Restoration question


I received a tinned 45-70 cartridge in a box among some others that had something that resembled varnished over the bullet and most of the case. It was not an intentional “painted-on” coat but looked like it had been spilled on it. It was old enough to be fairly removed with a piece of copper Chore-Boy pad but the removal process shined up (and scarred a little) the 500 gr. lead bullet that was coated very thickly with the stuff.

I know that the lead will never have the original patina but does anyone have a method of dulling or artificially aging the lead back to near the older appearance? I know some of you collectors have some tricks up your sleeves like carry it around in your pocket but I don’t know if that particular trick will work in this instance??


I have had some what the same deal and I put the round in a wood box, made out of oak, bare wood no sealer, and in about 6 months the lead started to grow a gray fuzz, I wiped it off with a cotton cloth and to “me” it looked like the original bullet.


Roger–Try going to an antique restoration shop. I know they have a whole series of chemicals available to restore patina on brass, copper, etc. parts of antique furniture. I don’t know if they would have anything that would work on lead or not. Also, I know you live near the Gettysburg Battlefield. Go talk to the curator at the museum there. They must have a need to re-patina battlefield relics made of lead after cleaning them up for display.


Somewhat off topic, but if you had used lacquer thinner, just let it soak until gooey, it should wipe off. May take repeated soaking if really thick & it will leave the original color without scratching either the case or the lead. Good ventilation is a must also keep away from flames.