New project/toy

So, a new project is born! I had a few on the go, I’ve paused everything and completed all but one (more on that when I finish it, but that’s only couple of hours of work, now that I know what needs to be done and have the tools).

I digress…

As some of you may know, I have a soft spot for vintage guns… I looooove modern guns, I have one or two :roll_eyes:, but I also looove vinatge guns. I think I just looove guns. Anyway, I like vintage guns and there are a few on my list. I have managed to find a few (I have maybe 2 or 3 to find). This was one of them.

Winchester '06. It’s a pump action Winchester 22LR with a lot of history and a rifle that was actually designed by Browning. Not from his designs, but actually by Browning, in his life time.

For someone who doesn’t like 22s (I’m a closet 22LR aficionado, sssshhh), I have a few and, ummm, errr, a few on the way, I disgust myself!

Picked it up today. Took a risk, paid $255.73 all up for it, including fees (and some missing parts, more on that below)! Based on the price tag, I didn’t know what to expect from it. They go for a lot more than that. However, I wasn’t prepared to pay more than that.

Few things in the back of my mind were bothering me… Original butt plate, - has original. Happy! Cracked furniture - not hard to find, but wouldn’t be good. Furniture is in excellent shape. Broken, chipped or ground-down extractor - nope, all good there. Missing lifter from rear sights - has one, pleasantly surprised! Missing screws, my pet peeve, how do you lose screws from a rifle! I expected something like that and of course, there were a couple missing. To my surprise, nothing hard to find and all other screws are in perfect shape (just ordered 2 replacement slider retaining screws).

I also noticed white paint on the barrel, another WTF moment, why? Why paint? And why white? It looked like someone was trying to bring our the markings/stamps, but forgot to remove the rest of the paint or didn’t know how to. Went over it with acetone soaked rag and everything came right off.

(hole on the slider is the missing retainign screw)

I am undecided if I wax the furniture or strip it down and start over - probably strip, sand and start over.

A quick look inside…

On the outside there’s a lot of patina, also, dirt, grime and some surface rust. I actually quite like that look, lots of character and firearms engineering history in this specific model. I am going to prep it, remove the rust, boil it and go over it with a soft wire wheel at the end. A method of preservation I wanted to try for a while, but haven’t had anything to play with. It should prevent rusting and preserve everything else.

Looking inside I was amazed. The bore, has a little bit of corrosion, but strong rifling and what I would consider ‘very good’ for rifle of this age.

The internals in general are freaking excellent. Maybe that’s why all other screws were in excellent condition, nobody tried to take it apart too much. I opened it up and I am 110% sure that this rifle has not been cleaned in over 80, 90, maybe 100 years. Absolutely everything is covered in, what I can only described as, black axle grease like substance with lots of dirt mixed into it; but in great shape and no rust - go figure.

I tried to force an ‘accidental’ discharge, didn’t happen, just to make sure all spring and sear are in good shape - yep, solid. Pulled some 22 and tested the firing pin :smiley: LOL. It works :slight_smile: Then made some snap caps from pulled 22s and tested feeding/cycling - also excellent. Then I lit some candles, put on some mood music and tested something I got really excited about - slam fire - yes, YYYYEEEEESSSSSS!

Pretty happy with a lucky purchase. Stay tuned, I will be posting here as I work on it.

Sounds like great fun. Something I would really enjoy doing, but not that fussed about the gun at the end of it. Not sure I would go the wire wheel on the barrel though. Pity you dont have a few test pieces to try out different methods to see what the produce so you can pick what you are after. When I was restoring some old farm machinery I was really impressed with the Diggers oxalic acid for rust removal. it would also britghten up the metal but may also remove any age pantina as would a wire wheel.
Wood looks great finely sanded down to wet and dry 1000+ levels then oiled. Love wood thats my next project a new stock or two.

Nice old rifle, Juststarting! If i was going to buy an old relic, it would be n old 22lr pump.

Keep clear of the whole “strip it back” philosophy. At least to begin with. I’ve learned the hard way on various items over thee years that less is more.

Fine steel wool, 0000, and some metho will clean up the wood very well: then apply your choice of finishing oil/wax. I make my own blend of bees wax (can use paraffin), linseed (raw) and turps. I am told spirit of turpentine is better as it doesn’t degrade the linseed over time… 2 parts each of the linseed and wax and one part of turps. Heat wax, add linseed, remove from heat and mix in turps, put back on heat to combine. On a fresh finish (new stock or stripped bare) i apply hot to a warm surface. On a touch up application, as you would want, i just rub it in with a soft polishing cloth. More coats are better.

The metal work i would be inclined just to soak in some sort of solvent (even just petrol) and use a tooth brush, nail brush and nylon bore brush as well as rags and polishing cloths.

If you aren’t happy with thecresult after these processes, you can always go further with harsher techniques but you can’t put character and patina back once they have been stripped. If you put scratches in metal work you will be cursing yourself trying to remove them!!! (Ask me how i know!!!)

Good luck with the pimping… keep us up to date with picks of the project as it unfolds.

I like to use the fine Wet and Dry over the steel wool which I have tried. My oils of choice in this order of application are Tung oil, Danish Oil, then Furniture Oil and lastly a silicon.
The Less is more is the correct approach if the rifle or any object has antique value. If your going to use it though and it is not valuable then I like the polished look. A good buff wheel and going through the grades and types of buffing compound can give excellent results. Just have to be careful as it can take material away just as if you were sanding it back.

…aaaaaaactually. If it’s a milsurp, anything beyond clean and wax will destroy the value (to a collector anyway). Some of mine, I did just that, because that’s how I like them. And others got a full work over because I wanted a adorable vintage shooter. And if it’s not a milsurp than full restoration could actually increase value.

So I’ve been doing this on and off for a few years now with a few milsurps and what not… Here’s what I think:

There’s two conversations happening here… Cleaning wood with steel wool vs wet and dry sanding are two completely different things. Steel wool doesn’t really clean anything, it removes shine, if needed. If aggressive clean is needed it should be done with acetone (although, it will remove shellac and dry wood, so you need to follow up with something like wax). One would need to clean the wood, wash the wood, remove grime and then see if steel wool will help. However, this is like a mid-stage step, never to be done on it’s own or you risk damaging things by driving dirt into the pores.

Wet and dry sanding is also a mid-way stage. This is done after the wood has been oiled. That means full refurbishment. Sanding while the oil is wet will force all the dust into pores and close them off, making the oil finish very, very good and smooth. Almost indistinguishable from shiny plastic, so to speak, very cool indeed, but not to my taste.

Like I said, two very different things.

Stepping away from pop-culture opinion, in this day and age we have some crazy cool stuff. Birchwood Casey Tru Oil is excellent. It requires a few coats and steel wool buff between coats, like any other oil, but it’s new technology and all coats can be done over a weekend. Linseed oil is old and takes months to dry, there is zero use for it these days, for stocks anyway, unless of course you are a traditionalist and the process matters (nothing wrong with that, horses for courses). Boiled Linseed Oil has a drying agent in it. However, I find that it still takes a while. Maybe a few days between coats in anything below 20C, and even then… To get a good oil finish you’d need around 5-6 coats (more if you’d like, but 5-6 is heaps), waiting fora month to get this done is not ideal, when better alternatives exist. On occasion, however, a single coat of Boiled Linseed Oil is all you need (just got to understand what’s what and when :slight_smile: ).

As a side note, I think a lot of people tend to use oil, when all they need is a few coats of wood-reconditioning wax.

So regarding my wood (yes, my wood!), I’m undecided. I’ve done restoration and full refurbishments before. The wood feels like it would respond better to Tru Oil and Birchwood Casey wax. I’ll wash it first and see what happens. I have my own DIY wax, similar to @gwion, but it does a lot more ‘reconditioning of the wood’ - this wood doesn’t seem dry enough to warrant anything beyond Birchwood Casey products.

Metal. Not sure. Again, I’ve done a few of these projects. The 000 steel wool and oil is a myth. It’s okay to do small areas and touchups, but it’s far from ideal on larger pieces and certainly not aggressive enough. I’ll probably start with Hoppes9 solvent and a rag, then acetone, then see where to after that. Most likely I will use Big45 cleaner ( - I love these stuff. It’s a lot more aggressive than steel wool, but not aggressive enough to damage finish (or what’s left of it) or anything else. If that’s not satisfactory soft (slow) wire wheel. There’s a method I am itching to try, I am probably going to do that too.

Anyhow, I think there are at least 3 different topics here: (1) Restoring old wooden stocks; (2) refurbishing wooden stocks; and (3) preservation of metal on old rifles. Should be fun.

I have tried and tested the Tru oil my opinion of it is that it is similar to Danish oil although a bit more sticky in it. The other Oil is called burnishing oil which again has a little sealer in it. to be used exactly as JS mentioned it deposits the small dust into pores.
One other I tried was the Watsons wipe on poly oil it really seals it is like a polyurethane. I think True oil is a smaller amount of polyurethane.

Absolutely correct, small amounts of polyurethane in Tru Oil, so really got to know when NOT to use it.

0000 steel wool will indeed clean grime off if used correctly, just as using a cleaning product and cloth will.

As you say. It’s your project. Just a suggestion as others following your ‘strip it and refinish’ approach and find they make a mess of their project. Softly softly is the go. You can’t put it back but you can always take more off. Learned the hard way with old guitars, furnture, knives, collectable fishing reels… etc… etc…

Have fun! :grin::+1:

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Sounds like a pretty safe starting place to me. @juststarting rather than a wire wheel you could try a non abrasive nylon wheel brush and a spray bottle of diesel or something. Would be worth a try imo. Oh and if anyone is looking for really fine grit sand paper, check out Micro Mesh they have stuff that goes way up to 12000 grit. Cool gun btw… :sunglasses: :beers:

@juststarting being naughty and trying a tag but not in the sandpit. let me know if I have done it wrong in a nice way please :pray::grinning: I and we know its not your first dance when it comes to these restorations. for me I would love to be doing it myself so we are living through you so all info is given is I guess what we would love to do rather than what you should do. Also only you know what the Value is in terms of money, history, sentimental value.
Bit like when I see those 303’s come up for sale still in grease paper. I know the would be worth more kept that way. but I would rather shoot it. For me it doesn’t have any history other than never being used. MkNo1 probably has completely different ideas

Nah, I shoot all my shit :slight_smile: Some things I prefer puuurtier then others, but it all gets shot.

As for unissued rifles in grease paper, if I had one it’d lose all its value, as soon as I’d load some ammo for it. There’s just no way I’d be able to hold on to an unfired milsurp and not put a few rounds through it.

You tagged correctly, you just didn’t use the right username lol

…and after. Could have done better photos, but this will do. Full strip, clean and Duracoat (aerosol). Not bad for first attempt. I did however go over it with steel wool to mess it up a little, just blending the look, which doesn’t really show up in photos. Give it a bit of age and damage to blend with other parts and furniture.

I coated the receiver and the barrel; and cleaned the rest as best as I could. The rifle was so, so dirty. Sand in trigger group. WTF!? At least now, when I cock it, I don’t hear the sand crunching. That said, internally, under layers of crap it was in surprisingly good condition. I think I may strip it again and work on the trigger a little more. I did best as I could with swabs and tooth brushes, but a can of Balistol/G96 would have gone a long way here. Just drown the bugger in it. Will need to pick one up tomorrow - Bunnings!

Few lessons learnt here, as I was putting it back together, it is 100yo engineering, that takes a huge steaming pile of donkey shit all over new models of pretty much anything that I have stripped; that has rear iron sights and hammer springs. I am just puzzled how engineering can go backwards. “Control” feed is also pretty freaking interesting, but could be modernised with a couple of safety considerations. Can’t wait to slam-fire this girl.

Externally the rifle was horrible, but I knew what I was getting into and paid accordingly. I cleaned it and by the time I was done, removing all the rust the old fashioned way, it was apparent that there is no more bluing and it will rust again. So, wire wheel (I did try abrasive nylon wheel - not aggressive enough) on slow speed, degreaser and Duracoat. I kept some parts as is, to add a little contrast and I think it turned out pretty well. Well, I like it. I think it will be a funky little Plinkatron-1000. Currently dry to work on and shoot, but curing in the safe for the next 4 week for final hardening.

Washed and waxed the furniture, that’s about it. Again, in surprisingly good condition for it’s age and compared to what was going on with the action and the barrel.

Cycles well. That’s about it. Need to shoot some cans with it or something.


Random brain fart, next adventure will be with proper rust bluing :slight_smile: I thought I’d do it with this one, but I wanted to try DuraCoat as well, which I don’t actually mind and was a lot faster to setup (built a painting tent in my garage). Need to finish another project I have, thank f*ck that’s the last one outstanding! And then find something old and build rust bluing setup :slight_smile: Ooooo-yerrrr. thinking, poultry troth for $30 on eBay is just the perfect accessory for this application.

Also, on a related note, I suspect that DuraCoat and some sort of high strength heat resistant engine paint may be very, very, similar. I’d like to try that too at some stage.

Good job juststarting,
That old girl has come up well. Was going to do the one I bought until I got hold of it and realized it was military issue. Have a Remington 12 and a Lithgow 12 I will bring back one day, after the bikes, and rebuilding a couple of other rifles. Bugger it, might just send them to you with half a bucket of cash!

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Nice job, now you just got to enjoy it. I have a few Winchesters 06’s in my collection. Only restored 1 which was my 1st I bought. Parts can be sourced from homestead parts USA website.
I have the 1906 .22 short, standard model with smooth pump grip & ribbed and Expert model. Any1 else got a expert model like mine? which is the bottom 1 in picture they were used in galleries back in the day. Ive never seen another 1 in Australia.

Suggest you try soaking in diesel. Lubes and also cleans. But looks pretty good to me.

That’s a nice collection J, it’s a real shame you can’t hang them on the wall.
They would look great on an old fashion timber gun rack on the loungeroom wall.

JS can you post a pic of the can of duracoat or a link to the stuff. I’ve got about 50 old guns that could do with a coat of something like that, but I’m thinking I should do the doorbell in that as I’ve already got a really dark timber stain to do the stock in once the hammer n sickle is finished.

I’ll post a pic later, but door bell - engine paint.

Also, I have gross left and need to use within 12 days or thereabouts. Yours if someone is doing a trip. Or hold on till plinkfest to see if you actually like the look.