*This is a dupe thread which I also posted in the shotgun forum, but I thought I might get some better help from you guys. Please excuse me.*
So I've recently inhearited a Hopkins and Allen shotgun which has been in my family for a long time. It has seen some heavy use and was "put away wet". I know nothing about Hopkins and Allen, just what I 've been able to find on the internet. I have found out that the gun is most likely worth around $20, but it is worth much more to me. My main priority with the gun is to stop the rust, and preserve it as best as I can. I have it completly apart, and have taken the rust off of all of the internal parts with a wire wheel to find lots of pitting, as expected. My main concern is the finish on the exterior and barrel, which has a lot of surface rust and pitting. I'm not sure if it is blued or browned, but either way the only place the finish exists is on the trigger guard and about 1/3 of the barrel. I think the pitting gives the gun a lot of character, and am not concerned with it at all. The rust on the exterior is not going to come off with any chemicals or steel wool, so I'm wondering if my best bet is to take it to the wire wheel also? I may fire the gun once or twice if it is capable of beeing fired safely after I reassemble it, but this will be a wall hanger. So, am I better off leaving some rust on the exterier and saving the very little original finish that is left, or take it all off and keep it clean? Also, if anyone has any references where I can find out more info on the gun, I would appreciate that. Thanks for any help/advice.