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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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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
On the note of cleaning the protective coating off, I was very aggressive, as the stuff is soo hard. the Scotch-brite like scrubbers for kitchem use worked well, They hold the denat. alch, and cut the grime. and i alternated with direct appliation of dish detergent and hot water. T.I.M.E. = TOO LONG :) but I am still young and single and have nothing better to do :D
 

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Yeah, I worked on mine some tonight. Tried both acetone and denatured alcohol. The acetone worked, but no better than the alkie and evaporated so fast my hands were freezing. I tried the trick of wrapping a rag around the stock and soaking it wth solvent to try to soften the grunge, but no luck. I do have a little wood peeping through, but the going is SLOW!. Think I will try a Scotch Brite pad next... Meanwhile, I'll set the lock to soak in alcohol for a while.
 

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making a simple job tough

Yeah, I worked on mine some tonight. Tried both acetone and denatured alcohol. The acetone worked, but no better than the alkie and evaporated so fast my hands were freezing. I tried the trick of wrapping a rag around the stock and soaking it wth solvent to try to soften the grunge, but no luck. I do have a little wood peeping through, but the going is SLOW!. Think I will try a Scotch Brite pad next... Meanwhile, I'll set the lock to soak in alcohol for a while.
Been sitting here quietly reading all these posts and chuckling to myself....Make it easy on yourselvs..make a shallow pan out of cardboard or wood , line it with aluminum foil, mix 1 pint of BLO with 1 pint of turpintine, pour in pan..lay stock in pan, use 1/2 or 1 inch brush to keep stock wet.
after a while the grunge will soften and lift right off, a lite touch with the wifes scouring pad will finish it off.
BlO was the finish on these and other posts have all the info you need to finish the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I assume this is how you did yours?? I found that NO petro-based solvents had ANY effect onthe protective coating (animal grease). and only the water and the alchohol would cut it.
I soaked the metal parts in Kerosene, PB plaster, etc, to no avail, but the DA did the trick.
I am just curious, and am definately open to easier "right ways" to clean the stocks.
 

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I assume this is how you did yours?? I found that NO petro-based solvents had ANY effect onthe protective coating (animal grease). and only the water and the alchohol would cut it.
I soaked the metal parts in Kerosene, PB plaster, etc, to no avail, but the DA did the trick.
I am just curious, and am definately open to easier "right ways" to clean the stocks.
For chemical based products you need a chemical based solvent, for organic an organic solvent. I,m basicaly lazy and prefer the solvent do it,s job while I do other good stuff.
I think a hundred some years ago there weren,t that many chemicals available. so animal products were used...or whatever...
As for the stock, it had over a hundred years to dry out and become brittle, a 50/50 mix of turps and BLO really hydrates it. all my old rifles are treated this way folowed up by a BLO/beeswax treatment...no split stocks yet...and I shoot them all...
Some of my guns are over 200 years old,nothing hangs on the wall.
Anyways..if soap and scotch brite pad do it for you,go to it...but use the BLO/turps afterwards.
It,s surprizing how good these things can be under all that grunge.
 

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After soaking my entire lock overnight in D.A., I disassembled it and scrubbed it with a Scotchbrite pad. It cleaned up BEAUTIFULLY! There are some small areas of pitting where the coating had come off some time in the past, but you don't see it unless you're looking for it. I also started using a Scotchbrite pad and alcohol on the stock, and it's taking the crud right off. I did buy a quart of BLO to use on the stock afterwards, though.
 
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