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Old December 31, 2019, 04:11 PM   #1
Jmsvickers
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New member and winchester 94 question.

Hello all, new member but I have been reading posts on the forums for quite some time. I recently picked up a 1979 Winchester 94 for a good price however the receiver finish is.... in bad shape. I understand they can not be hot reblued due to the metal they are made of. I have read on here that a few have had luck rust blueing them and I am looking into that option but if I have to remove the plating I may just ceracoat it as I would rather protect the metal rather than the value.

Is rust bluing the best option or should I just ceracoat it and shoot it?
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Old December 31, 2019, 04:21 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what value you are trying to protect. Collector's value? It has none. It is not in pristine condition, so unless it is a rare variant collectors don't want it. Shooter's value? If you have the Cerakote done by a skilled applicator
(firearm disassembled, coated, then reassembled), it will not harm the valuse of the gun for anyone looking for a shooter.
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Old December 31, 2019, 11:01 PM   #3
jmr40
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If it were mine I'd leave it as is.
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Old January 1, 2020, 07:29 AM   #4
fourbore
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If it were mine I'd leave it as is.
Agreed. I will take honest wear over a cover up. Not that anyone minds much one way or another. I suggest using it some before the rush to make changes.

I got an M94 new from that time period and it rusted up on me right away. I cleaned it up and continue to use it. It has a certain character now. My impression is the blue was thin or weak on my gun. Had I known, I would have coated it with RIG grease. I got over it and the gun is fine. A full pound lighter than a comparable Marlin. I removed the rear sight and added a receiver mounted peep. That was a common mod at the time and very effective for more accurate shooting.
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Old January 1, 2020, 12:18 PM   #5
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Cerakote it. {Better than bluing for resistance to all mishaps.} Plus you get to pick the cerakote color. "How nice that is."
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Old January 1, 2020, 12:46 PM   #6
Hawg
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I'd leave it like it is. At least it has character. Cerakote just looks cheap. Mine is probably a lot rougher than yours but I won't change it.

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Old January 1, 2020, 01:31 PM   #7
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I have one that's brownish too and I'd take the money I would have invested in the cerekote and put it toward another gun. Mine shoots great so I have no reason to alter it beyond a nice leather sling.
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Old January 1, 2020, 01:53 PM   #8
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You might consider something else instead of a paint job, WAX.

A good paste wax that dries to a fairly "hard" finish is not usually associated with guns, but it does do a decent job of preserving wood and metal. It's cheap and while not as durable as some other things, it is infinitely and easily re-touchable.
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Old January 1, 2020, 02:17 PM   #9
reynolds357
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Originally Posted by Jmsvickers View Post
Hello all, new member but I have been reading posts on the forums for quite some time. I recently picked up a 1979 Winchester 94 for a good price however the receiver finish is.... in bad shape. I understand they can not be hot reblued due to the metal they are made of. I have read on here that a few have had luck rust blueing them and I am looking into that option but if I have to remove the plating I may just ceracoat it as I would rather protect the metal rather than the value.

Is rust bluing the best option or should I just ceracoat it and shoot it?
Is the metal rusting or the finish simply worn? If its not rusting, I wouldnt worry about it. Treat it with any of the synthetic gun lubricants that evaporate and leave dry film.
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Old January 1, 2020, 08:01 PM   #10
Pathfinder45
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How bad can it be? Mine has no blueing left on it and it looks good that way. actual rust can be cleaned up with 0000-steel wool. Then wipe it down with a metal preservative like Breakfree CLP. It will be fine. Silvery patina looks better on an old gun than if it was reblued anyway.
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Old January 2, 2020, 05:47 PM   #11
dgludwig
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I'm not sure what value you are trying to protect. Collector's value? It has none.
Not to disparage your Winchester, but "it is what it is". Model 94s made from 1964 to 1983 (serial number range from about 2,700,000 to 5,250,000) evidenced a dramatic deterioration in terms of everything relevant when assessing the quality of a firearm, including material, finish and workmanship.

Regarding this era of Model 94s, Robert C. Renneberg, author of the treatise Winchester Model 94, A Century of Craftsmanship, had this to say" "...It rattled when you shook it. The action was an abomination with a flimsy sheet steel stamping serving as the carrier, and the receiver itself did not take kindly to the bluing process. Even the fit and finish of the wood was terrible-on a par with the rest of the gun...
"The receiver itself was now a casting, an investment casting. The material from which it was cast was an alloy of some kind of 'mystery metal' that not only resisted polishing, but also refused to adequately react to the bluing solution. This alloy proved to be so inhospitable to finishing that it finally had to be plated with iron just to provide a consistent medium upon which the bluing solution could react...
"Field use soon drew customer complaints pertaining to lack of finish durability, and it was back to the drawing board for more research...
"The final solution was to use a black oxide finish, that while in reality was hardly more durable, but at least had a smoother, higher quality appearance."

As discouraging as these criticisms can be, they don't detract from the handling qualities of the Model 94 carbine, so coveted by hunters pursuing whitetails in heavy cover; nor was the accuracy of the rifle compromised. Finally, the effectiveness of the .30-30 cartridge was not the exclusive province of any of the several different eras (first model through sixth model) of the Model 94 Winchester. All Model 94s harvest venison the same and, in my estimation, even the worst of them are still pretty darn nice rifles.

A warm welcome to The Firing Line, Jmsvickers.
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Old January 2, 2020, 07:32 PM   #12
reynolds357
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If I remember correctly, I paid about $175 for mine at Walmart in the early 90s. Its a 94 but I have no idea exact model. All it said on box was "model 94 angle eject."
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Old January 3, 2020, 09:18 AM   #13
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Welcome! And leave it as-is!

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Old January 3, 2020, 02:06 PM   #14
T. O'Heir
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Hot bluing will cost more than the thing is worth. There's a great deal of hand polishing required after the thing is completely disassembled. That alone costs a pile of money if you don't do it and just send the parts you want blued.
Mind you, doing anything requires completely disassembly. Just cold bluing the thing will help.
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