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Reblueing An Old Mauser Bayonet

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I have an old, WWII German Mauser bayonet I've had for 30 years. Overall, it's in decent shape, but it never had much blue finish on it. A friend suggested I have the bayonet reblued to restore the finish. As this bayonet is like an old friend, I thought I'd look into it. After a quick web search, I discovered there are two main types of blueing: 'cold' and 'hot'. Apparantly, cold blueing is cheap and easy, but the results are often disappointing. Hot blueing sounds better, but I've found little guidance on what it might cost to hot blue a bayonet (just the handle area as the blade is in decent shape). Is hot blueing something any competent gun shop can perform, or is it a specialty thing I'd have to mail my bayonet off to be done?

Any advice/experience to share would be appreciated.



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Hi Scott,

After seeing the results of a number successful and failed attempts to reblue old bayonets and rifles, I would recommend you just leave the bayonet as it is. At its best, cold blueing tends to look patchy. Good hot blueing appears "sanitized" to me. The most I ever do is to remove any existing or prevent any further rust.

It is almost impossible to repeat the original finish and the results seem to lose any charm/patina/soul (delete as applicable) that old items had before their "restoration". If you really want an example with its original finish, wait until one turns up at an acceptable price as they are by no means rare.

Sorry if this is not the answer you wanted to hear, but I would just keep it and enjoy it as it stands.


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please leave it alone,

first - it will destroy the value

second - it will destroy its history

why do you want to do it?

considerable poilishing will be necessary in any type of blung

hot bluing is more durable

it is not something to do yourself

not that you can't do it

but what is needed to do it right

is not something one does for a single blade

those who can do it, can vary the blue by which chemicals are in it

do it yourself blue, is almost always a cold blue

for it to work well, the metal must be VERY clean

there are tricks that can help to match, patch

a worn spot on a blued item and it can look good

but anyone who knows will be able to tell

it has been monkeyed with

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