Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Sporterized and unofficial modified Krags
Zac952
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by Zac952 »

Now I had a pickup to fix today, but my shop was far too messy, a bathroom remodel and previous vehicle repairs takes its toll when you often put off cleaning up, so what should I do? Well I better "use" this time well cleaning up to do something.
What better to do than a process that isn't much work its mostly just waiting.
I fully disassembled my Faux Short Rifle, was previously a Kirk Stokes short rifle but now has a 22 inch sporter action swapped in.
I was planning on only linseed oiling my stock today but I just couldn't take the beat up Butt plate, wire wheeled magazine door and side plate, also the rear sling swivel didn't match anything else. Now I will tell you never ever wire wheel a gun part, this is inproper and looks horrible. This is how I had purchased it.
First if all you want is to neutralize rust then boil all parts in distilled water and that will convert it into rust blue, and then scrub parts with 0000 steel wool. Now I would recommend this and this only for a Collectable Krag, maybe this is even too far, but even oiled that rust will eat away at the metal and I currently know of no other way that doesn't remove finish.
Now an anatomy of the parts and their factory finish, (I am by no means an expert but this is what I have found through my research) Also if your Krag has not been Arsenal Refurbished and it is in military configuration with case hardened parts you are losing much value and collectibility to refinish it in any way, if it has been Arsenal Refurbished and many of the original case hardened have been rust blued, then refinishing may still devalue, but it will bring it back to its former Refurbished days.
BOLT BODY IS POLISHED, UNBLUED!
Case hardened and quenched in water AS FOLLOWS
Buttplate trapdoor, Trigger
Case hardened and quenched in oil AS FOLLOWS
Reciever, Magazine door, Sideplate, extractor, bolt sleeve, bolt shroud
Rust blued AS FOLLOWS
Barrel, Buttplate,
Niter blued AS FOLLOWS
Barrel bands, both front and rear. Sling swivels, Trigger guard
Heat blued then quenched in oil AS FOLLOWS
Screws
Now if your Krag has this original finish and it is worn, especially the case hardened parts, there is much reason to leave it as is, as the case hardened and quenched in oil can not really be duplicated easily. There is a few parts here left out as I am unsure of the finishes
Now if your Krag has been arsenal Refurbished this the correct finishes
Rust blued AS FOLLOWS
Barrel, Reciever, Magazine door, Sideplate, Buttplate,
Niter blued AS FOLLOWS
Bands front and rear, sling swivels, screws,
If your Krag has a Mottled finish on the case hardened parts then this is likely the original finish.
Now for the instructions, I will update this thread throughout the day as I have time, with pictures and instructions
Last edited by Zac952 on Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:48 am, edited 5 times in total.

Zac952
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Re: Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by Zac952 »

Materials needed.
Rust Blue solution, I bought mine from https://www.rustblue.com/ I have no ties to this company, but I wanted as authentic of rust blue as I could get, This company makes different solutions for many different countries and has one specifically for 1903s, and Krags.
0000 steel wool, and/or a carding wheel, this wheel is not needed but saves a lot of time, a carding wheel is very fine, not you standard wire wheel, so ensure it is for Firearms
Q tips or cotton swabs,
A propane burner or other heat source to boil a pot of distilled water,
A pot, not your wife's kitchen pot though as this solution should not be used in food! Lol
4 gallons of distilled water, or how many you need to fill your pot about 2 times,
A small plastic cup, to put your rust blue solution in as to not contaminate the bottle.
Wire to hang your parts from
A box to house your parts
A scrap of wood to hang your parts in the water, they can touch the sides of the pot, this just makes pulling them out easier
A small container to hold hot water in your box
Acetone or other degreaser and toothbrush
Rubber gloves to handle your part and solution, do not touch your part with bare hands after degreasing as it will put skin oil on the part
Linseed oil to apply to the part when finished to stop the rusting, kerosene or other oils may work but don't use any oil that has rust inhibitors in it,
A Krag or other rifle or metal you want to blue,
Oh and patience
First clean all parts you want to blue with acetone and a toothbrush, take your time as any oil on the part will interfere with the bluing process.
Take your cardboard box and cut a door in it, poke in wire from the top to make hooks to hang your parts.
Then pour a small amount of solution in your plastic cup, SMALL like a penny size at first.
Then use a q tip or cotton ball to lightly wipe the solution on to your part using lengthwise strokes only overlapping the other stroke by a little, and a apply a very thin film, like changing the color, no pools.
Then hang the part in your box, not necessary if you live in a very humid place, bring a container of hot water from the tap and put it in the box and close the door, wait 20 to 40 minutes, checking it every 10 or so for it to be lightly rusted, yes this sounds and looks scary, but trust me it will look great in the end.
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Then put it into your pot of boiling distilled water and let it boil for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it turns mostly black. You may use a pvc pipe and toilet flange screwed to a pot lid with holes drilled into it to create a steam apparatus to use steam to convert the rust on the barreled action, use wood plugs to plug up the bore and don't apply solution to the raceway so that stays shiny and correct, Springfield Armory used steam to "brown" as they called it back then.

Zac952
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Re: Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by Zac952 »

Now pull your part from the distilled water it should look like this
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Now card it with your wheel, or 0000 steel wool,
Before carding
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After carding
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Notice the slight variation of finish under it? This is because I did not strip the old finish and it will blend in with a few more passes, now I recommend that like me you do not remove the old finish, it can round corners and make the part appear incorrect, the old finish will blend in with the new with more passes,
Now these pictures are the 2nd pass 1-6 may be needed depending on your part.
So now repeat all steps after the degreasing, and a tip degrease your steel wool and carding wheel in acetone before carding as it comes oiled and will inhibit rust on your consecutive passes

Zac952
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Re: Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by Zac952 »

After your satisfied with the depth and eveness of your bluing, the next step is to submerge it in a "pure oil" mainly you are looking for something without added rust inhibitors, boiled linseed oil, Kerosene, or what I used was old small engine oil, this small engine oil starts out with no detergents, and after its been ran in a mower for many seasons anything that could be in it is gone now.
Let your parts sit in that oil overnight before you clean them up and use a traditional gun oil.
Now the parts will darken after oil is applied but here is how mine looked after 4 passes
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Now as for the stock, I lightly went over it with a paper towel and mineral spirits, this was to remove any gun wax that would prevent Boiled linseed oil from soaking in, and also to remove some dirt and grime, I went very sparingly with this as I didn't want to remove any of the red logwwod stain applied at Springfield Armory, now I don't own an clothes iron so what I used was a small pot heated up on the stove and with a wet rag I steamed out any ugly dents, careful around any cartouches as this will lift them also, (I have none) I don't reccomend this on the handguard as they are extremely fragile.
I then hung my stock and applied Boiled linseed oil.
I wiped it dry after 15 minutes, then 10 hours later I applied a second coat, much lighter and then wiped it dry again.
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Here is an interesting marking, that I would like more info on if there is any out there
It appears to be a CH or CR or maybe CK. I think CR though. It is on the thin part of the stock that is under the magazine, this is a short rifle that I believe was made by Kirk Stokes, as it used their front sight on a late 477xxx 1898 reciever, the front band is fitted well but in no way Military well I believe.
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Zac952
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Re: Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by Zac952 »

Oh and here is the before for comparison, you can tell this one was Mottled, but someone prior to me decided he would attack it with a wire wheel, otherwise Mottled I'm good with and like, bubba'd is no good for me so something had to be done, fortunately this "bubba" removed these pieces before wire wheeling and left the receiver alone, so these will now math the receiver which is in pretty good condition.
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butlersrangers
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Re: Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by butlersrangers »

Interesting thread!

todd444
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Re: Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by todd444 »

good job!!!!!!!
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Zac952
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Re: Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by Zac952 »

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Can you spot the parts I reblued? I think they blend in quite well myself, I could have gone another pass or two and gotten a brand new look, but I was mostly trying to match the bluing on the rest of the rifle.
Now for the stock, Kirk Stokes should have used Acraglas! Although I don't think it had been invented yet.
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Small crack where they filled the lightening cut, and the filler was starting to come out,
This part doesn't take much abuse from recoil so just acraglas would work, but by using a brass thread section you can clamp the peice together with itself and have a stronger fix.
I took an old brass screw and cut the head off, and left just enough to go 3/4 through the stock, then I used a hacksaw to cut a screw slot in it so you will be able to turn it into the stock.
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Now I drilled a hole completely through the stock as this will be covered by the front band anyway, and then I removed the filler strip.
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Now get your stuff ready, and prefit before gluing,
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Zac952
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Re: Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by Zac952 »

After applying glue to every surface of the joint, fit it together and turn your brass thread in
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Now I filled the hole in over the screw with acraglas and am waiting for it to set

Zac952
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Re: Rust Bluing and stock finishing

Post by Zac952 »

Finally it all dressed down to fit the front band,
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This is extremely hard to get as good of fit as Springfield armory did when they made the "School rifles" I got close, but I may add epoxy down the road and dress it down again to get an exact fit, I guess it depends on how much it bothers me, it is better than the Kirk Stokes fit, but could be better.
Now here it is all back together, somebody before me blued the bolt, but it is kinda wore out so I will be using another unblued one I have after I shoot all my neck sized ammo.
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