How do you deal with cosmetic damage to a pretty gun?

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May 8, 2019
99 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
I like pretty guns. I don't like that sickening feeling when their finish gets marred. I use most of my guns to hunt with, so they inevitably get banged up, regardless of how careful I am. Even my few range guns get bumped into the truck door or knocked into the range bench from time to time. I could, of course, use stainless and synthetic everything, but that's not the point. How do you deal with the pain of scratching and denting up a beautiful gun when using them?
I think there is something attractive about honest wear. I get the pain of the first scratch or dent, but if you're going to shoot or carry often, wear is inevitable. Not a gun, but I like the look of these pocket carry items that travel with me all the time.

I try to fix 'em up after while. Cold/hot blue or browning can disguise mental scratches.
And then there is all sorts of wood fixer uppers. A hot damp towel and a hot iron can remove many bumps and lessen gouges. I will mix tung oil with True Oil in a bottle cap to touch up stocks. If it doesn't blend in, I will re-finish the whole stock. Tung oil blending is easy for touching up with old tung oil finishes, unlike urethane.
Tung oil can be thinned with a literally a few drops of mineral spirits. However, it is true that poor results can diminish trade in values.
I've got a few pretty safe queens. I keep them in the safe. If I hunt with it, carry it, train with it, etc. I accept that they are going to get dinged up. Dinging up such a gun isn't something I want distracting me when I'm using it.
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