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Advice on Restoring 1919 VHE 12ga
Unread 09-28-2016, 01:18 PM   #1
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Allan McKinney
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Default Advice on Restoring 1919 VHE 12ga

My VHE is on a 1-1/2 frame, 12ga, 28" F/F. It is still so tight that I have to open the action a little for the fore end to latch. 10% CC, 90% bluing going a little thin. The wood is original and solid but with a couple of gouges that won't sand out. A few chips in the original DHBP. What would a complete restoration using existing wood, but leaving the gouges cost? What are the before and after values?
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Unread 09-28-2016, 01:40 PM   #2
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personally- not sure why you would- sounds like a good honest gun

but if you want to go ahead with it- your best action might be to send good high-res pictures to someone like Brian Dudley and get a ball park estimate - of course anyone would need to actually see the gun to be truly accurate in an estimate
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Unread 09-28-2016, 05:19 PM   #3
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Before restoration $1200. After restoration $1200.
Restoring a common field grade gun is losing proposition in my opinion. If you are not happy with the vhe , sell it and look for a high condition example you will be way ahead in the long run.
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Unread 09-28-2016, 11:25 PM   #4
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Have you tried steaming out the gouges? If not soak a clean cloth in water, lay it on the dents/gouges and apply heat, the wife's steam iron will work but don't get caught ( I speak from experience) two or three applications should start raising the dents. You can usually fill any remaining scratches by sanding in a good oil finish.
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Unread 09-28-2016, 11:51 PM   #5
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If the wood grain is broken, steaming will not do much.
It will have an effect on shallow dents.
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Unread 09-29-2016, 09:37 AM   #6
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Thanks. That's what I thought. It's my rainy day gun in addition to being a backup, so it wouldn't make sense to try to make it into a silk purse. By the way, RST spreader loads in the right barrel work well for close shots.
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Unread 09-29-2016, 09:45 AM   #7
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Barrel blue is one thing if it needs it. But i would not recommend case color work on the gun if the wood cannot be made to look like new. Especially on a gun that is going to be used a lot.
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Unread 10-09-2016, 03:03 PM   #8
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Allan,
It is hard to determine whether your VHE warrants a restoration. Photos are always helpful in that regard. Last year I purchased a VHE at auction on GB for around $900. The finishes were worn and the forend wood was cracked and chipped, requiring some glass work. I restored the case colors, stocks, and bluing. Had I done that work for a client, the cost would have been around $800. I am keeping that VHE as my new pheasant gun, but if I were to sell it, I believe it would bring close to $2,000 at auction. So while there might not be a lot of quick profit in having a restoration done, in most cases the increase in the gun's value will cover the costs.
Others will say that they would rather have a gun with no finishes left than one that has been restored, and that's fine too. To each his own. The bottom line is that its your gun and you shouldn't let anyone tell you what to do with it. Do whatever brings you the most pleasure when you handle and shoot it.

The current home page cover photo is a PH grade that I restored this spring.
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