Restoring antique shotguns

JimFromTN

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I have 2 winchester model 12 20ga's that belonged to my grandfather. I believe one was from 1916 or 1917 just before he went off to WWI and the other was from the 1930's. They got stored in a humid environment and now the blueing is somewhat shot. I was wondering if there is a way to restore them without lowering their current value. I also don't want antiques with a brand new blueing job and no longer look like antiques.
 
I was wondering if there is a way to restore them without lowering their current value. I also don't want antiques with a brand new blueing job and no longer look like antiques.

There is no way that I am aware of that does not lower the value of 'antiques'. Any changes to the original firearm results in a lower price. You have chosen to stand between the rock and hard place.

You can call or write Doug Turnbull to get a salient response but be sure to have some Vaseline handy when he tells you the price. He is not bashful about getting his just reward.

https://www.turnbullrestoration.com/restoration-services/

;)
 
I am picking up an old Remington model 31 and Remington model 17. Another shop that I found online that looks like they do excellent work is Will Brothers Restoration in Michigan. I am likely going to send my shotguns out there for a full inspection and reblue. Collector value isn’t important to me however, I don’t plan on selling the shotguns, just using them to hunt grouse and pheasant!
 
Collector value isn’t important to me however, I don’t plan on selling the shotguns, just using them to hunt grouse and pheasant!

In that case you are in the perfect position to have your shotguns refinished! Be sure to ask all the salient questions about their services and delivery. Refinishing and bluing are both art and science.

Enjoy your process!

😊
 
My advice would be to not worry about value if you are going to restore them as you won’t likely get your money back out of them.

From a monetary standpoint if they are mechanically sound its better to just hunt them as they are. Any wear and tear from use won’t bother you so much.

I’m always surprised that people even bother buying a modern pump gun when you can buy used but very serviceable model 12’s or 870 wing masters for not much more and they are heads and above better quality than any pump gun made today.
 
There will always be the dichotomy between the esoteric and the pragmatic. It's not that one is right or wrong just different viewpoints.

No matter the opinion, there are shotguns, rifles and pistols which have an intrinsic value which can either be enhanced or ignored. Some of these firearms are currently valued above what I might consider as simply serviceable or field grade. But it's still up to the owner to decide about restoration and value.

I don't collect and I understand that some do.

:)
 
I have 2 winchester model 12 20ga's that belonged to my grandfather. I believe one was from 1916 or 1917 just before he went off to WWI and the other was from the 1930's. They got stored in a humid environment and now the blueing is somewhat shot. I was wondering if there is a way to restore them without lowering their current value. I also don't want antiques with a brand new blueing job and no longer look like antiques.
What another member said.
I love working on old guns, restoring old guns - especially shotguns but recently had one that I was not going to attempt to reblue myself so I asked someone far more experienced than I about doing it. He said, "NO! DON'T TOUCH IT!" That the original patina is far more valuable than a quality bluing job. Suit yourself!
 
I have polished ever so lightly with 0000 steel wool and oil, it will brighten the blue that is there and whiten where it isn't. You can polish a LONG time without damaging the finish, just go light and keep it wet. It also won't change the patina much other than old and not used to old and used. It will also help keep new rust at bay by brightening the bare metal a little.
 
Here’s my 16 ga model 12 from my grandfather which he purchased in 1942. This is a great upland shotgun.
 

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There will always be the dichotomy between the esoteric and the pragmatic. It's not that one is right or wrong just different viewpoints.

No matter the opinion, there are shotguns, rifles and pistols which have an intrinsic value which can either be enhanced or ignored. Some of these firearms are currently valued above what I might consider as simply serviceable or field grade. But it's still up to the owner to decide about restoration and value.

I don't collect and I understand that some do.

:)
I don't collect for "collector value". I collect certain ones because I like them and I shoot everyone of them. Only have one safe queen, it is older than me, Hunted with it for 15 years and just have a newer better model of same rifle.
 
Here’s my 16 ga model 12 from my grandfather which he purchased in 1942. This is a great upland shotgun.
Send a couple of pheasants down here. I hunted ND for pheasant, IMHO, best pheasant hunting in the country
Love old firearms! That shotgun will serve a few more generations.
 
I wish I could send them south. We are in for a tough winter. We’re already at average yearly snow depths and have had many days of bitter cold with blowing snow. We were just starting to get decent pheasant numbers again. I had a great season for pheasants sharp tail and Huns. Rare that we get good numbers for all three at the same time.
 
I have a model 12 winchester passed to me by my grandfather who bought it in 1925. I hunted with it for years. 20 gauge, full choke.
Never any rust but blueing worn. Had it restored in the 90s and will pass it to the grandkids one day. Looks new and I didn’t care about the collectors value. Functions perfectly. Was done by a company called centurion arms in Arizona.
 
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