Bess Carbine Refinish

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It’s a Pedersoli, I bought it about 20 years ago. Killed hogs and deer and squirrels and tons of time with it.

Stripped the fake brown off the barrel years ago and the steel has aged well. I dont shoot smoothbore matches and I wanted more accuracy so I added a rear sight dovetailed in to compliment the death-turtle front sight.

Working on the sling mounts now. Almost have the rear button ready to mount.

So…the stock. It’s a great looking piece of walnut. I assume Perdersoli used some sort of poly finish? I’d like it to have a dark chocolate brown oil finish.

Has anyone stripped one of these successfully? And refinished it? Happy with it? Or do you wish you had just left it be?

Main thing I want to avoid is sanding. Gonna make this a summer project with my sons.

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Opinions and suggestions requested please.
 
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I've done it on a couple. Aircraft paint remover (from O'Reilly's or NAPA) did the best job of taking off the old finish.

You can probably get by using scotchbrite pads from the same source to scrub it instead of sanding, but there will be spots where you'll have to sand--around the lock, leveling the face of the lockplate moulding. Be careful around the inlets, as the scotchbrite pads have a way of tearing out splinters, even if you back it with a sanding block.

Don't remove any wood around the buttplate. It is real easy to go too far and leave the buttplate edges proud. Or so I've heard (I would never do that).

If it were mine, I'd probably remove the finish with the aircraft paint remover, scrub it with a scotchbrite pad to be sure all traces of finish were gone, wipe it with a rag dipped in acetone. Then dye it and finish it.

But it needs brass tacks. They really REALLY do look better with a hundred or so brass tacks. Trust me on this. . . .
 
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You really think only 100? I guess I can return the rest of these tacks and nails…or just list them for sale.
I packed a cut-down Bess for 20 years or so before giving it to a friend. I added a tack for every big game animal taken, til I decided I had enough tacks (2 rows of tacks at the buttplate, 7 tacks on each side of the wrist, 3 rows of 4 tacks on each side of the forend).

The left-over tacks went on my powder horn (probably 50 or so, in panels), knife sheath, and tack belt. I must have had 500 or more total.
 

dave_person

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Hi,
These threads provide a lot of information on reworking Pedersoli Besses.

dave
 
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I use the cheapest paint stripper form Lowe's, a few coats rinsing and scraping off the crud it between coats is necessary. You will have to do a minimal sanding or scraping because the stripper raises the grain.

In this picture I am stripping the plastic like finish off a TC.

TC paint strip 1.JPG


Done except for a little scraping in the nooks and cranny to get the last of the gunk out.

TC paint  stripped.JPG


Done done, if put you finish on with a piece of green scotch bright pad and scrub it in and you will get a nice satin finish, you do have to use a walnut grain sealer first for the best results. I used Tru-oil.

done cheekside.JPG
 
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Hi,
These threads provide a lot of information on reworking Pedersoli Besses.

dave

Thank you Dave!
 
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