Browned vs bare "in the white" metal - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Browned vs bare "in the white" metal

Any thoughts on if I should brown the furniture of a ML English Fowler or leave it "in the white"?

Looking for recommendations on the two options.

Have a number of ML arms browned but none bare metal and I do not know about the wisdom of having one without a protective coat on the steel or what the process is for rust prevention.

Thoughts / experiences please?

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 05:01 PM
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Bare steel rusts, that is the reason for browning and bluing. I am sure you have a reason for considering not treating but I don't think it is a good one.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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'Ya, not going to mess with the bare metal option - too much maintenance and the parts will take on a patina (rust) that will probably be a PITA to maintain at a level precluding a junk gun.
Going to try cold browning this time. Have done quite a few hot browning applications in the past.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 10:15 AM
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Try boiling the metal until it is hot enough to flash dry, put the cold blue on with a cotton ball , when it is dry use 0000 steel wool on it and repeat steps until you get a deep blue. I did and entire barreled action on an 8 mm Mauser I sportorized 47 years ago and the bluing still looks like a new rifle. I used Birchwood Casey then.


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Last edited by Woods walker; 12-23-2018 at 10:29 AM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 10:36 AM
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WW, that's sure is a beautiful finish. What type of vessel (pot) did you use to boil the barrel?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 10:37 AM
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I personally don't like the browned look. Some turn out OK but I just am not a fan.





That one was done with bluing...after etching the steel. Then rubbed back the bluing. I like that look on flinters.


Personally preference. Leaving the steel bare to take on its own patina is an option used regularly. You just have to keep an eye on it and make sure there aren't any areas that are rusting badly. After a few years it'll take on a nice look.


I used Mark Lee's express blue...you heat the metal and put it on. It turned out nice for a bluing and seems very durable. A little more work than cold blue but more durable than most...not all cold blues are created equal.

At the end of the day there's tons of ways to finish metal. Upto you how much you wanna work and what look you want to obtain.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Ohhho, I like that!

So essentially it's the same application process as for hot browning; or have I misunderstood?

The issue I have with using any hot method is that I am concerned about the staples and front sight falling off....

What did you use for etching?

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 08:30 PM
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steel look is fine. It doesnt rust up like some would think it does. Give it a few coats of wax and it will be good to go.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 11:06 AM
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RStone, I tried to reply to your pm and got a message you are not accepting pms. I use a thin metal trough that is made to feed or water chickens. It was about 4 inches wide and 4 inched deep, this is approximate, it has been many years and long enough to extend to two burners on the kitchen. The barreled action fit in just right.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 11:18 AM
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edit options

WW, Thanks for reply. I'm still struggling to set my options correctly. (Newbie growing pains, lol).
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