Rust bluing K31 barrel bands

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  • MTplinker

    Junior Member
    Dec 30, 2021
    86
    Annapolis
    The barrel bands on my K31 need a little TLC. I like the looks and durability of rust bluing. I don’t mind if it takes longer vs cold bluing, but I have a question if I can do it on small assemblies of parts.

    These barrel bands are sort of multi-piece assemblies that don’t look like they ought to be dissembled beyond say removing the screw. The lower band has an integrated sling loop.

    Sure, I’d prefer to completely disassemble them into their most basic parts. I bet it would help with degreasing, applying the blue, and carding. It doesn’t look practical, though.

    Anyone have advice or experiences rust bluing small assemblies like barrel bands? Can I just leave them assembled? Will I be able to neutralize and stop the rust formation in the little nooks and crannies if they are assembled?
     

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    Doco Overboard

    Active Member
    Just leave the swivel loops alone. They're bent and usually made from from something like Bessemer steel wire.
    If you bend them to remove them more than likely you'll never get them right again on re-install.

    The loops are made by tightly winding the wire around a mandrel and then cutting them strategically in a way that produces a gap as they are slid off the mandrel.
    Dependent on where the cuts are made the loops will come off sometimes in a crooked or twisted manner that upon install and being pressed into the band they are are squashed together and flattened to final appearance. When you bend them clear, the wire will kink or become work hardened at a location elsewhere than what is usually desired.
     

    Threeband

    The M1 Does My Talking
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 30, 2006
    21,210
    Carroll County
    I see only a moderate amount of honest wear on a 70 year old rifle. I would leave it alone.

    Any refinishing will reduce the resale value.
     

    MTplinker

    Junior Member
    Dec 30, 2021
    86
    Annapolis
    Well, truth be told the gray Beech wood in the butt area is really begging to be spiffed up, and barrel bands are a second tier kind of item. Cleaning the stock is a different topic from rust bluing (what follows probably ought to be in C&R thread) but related to resale value.

    Increasing or preserving resale value isn’t my motivation. I’d like to enjoy it while shooting vintage turnbolt matches. I’m inclined to restore someof its original beauty circa 1954 or so.

    My aim is notto make it look “as-issued” nor to preserve it as a museum piece. I’m gonna’ go shoot it to see what kind of groups I can wring out of it. If my planned modest clean up of the stock and reapplication of shellac decreases its value in a collector’s eye- so be it.
     

    MTplinker

    Junior Member
    Dec 30, 2021
    86
    Annapolis
    Thanks for the explanation about their manufacturing process. I doubted that I’d want to screw with taking it apart.

    The tip off for me is that those barrel band assemblies appear on exploded views of the K31 as whole parts, as in one does not take them apart any further than this.
     

    Biggfoot44

    Active Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    24,438
    Along the lines of Threeband , that doesn't look bad , and isn't in need of refinishing .
     
    Jul 1, 2012
    5,103
    Gotta be a little careful with car wax, some have abrasives and acids in them.


    I like a little bit of honest wear, gives it character and the overall look of the rifle is consistent as it sits.
     

    Biggfoot44

    Active Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    24,438
    Yes , pure Paste Wax , not typical automotive products .

    Among gun collectors and condition snobs , Resance ( auto spell lets me down here ) is the gold standard
     
    Jul 1, 2012
    5,103
    Renaissance Wax ... I bought some probably 8 years ago and still have at least 3/4 of it left. :)
    I know some collectors use it like Franks' Red Hot and put that bleep on everything....
    but I only use it on high-polish blue stuff where I want to avoid the swirls and shadows oil can make when taking pics, etc.
     
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