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Waxing the gun

6462 Views 22 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  Matchlock
Just received my new purchase. It is an 1851 Navy 2nd Generation (F1100 A) - from the American Historical Foundation - the U.S. Army Tribute Colt (#58 of 100). Something different for me (and will add color to the collection).

Actually, I have been searching for this particular collection - the Foundation made four during the 1984-1987 years (Army, USMC, AF, and Navy). My intent was to find the U.S. Marine Corps model, since after serving with them for 27 years, it would have been somewhat closer to the heart. Either way, I think this one was a lucky find and, maybe in the future, I may find the other and use this one as trade.

The real question is this: Included with the purchase was the documentation that came with the gun. It had a Foundation booklet on Care and Preservation. It mentioned WAXING. Sounded good - do any of you do it? If so, what wax product do you recommend?


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I have used Renaissance Wax for quite a while now and wouldn't put anything else on the exterior of a gun again. If it's good enough for the Smithsonian it should be just fine for us commoners. :)
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I am not sure about waxing. Several antique gun dealers do not reccomend it. It is fine when your firearm is stored in the right conditions. But the wax do not prevent rust. I do use Parker Hale Rangoon oil. But this is pure my opinion.
Let me dumb this down to the simplest form. It's a piece of steel. Put wax on steel, steel don't rust.
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Thuer, Here I thought I was the only one with P-H Rangoon Oil! It was a gift years ago and I'v never seen it mentioned anywhere else.It is good stuff but I only use it for certain applications. I have been wanting to try some Renaissance Wax on some of my higher conditioned guns. Nick
I use Min Wax on all my firearms and have never had a issue
Wax only for me. There are several that are good out there.
That is what I am trying to find out. Museums do waxing. Since our collections are basically for the sake of collecting (and not firing), wouldn't it be that whatever they recommend for preservation may be the right thing to do? The benefit I see to waxing is that after waxing, I can put the gun back in its case without ruining the case lining due to it being oily (after being oiled). I don't know, I am not an expert.
Some waxes yellow over time. Ren Wax is used by museums on items that are displayed under light and resists the yellowing. They use it on wood, metal and even oil paintings. All oil must be removed and replaced with the wax. It's not really designed for the occasional shooter. It will stand up to periodic handling and long term storage. It really shines with color case hardened guns on display under light since it prevents fade of the colors in the steel.
What happens if you wax your gun and then decide to use it? Do you need to "unwax" it???
meezer, no you do not "unwax" it, you simply shoot it. It is really easy to clean a gun which has been fired after the guns is waxed.

I like to first clean a gun well with Eezox, then wax the gun with Renaissance Wax.
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meezer, no you do not "unwax" it, you simply shoot it. It is really easy to clean a gun which has been fired after the guns is waxed.

I like to first clean a gun well with Eezox, then wax the gun with Renaissance Wax.
Thanks. Going to have to try this!
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I bought a can of Renaissance at a gun show a while back but never used it. Today, because of this thread, I dragged out two 2nd gen 1860 Army's of comparable condition, one fluted the other rebated. I waxed one and put them side by side. Could I see a difference? Yes, maybe. The one with the wax the bluing and brass seemed a bit glossier. Of course I know which one I waxed. :rolleyes: Is it worth the cost of the wax and effort? From an appearance standpoint; not in my opinion. Will the wax preserve better? Probably slow down tarnish of brass and silver plate. For just a blued gun? I have no idea but Eezox seems to be working for me and it is a lot easier to use.
I am very old fashioned. I wear a pair of cotton gloves- light ones, like what Naval Officers used to weaar with Dress Whites, and I use 3 in 1 oil on a piece of old washed-out cotton bed sheet. After oiling, I wipe down with another dry piece of washed-out bed sheet. To make sure I do not have too much oil on the gun before I return it to its case, I put the gun on a desk size blotter, which will show every bit of excess oil. I do this least twice a year for every gun I own.
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I put CLP Breakfree oil on all my guns in 2006, then left the country until this year. No one touched the guns for 7 years. When I got them out of the safe, they were all perfectly preserved. I'd seen tests done on pieces of steel in steamroom environments, and the CLP lasted the longest. Convinced me, and I'm glad I used it.
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Why Use Renaissance Wax?

I hope this helps a lot of you with the answer.


What is 'Renaissance Wax' and why should I buy some?

Renaissance wax polish was originally formulated on the British Museum research laboratories in the early 1950's, in response to a discussion amongst museum technicians at an international conference on fine-art conservation.

In accelerated ageing tests, the British Museum scientist found that all current commercial waxes based on the usual natural waxes (beeswax and carnauba wax) contained acids which. In time, could spoil original finishes on national historic collections of furniture. He rejected them all and Investigated the new so-called 'fossil' or micro- crystalline waxes being refined out of crude oil. With their distinct characteristics depending on their geographical origins, the new 'man-made' waxes could be accurately blended to meet the needs of many industries, from cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to heavy engineering. Thus, the waxes combined Nature's best qualities with the advantages of modern technology.

The blend which emerged from that research was 'designed' for long- term protection of all classes of museum exhibits. At last, museum technicians and others caring for important collections could use wax polish that neither caused future conservation problems nor detracted from the intrinsic values of their treasures. Commercial production and distribution of the polish was ultimately undertaken in 1968 by the London-based company Picreator Enterprises Ltd. under its trade name 'Renaissance'. The product was quickly accepted in the international museum world and has become a universally respected standard conservation material - probably the most widely specified because of its almost unlimited uses.

What makes Renaissance wax so different?

It has a crystalline structure much finer than totally natural waxes, a property that confers a highly efficient moisture resistance. Countless statues and monuments in city streets are now protected by Renaissance wax from weathering corrosion. Arms and armor, steel and kitchen equipment of brass and copper in historic house museums, are kept bright and corrosion-free.

When thinly applied and rubbed out to full luster, the wax film is (and remains) glass-clear, with no discoloration either of the wax or the underlying surface. Renaissance wax is free from acids (pH neutral) and will not damage even sensitive materials. For example, photographs for exhibition or of historic value are waxed to protect the image from the natural acidity of hand or environmental pollutants. The wax does not stain or darken even white paper.
On furniture or wood carvings the wax delicately enhances grain or 'flame' patterns. It protects existing finishes such as French polish and it can be applied directly to sanded, unfinished hardwoods without need of sealers. Waxing is the last process in hand-made furniture and in the creation of wood, stone or metal sculptures. But it is the first aspect to be appreciated by hand and eye. The clarity and luster of Renaissance wax makes an instant visual appeal. The silk-smooth touch of the matured wax film gives added pleasure, compared to the 'drag' of fingers leaving trails across the softer beeswax polishes.
No matter how often the wax is used there is no loss of clarity, so that fine surface detail is never obscured. Repeated use of the wax deepens the luster, reflecting more light from surfaces and making them more lively.

Picreator receives hundreds of enquiries from around the world asking if Renaissance wax is suitable for a specific surface or project. Invariably the answer is 'yes'. Its unique qualities make it ideal for protecting all surfaces from environmental attack or handling. The wax is, for example, replacing the preservative oiling of arms and armor in museums. The wax film is hard and dry and does not, like oil, remain sticky and attract atmospheric acidity. Exhibits are more comfortable to handle.

Greasy dirt on waxed surfaces is easily removed by gentle use of a soft rag dampened with paraffin; alternatively, warm water with a little liquid soap. Neither cleaning method will harm the wax film.

Should surface repair or restoration be needed. Renaissance wax can be completely removed by rubbing with white spirit (a petroleum distillate). In professional fine-art conservation all treatments must be 'reversible' without damage to the original surface, to allow use of a better technique.
New ideas for using the wax continually reach the manufacturers. For instance, a model ship maker reported that dipping small-diameter wood drills into the wax almost eliminated drill breakage when working on hardwoods. Steel tools in the workshop no longer suffered from rusting.
Paper kites and model aeroplanes can be water-proofed. The wax reduces 'drag' on model boats racing in the water.
Leather shoes of all colours are protected positively with a brilliant shine by use of Renaissance wax. There is no 'fall-out' of coloured waxes from brushes to spoil clothes. Ladles' leather/plastic handbags are proofed against rain.

is easily stained by contact with colored liquids. The stains can quickly sink into the surface, which will usually need re-grinding (expensive and Inconvenient) to eliminate the marks. Makers and restorers of marble-top furniture appreciate the highly protective qualities of Renaissance wax to avoid staining.

Makers/restorers of violins, 'cellos and guitars use the wax to protect the varnish from players' natural acid contact and also from the sticky powdery residue of rosin on bow hair.
On the motorcar. Renaissance produces a great shine with an unrivalled service life In all weathers. It can be used successfully on all surfaces: coachwork paint, bright metals, rubber or plastic seals. Inside the car the wax Is perfect everywhere, especially on leather upholstery. The wax's micro-crystalline structure has amazing plasticity. The dry film 'flows' under pressure and will not fracture when the seat is sat on.

When applied correctly - in thin layers - the wax is extremely economical In use, so that Its Initial cost compares very favorably with ordinary commercial waxes. In room temperature, with the can firmly capped, Renaissance has a shelf life of several years. This is due mainly to the extraordinary solvent-retention power of the wax. It will remain in perfect condition long after other waxes have caked hard and become useless.
Should you wish to buy some, just check out my items for sale. Please note, I have no connection with Picreator enterprises apart from being rather impressed by their products.
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Around 25 years ago, I used to apply gun wax to all of My firearms, but stopped doing so after finding a speck of rust on one or two.
Since that time, I've switched over to a light coating of ordinary CRC automotive silicone, and with no regrets.

I haven't discovered any rust spots on any of My firearms, since using the CRC silicone, plus they always look their Sunday best.
Of course, the guns are treated with CRC several times annually, and more often if they go outdoors to the range.

Like wax, silicone doesn't leave an oily film, but rather a slick, protective, shiny surface, that easily repels any moisture.
Seems to me that perhaps more importance should be put on how the gun is stored than on with what product (wax or oil) it is covered. Simply put, the cleaner, drier the storage environment, the less likely dust will get to the metal and in turn attract moisture leading to rust. That said, most major firearms museums use Renaissance wax because it doesn't attract dust. Once waxed, though, you should wear white cotton gloves when handling the object because oils from your skin degrade the wax's ability to protect it. If you take a gun out to shoot it, just put another coat of wax on it when you're finished.
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Back in the day, before all the fancy waxes and other products that are available to-day. I worked as a Police Officer near salt water, sometimes beach patrol. Once a month I waxed my service revolver with Simonize car paste wax. To-day, some 50 or so years later, my revolver is rust free.....Jim
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