Rust Bluing

A classic finish, rust bluing provides the best custom gun color. Here’s how to do it right.

by Ray Ordorica

The old Lugers had it. The Mannlicher Schönauers did, too. Most early British high-grade bolt-action rifles and all double rifles had it, as did all British shotguns and quite a few made in the United States. The early Winchester factory employed many old-world craftsmen and my old 1873 Winchester, which I sold long ago to my old friend Ross Seyfried, had it too. I’m talking about rust bluing. The lustre of a proper job of rust bluing, once seen, ruins the discerning eye for all other types of bluing. Nothing can compare with that look. I’m going to tell you here how I do it and give a few secrets to achieving it – or bungling it – in your own shop.

The job is essentially simple but some care must be used along the way. The first step is to get the item to be blued…

Read more in the January 2019 issue.

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