Lead finish

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When reading through the Association of Ohio Long Rifle Collectors newsletters i found an interesting sentence. It said the barrel of one rifle was not browned as a particular smith usually did, but that the barrel had a rubbed lead finish which left the barrel bright. Ive nevernheard of that before. Any ideas about how it might be done?

No, I don't have a link to a particular edition for you. It was just one sentence with no helpful information. You'll have to read through the AOLRC newsletters yourself to find it if you're curious.
 
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Well, I was just reading back through the AOLRC newsletters trying to figure out where I left off in my research and I ran across the lead finish item again.


You'll see there is only one sentence.

I can see how maybe rubbing steel hard with a bar of lead might cause some of the lead to "solder" onto the steel. However, lead dulls with exposure so I doubt it would remian bright. To me it makes sense to perhaps use something with tin alloyed into it to keep a brighter finish. Maybe the barrels were in effect tinned, the way you'd prepare an item to be soldered together.
 

Zonie

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It's possible the gunbarrel was tinned with a lead/tin based solder.

With tinning, the solder is applied to the metal and while it is still molten, it is wiped off with a rag leaving a very light, thin coat of solder behind.
The wiping of the solder could look like the gunsmith was "rubbing" it.

Most of what I read in the link says it was written by people who are into heritage, not gun building so if they made such a assumption that the gunsmith was rubbing the lead onto the barrel, that would be understandable.
 

EC121

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Being from Ross County, I owned a Barnhart rifle for many years. There are still Barnharts in Ross county. I didn't notice anything different about the barrel of my rifle. It just looked old.
 

Scota@4570

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If you use some abrasive and oil on the lead you get a lap, that would act like sandpaper. It would leave a bright finish. Rubbing lead on the steel, like a crayon would be a mess. The lead would oxidize white and be a toxic hazard.
 

Rudall

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I don’t suppose it was referring to ‘black lead’? The stuff that was traditionally used on stoves and fire grates?
 
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