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Gold Bullet member
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I have one on the way and will be overjoyed if it is as nice as yours. You may want to steam the stock, then clamp it between a couple of 1 x 4's and leave it for a week. That may straighten it up some.
 

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Gold Bullet member
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853 Posts
The black isn't paint. Much of what people describe as rust, isn't rust, either. It had me fooled, too, until I started getting it off and the metal was nice underneath.

Mine was totally black. Looked like it had been in a fire (of course, it hadn't really). Picking it up left my hands black, like picking up charcoal. I wonder if the storage location was in an area where they used charcoal or coal for cooking/heating and the air was perpetually sooty for 100 years.

My take is that the metal was lightly greased and collected a sooty layer of grime. The grease dried rock hard and the color looks just like rust when you scrape at it. Mine had rust only where metal contacted wood (the barrel underside, on the ramrod, the barrel bands, and a little in the bore at the muzzle). Other than that, it was just the encrusted grime layer. The lock looks almost like new, with full bluing. Denatured alcohol did a good job of softening the grime and making it stand out from the metal surface. It just takes a lot of patience to get off without damaging the original surface.

I'm still working to get the black coating off of the stock. I finally resorted to oven cleaner, because other methods weren't working. The black deposits are very stubborn, but I'm almost there. There are some losses at the heel, which I will repair. Other than that, the stock is fine. I'm amazed at what a nice rifle I will have for $240 and some work. Hat's off to IMA for offering these untouched.
 
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