We perform restoration of both metal and wood at Bertram & Company. We strive for the absolute highest standards while understanding that our clients often have budget constraints that they must work within.
Alexander Henry .451 Muzzle Loading Rifle full restoration
Restoration is a process that should always follow an order of operations. First we need to test for function and address any mechanical issues. Next we prepare the metal work and fit any parts that will be replaced such as barrels, sights, pins, or new screws. The metal is rough polished with a working finish, so the wood work can begin. If we are saving the original wood, it will be stripped of any remaining finish and any structural or cosmetic repairs carried out. If we are restocking the gun, the new wood will be rough shaped and fit to the metal work at this point. Now we can begin the sanding and wood polishing which is performed in preparation for finishing. We typically use a traditional style hand rubbed oil finish which allows the woods natural beauty, figure, and color to come through while offering excellent protection. The stock is now ready for checkering and final metal preparation can begin. If any engraving is going to be picked up or upgraded we will have that done at this point. We offer a variety of metal finishes including slow rust bluing, browning of Damascus barrels, charcoal bluing, nitre bluing, and can arrange to have color case hardening performed. The firearm is then reassembled, tested for function, and returned to the client.
W.J. Jeffery Mauser .404 Jeffery full restoration
The time it takes to complete a project will vary greatly depending upon the complexity of the project and the condition of the firearm to begin with. Complete restorations of metal and wood will usually take 12-18 months for a standard amount of work. Firearms requiring new stocks, barrels, engraving, etc. can take longer as we sometimes have to wait for other craftsmen to work us into their schedules.
Selecting a good restoration candidate will both speed up the process and keep costs down for the client. For shotguns, the importance of the condition of the barrels can not be stressed enough. While rusted and corroded metal can often times be removed, welding is sometimes necessary to repair damage. A rust free firearm will always cost less to restore, and most often will yield a better result. If you are able, starting with a clean action is always preferable.