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Cleaning 1884 without damaging or modifying finish

Posted by KJ on Monday, 5 June 2017, at 5:56 p.m.

I have a recently acquired Model 1884 rifle length Springfield. It is my first trapdoor rifle. I've been interested in them for years and have done a little reading, but I'll be the first to admit a lack of expertise.

The stock is rather dark. Under bright light, you can see the brown or red wood tones, and see good grain that I believe is walnut. But in many lighting conditions, it looks nearly black There is also some residue on the metal that reminds me of cosmoline except not as thick.

The rifle visually appears to be in good shape, missing no parts, with no modifications. The bore has good rifling. I have not shot it but the metal looks good and the trapdoor action locks up tight.

My question is: can I bring out the wood grain and color without sanding and refinishing? My suspicion is that the darkness is dirt and/or some kind of protective coating for storage, and if I could remove that without removing the actual finish, I think more of its 19th century beauty would shine through. Or, should I refrain from messing with it? Thanks


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