restoration of C96 Broomhandle Mauser
Hi, Does anyone have any thoughts on the restoration of a "broomhandle mauser?" There are a few people who do this but I am extremely hesitant to send out the gun due to the mixed reviews I have read about the outfits. My "Red 9" is in shape that I think I can do it. The barrel is in excellent condition so the work would be refinishing. A fellow told me a good restoration is when only an expert can tell the gun has been fooled with. Has anybody done any restoration they can discuss and reveal any techniques they uncovered? So far I have spent time finding out what finishes and colors came from the Mauser works on this particular contract. The guy who told me what little he knew about restoration said you are a failure if the piece looks like jewelry when you finish.
Below your post in the Gunsmithing section is a post by "Hitlist"...BROWNING FN .32 Pistol , something to think about before you leap.
A broom handle would not be my first choice to refinish, just because its such a cool gun, and has a lot of machined surfaces and square corners.
Stripping the old finish without rounding any corners, screw holes or stamps will be a time consuming affair. It will be mostly hand work, not a lot of opertunity for power tools on that job. Most broom handles were millitary pieces and not highly finished. The original machine marks show up a few places. Leaving them intact and getting the finish even will be another chalenge.
Unless its in a piss poor state finish wise your usualy better off knocking the surface rust loose with 0000 steel wool and a little oil and stopping there.
If you undertake the task, do your homework and practice the techniques on a few strays from the pawn shops before attacking the broom handle.
Reworking such a gun is like putting lipstick and a short dress on your Grandma and send her out to one dollar margarita night. Itīs not a nice sight and happens far to often...
If it has the red nine carved into the handle itīs either wartime production or a police issue. The wartime fit and finish is pretty crude, the blueing is not top notch and late war models used steels that will rust if you look at them with a wet eye.
Donīt mess with it, anyone that has a clue about this gun will know it is reworked and it will drop in price accordingly.
I am in the process of refinishing a Mauser Bolo broomhandle now. This was one of the imports (probably from China but there are no chinese characters on it) that had no finish remaining, mostly brown or grey and plenty of pitting. The grip frame portion was extremely pitted and the grips worn about smooth. Normally, I am against refinishing an old gun especially if it has collector interest but this thing just plain bothered me looking like it did. I do have a Colt SAA that was made in 1896 that is in similar condition but that looks "right" to me and tells a story of hard use on the frontier - I wouldn't dream of refinishing it.
On the Mauser, I have carefully oxy/acet welded up the grip frame and also filled some of the pitting although I have decided I am not going to chase it all out - the finer stuff will stay as will the pits around the lettering. Pits that are in the recessed panels are also going to stay but I may try to re-homogonize those areas on the milling machine since the finish there was end mill cutter swirls. The rest of the pistol will hand polishedwith emery paper, probably to 400 grit and then I am going to try a rust blue finish. I have never done any rust bluing though so I cannot offer any input on that part of the job. New grips will made from either bone or moose antler. When I'm done, it'll go to one of the shops that specializies in relining them and it will remain in 7.63 caliber as well. When done, I will not call it a restoration but a refinish.
Wanting to refinish and refurbish a broom handle Mauser is reason enough to do so. Send me a PM, or an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a few pistol smiths who can replace/reline the barrel to either 7.63 Mauser or 9mm Luger - safely. The cost for that is $150.00 USD IIRC.
Any metal that has been chewed away by "sidearm vermin" can be replaced (after the always necessary complete and careful preparatory work). Two excellent TIG welders told me that a small wire feed (MIG) welder is the best method of filing in 100 year onset metal acne.
Then it is time to get out the small Swiss files, stones, sand cloth (with backing), draw file and any other instruments of drudgery that you personally favor.
Numrich arms and Sarco have both original and newly manufactured grip panels. They both have replacement parts for those that are "overly tired" on your sidearm.
Rust blue, Vacuum Deposition ("ion-bond", "black diamond", graphite diamond"), Cerakote and even KG GunKote would be suitable for refinishing the frame and barrel. Some "nitre straw" or "nitre blue" might make for some good looking points of contrast.
Of course, mark the grip strap as "refurbished" (or something similar).
CAVEATS: I have not done this type of work on an 1896 Mauser Broom-handle. I have had god results a decade ago on a few pistols and revolvers from the same time frame. An acquaintance has a broom-handle; he asked me to do some research over the last few weeks.
Good luck; these pistols seem a bit unwieldy to me, but functional historical artifacts have always appealed to me.
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