Question: A friend of mine recently had or rather tried to have an old Winchester 94 reblued. While the gunsmith was able to blue the various parts and the receiver; the barrel did not turn black at all. The gunsmith could not explain what caused the problem and my friend is convinced that the chemicals the gunsmith used were faulty. Do you have any ideas as to what might be the cause of the problem?
Answer: I would be willing to bet that your friends Winchester 94 has a stainless steel barrel. Winchester offered stainless steel as an option on the 94s in the 1920s and into the 1930s. It was not a popular option and was eventually phased out. It is quite possible your friendís rifle had one of these stainless barrels. The fact that everything else blued would tend to make me think that this was the case.