Recently I bought a 1943 Lee Enfield rifle that someone had spray painted in camo.
Today I started the restoration process, cleaning some metal fittings with acetone and brake cleaner. and scrubbing with a toothbrush.
What surprised me was the shininess of the metal. Is this caused by the blueing wearing off over time or the acetone removing the patina?
Pic related. The fittings in the top left are the ones I cleaned paint off of.
Here's a comparison photo of how the gun looked when I bought it.
Guy who sold it was an older overweight guy in a hunting jacket.
"I had a gunsmith do this paint job for me. I can't figure out why I haven't sold it yet!"
>I had a gunsmith do this paint job for me
If this is true (which I doubt), then god damn it this guy was an idiot. How does being a gunsmith automatically make you god-tier at painting? I remember the same thing from some other guy who said a gun he was selling was painted by a Marine. HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT MAKE IT BETTER?
If it's not true, I don't know why the fuck he thinks that would help it sell.
>Hurr I don't know why no one wants to buy it"
I hope you told him, after the deal, he was a fucking retard to paint it in the first place. That's why it didn't sell.
How much did you snag it for?
In the name of the cube allow that rifle to have a little bit of dignity again!
>some other guy who said a gun he was selling was painted by a Marine.
Heh, that was from me. It was posted on a FB trade page.
Got it for 325. Feel like I did pretty good, even if it will be a bitch to restore.
Thanks for the encouragement. I plan on removing all the paint from the metal, then cleaning off the stock using paint stripper, and refinishing it with linseed oil. Haven't really done anything like this before, so if anybody has any advice, feel free to share.
What's the bore look like? These stocks were soaked in some oil shit, so the paint never really soaks into the wood too bad. Sand paper and true oil. But if the barrel is shot out, it's almost pointless.
>Sand paper and true oil
What is that process exactly? Just apply oil and rub with sandpaper?
I reccomend following >>22376654
advice for removal but I'm partial to tru oil.
It is like a stain/ protectant, there's multiple guides on how to do it. But the general gist is use a light coat, let it dry overnight, then sand with 0000 steel wool and repeat for 4-6 layers, dependent on how shiny you want it.
This. Take a gel/paste style stirpper, apply and wipe off a few times, use mineral spirits to clean off the stripper, then you'll have a clean slate to refinish. BLO is nice, but I would look to see how the brits finished them back in the day to make it correct. Pic related had polyurethane all over it, stripped, applied a stain, then sealed with BLO.
In this case, after stripping, start applying BLO. Apply a coat, let it dry, hit it with a little extra fine steel wool, and repeat as many times as you can/want. Pic related was done with just BLO after stripping, although I should've used shellac.
Any particular brand you guys would recommend for stripping the paint?
Also, I did some digging, and it seems that the brits used regular linseed oil, so I will be refinishing with that.
Sorry for these slow responses, comcast a shit.
A few people are loyal to some brands, I just got what was at Home Depot. I recommend a gel or paste style though. That way you can hang the parts to apply and it will stick as it soaks in. Just be sure to wash it off with mineral spirits when you're done.
Well yeah you use paint stripper or acetone first to get all that bubba off, and if the dude sanded it first, the paint mighta soaked in a bit, if it looks tits after just stripping paint, then w/e, but you know, if you wanna git that shit lookin legit, sand and true oil.
Welcome to the Enfield club, they're great guns. Hope she turns out well, I'm definitely interested in seeing how the stock looks when you're finished with it.
Pic related, my 1917 BSA No. 1 Mk. 3*
Just want to thank everyone for the helpful advice ITT.
I'm going to bed now, but I'll check back again in the morning for any more updates.
I'll definitely upload some pictures later when I've done more work, maybe around Sunday evening.
>weld new sights
>new bayonet lug.
all she needs anon, is you.
DO NOT USE TRUE OIL.
It will look disgusting and not feed the stock, which is nessacary for bedding. Use Raw linseed, or Boiled if you're impatient. If you don't care about historical correctness then use Tung oil which is arguably better.
Probably, mine isn't that much shorter then my nugget
metals coming clean because its a No.4 Mk1 the original finish was a black paint on most of them so chances are your taking that off too. but if i believe it was some form of enamel that the brits used during wwii due too it being faster to do and more durable than bluing
the savages were likely blued as to what exact enamel the brits used idk trade names but most of the no4s ive seen have had a black enamel(of some form) still for OPs case he might be best off with something like black duracoat since he has to refinish anyway, as long as it looks right it will be better than what he started with.
Yeah the black paint was Suncorite. It's like BBQ paint or VHT but on steroids.
I don't think they sell it anymore, or even make it, because like all the good stuff it was found to fuck people up if they worked around it a lot.
Something like this would be fairly easy to do at home and close to the original finish.
learn something every day, black oxide would probably be another good choice, still it's up to OP to come up with the solution that best replicates the suncorite... still it will be better than he found it.
Looks are subjective.
But performance wise the late rifles made with No4 actions were the best:
- Enforcer was probably the best (7.62, No4 action, heavy barrel, best optics and mounts, stocked up for accuracy)
- L42A1 7.62, heavy barrel, close to or equal the above, scopes were more robust than the above but worse in every other way.
- Envoy and L39A1, pretty much the same rifles as above. Sights and stocks differ.
-No4 T was the WW2 and Korea era sniper's rifle. Usually billed as one of the best set up sniper's rifles of WW2 era. Inferior to above because .303
-No4Mk2 the same as a Mk1 only improved trigger arrangement. Objectively better than the Mk1 set up for being more robust, but in all cases I've seen you won't feel any difference in trigger pull.
-No4Mk1 was the best standard issue Lee Enfield that actually saw a lot of battle.
-No5 are cool rifles, there's debate as to whether the wandering zero ever existed or not. General consensus seems to be that some rifles are good as gold while others won't hold a good zero.
After that you go into No1 territory, like the SMLE, and the various models of trials and experimental rifles. SMLEs are great, particularly some of the heavy barreled Australian ones and possibly the Ishapore 2As for being 7.62 however they're objectively inferior to the No4.
Pic related it's an L42A1
OP, I would recommend waiting for Zed to come around since he knows his shit more than day/k/are.
This is a rifle, not a house, so you need to know your shit before you unknowingly and irreversibly fuck it even more.
boiled linseed oil does the same thing and dries faster
when did $325 become a good deal for a bubba'd rifle?
truly dark times we live in.
I paid $225 for my SMLE, $295 for my No.4, and $200 for my jungle carbine plus another hundred to restore it. Those prices were all within the past 4-5 years.
that looks awesome as hell.
Thinking about it on mine, though it really doesnt need it. And some one removed the pistol recurve.
I just love clean looking enfields
finally shot it
>What surprised me was the shininess of the metal. Is this caused by the blueing wearing off over time or the acetone removing the patina?
Acetone will not remove bluing. This means that Bubba had either put those parts on the wire wheel prior to painting them, or that the original finish was gone to begin with. But you're OK either way. Here's why:
When wartime rifles in England began to show their age, rather than re-blue or park them, which took time a fair amount of work, they just painted those fuckers. Yep. They painted the SHIT out of them.
Black paint is actually a correct finish for some parts of an Enfield like yours. But what parts? And what kind of paint?
The brand of black paint used was called Suncorite #3, though other kinds were also approved. The parts that were approved for painting in this way were pic related.
Suncorite is a little difficult to find. But there are alternatives. I will post them next.
Pic related is about the best Suncorite alternative you're likely to find. You'll have to do some looking to get it though-- it's not as hard-to-find as Suncorite, but it's not like you'll just Amazon it either.
Barring either, there's several gunforums that recommend various automotive paints that are supposed to replicate the same color, sheen, and durability. But I like to go for as close to original as I can, when I can.
If you're worried about the appearance of what is basically just black paint on your metal parts, don't be.
Pic is my SMLE. Notice that the rear band, trigger guard, magazine, and receiver are all original Suncorite... and they kinda look like, well, just painted. That's because that's all they are. Painted. And that's correct and original and the way they are SUPPOSED to look.
In Enfield terms, this looks "really good". I think it's an acquired taste, personally, but I know it's historically correct so I leave my personal opinion out of it.
The metal parts that are NOT supposed to be painted, but that are still missing finish, can be redone with either an applied parkerizing finish (Brownell's has a good one) or just plain old Cold Blue.
If you go the cold blue route, remember to degrease that part like you've never degreased anything in your entire life, get the metal warm, and polish between coats. Pic related is the best cold blue I've ever used, bar none. DO NOT USE BIRCHWOOD CASEY. It's garbage.
So that takes care of the Metal, but what about the wood?
Pic related is my go-to for stripping absolutely anything and everything out and off of old woods. It will take your rifle to an "in the white" condition-- absolutely no trace of paint, oil, varnish, or finish will remain.
However, at that point you'll probably also really notice how beat-up your rifle stock is. There will be dings, scratches, soaked-in oil, and probably more than a few black stains. Here's how you deal with all those:
The dings and scratches, and a fair bit of the soaked-in oil can be steamed out with a wet rag and iron. Here's a pic of me having done just that, getting the ground-in grime out of the wrist of a pretty nice old stick of walnut. Use distilled water, for reasons I'm about to explain:
The black stains are from a reaction the wood has with iron. This is why you DO NOT use steel wool on a stock. Over time, the little shards of steel that get stuck in there will make black spots all over it. This is also why you use distilled water when you steam-- tap water usually has iron dissolved in it, and will stain.
To get the stains out, get a product from the hardware store that contains Oaxalic Acid, or pure Oaxalic Acid. It's basically bleach for black iron stains. Will take them right out.
All this will minimize the amount of sanding you have to do, if any at all. None is best. Very little is second best. Wailing on it with 100 grit is bubbamode worst.
>Pic related is my go-to for stripping absolutely anything and everything out and off of old woods.
Derp. Got halfway through, realized I needed a better pic to describe shit, and forgot to take the reference to the first pic out.
Here's that stripper. Shit is amazing, but don't get it on your skin. Fireants.
When you have it stripped, cleaned, steamed and ready, you'll have the choice between Boiled Linseed Oil and Raw Linseed Oil. Both are correct, but I think that Raw Linseed Oil is "more correct" Pic related is why. Look at the bottom section.
Whichever one you go with, remember that an oil finish is essentially the same concept as a paint finish. Use LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT coats, apply them evenly, remove excess, and LET THEM DRY BEFORE YOU PUT ANOTHER COAT ON.
BLO needs 24 hours minimum to dry enough for another coat. RLO will need several days to a week. Also, you will need about 6-8 coats of either before you get to a point where it looks really good.
Do the math: That means about a week (with BLO) or up to two months (with RLO) to completely finish the rifle. You'll be spending 10 rubbing on a coat of oil, then hanging it back up to dry for 24 hours or a week. It's like this: The more patient you can be, the better your rifle will look. You'll have to say that to yourself over and over when the urge to just reassemble it and be done is strong: The more patient you are, the better your rifle will look.
>The more patient you are, the better your rifle will look.
Here's two pics to make that point more clear. Here's a stock I did after 1 coat of BLO.
And here's after the 6th coat... 7 days later (24 hours for the 6th coat to dry)
Patience with an oil finish will pay off. Thin coats, plenty of drying time.
If you just slop it on every few hours and think you're giving it a new coat each time, you're wrong. You're basically just painting over a wet coat of paint.
Here's the before an after of a SMLE restoration I did with Raw Linseed Oil (RLO)
Yes, it took for fucking ever. Yes, I'm glad I took it slow.
A guy in my area is still trying to sell an ishapore 7.62 for $325. I made him an offer and reneged in favor of a reloading kit. I wonder if I should make him another offer, It's been about 3 weeks. What does /k/ think?
Wow, this comes along at a great time.
I'm in the middle of restoring a fucking beautiful all matching Savage No4 MkI* someone bubbad the fuck out of.
Managed the rifle for 200, but now I have to replace all the wood and get new hardware to cover everything missing from the sight ears to the rear end of the receiver.
The dumb fuck sold it because it wasn't ejecting.
>He put a scope rail on it.
>The scope rail replaced the fucking ejector screw.
>He apparently didn't think the screw had a purpose.
>The scope rail's screw is too short to act as an ejector.
yeah lets just go ahead and wait for zeds advice once he stops shitposting in the race riot threads...or gets back from making shitty threads on /ck/
yeah thats gonna work out real well
Looks like you did a pretty good job with that, very nice work.
Syracuse, NY gun show.
semi-related, I just got back from looking at a truck and I decided to swing by a local gun shop. best decision ever. I found a box of loose, mixed radway green and wra surplus .303 for $22. 37 rounds of .303 for slightly more than what they were charging for a box of PPU
An oil finish does penetrate the wood (some), but the point is that if the oil is not allowed to polymerize before the next coat goes on, you're basically just re-dissolving the first coat. You're not building coats, which is what gives an oil finish it's depth and luster, as well as it's protective qualities.
The paint analogy was just that-- a way to illustrate what putting a fresh coat on a still-wet coat is doing.
>Saw this on Facebook
"Because I'm going to put a bipod and scope on it"
well you can put a eye relief scope on the rear sight of a Mosin, and as far as I know is a reversible modification. that paint job is 100% pig disgusting though
Dat shit ghey.
Smart people get jmeck mounts and either buy a separate bent bolt body or get their current straight bolt modified.
>using paint stripper
Don't do that! Just sand it off. You're going to want to sand the wood anyway before using oil, and paint stripper contains chemicals that will be absorbed into the wood and cause it to deteriorate over time.
>Syracuse, NY gun show
Nice, I went to the most recent one, was my first time at that show. Picked up an almost all matching 1938 Tula nugget with no cosmo for a great price. Definitely going to go to the next one in Sept.
So I have a change of mind and a new view. The sportorized enfield I have is like a cut penis. Its not whole and will never be as good as a regular enfield but thats okay. Its my baby and i will care for it and help it through life even though it is handicapped.
I decided long ago that if I ever get a Gewehr 88 or 98 I must get one of the "butcher blade" type bayonets to go with it.
Just cut it a little more and make one of these
Damn, those are fucking sweet.
It's a shame i'll probably never be able to own a semi auto gun here.
You should really get a proper Seitengewehr 98 for it.
what in the name of James Paris Lee is going on with you sling swivel?
The rear sight guard is missing too. Perhaps someone wanted it for competition shooting or something. IIRC, Anon is Aussie.
Op, I refinish guitar for a living, and i have done a few guns. Since what you are doing is taking paint ( spray paint to be exact ) off of an oil. What you need to use is a medium duty fast drying pure cleaner like, straight ethanol or brake clean, brake clean is easier to get, and since you are only concerned with getting rid of the paint, get a rough cloth- like a "drug-rug" hoody material or some denim patches and rub gently with spraying your clean on the paint directly. The paint will dissolve mostly after a while and any oil that is soaked up can be replenished after you get the entire rifle cleaned of the paint. As long as you match the oil and aren't too rough with the cleaning you should be able to get the looks spot on with the unmolested brethren of the glorious Lee Enfield
Shit, I forgot this stuff. Once you get the wood stripped, mix up some of this shit and give it a good scrub with a soft nylon brush or blue scrub pad.
Amazing amounts of shit will come out of that wood. Really helps get it ready for finish.
OP here, surprised this thread is still up. First off, thanks for the very thorough guide, Zed. And thanks to everyone else offering their advice as well.
Got the metal mostly cleaned up today, will finish that tomorrow, as well as strip the wood.
Haven't decided on how to finish the metal yet, but I am pretty firm on finishing the wood with raw linseed oil.
I said that Guitars is my main line of work, i do guns for fun and for people on the side, this is a method i use for Mil-surp rifles because of the way they are finished. Brake clean is a safer alternative to traditional thinners as it doesnt bleach/stain the wood. it is completely clean and since refinishing is a must for any restoration, it is a perfectly sound method.
Hey, have you ever used Jasco Premium to strip the finish on a guitar? I know it won't harm wood; I've used it for years and years, it gets excellent reviews, and it's never left my wood anything but as strong or stronger (due to removing old oils).
I just ask because it seems like it would take a lot of brake cleaner seeing as how it evaporates so fast. But I've never used it on a stock, so I don't know.
Bluing isn't hard to do. Get some galvanized paint troughs, a gas grill burner or two and a container of bluing salt solution and find some instructions online. Do some scraps of steel first, just grind them shiny and you can experiment with it until you're happy with the results.
You might want to make your own burner for heating the salts and water if you're handy like that.
Well considering the money it takes to buy a new barrel then paying a gun Smith to rebarrel the receiver and buying a new forend/rear &front hand guards, $75 for a sporter is bretty good
Oh, I'm asking this because I've got a fairly odd case of "sticky bolt"..
No idea on whats causing it, happens every few cycles. Just needs a thump when it happens..