Going to dig into my 29

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by antman73, Jan 1, 2022.

  1. antman73

    antman73 .410

    I’ve had this 1929 for about 5 months now. It’s been used but not abused in the last 92 years. It has a few small issues that got me to looking at it over the weekend. The most obvious is both ends of the wood needs work. The forearm has a crack which is very stable so that should be easy. The stock however was cut way short. Not sure where I’m going to fix that. The entire gun needs a bath as well. I’m going to strip the wood but the blueing isn’t really terrible.

    Attached Files:

    Rudolph31 and win7stw like this.
  2. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    Nice gun. It has the checkering that I like, the kind that doesn’t cross underneath. The crack will be an easy fix. the stock would be close to original LOP with a 3/4” pad. I prefer the red Pachmayr grind to fit if I absolutely have to add one. The bluing looks excellent. I love that it has the solid rib.
    antman73 likes this.
  3. Bill Idaho

    Bill Idaho .270 WIN

    Yep, that is a keeper.......and if by any chance you decide it isn't, I would gladly offer you a $100 cash in small denomination unmarked non-sequentially marked US bills.
    I agree with a red rubber pad. It isn't cut short enough to worry about.
    antman73 likes this.
  4. antman73

    antman73 .410

    Thanks for the advice on the red pad. I really don't like pads on guns but I know I don't have a choise here. Any attempt to add wood to the end of the stock might look silly.
    As you guys know it's always a little tence when taking a new purchase apart to see if it's a numbers matching gun still or does it have changed out parts. This is all original thankfully.
  5. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    [​IMG]
    These are the pads that I don’t mind
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  6. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    I don’t like recoil pads on my Auto-5’s either. But one came on my 1938 Sweet Sixteen and it doesn’t look too bad.
    [​IMG]
    antman73 likes this.
  7. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    Is that original?
  8. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    I think so, Hy-Gun was an old company.
    [​IMG]
  9. antman73

    antman73 .410

    Justin, thats a beauty. Whats the scoop on it? Did you do the wood and if so is that Art's Red?
  10. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

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  11. antman73

    antman73 .410

    5A86ADA5-9782-463E-97F8-EBF912DA3B29.jpeg 68A578CD-0142-44ED-8A3C-368BDFE21CC6.jpeg Having removed all of the parts to inspect and clean I thought I would Show a few things. First a 92 year old wooden action spring plug. Second a shallow tang with SN. Neither of these were a surprise because I kinda thought the gun was all original but non the less interesting.
    win7stw likes this.
  12. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    How dirty is it? Some of my older guns were very nasty when I got them
  13. antman73

    antman73 .410

    everything in the receiver was pretty much covered in a black greasy type of substance. Nothing I would call dirty or gritty but just dry black grease. Happy that nothing looks like it needs to be replaced. The action and recoil springs are only about 1/4" short but if I can find them I will replace them. The narrow rail locking block is fine so just cleaning and reinstalling .
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  14. Bill Idaho

    Bill Idaho .270 WIN

    That wood spring guide looks really good! Darn-near every one I have happened upon is coated in an oily funk.

    My offer is now $150. That's it.
    antman73 likes this.
  15. Ranger6

    Ranger6 .30-06

    I have some of those wood spring guides, brand new! Rare and hard to find, but one is yours for 150.00
    antman73 likes this.
  16. antman73

    antman73 .410

    To be honest I degreased before I took the picture. It was covered in the black oily funky you speak of.
  17. antman73

    antman73 .410

    34BD901F-AD0D-4B3F-AFA8-B888EB4FECCD.jpeg Did a cold blue on the receiver tonight. Didn’t come out “like new” but I think it would pass for 1929.
    win7stw and Rudolph31 like this.
  18. antman73

    antman73 .410

    It actually still looks kinda old. Which was what I was shooting for. I wish I knew why two pictures came up.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022 at 6:58 PM
  19. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    I tried to do cold bluing once and mine looked like garbage. I’m pretty impressed with your results
    antman73 likes this.
  20. Bill Idaho

    Bill Idaho .270 WIN

    I have to say, with all due humbleness, I have darn-near perfected a cold-bluing method that replicates the older A5 bluing. By no means to I want to sound as though I am bragging, but a bunch of trial and a whole lot of error has finally provided me with the results I was looking for. As Art once said, restoring a firearm to a "like-new" condition can be done. Restoring an older gun to what it would have looked like way back when (in this case a 1929) takes it to a whole new level!
    I start by obviously degreasing it--with extreme prejudice. A bunch of acetone, inside, outside, all the threads, everywhere. Several times. From that point I glove up to keep my skin oils off of the metal. Then I slowly remove the existing bluing---that is the hardest part---without compromising the engraving, lettering, sharp edges. I like to use 600 or finer grit (1000) . Plenty of it. No power tools. Old fashioned elbow grease.
    After all the original(previous) bluing is gone, I wash it again in acetone. Liberally.
    Then the polishing. I forgot where I bought it, but I use "crocus cloth" for the polishing. It can be had in sheets, much like normal sandpaper, or 2" rolls. I use both. It would be impossible to attempt to explain to what point I polish things to. It would be like describing a color. Not quite like chrome, but not far from it.

    Then, once I have everything polished, I again acetone the living crap out of things. I heat it (whatever, a receiver or barrel, whatever) up to the point where my heat gun shows around 150 farenheit. I don't like going much hotter than that. First application is Birchwood-Casey "Super Blue" I pour it into a shot glass sized container and never dip a used applicator back into the solution. If you do, you have contaminated the entire bottle. I use a clean torn up white T-shirt ripped up into a 6"x6" piece. I daub it on and try to swipe an entire surface as fast as I can. Yes, it will streak and show ugly swirl marks. Fear not. It will dry quickly. Get the entire piece done. Now, using #OOOO steel wool, lightly wipe down the entire piece. Then with a clean rag, again, wipe it down. "Q-tips" can be your friend here in regards to holes, etc. Lightly using the steel wool will remove 90% of the swirl marks and streaking. Once again, fear not.
    Do this application at least twice, I like three times.. Remember you need to heat it up every time you apply the "Super-Blue".

    Now, switch over to the Birchwood Casey bluing that comes in a toothpaste tube. Repeat the previous method of application, this time you are using a paste rather than a cloth saturated with the Super-Blue". Do this twice/thrice.

    Now your final "wiping" with the steel wool should be really light. If done right, you won't have any swirl/dark spots, and everything will have an even deep blue. Wipe it down afterwards with a clean rag, including the holes/threads, etc. Leave it alone over night. Do not oil it. Leave it and go watch TV.

    The next day wipe it down really good--start with a clean dry cloth, then a cloth with a little motor oil (30 weight type). Again, leave it for an hour. With a clean rag, wipe it down and .......................................it should look just like old original A5 bluing. I have done numerous ones, and upon as close as inspection as I can, it is virtually impossible to tell which is original and which is a new "cold-blue. Might I say I have plenty of old A5s to use as examples. As far as "toughness" or hardness (that's a wrong term, but you know what I mean) it seems to be just as durable as the original. I have several I did a handful of years ago, and none are showing any early signs of it wearing off. One A5 in particular is my usual go-to for my weekly (weakly) sporting clays, so it gets a goodly amount of handling- and it looks fine.
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