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J.C. Higgins Model 30 Rescue

1457 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  shootrj2003
I am showing a friend how to restore his gun collection after it was damaged by water in his basement. He needed to completely tear down all of the guns to stop the corrosion of the metal and to remove the stains and contaminants from the wood before everything could be refinished. He didn't have any experience doing that sort of thing and couldn't even afford the minimum charge per gun for an estimate from the local gunsmith. So, I agreed to help him out.

The plan is to rust blue the walnut and steel guns and to restore the wood to match the original manufacturer's finish.

On the Model 30, we stripped the wood, bleached it, restained it, and applied an oil finish. He has several guns with different types of finish on the aluminum parts and receivers. So I showed him how to strip and anodize them with a plain brushed, polished, or dyed finish. But in the end, he decided to simply apply a baked-on ceramic finish he could do at home without the need to use a variable power supply, acid solutions, safety gear, and exhaust system.

After I had stripped the blueing off and polished the barrel and the steel parts, he decided that he only wanted the trim reblued so that he could clear coat the whole thing, and leave it looking something like an old Rossi stainless or nickel model 62:

He was pleased with the way it turned out - and more importantly, he knows how to maintain or repair it next time the need arises.
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Really nice...! Wish my old JC 30 looked like that..!!
That turned out great! I recently had to clean/refurbish about 30 guns that were in a flood. It sucked. Nice job!

job!!! And, obviously a good friend.

Really nice...! Wish my old JC 30 looked like that..!!
After working on this one, I wouldn't mind owning one myself. I had never worked on one before, but I always liked the looks of the stocks and forends on these and the models in the same series.

Simply OUTSTANDING Work!!!:t
Looks really good. What did you use to clear coat?
Looks really good. What did you use to clear coat?
I didn't do that part of the project for him. I'm old-fashioned, so painting guns is just not in my nature. I'm helping him tear the guns down and reassemble them. I showed him how to prep and rust blue or anodize the parts of a gun after it's disassembled and how to get water and oil stains out of the wood.

He wanted to clear coat this one himself and figured he knew enough about that sort of thing to maintain or repair the coating. He figured in the worst case, he could just go ahead and anodize it if his experiment didn't work as planned. I think it will be okay myself from what I've seen.

I told him what I've heard about firearms clear coat products, and printed out the brochures on Cerakote MC-5100 and H300. But he ended up choosing a clear Duplicolor Engine Enamel with ceramic that he tested himself on some scrap aluminum. He said Boretech carbon and rimfire products that he likes to use didn't phase it and he figured an engine product would be formulated to stand up to, heat, dirt, salt, and oil much worse than it's likely to receive from a hunting trip.

He hung the clear-coated parts in a movers garment box from Home Depot for 24 hours to dry in order to avoid dust bunnies and then oven cured them for two hours at 225 F.

He was worried about the headspace and loose barrel fit. So he had me put everything back together again and test it. My impression was that the enamel felt as tough as a bowling ball. Note there are timing marks on the barrel and receiver on these to aid in getting the extractor cut lined up properly. So long as the end of the barrel ends up flush with the inside face of the receiver when the extractor cut is lined up, your headspace should be okay. I used a couple of drops of Loctite 638 retaining compound because this particular gun was a slightly loose fit after everything was lined up and checked with my go and no-go gauges.
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Simply OUTSTANDING Work!!!:t
Thanks, I was pleasantly surprised by this gun. Fortunately, it didn't suffer too much damage to the bore and still performs exceptionally well.
Thanks for the reply. I used the same product on a 10/22 receiver several years ago and it seems to be yellowing now.
looks fabulous , i love the look of this old model , you did right by that one for sure
When I redid one that was a bit uh…worn I used automotive wrinkle paint and baked it in the oven when I was left home alone and unsupervised! It came out nearly factory looking but that barelook is very nice
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