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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone.

Its time I got to work on conserving these two and was wondering if there is anything I should lookout for when disassembling. Im fairly mechanically inclined, just unfamiliar with the innards of these little boot/muff pistols.
Maybe someone knows of some good literature or reference material for these little guys?
Anything information is much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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I see absolutely nothing that needs to be done. There’s no need to risk damage trying to disassemble them. It’s virtually a forgone conclusion that those microscopic screw slots will be damaged in the process. In short I see nothing that needs “conserving” as that term of art is starting to mean. See below.

Wipe them down with a little gun oil, mineral oil, Balistol, or something similar on a soft cotton cloth and then store them in a proper environment.

Have you been watching Novak’s videos? Whenever I see the term “conservation” now my Spidey senses begin to tingle. Your little pistols do not need to be conserved by boiling. Is that what you were contemplating? If you have no idea who Mark Novak is or scratch your head when I say don’t boil your guns please ignore my rambling along those lines.
 

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I see a growing and disturbing trend towards more of the "conserving and restoring" stuff.
Much of it is well meant and intended, though some is misguided.
These pieces look just fine and ought not to endure any tinkering.
I have to work at controlling my own impulses at times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for everyone's input.
There will be no attempts at restoration. These pistols are display pieces that I just wanted to prevent from rusting any further. I had them out for their biannual waxing and was looking them over and thought Id ask if anyone had any advice on disassembly.

I work very hard to keep things in the best of shape and not cause any further damage with the latest "gunsmithing" trend. I am only a caretaker after all and just doing my best to preserve what is there.
 
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Think the bottom pistol may have a removable barrel. Remember seeing one that came with a wrench that fit over the barrel and had a cutout that engaged the lug on the bottom of the barrel. You basically screwed the barrel off, loaded a ball then a measured amount of black powder then screwed the barrel on by hand then just snugged the barrel down. Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello Frank. You are correct. They both have removable barrels for loading. Ive never seen one of the wrenches but it would be nice to have in the collection so I'll keep an eye out for one.
 

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OP:

Thanks!
 

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I see a growing and disturbing trend towards more of the "conserving and restoring" stuff.

Much of it is well meant and intended, though some is misguided.

These pieces look just fine and ought not to endure any tinkering.

I have to work at controlling my own impulses at times.
Of course I could never prove it but I sincerely believe that when everything is said and done Mark Novak and his “conserve your old gun by boiling it” video will have been responsible for ruining countless collector grade guns.

It takes knowledge and experience to skillfully perform many of the tasks and actions that Novak describes. Perhaps more importantly it takes knowledge and experience to wisely and correctly choose when to take those actions and when not to. It’s of equal importance to know when to stop doing something once a task has begun.

The judgment that an individual needs so as to fulfill one of guiding principles of being a collector, that being to do no harm to the items acquired, can not be acquired by watching a few videos. There’s an old saying that fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Perhaps it’s unkind to label an overly enthusiastic beginner a fool, but I have a hard time understanding how or why someone who knows very little about a subject will leap before looking. But sadly many do.

I have a feeling that some beginners will watch the video in question, think about grandpa’s old war souvenir that’s up in the attic, and immediately go in search of a big pot. They know not what they do. It’s going to happen. Probably already has.

In short, scattered among all the rusty old junkers that get boiled and “conserved” by enthusiastic YouTubers following the “Novak Method” there are going to be beautiful pieces of history pulled from dusty attics and closets. Guns that would take an experienced collector’s breath away. Guns that should be handled by gloved hands and displayed behind glass.

Yes indeed, among the far greater number of guns “conserved,” those of little or no interest to collectors, there will doubtlessly be some collector prizes that emerge from the boiling pot.

Thanks Mark.
 
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