Cleaning and refinishing: NEVER do it without "expert" consultations.  To change the "patina" on any antique is to erase history and likely to significantly lower value and historical significance as  well as proof or evidence of age".

Repair and restoration: this should only be attempted with great knowledge of the original and a highly skilled and experienced restorer. Opinions with vary greatly as to what to do. When unsure, do nothing!

Forestock or Foreend Restoration: During period of use or storage, the most common area of damage was to the forestock. Thus many original or antique rifles have replacement of various lengths of forestock which often are difficult to see (without removing the barrel) when done correctly and by a fine restorer. Barrells can be lengthened as well. Certainly this is done to "preserve" the rifle. However, in the "eye" of many this will significantly affect (downward) the value ($$$, not necessarily "art or historic value) of the rifle.

Documentaion: All restoration should be documented and "travel" with the piece. This often is not done.

Shooting: Never shoot an antique...Dangerous to the shooter and a significant risk of destruction of the piece. It belongs to America History. You are only a temporary steward.


John Robbins.....

Xray of a "streched" or spliced barrel. The "1" and "O" are Lead Xray Markers