Birchwood Casey Plum Brown™ Barrel Finish ???


September 15, 2007, 06:13 PM
Was thinking of doing this to my 336 Cowboy project. Has anyone ever used this stuff? Can you apply it to the receiver? Or is it a barrel only application?

If anyone has any pics, please post 'em

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September 15, 2007, 07:47 PM
It works on any carbon steel.

As with cold blues, results are not even close to a pro job.
What you usually get is a smoky brownish, streaked look that is not durable at all.

There are ways to get a good job at home, but this involves a lot more work and it's a messy task that takes time.
Basically, like an old type rust blue job, you clean the metal, swab on a coat of chemical, let rust, "card" the finish with steel wool, then clean and apply another coat of chemical.

Many old time gun makers used urine as the rusting agent, but there are better chemicals.

September 16, 2007, 01:06 AM
Here is a picture of my 24 guage trade gun barrel.
If you guys are old enough to remember, I bought this barrel from the late, great Curley Gostomski when he was living in Dayton and that was over 25 years ago.

The barrel is finished with B/C Plum Brown, it is the original finish.
Streaky enough for you?
The gun has had I can't even guess how many rounds fired through it, It was my 'rendevooing' gun back when that was popular, and it has been slid in and out of blanket cases maybe a couple thousand times.
Durable enough for you?

The secret is in the metal preperation.
High polish, complete degreasing, no finger prints and the application of heat.
The Plum Brown sets up best at a temperature range of 120 to 150 Farenheight and be warned, it stinks and the fumes are not healthy so do this in an open well vented area.
Card the rust that will form, degrease and reapply until you achieve a depth of finish that pleases you.

The stuff isn't rocket science to use properly and the finish is a whole lot more uniform than pissing on steel.

September 16, 2007, 02:36 AM
It's the same as any cold bluing. Made for touch ups, not the whole rifle.

September 16, 2007, 03:04 AM
This is NOT a cold blue and many,many award winning
muzzleloaders have been overall finished in it. Like any
custom handwork it takes a bit of technique. IT depends
on what type of finish you want as to how high you polish.
I personally put deep dark rich 'plum brown' finishes on
my Pennsylvania rifles so I don't polish to a shine. It also
takes several light coats. Glob it on and it's going to
streak. I wouldn't advise carding with a wheel, either.
Use steel wool, Lightly. Degrease like a man on a mission,
including your hands. Keep the barrel hung vertically.
Stand while you do it so you can move around it, keeping
both heat and application consistent. Try it first on a piece
of steel you don't value. Try different degrees of polish.
The finish can be high or low luster but it must be consistent.

I'll post some pics when I get them below that 244kb limit
or put them on the web. IF you want to invest the effort
you can do a beautiful non-streak, last forever job. But like
the man said watch those fumes!

September 16, 2007, 10:38 AM
I've only used the B/C stuff you put on a hot barrel. Works great. It's a rust brown, though.

Streaking? Not if you put on a bunch of coats.

September 17, 2007, 07:57 PM
I guess I may be in the minority here, but I used this stuff back in the mid 70's when the muzzleloader fad first hit. I had one of those Thompson Center Hawkins kits that required quite a bit of work, including draw filing the barrel down. My color did indeed turn out to be a rich dark brown which was preceded by using a simple propane torch to heat the barrel first. If I recall it was a several coat process tho.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
September 18, 2007, 12:57 AM
I bought a Stevens .410 pump years ago when a regional chain hardware and tire store was closing up shop. It had a finish that could best be described as 'paint'. I stripped all the finish off the metal and stock and gave it a nice plum brown and slicked up the stock and put a good cherry finish on it after hours with 0000 steel wool. Browning the barrel, receiver, and other assorted metal parts took awhile longer to get it where I wanted it, but the results are similar to what Onmilo has in his picture.

Now it's a great looking squirrel shotgun that looks like it came from my great grandfather. Folks don't believe it when I tell them it was 'born' around 1980..


September 18, 2007, 05:56 AM
Used it for a slide once. (Yes, I know I'm weird.) :p I had tried everything else, including Perma Blue, Super Blue, and even Duracoat--nothing worked.

I used an oven to heat it up to about 250, wore gloves and used tongs, and did about 5-6 coats. Came out even... well, more even than any of the others had. Nice rich patina.

I'd not mind doing it again, were it not so time-intensive. Took me about two hours. And yes, make sure the place you're doing it in is very well ventilated.

September 18, 2007, 05:46 PM
Sylvilagus Aquaticus, You wanna post some pics if you can? Thanks!


September 18, 2007, 05:48 PM
I agree and should have stated that by carding I don't mean with a wire wheel.
Applying light coats allowing to set up and cleaning/degreasing after each application works best.
I used wool swabs for applying the stuff.
Plain steel wool, degreased in alcohol works best and rubber gloves and a respirator should be used when working with this product.

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