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Author Topic: Browning using Plum Brown  (Read 2091 times)
FRJ
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« on: December 22, 2010, 08:17:06 PM »

I'm browning my great plains rifle and using birchwood caseys plumb brown. I don't have an oven large enough to heat the whole barrel at one time. Can I use my propane torch and just heat a piece at a time and will it be resonably easy to match each area I heat or will it come out blotchy?
One other thing I used the B/C blue remover on the barrel but vinigar on the furniture and cant tell the difference in how it came out. Is there something I should do to the parts I used vinigar on? Frank
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bama
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 08:50:17 PM »

It has been a long time since I used that product, but I did get a good finish when I did use it. I did use a propane torch to heat the barrel and I used a cotton swab that I got from Brownells to apply the solution. The best I remember you are suposed to heat the barrel hot enough to make the solution to sizzle when it is applied. The problem with this is the fumes it gives off as the solution is applied are very toxic. Be sure to apply in a well vented area. I stoped using it for this reason. You can get just as good a finish from the cold applied browning solutions without the fumes. Of course you have to be carefull wth any of these products.
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Roger B
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 09:02:55 PM »

All you need to do is heat the barrel hot enough to sizzle water.  You can do it a bit at a time, but eventually it will all get that hot.  Another way to heat it is by using a gas grill, but make sure that it doesn't contact any grease.  If you use a torch, wrap a wire around the hook on the breech & hang it from something so you don't contaminate it with oil from your hands or burn your pinkies.  Definitely an outside thing or you will choke.
Roger B.
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Dphariss
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 11:34:57 PM »

Two propane torches and a fresh bottle of Plumb Brown or two and several of pieces of cotton towel change when they get too brown. Figure on using most or all of  the PB to get good color. It does not work as well since they removed the Mercury. Sand the weak spots till the brown is well taken back and rebrown as needed. HEAT IT ALL AT ONCE and make sure its hot enough to flash off the chemicals. Use LOTS of ventilation and long strokes with a soaked rag one flat at a time.
Drive a tight wood plug in the bore for a handle and I would screw a piece of dowel in the nipple seat as well. Cause it WILL get in the bore otherwise. Make sure the bore has a light coat of oil.
Let it set for a few hours or overnight then WASH IT with lots of cool water and rub it with a soft rag. If you use boiling water it will likely turn blue. Dry it and oil it.
Dan
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BJH
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2010, 03:01:14 AM »

In my opinion the stuff is usefull for small parts only.  The cold rust brown products are head and shoulders better. Wakohn bay true brown  is my favorite. Stupid easy to use plus no burnt fingers! Laurel mountain makes a brown too. Best of luck.
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BJH
wmrike
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2010, 09:11:49 AM »

PB is a whole different treatment than the cold rust solutions I have used. 

The cold rust solutions just generate a generous amount of iron oxide.  It is very easy to get surfaces thus treated to start rusting again, very aggressively.  Don't like that.  Maybe a bit of boiling would help keep it in check.  Perhaps soneone else here can chime in on this.

Properly done, PB seems to be a rust resistant finish.  On the down side, the glossy brown is a bit hokey.

I recommend doing the whole barrel at once, either by grilling it or using a couple of torches as the guys above have suggested.  Like the bottle says, it is important to avoid overlapping and brushing back and forth.  The tip about using a towel to cover lots of steel in one pass is a good one.  Wear rubber/latex gloves.
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Long John
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2010, 10:33:14 AM »

FRJ,

I have used BC Plum Brown on a bunch of rifles.  Results have been mixed.  I used Laurel Mountain on my last rifle and the results were much better than previous rifles.

With PB the key is clean!  Wearing ctoon canvas or equiv. gloves wash the entire barrel down with hot soapy water. When dry wash down with liberal quantities of lacquer thinner.  Rewas with hot soapy water.

Do it outside in good ventilation.  Heat the whole barrel.  I used a propane torch.  I played the torch back and forth along the barrel starting with a bottom flat.  As the barrel heats up apply the agent.  I have always used those foam "brushes" available at teh hardware stor for painting.  The agent should sizzle as it is applied.  As the first flat is getting done go to the next, overlapping the application of agent so you are essentially reapplying agent to what you just did as well as the new flat.  You will have to keep playing the torch back and forth on the barrel while your are doing this.  After about 1 hour you ought to be done with the whole barrel.  Wash off the barrel with hot soapy water.  Wash off again with either a hot solution of baking soda in water or ammonia.  Wash again with hot soapy water.  Reheat the barrel with your torch and rub down with 0000 steel wool soaked in WD-40.  This should give you a smooth brown finish.  After the barrel has taken as much WD-40 as it will take I usually heat the barrel and melt bees wax into the steel surface.

As I said, I've done a number of rifles like that and they turned out OK, if I had the barrel perfectly clean at the start.  Nevertheless, I prefer the LMF agent, although I clean the barrel for that agent too, regardless of what LMF says about their agent being a combination agent and degreaser.

Good Luck.

JMC
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longcruise
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2010, 12:44:54 PM »

I put one in the oven with one end sticking out and the door mostly closed.  Set to 275 and let it get good and hot.  Grab with a glove on the end that is sticking out and swab the hot end.  Then reverse ends to reheat. 

I've used it on several barrels.  One came out great, one terrible and one has worn down to near bright over the past 25 years.

My next round will be with a cold blue instead.
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Dpeck
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2010, 01:24:17 PM »

I used Plum brown for several years and it gives a Plum Brown finish.  I switched to Laurel Mountain Forge and really like the stuff.  Over time the cold browns will stop rerusting with oil treatments.  Some use a soda solution as a treatment and one contributor found Rotella motor oil to work.  Some rifles like the English rifles had a plumb brown finish so it can work for them.  I used propane torches and cotton gloves like others have stated. 

DP
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Dphariss
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2010, 02:53:42 PM »

I used Plum brown for several years and it gives a Plum Brown finish.  I switched to Laurel Mountain Forge and really like the stuff.  Over time the cold browns will stop rerusting with oil treatments.  Some use a soda solution as a treatment and one contributor found Rotella motor oil to work.  Some rifles like the English rifles had a plumb brown finish so it can work for them.  I used propane torches and cotton gloves like others have stated. 

DP

I am not a great fan of Plumb Brown but had very good results on the last two pistols  did. And its pretty dark brown not "plumb".
But it takes care in  use as posted above.

Dan
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"American Girls and American Guys
Will always stand up and salute  Will always recognize
When we see Old Glory Flying   There's a lot of men dead   So we can sleep in peace at night   When we lay down our head"
Toby Keith "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue"
FRJ
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2010, 04:03:25 PM »

I want to thank all of you for your help. I have decided to do the small parts with the plum brown and the barrel with the cold brown I just ordered from track of the wolf. I did the toe piece with the P/B and it turned out really nice.Thanks again. Frank
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