What is a restoration? Before we even define it, I'd like to comment that true top quality restoration is an art! Simply, the act of restoring an item is defined as "bringing it back to it's original, or unimpaired condition". Since we are talking guns here, let's say the way it was (or better) than it left the factory. Now, as you can imagine, no two guns are ever the same in condition. The needs of one piece will always vary from the needs of another. And this is where the act of an artisan comes in to play.
Why restore a gun? Ok, here's a hot topic if there ever was one. Toss this little cherry into a group of "gunnies" at a gun show or your favorite gun shop and you'll be assured to start as much commotion as a gaggle of liberals at an NRA convention. There are some well intentioned individuals out there who are unfortunately still laboring under the false pretense that by restoring a firearm you're destroying it's value. "What value", you may ask. Original condition value? If it's original condition value means it's devoid of finish with rust and pits on it, and the rust inside the barrel forms a spiral, it's a restoration candidate. And, as such, no collector will even touch it as is. So, now we have determined that it's not a collector gun. "Well then, it's a shooter", is a common response. But the barrel is either pitted, shot out, or worn out, and quite possibly a combination of all, and we have not yet even discussed the wood condition. Now we have just determined that it wont shoot well either. Let's face it, when a guns better days have long been gone, It possesses no collector value, and it can't provide service the makers intended, it's time for a restoration!
Will restoration increase the value of my gun? Short answer = absolutely! A correct restoration will always increase the value of your firearm. Here is where I must stress the use of the words correct restoration. Just any old sloppy buffing and bluing ain' t going to cut it. No sir, not by a long shot.
Should some guns not be completely restored? Yes, some firearms would benefit more from a preservation/conservation service rather than a resto but, those are few in comparison to the overwhelming majority of guns that are "restoration candidates". And, if your firearm would be better off served with a conservators approach, we'll let you know that too.
R.G.S. Restorations, Inc.
6441 South U.S. Hwy. 45
Oshkosh, WI 54902