Working brass.

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Doc Ivory

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Been removing the casting marks on my Kibler Colonial kit brass pieces.

After filing, wet sanding they shine and are silk smooth.

Now I'm wondering if I should keep the pieces shiny or chemically "antique" them.
Im kinda siding with antiquing them.
What say yee?

-Doc
 

JB67

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Are you aging the gun? If you want it to look as if it just stepped out of colonial times, keep the brass bright. Tarnish is the first step of rot, and brass in period was kept clean and bright. Maybe not a mirror shine, but bright. And EVERYBODY found a few minutes now and then to clean what needed it.
 

Doc Ivory

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That's a very good point.
I'm having similar thoughts about keeping the barrel "white" and letting it age.

I appreciate your input.

-Doc
 

4575wcf

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I would just leave the brass as it is and put the rifle into service. IMO the atmosphere and handling around black powder fouling in time will give it a better looking patina than you will get with chemicals. Once polished, keep it wiped clean, but don't polish. As for the barrel and iron furniture I suggest an authentic cold browning process. I never browned my Kentucky built many moons ago. It has patinaed, but not evenly.
 

Art Caputo

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I think it’s a matter of personal taste, utility, and the style of rifle. Being primarily a deer hunter, where bright metal can be easily detected, I like both the appearance and utility of mildly tarnished brass and aged(greyed) barrel/lock on my Colonial period flintlocks. I have had good results with the solution that I acquired at Kiblers store for treating both the steel and brass, The desired appearance can be easily controlled with maroon Scotch-Brite.
691ACB17-1307-4DC5-88F6-4C85B107298B.jpeg
F361A29B-BF7B-45BF-9C63-671720B6F726.jpeg
 

SDSmlf

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I would just leave the brass as it is and put the rifle into service. IMO the atmosphere and handling around black powder fouling in time will give it a better looking patina than you will get with chemicals. Once polished, keep it wiped clean, but don't polish. As for the barrel and iron furniture I suggest an authentic cold browning process. I never browned my Kentucky built many moons ago. It has patinaed, but not evenly.
Not sure about ‘authentic cold browning process’, but from what I’ve read, rust browning didn’t become popular in America until later in the 19th century. Bluing, charcoal or rust bluing, rubbed back if you like, is more authentic for the barrel, while locks were case hardened, polished and allowed to age. For brass, I just polish when new and then let it age. Happens quick with use. All depends on the look you are going for. And Kibler does offer some good processing chemicals.
 

rafterob

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Yes, the brass will age nicely all by itself. Some guys like the shiny brass but after polishing it a few times they decide the aged look is just fine. I'm one of those guys.
 

ord sgt

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As for me, I like the look of brass that is aged from shooting and handling. To me, that is honest patina, not artificial. You asked for opinions, you got it. The brass band on my flintlock in the picture to the left shows the discoloration from many years of use.
 

4575wcf

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One really good resource for metal finishing is William Brockway's "Recreating the Double Barrel Muzzleloading Shotgun". I have not got my copy of his damp box for rust browning and bluing set up yet, but his simple formulas and instructions for these and color-hardening are the ones I intend to follow.
 

satwel

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I have heard a lot that the old timers used urine to brown barrels. Don't.know as I believe that, but who knows.
I believe this is true. The first muzzleloading book I ever bought described a barrel browning process used in the late 1700's that employed a solution of iron filings dissolved in urine. I once discussed this process with a friend who has repaired and restored original New England fowlers and he confirmed the use of urine and iron filings as an early browning agent. In fact he told me when he installs a newly-made screw or part on an original musket, he heats it with a propane torch and dips it in urine. The resulting patina on the new screw blends nicely with the 250 year old original parts.
 

4575wcf

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Well I'll be darned. I guess the acid and all the ingredients are there, but I think I will just heat the metal a little and try household bleach instead like Brockway first : ).
 

tenngun

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Brass will darken real quickly just being used.
In the past I was a let it tarnish on its own and the darker the better. I even took to rubbing dirty cleaning patches on the gun.
Over the last few years I’ve come to believe they in the past kept the brass clean.
I personally do not believe the brass attracted indians or scared deer.
I can not prove they kept brass polished and I’mnot looking for a campfire argument. I just get the feeling brass would not have been a go to metal unless the owners wanted brass.
In the federal period many guns were silver mounted. Including Hawkens and other guns sent west. And even though many guns were in iron brass remained popular well into the early breechloader period.
I THINK you gun to be more like the original would be kept clean and brass shiny
A rifle cost at least a months wages for a skilled labor at the time
 

Doc Ivory

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I think I'll shine up the brass when I'm finally done and just let it gae naturally.
I'll probably do a cold browning on the barrel.
 

JB67

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Polished brass get you scalped! o_O
Considering the bright colors many on both sides often wore in the woods, I doubt a few square inches of brass had much influence. Also, it has to be dead flat and polished like a mirror to create any flash that will carry any distance.
 

Are. M.

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I put cold blue on my brass and rubbed it back so the "antique" look was in the grooves if the casting. It looked cool to begin with (see picture below), but I'll tell you this, that fouling did not add to that cold-blued character. I kind of wish I hadn't. If this were a presentation rifle, maybe, but mine is a ball-shootin', rock-n-roll machine.

I cold-blued the barrel and rubbed back it with a little 0000 steel wool, and I'm very happy with the way it turned out.
 

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