Photo of a Winchester 1892 receiver being polished as part of a gun restoration process

To Restore, or Not to Restore?

Looking over your collection of lever guns and single action revolvers you may often ask yourself, “Are any of these classics worth restoring?” Perhaps what’s really being asked is, “What’s the true value of preserving this piece of history, with all of the stories and mysteries embedded in its wood and steel?”

Through his years of collecting, exploring and conducting expert interviews, author Terry Wieland has done a commendable job of helping his readers understand the ins and outs of firearm restoration. In doing so, Terry equips the collector with powerful knowledge for when it comes time to answer the key question: To restore or not to restore?

Thankfully, the magic of social media has recently reminded us of Terry Wieland’s good work, some of which was conducted nearly a decade ago. We’ve picked up a few of his articles to share with you here. One article is “Restored to Life” at, and the other is “The Gun Restoration Controversy” at While these articles touched on some controversial topics when they were first published, we feel over time they’ve become valuable tools for gun collectors and shooting sports enthusiasts. Wieland offers key topics and questions for your consideration, while also overlaying fascinating historical context that can help you decide if restoration is right for your particular firearm.

Our hope is that Terry’s perspective, along with our own insights and resources, will help support your decision to restore or not to restore. What are your thoughts? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

As always, please count on us to be your trusted resource. We’re at your service. Contact us with any gun restoration questions you may have.

Want to See More Stories Like These?

This installment of Restoration Resources appears in our Shoot History e-magazine. If you'd like to see more stories like these while learning about classic firearms preservation, head over to Shoot History. Be sure to hit the subscribe button while you're there.