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Preserving A Piece of History

1109 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Rick
Below is an 1873 Calvary SAA mfg in 1875 and it obviously looks that old, which I like. What I don't want is the rust that might progress over time, unless I do something to preserve the gun. Not looking for a new appearance, though Uberties are pretty. Like to knock off the rust that's there, without damaging patina. For example, I once saw a Calvary SAA that had been sent back to Colt in the 50s for some "minor repair and restoration". Colt stamped the gun appropriately and when they were done, it retained a pleasing patina, but the rust was largely gone. Does anyone know who does that kind of work today? Might be more difficult than a ground up refinishing and restoration. I don't know. Appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on preserving relatively rare and historical old guns like this. Thanks,


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I have used Kroil successfully to remove rust & leave whatever permanent finish is left, Kroil advertizes it penetrates one millionth inch & my experience over couple days loosens rust so with a rag with Kroil on it rubs pretty clean.

Rust seems to be granular which Kroil loosens.

After gun bores cleaned with bore cleaners that would swab leaving a clean patch & look pretty good, then given a Kroil treatment the patch came out dirty several times till Kroil got it clean.
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Your Colt revolver is more valuable in it's present condition than with a restoration. The corrosion that has already taken place cannot be reversed short of a total restoration. Rust is an iron oxide, and of itself is an abrasive. With much rubbing you will be removing the patina where the blue once was. If you still have patches of active rust it would be best to carefully remove them, but anything else will probably result in bare spots.
Definitely leave it as is. Most of the value in a historic Colt is in it's originality, including even just a 10% remaining finish. Think of a Tiffany lamp, if you polish it's patina, it's value goes from $10,000 to about $4,000. Those figures would be about the same if you refinished your Colt.
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Keep it well oiled and leave it alone. Anything, even a baking soda paste will leave a shiny spot.
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