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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Finish on early firearms (mostly 17th and 18th C) Reply to topic
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Alexander B.

Location: Germany
Joined: 16 Nov 2014

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon 01 May, 2017 1:08 pm    Post subject: Finish on early firearms (mostly 17th and 18th C)         Reply with quote

Dear Community,

Over time, I have grown to apreciate the neat but still sometimes imperfect finish of many historical items. Now a forgotten kit for a matchlock caliver turned up in a closet, and work has begun.

Now, the question is, if there are any military grade firearms from the 1600s that retain their original finish enough, to see how they would have looked like when 'new'. Just how much of the forge marks was filed away. Just how much of the coarse file work was removed with finer grit files, stones and polishing?

From what I have seen in our local arsenal, unseen surfaces sometimes are shockingly raw; hammer marks just barely touched with what must have been truly coarse files, and that's it.

some file marks and scratches are found on the outside elements as well, but nowhere near as deep, coarse or numerous. In general, they seem to be more common, the more invisible, the more difficult to work on the area is.

The question with those, however, is if the whole guns used to be that coarse to begin with and use, abuse and cleaning eliminated these marks, but not as thoroughly in nooks and crannies. Or did they even start with being 'rough around the edges' and in corners?

I don't want to make a collector beloved carefully mirror bright, spotless piece of perfection, but would appreciate an honest, clean but scruffy look a nondescript Condottiere would get from his Arms Dealer for arming his band of merry marauders.

So any feedback on military guns' original finish in the 1600s would be much appreciated.


As we are at it, My main Interest lies with 2nd half 18th British arms, so if anyone happens to have decent information on those, that'd also be great!



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