Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Antiquing a Guns Finish?

There has been a trend among Cowboy Action shooters/enthusiasts for a few years now to "antique" the finish of their guns.

I'm not sure why you would want your 2 year old Ruger Vaquero to look like a 102 year old Colt, but different strokes right?

I guess this is similar to the AK-47 owners making their guns appear to be "Battlefield Pick-ups" 
or the rat rod scene within the Hot Rodding world.

For reference here is a genuine 100+ year old Colt Single Action Army (circa 1875):

 And here is a new Ruger Vaquero that has been artificially "aged":

 Uberti offers a factory antiqued finish, they call it the "Old West" finish

USFA once offered the same finish on their "Gunslinger" model

Beretta offers something similar
 My Father has an Uberti Hombre (like the one below) with a rough finish, that I think is supposed to wear into an antiqued finish? I never did understand why it came with this finish (ever see a Colt that looked like this?)....perhaps now I know why....
This is what an antiqued Hombre looks like, much more authentic looking in my opinion.

Boge Quinn from GunBlast aged this Uberti Gunfighter SAA clone using ScotchBrite pads to soften the surface and tea to darken the stag grips. See his write up here:

Here is where I get confused.....Cowboy Action Shooters dress up like the people did in the 1880s, they recreate shootouts in ranges made to look like a town from the 1880s, then (some of them) make their guns looks like they were found in a barn in the 1980s???......certainly a Colt Single Action Army made in 1873 would not look 100 years old in 1880, it would look more like 7 years old, would it not?
I understand the old west was hard on equipment and tools, and guns were considered just that: tools. People used them and didn't always have the means to properly care for and store a gun. I'm not sure though that the guns would get that "ratty" looking in that short amount of time.

No matter which way you look at it, this is an interesting facet of gun collecting.

here are a few more, remember these are modern guns made to look old, some of them do look to be 100+ years old....

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