Reblued or Rebarreled?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by mofire, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. mofire

    mofire New Member

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    Oct 27, 2005
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    Hi all,
    How can you tell if a rifle has been reblued? I am looking at a Winchester Model 1890 with an octagon barrel, manufactured in 1905. It looks way to good to be original, but yet all of the corners and lettering appear to be sharp. The other thing is how would you tell if it had been rebarreled.:confused:
  2. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Every Winchester i can think of has some kind of lettering stamped on the barrel, so if it is missing, you can be sure it has been rebarreled. Of course, if it was rebarreled with the correct original Winchester barrel, it could be impossible to tell. After many years of handling guns, most collectors can spot a reblue across the room. Yes, you should look for sharp corners rounded off, buffed lettering, and tiny pits which have been blued over. Also, experts know what the color of the original finish should look like. Another clue is a gun with a poor bore and a minty outside finish.
  3. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    Jul 1, 2006
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    I use a mag lite and magnifying glass to look for reblue. You need to hold the light at an angle, and shine it on the barrel. What you are looking for is a red, orange, or plum color. That's rust. A reblue won't have this, a gun made in 1905 will have plenty.

    The bad news is this technique won't work on an old reblue.
    Mark
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I have a Winchester Model 92 that looked to be museum quality (got it for a song). I, too, could not tell if it was re-blued. Had a gunsmith look at it and he spotted plugged holes in the receiver where a peep sight had once been installed. Further investigation showed that even though it was marked 32-20 it had been rebored to 357Mag, a common practice when I first started buying guns in the early 1960's.

    I've seen a lot of old Winchesters at gun shows and even the expensive one's blue job is thin or mottled. If it looks too good to be true then it is not true.

    Take it to a local gun show and shop it around. If you get big numbers then the dealers know it is original; little numbers and they know its been re-blued. A collector at a gun show might also be able to instantly tell. Don't get your hopes up too high. All Winchesters after WWII had little value and people modified them, and re-blued them at will. Your chances of a museum level Winchester, any model, are very low.

    LDBennett
  5. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    I use my fingers. When the roll was run across the barrel, metal was pushed up, and ought to be palpably present, to consider the gun original.
    If it's too smooth, the barrel is refinished, since the 'burr', from the 'roll engraving', has been polished away!
    All the earlier tips are valid, and ought to be considered, but, if you cannot 'feel' the letters, on the barrel, it is not the 'real deal'.
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