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Old December 5, 2012, 10:54 AM   #1
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Winchester 94, Post 64 questions

I have a Winchester 94 made around 1970. It has the usual finish problem on the receiver. I got the gun on a trade, sold the other gun, and have no money in this gun. It's ugly, but works just fine - I call it my "Cabin Gun".

I have read that the receiver can't be blued and if you try it will turn a weird plumb color because it is made of a magnesium-steel alloy. My question is what exactly is magnesium-steel, or whatever steel these receivers are made of? Is it rust/corrosion resistant? What if I just stripped and polished the receiver down to bare metal - would it eventually rust or would it take on an interesting patina?
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Old December 5, 2012, 12:50 PM   #2
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I don't know if it would rust (I suspect it would). I have heard they are plated with iron to accept the bluing. You could strip the finish and see. If you don't like it, one of the epoxy finishes like Duracoat is always an option.
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Old December 5, 2012, 01:57 PM   #3
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I'm not a big fan of duracoat. But, there aren't many metals that cannot accept any surface treatment. This isn't exactly stainless steel (or is it?) I'm sort of curious what can be done with this metal. Its actually supposed to be a very tough form of steel, from what I've read. It's a shame if something can't be done with it, other than paint and plating, to enhance its beauty.
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Old December 5, 2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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It is cast steel. Not stainless. Not a super-steel by any means.
Don't know where the "magnesium steel" came from, never heard that term applied to the 94.

It will not take bluing on the base surface & re-bluing attempts on the existing surface finish seldom go well. It will rust if you strip the bluing & underlying layer of iron off it and leave it like that.
It can be plated.

That steel was not a resounding success & was replaced by standard forged steel in the early 80s. Those who buy one like yours typically just live with it as is.
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Old December 5, 2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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I was told that Begium Blue will work on those post 64 recievers.
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Old December 5, 2012, 03:28 PM   #6
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I'd say one of the various "kotes" would be perfect for a post-64 '94 cabin gun. I have one too and luckily it's still fairly clean, but I saw a ton of them come though our shop back in the late 80's and early 90's, and there wasn't any satisfactory answer then.
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Old December 5, 2012, 04:15 PM   #7
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Those post-64 rifle receivers are made of siliceous steel (silicon content makes them more shock-resistant and unlikely to shatter). They can be:
* Plated (with either iron, black chrome, or black nickel).
* Color case hardened
* GunKote or DuraCoat (I prefer GunKote becasue it goes on so thin)
* Painted with Brownells' baking lacquer and baked.

Or just live with it. It just looks bad, it still works just fine.
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