After years of working with many wonderful clients, it soon became clear that for the most part, customers get the run-around when researching Firearm Restorers for their old guns. You have Shop A over here claiming this, Shop B over there chanting that, and now this clown in Oshkosh, WI is telling me something entirely different yet again. What gives? Why so many differing opinions?
This answer is easy...... Proper restorations, ones that are faithful to the way the mfg's originally produced the product, are darn hard to do correctly!
It basically boils down to a simple fact that not all shops are able to produce all the finishes, nor do they possess the necessary skills required to do it right. And maybe more important yet, they do not have the determination to not take short-cuts!
Early Colt's (pre-war) are always Carbonia Blued. Not hot blued, rust blued, or parkerized. I read an article on a competitors web site about Carbonia Bluing. Basically, his statement was that any shop advertising the ability to produce this finish nowadays is basically lying. What...? His theory; sperm oil, and the lack of it, because the finish can't be produced without it. What the heck is that all about? I guess the Whales will be sleeping good tonight knowing I'm not hunting them down for their oil, and Greenpeace loves me too.
Winchester lever guns that are completely finished in rust blue, or even worse yet, hot blue. Truth is, Winchester only rust blued the barrels and mag. tubes of their guns and never rust blued receivers, ever. Everything else should be Charcoal or Carbonia Blued depending on the year of mfg., with a combination of small parts being bone charcoal case colored and possibly niter blued.
In a nutshell, the mfg's had available to them charcoal blue, carbonia blue, niter blue, and rust blue. And in specific combinations finished their products. Knowing where and how to apply these finishes with proper metal preparation is the key to re-producing an honest restoration.
It takes huge amounts of investigative research, and just as much if not more R&D to get all of those finishes right. And because of this, some resort to using a modern incorrect finish to try and mask the fact that they do not have the ability to provide you with the correct one.
There are some shops out there that do "do it right". Kudos to you! Some are good friends and we openly share our techniques with each other to produce a higher quality product, for you, the customer.
Our goal at RGS Restorations is firmly set upon the belief of "doing it right"! It protects the value of your firearm, and it protects the value of your investment! That's our job.
R.G.S. Restorations, Inc.
6441 South U.S. Hwy. 45
Oshkosh, WI 54902