Thursday, November 13, 2014

What's the Buzz on Restoring Old Firearms?

It's been a while since I posted and thought I'd write about restoring a firearm. That hobby has garnered an interest to me.

A person has to be smart with how they go about choosing a firearm to restore because not all of them can be brought back to their former glory. In the end, some guns will be restored without a hitch, some will restore with a few new parts, and others will be as broken as they were before. Still, restoring a firearm is a great idea because it can sometimes be done for little money and little effort. Collectors can keep the firearms for themselves or they can sell them off for some extra money. Of course, it doesn't matter what happens as long as the gun works again!

Getting Started

In the beginning, a person who wants to restore a firearm will have to find one to restore in the first place. The best bet for doing so is choosing a firearm that doesn't have mechanical issues, such as a broken trigger, bent hammer lock, or bent bore. It's best to choose a firearm that looks banged up but works just fine as far as firing the weapon goes. Fortunately, these types of weapons can be found just about anywhere for low prices because they aren't exactly the most valuable firearms out there. Some may even come with holsters and/or range bags.

Next, costs for restoring the firearm should be considered. A firearm made out of expensive materials with a lot of damage can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to fix. With that in mind, a person who hasn't restored a firearm before should stick to something a bit easier to fix up. The more complicated the gun, such as those with holographic sights, the harder it will be to restore. Nobody should jump right into restoring an assault rifle for their first job. Typically, it's best to start out with a basic rifle, shotgun, or handgun to restore. Also, only guns that won't cost hundreds of dollars to fix up should be worked on at first because it is highly likely that a person will mess up their first firearm restoration job.

The Restoration

Each restoration job will differ in some way from the last or the next one. Of course, each gun is going to have its blemishes and issues that need to be addressed. For example, firearms with dented or scratched wooden stocks will take some sanding or replacement. A rusted firearm will need some touching up to restore its shine. Some parts for the firearm might just need to be replaced altogether or parts like red dot sights may need calibration. So then, let's jump right into it.

Rust is a big problem on old guns with metal on them, which is pretty much every firearm out there. Fortunately, it is possible to get rid of rust on a firearm most of the time. There are professionals who can remove rust and other blemishes, but that's too expensive for most casual restorers. Rubbing the rusted areas gently with steel wool can remove great amounts of rust. Of course, it might take a few minutes or hours to get rid of most of the rust, but nobody should expect to get rid of all of it. Still, it's a simple solution that gets the job done.

Stocks aren't that difficult to fix because they can just be replaced with a new wooden or synthetic stock. On the other hand, some people prefer to keep the firearm's original stock. To restore an old stock with dents and scratches, the stock should be sanded down in the affected areas ever so slightly. It's very easy to sand the firearm too much to where the stock looks awkward. Anyways, the blemishes should be sanded down and then a coat of finish should be applied to the stock. Minor problems should be solved in this manner without a problem. Some stocks might need to be replaced at the end though.

Finally, the restorer should clean all other parts of the firearm, such as the bore and other parts. The firearm doesn't need to be taken apart if it works mechanically and may just get dirty, especially at this time of the year when hunting season is in full swing and people are in the woods using their hang on tree stands for hunting deer. From there, one must hope for the best and hope the firearm looks great and fires without a problem. After a few restoration jobs, some people will be able to move onto dealing with mechanical repairs with a firearm. This is much more difficult than cosmetic repairs, but it is also more rewarding. Everyone must be careful when attempting mechanical repairs though because they can be dangerous. Still, now you can restore that old firearm that's lying around in shambles!