a bunch of aluminum and walnut blocks I used for backing paper into tight spaces and corners and use a bunch of different types of papers to get the finish right. I'll polish up to 400 to get rid of 320-level marks, then I might back down to some used 320 paper after the 400. Polishing that preserves details and is hard to detect takes time and some skill.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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Rem. Model 11 care.

I would replace the action spring with a Wolff. Clean the stocks with a rag that is damp with carb cleaner. Then hand rub in two or so coats of Lin Speed. Leave the metal alone. If you love to shoot then install a two piece carrier for the Browning A5 with a new spring and you don't have to use the carrier release button for every shell. It will load exactly like a late model A5. AND, you will not have to alter the original in any way. Make sure the barrel is in the receiver correctly and make sure the recoil buffer is good. These buffers can still be bought new and installed very easy. You can crack the bolt if things are not set up carefully.
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Old January 10, 2013, 11:59 AM   #8
James K
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I agree that hand polishing works and gives excellent results. But no professional gunsmith could afford to spend hours or days hand polishing an action; few customers would pay the price. Common sense and economics dictate use of a wheel.

But the fact is that a wheel (or several wheels) can give a top quality finish and without removing or dishing markings or dishing holes. It just takes some experience and skill.

Jim K
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Old January 10, 2013, 03:38 PM   #9
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Back in the 80's I bought a Model 11 at a pawn shop in Houston. I took it to Briley mfg on Gessner and had the 30 inch full choke barrel cut down to 27 inches and a Briley choke installed. Man, that old shotgun was and is a real shooter. After I'd had it for maybe 10 years, and hunted with my buddies that had expensive shiny new shotguns, I thought that getting it all polished up would be a good thing. It turned out real nice, and it does look much better than it once did. And they polished it with a wheel and they took off a little more metal in one spot than I wanted, but I guess I'm the only one that ever noticed it.
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Old January 10, 2013, 04:44 PM   #10
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I also own a Model 11/12 gauge. It belonged to a gentleman that hunted locally with it for years and from what I was told had a lot of success with it. When ever the guys that knew him (he is deceased) see the gun, they immediately call out his name and talk about the number of dear he killed with it. For that reason I won't refinish it. I'd feel like I was wiping away years of history.
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