Advice / Help with Removing Paint off of a Hawken Rifle

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TooTall

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Hello freetrappers!

I acquired this Hawken from a good friend. He had difficulty selling thanks to this terrible tan paint job. You can see just a glimpse of the beautiful red finish underneath near the lock. Do you recommend using a heatgun or paint stripper? I'd personally go with the heat gun to make sure I don't strip away the original finish underneath. Any and all advice is welcome!

Thank ya kindly,

-Mason
 

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necchi

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It's an early (70's-80's) boxed kit gun that appears to be somewhat rapidly assembled.
(CVA or Traditions Hawkins model)
Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to completely strip the wood to bare and actually finish the proper fitting of the components then re-stain/finish the wood.
 

TooTall

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Its a CVA Hawken, didn't know how old. Not sure if the bent hammer was made by CVA / Jukar or it was some previous owner that took a blow torch and bent it. The hammer feels actually amazing with it bent like that and makes it easier to cock
 

bubba.50

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The hammer was bent to accomadate the scope that was mounted where all those extra holes are on top of the barrel.

I agree with necchi. Strip it & give it a complete re-do.
 

TreeMan

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Use citri strip and strip it to bare wood. You’re probably not going to get the paint off and not affect the original finish.
 

Pietro

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I wouldn't fret about saving the original finish due to the modifications.
 

painter

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I completely agree that the original finish isn't worth saving, and the best route would be to completely strip it.

That said, if you want to just attempt to remove the paint, try solvents in increasing strength. The paint appears to be a very thin coat of spray paint which is not solvent resistant. Start with paint thinner/mineral spirits on a rag. If that doesn't work, try some gasoline. Neither of those will hurt a factory finish as long as you don't soak the stock in it. The strongest solvent I'd try is acetone, or lacquer thinner. Those may damage the factory finish.

Wear gloves with solvents.
 

Eric Krewson

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I would strip that puppy and restain the wood to be something beautiful. Tru-oil would be a very easy finish to apply over the new stain and looks great if you put on a bunch of thin coats and build the finish up slowly.

I like Chamber's oil finish the best, with shipping I will have a bundle tied up in one small bottle by the time I get it in my hands plus I can buy the Tru-oil at Walmart.

This is a Tru-oil finished gun, if you give it the hand rubbed treatment it doesn't get too shiny.
squirrel rifle done 009.JPG
 

Hermit Tim

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Its a CVA Hawken, didn't know how old. Not sure if the bent hammer was made by CVA / Jukar or it was some previous owner that took a blow torch and bent it. The hammer feels actually amazing with it bent like that and makes it easier to cock
I am currently building a custom CVA Hawken in .50. In this case custom means it is being built from spare parts with the barrel and stock coming from separate junker old guns. This is the only CVA Hawken I ever handled and the hammer I found for it is also bent like that. The barrel I have isn't drilled and tapped for a scope so I am wondering if the bent hammer is a CVA Hawken thang......
 

Banjoman

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I would strip it to bare wood and restain it. Those older CVA rifles are very accurate. I speak from experience. With a little patience you could turn that into a very fine gun.
 

LawrenceA

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I am currently building a custom CVA Hawken in .50. In this case custom means it is being built from spare parts with the barrel and stock coming from separate junker old guns. This is the only CVA Hawken I ever handled and the hammer I found for it is also bent like that. The barrel I have isn't drilled and tapped for a scope so I am wondering if the bent hammer is a CVA Hawken thang......
No it isnt normal to have it hang out the side like that
 

Grenadier1758

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I have a black powder gunsmithing book. One of the chapters is on building a CVA Mountain Rifle. One of the steps is the aligning of the hammer to the nipple. I had to bend the hammer on my CVA Mountain Rifle a little bit and also the hammer of my Cherry Corners lock for the Hawken Rifle I built from various sourced parts. Some of my previous comments.

Squirrel gun, tinkering on junk. But, so far so good... | The Muzzleloading Forum

Hammer and Nipple Not lined Up | Page 2 | The Muzzleloading Forum

Removing drum | The Muzzleloading Forum
 

JohnnieT

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I’m with the “strip it” crowd. If you feel bad, you can always toss some $1 bills at it while you do so...😉

In all seriousness, the early kit built guns (I have a couple) were provided with some surprisingly nice wood. A refinish would be very much worth the effort.
 
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I advise starting with mythel alcohol and 4 aught steel wool. Just lightly scrub or wash the stock and the paint will lift right off. On the other hand, I'd just strip it to bare wood with Citristrip. It's probably beech and won't absorb a lot of stain. However, it will stain nicely with an alcohol based stain.
 

painter

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Wondering if the OP has made any attempts at removing the paint, what he used, and if he had any success.
 

TooTall

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Thank you all for your suggestions and advice! Sorry for the late reply been working on a commission. My father sent it to an Amish furniture maker and stripped the paint off and the older finish. Revealing the tack marks from one of the previous owners that was covered up. I believe the wood is ash and the grain is one of the best I've seen from an old CVA. I added two coats of light walnut varnish to it and it really pops. Going to put some boiled linseed oil followed by TruOil and then gun stock wax. I have the same sized tacks and will put them on in the same spots. I'll post more pictures once I've got the oils and the free time to work on it!
 

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tenngun

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If that’s a CVA is it beechwood
I understand beech is hard to stain
 
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