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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Initial Reaction to Blue Wonder Comment
    Gregory Morris, 11/19/07 7:48:55 am

    Despite the advice I received about re-blueing my own gun, I recently purchased a gun refinishing kit. I got it for a couple of reasons, namely my M44 was ugly and almost bare metal around the muzzle and receiver (which is a typical wear pattern, since everything else is covered by the stock and hand-guard.)

    Anyway, everyone said "don't to it, it'll just be streaky and uneven" or "the finish won't last long." I figured it couldn't be any worse than how it already looks, so why not try it? If it turns out crappy, then I can strip it back down and try something else. After some research, I decided to go with the Blue Wonder Gun Black Kit. Aside from being well marketed, and having an info-mercial style "howto" video, it really looked like it would be less prone to streaking and overall crumminess. Plus, I saw a rather positive review on Surplus Rifle.

    Anyway, the first thing I did was to completely take apart my rifle. All the little parts still have a good finish because they are protected from wear, and still a bit cosmoline-saturated. I decided to pick a test area on the rifle instead of doing the entire thing at once. The muzzle-end is the least-complicated surface, and it had about 2% of the original finish, so that is where I started. Here are the steps:
  • I used Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber to degrease the heck out of entire barrel.
  • Took super-fine sandpaper to the area to be re-finished, then steel wool (skip the sandpaper for touch-ups.)
  • Then, I put on some rubber gloves and degreased it again (can't be too careful...)
  • Per the Blue Wonder instructions, I applied their gun cleaner to the area I was finishing, and gave it a good torching. The clean cloth I wiped it down with got pretty icky the first time, so I did this step again.
  • The next step is just to gently apply (after shaking the bottle real good) the actual gun black solution after lightly torching the metal again. I was amazed how quickly, and evenly, it worked. The instructions say apply at least 5 coats, but as many as you want until it is as black as you want. It took about 8 coats to match the original finish.
  • Once the area was as black as I wanted it, I applied the developer, once again per their instructions, and let it sit for a few hours before oiling it.

    It was really that simple. The finish looks pretty amazing for as quick as it went on (about an hour from rifle disassembly to applying the developer.) There are a few tiny imperfections, but they are my fault. I must not have gotten all the oil and cosmoline out of the edge where the bayonet mount/front sight fits onto the barrel. I tried taking the bayonet mount off altogether, but I couldn't get the retaining pins to budge.

    The cool thing about Blue Wonder is that you can just degrease it again, and apply more black. So I might touch up those spots when I have more time. I'm definitely going to black the rest of the rifle (everywhere it is worn or scratched at least.) I still don't know how well the finish will wear, but I'm not all that concerned since the rifle is mostly a conversation piece that I just happen to fire once in a while.

    Oh, and before anyone asks, no they aren't paying me. But since I'm giving them such a positive review, they should at least send me t-shirt or something.

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