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Balistol Oil is not cheap but it is what I use on all my firearms.

For black powder, I mix it 50/50 with water for initial hard core cleaning after a major shoot. I use 10 to 1 after normal shooting, then 100% wipe down.
For smokeless powder, I clean with 100%. Do not mix water with petroleum based products...it gets messy.
I also use it on all of the wood.
 

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The question reminds me of a book I read to my kids. IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN
If you blue the barrel...
You have to blue the rest of the parts
You will have to refinish the stocks
You will have to Color Case the action and hammer
I would leave it alone if it were mine. The only work I would do is what it takes to make it safe and shootable.

BTW The Gunshop in Kendallville, In had a bunch of 38-40s the other day.
 
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Ty very much for your professional opinion. I was told from a very young age this gun was my great grand father’s.
I wasn’t aware of the limited quantity production. The bore is pitted but rifiling is still very apparent. As far as rebluing, I had read it not only preserves but strengthens the barrel so I wasn’t sure which would be best, but after reading your post & others I’m sure leaving it alone is best. If I can’t hand load what’s my next best option for ammo?
You can sometimes come across factory loads here and there but they're very expensive. Bluing of any description won't strengthen your barrel. If you do handload just be sensible with the velocities and this will keep the pressures safe. It sounds as if your carbine would be a good shooter. Don't worry too much about a little bore pitting. Slug the barrel with a soft lead ball so that you can determine the groove diameter with a micrometer and that will give you the correct diameter of bullet to load. One to two thousandths of an inch over that groove diameter. I have a Marlin saddle ring carbine in .30-30 like yours and it works really well with bullet diameters of .309". It slugs to .308".
 

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I think it looks great. But if reblued is what you want. I’d send it off to be professionally done. I had a model 19 S&W revolver reblued. It had several issues and never regretted it. Technically some may say resale value is diminished but I don’t care because I’ll never sell it. I just wouldn’t try home bluing with the stuff you get off the shelf.
The shelf stuff ain't that bad ...

Whitney Kennedy .38-40 Lever Action (manufatured 1894)
Wood Flooring Font Automotive exterior Vehicle

Revolver Wood Air gun Everyday carry Gun accessory
Air gun Trigger Wood Shotgun Revolver
Wood Flooring Magenta Publication Metal
Wood Air gun Trigger Tints and shades Bumper

Marlin 1894CL Classic 32-20 Win
Liquid Fluid Wood Flooring Red
Everyday carry Composite material Bumper Wood Watch accessory
Bicycle part Wood Composite material Tin Household hardware
Office supplies Trigger Line Air gun Writing implement
Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel Gun accessory
 

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I have a '94 saddle ring that was also made in 1902. It has a clean bore, cycles the way it should. It also has patina but the patina looks more light brown than dark.

Regardless, I would leave yours alone.
 

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Your 94 is in nice condition and doesn't need refinishing of any kind! Carbines in nice condition are very hard to find, I have a few and wouldn't consider doing it to any! that one being your grandads is more reason not to, leave it the way he used it, cleaning and fixing aside.
 

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If it helps you any...if I had one of those 44-40 Winchester 94' Cheyanne commemoratives. I ship it off and have someone re-blue it and get that nasty gold crap off of it!!!
 

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How about some of this rusting? Marks Brown with Oxpho Blue

Wood Office supplies Automotive exterior Metal Soil


Handgun holster Shotgun Wood Auto part Gun accessory


Wood Natural material Everyday carry Knife Blade


I has an iridescent look in the sun.

FWIW this gun was pretty much a worthless bunch of mis-matched parts when I started.

I would not re-blue the OP's rifle.
 

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I have an 1894 38/40 from 1895 that I’m gonna have done. It has no significant historical value added it will be a once in a while shooter and BBQ gun. (Show off). The history will be it will survive another 125 years.
 
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