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Thread: Antique Gun Restoration

  1. #1

    Default Antique Gun Restoration

    Hello Folks,

    I just picked up a mid 1850's .45cal plains rifle made by H Pierce in Ohio and wondered what you all thought about the different options for bringing it back to life.

    The Good: The bore scrubbed up well, with thin but solid rifling, the lock functions well and cleaned up fine inside and out. After inspecting, I did a proof load, then a couple shots for score. After the second shot went into the first, maybe an 1/8" between centers at 15yds, I stopped and decided it's a good candidate for fixing up and returning to service. Most of the brass is in ok shape. Somebody replaced the nipple with a modern one.

    The Bad: The stock is splitting in several places and is missing a strip that runs from the top of the lock through the barrel wedge and up past the end cap. The pewter end cap is half missing, and there was a decorative pewter band that also is missing the part that went over the stock piece that split away.

    Well, what do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    Acra Glas epoxy is your friend, as far as the cracks are concerned. Epoxy and clamp each one, one at a time. Usually the biggest crack first, working down to the smallest. Make a "dutchman" repair to the missing piece of wood. You can buy cheap pewter trinkets at yard sales/ second hand stores and melt them down to repair/recast the damaged and missing pieces. Get started!
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  3. #3


    Hey Doug, Thanks for the reply. I just wondered what people's opinion would be....I'm leaning towards doing what you describe....I've never cast pewter before, but It looks pretty doable. There is part of me that really doesn't want to mess with a rifle that has some historical value, on the other hand, I think the best way to preserve this particular gun is to restore it to shootable condition. This gun seems like a really typical example of the period, and it would be awesome to take it out hunting some day.....

    PS. This summer, I finally got to do some proper load development with the .338WM you barreled. 72.0gn of IMR 4350 and a 225gn Accubond and its a 1/2" 5 shot rifle. Definitely the most accurate rifle I own :-)


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