5 years ago #1
Reeko
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Winchester '03 .22 special semi-automatic rifle (1904) restoring - it doesn't appear to be in bad shape, but I'd like to restore it(wood & metal)and retain value. What should I be careful of and what would be OK to restore ?

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5 years ago #2
kcbuck
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Reeko:
Generally, restoring an antique will reduce it's value in the open market. Consider carefully before starting your project. If you intend to keep the rifle and want to restore it, that's fine - but it's futher value will be effected.
kcbuck

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5 years ago #3
Bert H.
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Hello,

First, the Model 1903 Winchester does not qualify as an "Antique".

It is not possible to restore/refinish an old Winchester and retain its full value. Anything you do to it (other than a carefull cleaning) will decrease the value.

Bert H.

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5 years ago #4
kcbuck
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Bert H.
I stand corrected.... What is the magic number (in years) that qualifies a firearm as an antique?
Thanks & Regards,
kcbuck

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5 years ago #5
Bert H.
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kcbuck wrote:
Bert H.
I stand corrected.... What is the magic number (in years) that qualifies a firearm as an antique?
Thanks & Regards,
kcbuck


Per U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section §921, paragraph (16), an "Antique" firearm is defined as follows;

(16) The term “antique firearm” means—

( A ) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or

( B ) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica—

(i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or

(ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or

( C ) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “antique firearm” shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.



The simple definition for any firearm that uses a fixed cartridge is that it must have been manufactured on or before December 31st, 1898 to qualify as an "Antique".

Bert H.
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5 years ago #6
kcbuck
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Bert H.
Very informative, thank you for educating me on this.
Best Regards,
kcbuck

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5 years ago #7
Bert H.
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kcbuck wrote:
Bert H.
Very informative, thank you for educating me on this.
Best Regards,
kcbuck


You are quite welcome

Bert
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5 years ago #8
Reeko
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thank you both for the great information..
so, sub section(ii)would come closest to this Winchester 1903, except the ammo is still manuf. in the US..?

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5 years ago #9
Bert H.
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Reeko wrote:
thank you both for the great information.. :)
so, sub section(ii)would come closest to this Winchester 1903, except the ammo is still manuf. in the US..?


That is not correct. Subsection (ii) of paragraph ( B )applies to "replica" firearms only. Your Model 1903 is not a replica, and therefore falls under section A.

Bert H.
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4 years ago #10
gunslinger7287
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I would not restore the wood or the metal, and would advise light chemical cleaners on the wood, and an old trick I learned was using coke a cola to remove pitting and light rust from the barrel and other metal parts. wipe clean with water and oil.
Always try sample area first.

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4 years ago #11
Bert H.
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gunslinger7287 wrote:
I would not restore the wood or the metal, and would advise light chemical cleaners on the wood, and an old trick I learned was using coke a cola to remove pitting and light rust from the barrel and other metal parts. wipe clean with water and oil.
Always try sample area first.


Using Coca-Cola on an old firearm is a very bad idea... it contains acids which will harm the remaining finish.

Additionally, there is no way to remove pits or pitting other than remove the surrounding steel... again, not advisable.

The absolute best product for removing rust & corrosion is Kroil. Coat the desired areas with a heavy film of Kroil, let it sit overnight, and then use a fine mesh copper wool wetted with Kroil to gently scrub all of the rust off of the steel. The copper wool will not harm the bluing that has not rusted.

Bert H.
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