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Thread: Restoring an old Fusil Gras mle 1874

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  1. #1
    Member FlammablePig's Avatar
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    Question Restoring an old Fusil Gras mle 1874

    So, I have this old rifle, and I want to get it cleaned up a little bit. The rust on the exterior is nasty, but I want to keep some of the patina. The bolt has the nastiest grease I've ever seen, and the barrel looks like it was caked with mud and garbage. Its obviously been modified at some point in its life, as its missing about half of the barrel, as well as the stock that would have gone under it. The cleaning rod is nowhere to be found, probably discarded with the barrel. I dont really want to get it perfect, but it would be nice to shoot it some day.
    I'm new to this whole milsurp/ restoration thing so any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Last edited by FlammablePig; 09-14-2019 at 01:16 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Removing grease first will be helpful and then using an electro rust removal could help. That returns you to a basic rust free carcass to start on. The wood might need a liquid strip to clean it... We have whole threads about that here... You'll have a hard time keeping a patina while removing the rest.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Pictures would help the experts on this forum to give good advice. Many pictures will get you lots of advice.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Pics would help...
    Regards, Jim

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    Member FlammablePig's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Alright, here are some pictures of the bolt + firing pin, the outside of the barrel, as well as the rest of the gun. If I missed anything let me know. Kinda hard to take a picture of the inside of the barrel, so I cant really show that.
    Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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ID:	102849   Click image for larger version

Name:	Pingrease.jpg‎
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ID:	102848   Click image for larger version

Name:	Barrel.jpg‎
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ID:	102847   Click image for larger version

Name:	Bolt.jpg‎
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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Don't know how you'll keep any patina and remove the rust blisters...
    Regards, Jim

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    Member FlammablePig's Avatar
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    Well, like I said, Im pretty new to this whole thing, so I dont really have a great understanding of restoration. At this point I just want to get this thing into decent condition, mainly just cleaning up the old grease and removing some of the rust. I really appreciate y'alls patience with me.

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    Member Hcompton79's Avatar
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    The excellent Mark Novak provides a wealth of knowledge. For what it's worth, I boiled out my rusted No.5 Mk1 Enfield and was very pleased with the results.

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    Member Brewer's Avatar
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    When the Gras was surplus they saw everything imaginable. Bar stool legs, lamps, some were modified to carbines and in some cases shot guns.
    on the left side of the receiver there should be a makers mark. It will say Maunfacture de arms and then a name. could you let us know who that was?
    as far as the wood goes, it's original finish was gone years ago. At this point clean, sand and give it a light coat of boiled linseed oilicon or Balistol, which ever is your preference.
    Using brass brushes or bronze wool can knock off the worse of the rust (not use steel wool or a wire wheel. Ever.) after that I would recommend you boil it and then see what you get after that.
    11mm gras is available for a princely sum but reloading for it makes it much cheaper in the long run.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    I'll second the Mark Novak series.

    Educational AND entertaining!

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