Winchester Model 12 Restoration

I got this gun from a guy who wanted to get it rehabbed.  It was his great grandfathers, handed down from his father.  I had cleaned up an old Stevens style Springfield SxS 12 ga. previously for this guy.  Gotta say, folks, this was the worst and dirtiest gun I have ever run across.  I would not have taken the chance to fire this thing before I got it.

I cleaned, stripped the blueing, polished all the metal, re blued all the exposed parts, repaired the stock which had about an inch of wood missing on the bottom corner, and a new butt plate which was also broken.  Refinished the stock and for grip.

Here’s a gallery of all the dirty and worn parts before the work began.  First the outside of the gun, then the innerds and the worst of it all.  Unfortunately, I can’t really show you the barrel or the magazine components.  Pictures just didn’t come out.

I used the cold bluing process to keep the cost down and I doubt the owner could even tell the difference or care.  He just wanted it to be cleaned up and a keepsake that he could be proud of.   I contacted my friend Nate at Legacy Gunsmithing here in Cincinnati, who does hot bluing and he quoted a price of $350.00 just for the bluing.  Customer didn’t want to pay, but I have to thank Nate and give him some credit on this project, because he was able to disconnect the receiver connector from the barrel, where I wasn’t.   Anyway, there was a full 1/8″ of dried sludge in the bottom of my 9″ cleaning pan after I got it clean enough to handle.

I then began sanding out some of the light surface scratches and raised metal burrs, followed by much buffing sanding and polishing to get the metal smooth and gleaming.  The gun actually looked kind of cool in bare metal.  Should have taken a picture of that, but, I digress.

I used Birchwood Casey’s Perma Blue to cold blue the metal.  It worked very well and better than the Super Blue, in my opinion.  The bluing process went well, though tedious.  The bluing and rinsing, drying, cleaning, and re bluing process worked well, though it took seven or eight applications.  All the small parts and the jigs to hold everything while working was a job.  I earned my money for sure.

So, I’m pretty happy with the results.  Here’s a few shot of the finished product.  If you look closely, you can see the patch in the stock’s bottom corner.  It’s not near obvious in person and this is a preliminary finish before I wetsand and final coat the stock and fore grip.



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