View Full Version : browning

11-10-2002, 08:08 PM
Anyone out there got a decent recipe/proceedure for gun browning??

Tried searching the net, but keep coming back to John Moses ... or 'Brown Bess' - not how-to's

11-10-2002, 10:52 PM

Years ago (30+)I built flint lock rifle and browned the barrel. I don't remember exactly what I used, think it was vinegar to promote rust and them used fine steel wool to smooth the surface. I did this for several days until it looked like right. Then worked oil in with steel wool over a couple of days. The barrel stills looks good today. It has shown some rusting after years of hang on a wall but a little oil and steel wool brings it right back.

Dixie Gun Works http://www.dixiegunworks.com has a book BO0698 Firearms Blueing & Browning.
I have not seen the book so I don't know is in the book. All of the item that I have bought from them were good.


11-11-2002, 07:09 AM
Check out the Brownell's catalog. www.brownells.com (http://www.brownells.com) They have a good selection of gunsmithing books and are great people to deal with.

11-11-2002, 09:02 AM
Try Dixie Gun Works for browning solutions.

11-11-2002, 09:40 AM
From American Machinists Handbook, 1940 edition: "make 'tincture of steel' by putting 3 pounds of carbonate of iron in a stone jar and pouring over this 3 quarts of muriatic acid. Let stand, stirring occasionally until the acid takes up all the iron that it will. After the muriatic acid becomes saturated with the carbonate of iron, pour it into a glass demijohn, being careful that none of the sediment goes with it. To this add 9 quarts of grain alcohol, completing the tincture of steel.

To make the Browning solution proper, take 6 ounces of the tincture of steel, 6 ounces of sweet spirits of niter, 1 ounce of nitric acid, 1/2 ounce of sulphate of copper, 1 ounce of corrosive sublimate, and 2 quarts of soft water, using a glass stopped bottle to prevent evaporation.

This should stand for 24 hours, if possible, although it can be used immediately, but does not give so good results. The solution is applied with a sponge"

11-12-2002, 12:41 AM
9 quarts of Grain Alchohol! - Are you insane? You are adding far, far too much moonshine to the browning solution! Let it buy its own drinks - for gods sake man...keep the moonshine for the ladies! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

11-12-2002, 05:51 AM
Thrud: I make no apologies for the recepie but share your concerns. Recepie is called " U.S. Armory Browning Solution." One must remember that there were a heck of a lot of gun parts being browned at a time. But, based on just the cost of the ethyl alcohol, there must be a better way. I have noticed that fumes from liquid solder flux (killed acid) will turn iron obects rusty rather quickly when exposed to fumes of same, but I don't want to experiment. That patina you find on aged tools etc. must be something that can't be rushed.

11-12-2002, 06:05 AM
Thanks for the help guys (both on & off the board) - gathered a few ideas & now I've prepared a few test pieces to see what looks the most promising. Also located & ordered some 'proper' browing solution (whatever that is) from here in Oz.

In the meantime, if you wany to know what's it's all about, have a look here;


11-12-2002, 10:56 PM
I said it before and I will say it again, that .577 is still going to be hard to sneak up on gophers with... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

'Bout time you posted those pics! Nice job.