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To polish or not polish a brass receiver?


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For those who use rifles with brass receivers, do you keep them polished bright or let them tarnish?  If inclined to reply, vote "POLISH" or "TARNISH" and if you vote POLISH and feel extra ambitious, say how often.  Just got a 2002 Uberti 1866 Yellow Boy carbine that looks ok with its tarnished brass receiver, but it might polish up real shiny and pretty without much effort.   Wondering what others do.

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Tarnish on the 66. It was that way when I got it used. Now you have me thinking evil thoughts about polishing...

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Polished.  But only when it starts to look bad. I don't polish it every time I shoot it. 

 

BS

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8 minutes ago, Barry Sloe said:

Polished.  But only when it starts to look bad. I don't polish it every time I shoot it. 

 

BS

But your vote has to be discounted because you are USN Ret. and probably can't help yourself from polishing brass when you see tarnish.  ;)

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2 minutes ago, Nostrum Damus SASS #110702 said:

But your vote has to be discounted because you are USN Ret. and probably can't help yourself from polishing brass when you see tarnish.  ;)

I have to flip a coin. Heads it gets polished and tails it gets painted.  And sometimes we had to scrape the paint off to polish it. 

 

BS

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Sort of like do you chrome your single action Colt or have it nickel plated?  People who would ruin a single action by chroming it like polished brass 66s.  People who like mellow nickel like mustard colored 66s.

Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
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3 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Sort of like do you chrome your single action Colt or have it nickel plated?  People who would ruin a single action by chroming it like polished brass 66s.  People who like mellow nickel like mustard colored 66s.

Hmmm.  Chroming is definitely verboten, that's just another form of Bubba's work, and so is nickel plating for that matter, in my view.  Polishing brass, not so much, at least in my opinion -- nothin' but chemically cleaning the original metal back to its actual original condition.  You can even switch back and forth between the tarnished look and polished look, if you like -- you can change your mind -- all of your polishing effort is reversible, all by itself!

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It is not called tarnish. It is called Patina. The first 66 I bought had patina. I had to go to the bank and get cash. When I went to pay and pick it up the next morning it was bright and shiny, I almost did not buy it. Just did not look right.

kR

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I polish my brass buckles, rifles and everything else regularly and especially after every match day.

 

SEMPER FIDELIS!!!

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I love that collector word for surface oxidation, "patina."   

28 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Patina takes years of nurturing.

Or years of doing absolutely nothing.

A fancy name for tarnish.  Not saying I don't like a good patina as much as the next pard ... just sayin' ... it's a good word.

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This voting isn't turning out to be as decisive as I thought it could be -- in either direction! :wacko:  I'll just leave it alone for the time being, at least until the first time a pard looks at my Yellow Boy on the loading table and says "don't you think you ought to do something about all that patina?"

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Patina. Clean the surface just like you would blued steel. The gun will mature into its natural beauty. 
 

I saw a brass 66 which the owner tried to polish. Don’t know if he used a Flitz cloth or Brasso or whatever. At the boundary between brass and blued steel he had a line that was an awful mix of patina brass and worn bluing. 
 

Just my view from the cheap seats. 

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Before joining SASS I had a 1860 Henry rifle that I would periodically polish.  I used Mothers Mag to polish.  I would remove the stock and wrap painters blue tape around the barrel/magazine were they met the receiver.  I would use a rag with a block of wood to polish the flats to avoid rounding any edges.  Major PITA, but for a rifle I rarely shot it was not a big deal.  

 

After joining SASS I saw a number of BP and Classic shooters that had 1860/66s with patina on the receivers and decided it was I nice look.  I will never understand the appeal of the deliberately aged look or "defarb" but honest wear and patina earned over time looks good on SASS guns IMHO.

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This is what your brass receiver and tools will look like in about five years if you don’t polish them.  You pays your money and you takes your chance!  :D
 

EE802451-7E7A-43C2-964C-41F4D63EF605.jpeg.2216d1c780e8b2644f7659d0896e679f.jpeg
 

 

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I no longer own the rifle.  It sold quickly when I put it up for sale.  The new owner liked the look and is allowing it to continue.

Edited by J-BAR #18287
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I've met many people who chide me about my shiny firearms.  Never met anyone complaining about someone's dull finishes.

So, since it really seems to bother others, I vote:  POLISH THAT '66.

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Well if you want your brass 1866 to have a nice patina you can either shoot black powder or urinate on it. The second choice may leave a little odor. Irish ☘️ Pat, I left mine bright!

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I let my '66 Cimarron tarnish, so it will look older, and not new-in-the-box. 

I bought my Cimarron 1860 Henry, with the antique finish, so it would look older, and used, and like it had some history behind it.

There are different ways to tarnish brass, other than the passing of time, if you look them up.

I purchased a reproduction 1863 "Remington" muzzleloading rifle (Zouave), back in 1973, and I have not polished the brass on the trigger guard, or the butt-plate, or the patch-box, or the barrel bands, and they have turned a softer, mellow, worn color. 

I prefer that over the super shiny brass. 

But, that is me, and you may prefer to have the brass shiny, and looking bright. 

 

Anyway, I vote for the worn, tarnished look.

 

 

 

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Howdy

I had a 66 and stored it in a corner of the kitchen,

The cooking vapors sped up the aged look of the brass.

I wanted the look of the very ezpensive rifles at the gun show

and in museums.

I vote tarnish if thats what you call it.

Its your rifle, do what you like.

Best

CR

 

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OK, I decided.  I asked a friend and he said "brass should be polished."  Then I showed him the tarnished carbine.  He said "uh, well, that looks pretty nice -- leave it alone."  That was my inclination, too.  Thanks for all of the good comments and votes.

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I got my 19860 Henry in 2005. I have never polished it. What’s the point? B)

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