To clean or not?

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I just started the second original gun I bought Saturday at the auction. It's full stock with a boatload of inlays.
None of the inlays are engraved but they are so dark with patina they are almost obscured in the wood, the trigger guard is so dark it almost looks like browned steel. So what is the consensus on polishing the brass on an old gun like this?
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What a beauty. Leave the finish alone.
I will have to clean the wood somewhat it has a small crack in the forearm that will need to be cleaned before gluing.
The barrel is a .45 smoothbore and I have no need for a .45 smoothy so I may send the barrel to Bobby Hoyt and have it rebored to a .50 rifle. I don't buy wall hangers I will shoot this one.
 
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Try that .45 smoothbore before you change. While not rifle accurate you can get a Bambi dropper at fifty yards and put a Rocky or two and Buggs too in your pantry.
I like tarnished brass, I think brass on originals was kept shiny.
I think value would be effected if you shined the brass so I would leave it, but not let it get more.
If you change the barrel I would polish the brasssince you devalued the gun anyway
 
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Try that .45 smoothbore before you change. While not rifle accurate you can get a Bambi dropper at fifty yards and put a Rocky or two and Buggs too in your pantry.
I like tarnished brass, I think brass on originals was kept shiny.
I think value would be effected if you shined the brass so I would leave it, but not let it get more.
If you change the barrel I would polish the brasssince you devalued the gun anyway
I probably will shoot the gun as a smoothbore just to see what it does before I decide. I'm not sure having the gun rebored would devalue it., how would anyone know it wasn't a .50 cal from the start. The barrel isn't mark with anything.
 
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want a like new gun , than buy a new gun. cleaning an antique gun is like cleaning an old coin. many have been ruined and devalued. leave em be. when your 90 do you want someone to try too make you look 20? :rolleyes:
 

Brokennock

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OMG!!! That is absolutely gorgeous!!!
I love when brass mellows like that. I see a big difference between darkening like can be done with chemicals or other means, dulling the shine with abrasives, and that beautiful nonreflective mellow tone of the brass on this gun. How it blends with the wood, to me, is incredible, like they've grown together after long partnership.

Obviously the choice is yours.

Thank you for sharing.
 

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