Both the metal and wood of the H&R Model 1900 that I bought last weekend were pretty grungy. The metal had a mix of grease, dirt, patina, and rust. The forearm wood had been cleaned but the buttstock was nasty, with a couple splits in the wrist.
I started cleaning up the metal first. I used Kroil, steel wool, and paper towels to clean off the active rust while leaving most of the patina. Here’s the action, showing the patent date stamps above the pivot pin, which had been completely obscured.
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The top of the barrel at the breech:
The choke is probably a full choke.
The wood was filthy. I took this pic to show the contrast between uncleaned wood (the wrist) and cleaned wood (the butt).
To clean the wood I used steel wool wet with lacquer thinner, and periodically wiped off the resulting slurry with paper towels. Except for the cracked wrist it’s perfectly sound. I flushed the cracks out with lacquer thinner then let the stock dry in the sun. I then flooded the cracks with superglue.
The only way to know if the glue is enough to prevent further cracking is to shoot it. If not, I’ll wrap it with wire like you see on a lot of old guns.
After the superglue dried I gave the stock three coats of dark walnut tint Watco Danish Oil. It came out pretty nice, IMO.
After cleaning up the barrel I hit it with some Birchwood Casey cold blueing solution. I applied several coats and let it sit for a couple hours. The white scratches that were on the barrel are now gone, and it has an overall brownish patina.
The cleaned and refinished gun looks good now. It doesn’t look new. It looks like a well used, old gun, rather than a neglected, filthy old gun. It should have some life it in yet.