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Thread: Cold blue Winchester '94 receiver



  1. #1
    Sidewinder
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    Cold blue Winchester '94 receiver

    I've been trying to touch up some worn bluing on the receiver of my 1978 '94 winchester. I've been using some Birchwood Casey Perma Blue paste which seems to be making the finish worse. Is there a product out there that will work on the sintered metal of a '94 receiver?

    Thanks, Tom

  2. #2
    Sidewinder
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    Brownells has some spray and bake finishes that work, called "Brownells Oven Bake finish" . I used the Teflon moly on a Rem 870 and a 1911, about 12 years ago and it still looks good. If you don't want to bake, the Brownells Alumahyde II has worked almost as good, but is prone to chipping and flaking off more than the bake on stuff.

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    Post '64 WIn 94s were different metal, and do not reblue well, from everything I have heard. Never tried myself. But this also why a post '64 94 can have a funny color to it (plum? iirc). Not sure how you touch it up as far as bluing. May have to go for another finish...
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    Marlin Marksman
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    If you want to send it out, these guys have a finish that works on Post-64 Winny 94's. GunBlack.com - Black Oxide and Manganese Phosphate
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin, Feb. 17, 1775

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  5. #5
    Sidewinder
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    Had one of those post 94s back in 74. Nothing like the ones made in the old days. Heard of pot-metal receivers what ever they mean by that. Some kind of coating on receiver perhaps. Would like to hear from other forum members concerning this topic.

  6. #6
    RGR
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    "Pot metal" receiver was the common slang name for them. They were definitely steel. I cant recall for certain, but they may have been investment cast, they were certainly not forged to my knowledge. Investment casting was just coming on in gun making at that time. Thompson Center Contenders, and the first Dan Wesson revolvers, later on Ruger got into it with their Security Six, and I believe the Blackhawks, and of course the Colt Mk 3 troopers, all used various investment cast parts or in some cases like the Contender, the complete frames.

    Now, the far majority of guns that is not nearly all investment cast.

    The post 64 94 had other less than desirable aspects, one the stamped sheet metal carrier was flimsy, and soon got a bad reputation. It was some kind of plating, that no small shop could do at the time. The Brownells "kinks" book was full of suggestions, and smiths claiming they could do a good job on them, but I never saw an actual good reblue at the time, from any one, and dont ever recall seeing a factory re do either.

    Guys were baking finishes, lacquers, trying to slow rust blue, etc and the labor often cost more than the gun was worth, and still looked like it came from a spray can. At present, Brownells alleges their "stainless steel" salts will work, but I have no personal experience nor second hand info from any other smith having proved it. Their famed Oxynate salts WILL not work for anything other than a purple result.

    I believe when they came out with the Angle Eject series the steel changed back to a steel "regular" bluing salts will work on. And that might apply to the 94 22 as well, but I would have to go back to my books and research about the 94 22, but for certain, I recall the AE series was alleged to "blue normally".

    The fact that one sees early Ruger Blackhawks, as well as Contenders, with a lot of blue, now turning purple, might be evidence of the long term effects of investment cast steel.

    Someone that is a genuine card carrying metallurgist, or maybe a chem major, might be able to explain why in technical terms. All I know, is what I have seen fail, or not, first hand, and empirical reasoning as too why or why not.

    I know that rebluing a typical cast iron shotgun receiver, or a cast iron anything, is near impossible to get any color other than purple, even if left in the tank a longer period of time. It may come out blue, and turn purple in a matter of weeks.

    Above is mentioned "manganese phosphate" which I am pretty sure is either or a first cousin of "parkerizing". I dont recall any one ever parkerizing a post 64 94, but I do not doubt it would not work. Most modern parkerizing is black, NOT green, and various stories surround why the WW2 guns are often close to a green tinge. Some guys claim they were black originally ,and have turned green or gray over the years. And since the guys told me that, offer parkerizing, I tend to believe that version.
    Last edited by RGR; 10-27-2013 at 01:06 AM.
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  7. #7
    Deadeye
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    After the fact, I found the same issue that you have about the cold blue and a 1976 issue Winchester receiver. This is as good as I could make it. All I can tell you that it added a lot of character and not much of what a would call a bluing. It took the better part of a week and this was as good as it ever got. None of the gunsmiths in the DFW area would even mess with it.

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  8. #8
    Marlin Marksman
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    I tried the same thing with a 1980 model 94 and it wouldn't take bluing. From 1968 - 1972 the receivers where alloy with a black chrome plating. From 1972- 1981 they were iron plated. If you can find an older model from 1964-1968 with a serial # starting with 2,***,*** they might still take bluing. My neighbour just bought an older post 64 that still looks good and doesn't look like it was plated.

  9. #9
    Tenderfoot
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    Some 20 years ago, I was doing some wheeling and dealing and sort of as an afterthought, I took in a 1970-production. Because I knew it was some sort of mystery metal (huh....alloy with black chrome plating....didn't know that.....thanks, BillyHill), I never worried about making it look nicer. But the wood looked good, and it was very accurate. So I kept it, mostly because I didn't have a 30-30 at the time. And typical of '94s, it's so easily carried. Put a Williams sight on it....no sense wasting a nice Lyman on it, right?

    Well, shoot. Got a deer the first time I took it out. And the second. And the fourth. Well, hey, you think I'm going to get rid of it? Until health stopped me from hunting, it accounted for a deer almost every year. I'm supposed to have feeding problems. Maybe that issue will appear in the next 20 years.

    Oh yeah....receiver still looks ugly.

  10. #10
    Marlin Marksman
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    For what it is worth, I beleive the receivers were made of "sintered metal", which is a process that makes metal parts from a powder.
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