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"Plum" is the term usually used to describe faded blue. Or, it could have a "case-colored" receiver. This finish is a heat-treatment that leaves a varigated pattern of blues, reds, and violets. If you will give the serial number, we could check the manufacture date - 4, 40, 400, 4000, and 40,000 would all be pre-1899 antiques. 400,000 - 499,999 were made from 1906 to 1908, and those above 4,000,000 not until 1971 and later. If the seller is asking only $320, it is probably one of the newer ones and is valued as a shooter, not a collectable. Several factors...original chemistry of the bluing, Metallurgy, chemistry of solvents and cleaners used over the years, exposure to certain environments, possibility it was re-blued by an owner who "wanted" it plum flavored. In my experience the primary cause of why some guns turn plum/brown "naturally" has to do with letting the original finish remain unprotected for long periods of time in a dry-ish climate exposed to an atmosphere containing high levels of sulfur, wood smoke, and some trace metals. For example, from coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, steel mills, camp fires, etc. Essentially what you are seeing is slow and mild corrosion and (usually) a pleasing-to-the-eye form of rust. Sometimes, however, it is NOT pleasing. Also there are a variety of ways to artificially (chemically) plum-blue steel, and of course some commercial preparations sold for this purpose. Usually when i find a plum colored Winchester 94 receiver, i am told that the original finish was worn off and someone attempted to reblue it. Unfortunately through a certain serial number range, a process of iron plating was used and then blued with conventional blueing. When the old finish is polished off, the iron plating goes with it. No one uses iron plating any more. When blueing is attempted on these receivers, a purpleish plum color is generally found....

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2006-10-08 12:56:45
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Q: Why would a Model 94 Winchester have a plum or red tint?
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