Gun Barrel Bluing-In ’72 I was running a rifling machine for the Brown Mfg. Co. They made for Ballard rifle and Southmen pistol. The Ballard was afterwards taken by the Marlin Co. Pistol barrels were blued by heat in hot sand. After polishing rifle barrels a pine plug was driven tightly in each end projecting four or five inches-all handling done by the plugs-then rolled in air slacked lime to remove all trace of oil, wiped with clean rag and brushed over with diluted nitric acid and placed in racks for about 12 hours. Then put in tank of water and boiled 15 or 20 minutes. On taking out they were covered with a fine red rust. This was rubbed off with a wire brush and showed a pale blue. This process repeated on an average of three times when the deep blue was obtained. After last wire brushing, if dark enough, the barrel was rubbed with woolen rag and oil and beeswax. The barrel must never be touched by the fingers after being limed, till the oil and beeswax polish is on, all handling done by projecting plugs. After two years in the gun shop I went into a job shop but for several years I did gun repairing and have used this process with good results if I was careful but couldn’t hurry it and come out good.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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