New to me 1873 springfield

cetme24

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Recently picked this 1873 springfield up. Checking the serial number dates it to 1884 production. It looks correct as well as fairly untouched and unused. The bore is mirror bright and most the bluing and case hardening appears intact. I am going to try to conserve this in a manner like is shown by Mark Novak using steam and a carding wheel to convert some very fine rust back into blue. I will have to protect the case hardened areas while I do this. One question I have is if anyone has had any luck removing fine rust from case hardening without removing the case hardened coloring as well. I figured I only have one shot at it so I’m looking for ideas. The stock I’m just going to use my usual linseed oil applications and leave the chip. Serial number is 267432 if anyone might have the ability to check the springfield research service list for me. Thanks
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Recently picked this 1873 springfield up. Checking the serial number dates it to 1884 production. It looks correct as well as fairly untouched and unused. The bore is mirror bright and most the bluing and case hardening appears intact. I am going to try to conserve this in a manner like is shown by Mark Novak using steam and a carding wheel to convert some very fine rust back into blue. I will have to protect the case hardened areas while I do this. One question I have is if anyone has had any luck removing fine rust from case hardening without removing the case hardened coloring as well. I figured I only have one shot at it so I’m looking for ideas. The stock I’m just going to use my usual linseed oil applications and leave the chip. Serial number is 267432 if anyone might have the ability to check the springfield research service list for me. Thanks
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I tried like hell to remove the rust from a stevens case hardened/colored SxS shotgun. No luck. Im not sure what effect steaming will have on case hardened color? I think the stevens SXS was chemically colored? I dont have any proof on that . I just cant see the inexpensive 311 being produced any other way?

Nice rifle and be careful with that shinny bore if you decide to steam it. Clean metal loves to flash rust
 

cetme24

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I’m planning on plugging the bore and putting a balloon over the receiver.I think that should protect it from the steam enough. I’ve never had anything with intact true case coloring so I’m unsure of how durable it is and don’t want to go to town with steel wool on it. I’ve heard of soaking it with penetrating oil and then rubbing with denim.
 

cetme24

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The end of the barrel has some large spots were it must have got damp. The whole surface is dull with very fine specs. The gun is very dry so rather than just hitting it with steel wool and oil I wanted to covert and preserve the blueing as best I can. It’s in great shape and deserves some extra care. I don’t want to go to far with it but I think all the blueing can be saved.FB0DDF94-50D3-4F18-82E1-9452285C9A4B.jpeg
 

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I'd avoid steaming the color case parts as the oxide layer that makes up the colors is very thin... thinner than the blued parts. If you could remove the barrel from the receiver that would be ideal but I don't know how easily they come off. I would oil the bore then plug the ends of the barrel before steaming.
 

cetme24

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I did a little test on a bayonet and nose cap that I had laying around. The bayonet will need to be gone over again with some rust bluing chemicals around the socket were it had already been cleaned bright and had no rust but the scabbard and nose cap came out alright. Steaming the rust obviously won’t get rid of the pits but the parts came out nice and black.13487407-DFE0-44BD-A325-A178F904616F.jpeg506FDBB4-F1D2-4A09-AAE2-59AF600E61CD.jpegCCCD5BC0-3E0C-4DA1-95D2-0BBC444F9AEE.jpeg1295CAB2-42C5-42F0-B190-7B2DDC70417C.jpegA50E5B4C-53A3-4300-811D-BF50D88C8B8C.jpeg
 
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I did a little test on a bayonet and nose cap that I had laying around. The bayonet will need to be gone over again with some rust bluing chemicals around the socket were it had already been cleaned bright and had no rust but the scabbard and nose cap came out alright. Steaming the rust obviously won’t get rid of the pits but the parts came out nice and black.View attachment 598821View attachment 598822View attachment 598824View attachment 598825View attachment 598826
It does work
I have a nice evenly rusted piece of steel that would make a nice test project
 

cetme24

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All cleaned up and re assembled. Ended up covering the case hardened receiver with a couple of balloons to protect it from the steam. After words I just lightly hit it with some copper wool and penetrating oil.Most all the rust converted back to blue accept a couple areas of ware. I Found a broken firing pin which probably explained it be put up and left to collect dust. I was getting about a 5” group at 100 yards but I will have to put a taller front sight on it to get it set for point of aim. I already did this on one of my other trapdoors by modifying a 1903a3 front sight.
 

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cetme24

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If you're planning to shoot it, remember lead bullets only. Never use jacketed bullets, the steel in the barrel is too soft and jacketed will wear it out quickly.
I’ve been on a primivitive kick and have been smelting my own rounds for 45/70, 50/70, 12.7x44, and 58 cal Minnie. 45/70 is the only one I’ve been using smokeless powder in
 
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