View Full Version : Best way to refinish an old 870?
Picked up my second 870 this past weekend and while I know they are not expensive shotguns in the least this one is sentimental to me as it was passed down from my father to me. He passed away 14 years ago but I was too young for a shotgun at the time without any guidance and his second wife kept it. Well, time has passed, the gun sat bone dry for 14 years and I want to clean it up. Problems are purely cosmetic and I'm most worried about getting out the rust and having it refinished. Any advice, mainly on the refinishing whether it be at home or sending it off would be greatly appreciated. Note that this is not just the barrel but the receiver also. (I believe that is the proper term)
If it is a Wingmaster then you should restore it. This means it has a blue finish and you should call around to gun smiths to find someone to re-blue it. Not all gun smiths do this but they will know someone who can. This is not something you can do at home.
Thanks for the response. It is just an Express. Like I said, I know it really is not worth salvaging if I were to sell it, but it does have much more meaning to me. I've been meaning to just run it by my local shop and see what the owner says.
I cannot speak of the quality of his work; I am thinking about sending an 870 of my own when the cash becomes available. Looks like he deals mainly with 870's and thats a good thing as that is what you have.
I would check locally also and would want to see examples of finishes.
If you ship it anywhere, I would get advice on how to box it up and also insure it.
Your lucky, my dad died when I was young also and a other family members got the guns! If it is special to you, you may as well have it done by someone who knows what they are doing.
I would certainly clean it up - try and remove the rust - make sure if functions like it should.
But I would not refinish it.
I gave my dad a new Winchester shot gun for Christmas in 1984 - he had never owned a new shot gun before - he used it to hunt ducks, pheasants, doves & to shoot clays. He died in 1996 and I inherited the gun.
It is still in pretty fair shape - but no doubt it is a used gun - a few scratches in the receiver - a few dings in the wood - normal wear & tear caused by getting in and out of the boat - going over a fence - pushing through a brush patch.
But they are marks my dad left in the gun when he was doing something he liked doing. To go back and restore the gun to a like new finish would sort of destroy the very thing that makes it special to me.
I agree with Z71bill for the most part and it is your gun. I just got the picture that maybe it went way downhill for being stored & no oil for so long.
If you could put a picture of it on here (a good one), which is beyond what I know what to do, i bet lots of folks could guide you better. I don't refinish guns, i just scratch them all up mostly.
Other than that, if it shoots, shoot it!!! (if it is safe!)
I always figure, he bought it to shoot it, so you should too. If you have kids, well...maybe they might find a need for it, hunting or otherwise. I don't think a 870 was made to be stored in a closet or put above the fireplace for decoration. My best advice is to find some shells on sale and do what your Dad did.
Please post a good picture of receiver at least. If it has minor issues it just might require some elbow grease. BTW, if it has some nice wood stocks on it, they can be made to look great if you know what you are doing. You are in the tac shotgun area, not everything has to be plastic and black. Products are available to clean things up a bit.
My Dad always had a little Berattea .25. Don't know which family member has it. Might have to look at makin' up a Will & Testament!
I think this thread will generate some interest...this is not some run of the mill 870...it was your Dad's.
I bought a 870 a while back (at least 10 years ago) and ended up getting it redone with a mat finish. Turned out great still looks great. I paid 125 for the shotgun and 75 for the finish.
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