Browning a barrel - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Browning a barrel

I am about to start the process for browning the barrel on a Traditions ML. I have never done this before and my question is going to strike some folks as dumb, but I need some guidance. I know it is very important to keep the browning solution out of the barrel so what is the best way to block the flash hole (I do not have the liner in yet) and the bore at the business end? If I use a rag or paper towel the browning solution will soak into them and get into the bore.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 05:52 PM
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I used wood dowel rod trimmed to fit inside the barrel and touch hole. Just snug enough not to fall out if you bump it, not tight enough to get stuck in and cause a problem removing it.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 06:04 PM
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For the muzzle I use a dowel rod trimmed to fit. For the touch hole (that is threaded) I also use a piece of dowel rod that is a couple inches long. The piece I use will "screw" into the touch hole. The threads from the touch hole just thread the rod. Don't know if it's needed, but I put a thin coat of Vaseline on the ends that I insert. Kind of insurance for a good seal and ease of removal.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 11:31 AM
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One more thing, Jimsdad.
Don't dismiss the section in the directions where it says to card off the surface after every application. It will pay dividends in the final appearance.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Windsniffer View Post
One more thing, Jimsdad.
Don't dismiss the section in the directions where it says to card off the surface after every application. It will pay dividends in the final appearance.
Interesting data point there Windsniffer.
I just read the instructions on the bottle again and there is no mention of "card off" anywhere. What the heck is it and how do I find out where to do it?


I am planning on using Birchwood Casey Plumb Brown.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 01:33 PM
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I'm working from memory here and it's been quite a few years since I browned a barrel, so don't take this for gospel. I think I used a browning solution from Track-of-the-Wolf that required putting the metal in a humidity box after each application. This helped speed up the rusting on the metal and it left the surface with very fine rust scale that was "carded" off with a real soft wire brush I mounted in a grinder. The process was: 1 Apply the brown solution, 2 put the metal in the heated humidity box overnight, 3 card off the scale, 4 repeat until the desired color is achieved. It worked beautifully and left the surface with a very attractive plum brown and smooth as silk. Now that I think about it, that was at least ten years ago and the finish still looks the way it came out at the end of the process without any rusting or loss of color. I wouldn't hesitate a bit to use that process again. Perhaps the Birchwood Casey product is easier to use and doesn't require carding.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jimsdad View Post
I am about to start the process for browning the barrel on a Traditions ML. I have never done this before and my question is going to strike some folks as dumb, but I need some guidance. I know it is very important to keep the browning solution out of the barrel so what is the best way to block the flash hole (I do not have the liner in yet) and the bore at the business end? If I use a rag or paper towel the browning solution will soak into them and get into the bore.
Try cork it works great.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 06:11 PM
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Carding is where you use a tooth brush or a piece of stiff cloth, such as a piece of old denim to rub the orange scale off the metal before applying your next coat of browning solution.

Glad you're using plum brown and not Laurel Mountain Forge. The latter is crap, and produces lousy results. I've used both types and Plum Brown is far and away the better product.

I used a dowel for the muzzle, same as others here, however I added layers of masking tape until I could shove the taped part of the stick into the muzzle and it would not fall out. For the flash hole I just inserted a toothpick.

If you have soldered on tennons on the barrel, watch out that you don't heat the metal too much that it melts the solder. That is why I used LMF on my smoothbore because its applied cold.

I ever do another barrel, I think I'm gonna use my heat gun to heat the metal instead of a torch when using plum brown. My heat gun gets up to 400 degrees. Plenty hot enough to sizzle plum brown on metal, without the danger of open flame such as when using a torch.

I know one thing, I'll never use LMF solution again. That stuff is garbage.
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Last edited by Blue Bird; 01-31-2017 at 06:24 PM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 06:28 PM
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From a few years ago when I did mine

https://www.huntingpa.com/forums/48-t...y-thought.html
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Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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