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Collector question: how much if any patina may be removed

SoreShoulderSoreShoulder Member Posts: 3,120 ✭✭✭

What if there was a US military firearm from the last century which had been maintained with a little too much linseed oil and had rusted lightly? How much patina may be removed before it's a travesty against history and collecting? What if there is dried linseed oil on the barrel and action? I'd like to remove it and remove the "proud" rust with an oiled piece of crumpled aluminum foil.


  • William81William81 Member Posts: 23,244 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2022

    Be careful how you answer...

  • BobJudyBobJudy Member Posts: 5,587 ✭✭✭✭

    Lacquer thinner for the linseed oil and a brass or stainless brush with a light oil on the rust. Bob

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 9,405 ✭✭✭✭

    Ballistol on the wood, Kroil on the metal. Burlap bag is just about right, in terms of abrasiveness.

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • truthfultruthful Member Posts: 1,749 ✭✭✭✭

    Dried linseed oil on metal is easy to remove and won't impact any real patina. Use an effective solvent and do not scrub with steel wool. Oh, and remove the wood first.

  • chmechme Member Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭✭

    Linseed is for wood, not metal. Remove metal from wood, If you have actual rust, get a Chore-boy COPPER pot cleaner. Not steel, not copper plated. Wet it with light oil, scrub until arm falls off. Change hands, get clean cloth (and yes, burlap works very well) Wet with light oil, scrub until you get the coppery color off that you just put there.

    Minimal damage to bluing or Parkerizing.

  • cbxjeffcbxjeff Member Posts: 16,688 ✭✭✭✭

    I always was taught that depending how old and how valuable, it's best not to touch it. If not that old or valuable you have good advice here. I have about a dozen pistols from the 1800's. Some are not worth much and I have cleaned them up as recomended or even by more severe methods. Others I haven't touched other than wiping clean and keeping them in a warm and dry place. I and others would like to see your pictures.

    It's too late for me, save yourself.
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