Definition of "defarb"

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Rich44

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In essence the word defarb is to reverse or undue something that is considered to be farby or farb. To defarb is to make something acceptable that to some folks is considered to be unacceptable.

That is just a goole search
When the makers started putting warning text on the black powder gun, some did not like. And also others wanted a older looking gun in a hurry. And sometimes a guns finish is damaged , so why not antique it or defarb.
 
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Jaeger

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Hi All!! I keep reading the term "defarb." What exactly does this mean? Thanks in advance for your patience with my ignorance.
Jayhawk Dan
When people use the term on this site, they are usually using "defarb" in a reenacting or historical accuracy context. To "defarb" your campsite or your clothing means to get rid of or hide things which are modern or out of place in a specific historic or time period. Wearing a visible wristwatch while wearing 18th or 19th century clothing is an example of something anachronistic or "farby". I'll leave it to others to explain where the word "farb" even came from. I have never heard the word used by anybody other than historical reenactors.
 

rchas

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It means trying to remove evidence of modern manufacturing. Roll stamping on barrels is one example, another might be machine stitching on clothing or accoutrements; rubber sole on shoes, etc. It becomes an issue when someone gets involved in organizations or events that promote strict period correctness. A person who is "farby" can become a figure of derision.
 

Jaeger

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By the way, using modern conveniences for safety or....convenience...but keeping them hidden is what I call "controlled cheating" and I do it a lot. Example: using a modern sleeping bag carefully wrapped in a canvas material while I am sleeping outside in the open air while winter camping during a Michigan winter, and also having wool blankets over top.....while wearing acrylic long underwear underneath my 1700's clothing.
 

Jayhawkdan

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It means trying to remove evidence of modern manufacturing. Roll stamping on barrels is one example, another might be machine stitching on clothing or accoutrements; rubber sole on shoes, etc. It becomes an issue when someone gets involved in organizations or events that promote strict period correctness. A person who is "farby" can become a figure of derision.
Thanks, Jaeger. Does this have something to do with "fabrication," i.e., fabricating or creating or making something? The Colt pistols and their reproductions were fabricated and various information was etched or rolled onto their barrels. Does "defarb" mean removing something that was part of the fabrication process?
 
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There is also the account from the early 1960's of the Civil War reenactor who kept a very authentic to the time period camp and expected all the other soldiers to do the same. One day a new unit showed up on the scene wearing their brand new clothes. None of the new was worn off and very brightly aniline dyed cotton clothes were being worn instead of wool. Highly polished brass accoutrements on their anachronistic rifled muskets were near blinding. One of the troops asked the crusty old German what he thought. The reply was, "They certainly are 'farbish'". He slipped in a Germanic term for colorful. It seems to have stuck, and the meaning has expanded to removing stampings that were not on the firearms in the historical time period. I always loved the Anatoli Zoli Harper's Ferry 1803 rifle that used be on the Corps of Discovery display at the museum at the St. Louis Arch. Now that was farbish!

In terms of "defarbing" a modern firearm, it means removing the deep roll engraving and stampings that identify the firearm as being modern made but not removing so much, such as the Italian proof marks and serial numbers avoiding making the "defarbed" firearm a fake.
 
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Yep, that about tells the tale. For what this might be worth to the O.P. - A few years back, I spent two weeks completely removing ALL the roll engraving and stamped information, mfg. name, caliber EVERYTHING from the barrel of a Great Plains Hawken replica I had just bought. Then, I did a very slow and careful browning to the barrel and all the other metal. Rifle turned out beautiful and looked very historically correct if I say so myself...I would NEVER do anything like that ever again! Waaaaaay too much time and effort in my opinion. What I learned from that little endeavor was to just enjoy shooting and learning about the rifle (or smoothbore), your replica is based on and don't let HC issues ruin your enjoyment of this great hobby!
 

Jayhawkdan

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Well that was a most informative thread! Thanks to all of you for answering my question!! I’m still ignorant about many things but no longer ignorant about the term “defarb!!”
Jayhawk Dan
 

dave951

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In the world of Civil War reenacting, the act of "defarbing" a musket is to take a modern produced arm and altering it to be as close as identical to an original as possible. Modern reproductions are not exactly like originals in many ways. There is a group of reenactors that want to have that "originality" but not carry an original. The downside to this is the final product, a "defarbed" gun that is essentially a counterfeit if it's done extremely well. That gun could very well be passed off later as an original even if inadvertently.

Now let's look at "defarbing" as artificially aging equipment, including a gun. Many folks into reenacting fail to realize that the patina that they so admire is the product of well over a hundred years of aging. The stuff the soldiers had at the time was pretty new and means guns, clothes, kit.
 

jimhallam

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Many folks into reenacting fail to realize that the patina that they so admire is the product of well over a hundred years of aging. The stuff the soldiers had at the time was pretty new and means guns, clothes, kit.

PERFECTLY LOGICAL --- that's why I find it difficult to undertand why there seems to be so much emphasis on this aspect of re-enacting.
I can, of course, understand some people objecting to anachronisms such as polyester trousers ot sunglasses.
However, what Jaeger calls "controlled cheating" and I do it a lot. Example: using a modern sleeping bag carefully wrapped in a canvas material while I am sleeping outside in the open air while winter camping during a Michigan winter, and also having wool blankets over top.....while wearing acrylic long underwear underneath my 1700's clothing. " seems to me to make sense or the number of re-enactors will fall even more than the efforts of the Grim Reaper have ;-)
 

sturmkatze

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Defarbing is more than just removing modern markings. It can involve reshaping the stock, adding original parts or close repro, such as lock plates or barrel bands and ramrod. Refinishing and staining the stock differently to look like they did back then. It's a you do for yourself because you want to. Most modern repro are a good way of from what the real guns looked like.

It isn't "aging" a gun to make it look old and beat to crap.
 
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I have always thought the term meant to make a firearm unfireable. e.g. prohibited machine guns made unfireable so as to be used for display and no problems from the ATF. The WWII cannon in front of my American Legion post has so much welding on it, I'm sure it could never be restored to shooting condition.
 

maillemaker

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Defarbing is more than just removing modern markings. It can involve reshaping the stock, adding original parts or close repro, such as lock plates or barrel bands and ramrod. Refinishing and staining the stock differently to look like they did back then. It's a you do for yourself because you want to. Most modern repro are a good way of from what the real guns looked like.

It isn't "aging" a gun to make it look old and beat to crap.
Correct. There have been stories I have heard of folks who deliberately "beat up" their item to try and make it look worn and having seen field use, but the best way to achieve that is through actual field use. The gear as issued was new.

A great example were the Parker Hale and Euroarms P1853 Enfield muskets, which were made after the Type 4 Enfield, which never saw Civil War service. Among other details, they had the wrong lock plate washers (round vs. square-eared), the wrong barrel bands (Baddley vs. Palmer), and incorrect lock plate markings. There are several folks in the industry who specialize in correcting these deficiencies (Lodgewood, Blockade Runner, etc.)
 
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