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 Old gun, cold blue stinks 
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Location: Federal Way, Commons Mall
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I recently found a firearm for sale from 1907-1916 and fell in love with it. None of it seems to be messed with except the finish. Even the original buttons which many have been changed out over the decades. Anyway its got a nice “been there, done that” brown patina worn in the right places. The only problem is when I hold it to my shoulder it absolutely stinks like that old cold blue smell. It’s not a nice gun smell it’s actually kind of offensive. I’ve done some research about it and some people have said baking soda rubbed over it can help reduce the smell. Is there anything short of a total refinish that I can do to make it not stink? I only want it as a curio / shooter. I would hate to have to ceracoat such a classic old gun with character marks.

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Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:12 pm
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All my firearms are old. I’ve never noticed any off putting smell. Well except maybe when they come from a smokers home.
Anyway, I’d just try wiping it down liberally with Hoppes #9.
Actually a complete disassembly and thorough cleaning probably would be a good idea.


Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:02 pm
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Could it be cosmoline? A bit late in the year now but putting it out in the sun on a hot day might melt some of it out. You may need to use a 200 deg oven now.


Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:08 pm
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Soak it in acetone.


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Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:48 pm
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Cold bluing, if that is what you are smelling, contains some nasty stuff. Cold bluing is a chemical reaction when Copper & Selinium dioxide come into contact with bare steel. It could be the Selinium Dioxide that you are smelling....BTW I know the smell.

If it has already been refinished, then the collector value (if it had any) may have been lost. Might as well go full on restoration of the finish and do it right.

Guns made before WWI were most likely blued via the rust bluing method. If you want to tackle it yourself, get some Art's Belgian Blue formula. They have instructions and videos on how to do it. I can give you a hand if you want (I have propane heated tanks).

I could also re blue it using the more modern Hot Salts blueing method.


Post some pictures and let's have a look at what we are dealing with

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Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:32 pm
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I love the smell of cosmoline haha takes me back to the good ole milsurp days. It’s not that. I’m pretty sure it’s the cold blue smell, or the selinium dioxide as casey said. I haven’t committed to purchase it yet so no pics. Still doing some research. It’s pretty much a heavily worn blue/brown mix patina. If I do refinish it I’ll be in the market for somebody to do it.

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If interested in an item I have, please PM me... I don't always remember to re-check the thread.

Things I’ll take in trade: USMC KAC rear sight, B5/SOPMOD stocks, Glock 29 G3 or G4 slide, Glock 20/29/19/17/22/23/21 mags, S&W 15-22 Sport MLOK Upper, factory .223/5.56/7.62x39/.308/6.5G/9mm/10mm, TC Encore parts, DD M4V3 UPPER


Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:29 pm
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