Restoring a modern Henry big boy 44mag

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Restoring a modern Henry big boy 44mag

Post by Troyus » 10 May 2021, 1:18 am

I am in the middle of purchasing a 44mag Henry big boy second hand from the local gunshop. Pictures are attached. I am a little worried about its condition and it looks like it has ben used a lot. I dont know if the shop checks them out or anything.

Anyway I will pull it apart and give it a good clean before I use it.
There are some cosmetic issues I can see that I want to address on the gun
* the butt plate is heavily scratched but I should be able to sand and polish brass OK
* The Bolt (pictured) has all the black scratched off of it - Any way to fix this?
* The end of the barrel looks like someone has been using it to lean on some bricks (no picture). It is scratched and rust has started. I could sand this but is there an easy way to re blue that part?
* Id rather the wood be a nice, red color. Anyway to make that happen?

Thank you


44 3 2.jpg
44 3 2.jpg (230.99 KiB) Viewed 379 times
IMG_7977 2.jpg
Note bolt scratched
IMG_7977 2.jpg (677.56 KiB) Viewed 379 times
IMG_7978 2.jpg
Note Butt plate scratchd
IMG_7978 2.jpg (443.49 KiB) Viewed 379 times
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Re: Restoring a modern Henry big boy 44mag

Post by straightshooter » 10 May 2021, 7:28 am

Sometimes attempts at restoration look worse than simple evidence of usage and wear.
By all means give it a good clean.
Also it's not a good idea to keep it cocked all the time when it is so easy to decock without the impact or noise of dry firing.
If you feel confident you can do it and you have access to appropriate tools then this is what I suggest.

* the butt plate is heavily scratched but I should be able to sand and polish brass OK
Use a scraper (not a file) to remove ridges until butt plate is level and then buff. Trying to fix any grooves will take a lot of effort and likely produce a poor result.

* The Bolt (pictured) has all the black scratched off of it - Any way to fix this?
Yes reblue the bolt and never operate the action again. This is a normal consequence of usage.

* The end of the barrel looks like someone has been using it to lean on some bricks (no picture). It is scratched and rust has started. I could sand this but is there an easy way to re blue that part?
Yes, touch up with some cold blue. It has rusted due to negligence in wiping down blued parts with a slightly oiled rag.

* Id rather the wood be a nice, red color. Anyway to make that happen?
Yes, scrape off the existing finish and sand. Apply the red stain you desire and then refinish.
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Re: Restoring a modern Henry big boy 44mag

Post by Gamerancher » 10 May 2021, 9:00 am

If you plan on using it I wouldn't bother re-blueing the bolt or lever.
The rash on the butt-plate can be easily remedied if you wanted to do that.
Clean up the end of the barrel with some steel wool and touch up with some cold blue as has been suggested.
A wipe down with an oil impregnated rag after use should be enough to maintain the exterior blued metal of the rifle.
Be careful trying to stain the wood work, it may not come out the colour you want, do a "test" on the timber under the butt plate.
Red stains tend to come out on the pink side.
A bit of honest "wear and tear" on a second hand rifle is to be expected and should not have any affect on the functionality of the rifle. :thumbsup:
Abuse on the other hand..... :unknown:
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