Originally Produced in 1995, Turnbull Restoration’s Introduction to Metal Preparation has become the industry reference point for preparing metal firearm parts for proper restoration and finishing. With the recent introduction of Turnbull Finished Services, which offers customers the opportunity to send in their new gun parts for traditional finishes, the 25-year-old video’s content is as relevant as ever.

Introduction to Metal Preparation (1 of 7) outlines the steps needed to do a quality metal preparation job on your own gun. Not just the actual steps in polishing, but the first steps you need to know in order to do a quality job. The video also shows the various finishes used by the manufacturers on their original parts, giving you a complete set of guidelines to follow so you can do a professional job yourself and save money. Most importantly, it will give you the satisfaction of doing a quality job, yourself.

For convenience we’ve divided the original videotape into the following sections, which you can navigate to using the following links:

Episode Notes:

Whether your firearm is a tool for hunting, a family heirloom, or a rare collectors piece, you want to conserve its original condition.

However, when a firearm falls into disrepair, how can you restore it to original or as good a condition as possible?

Most of the work you will need to have done will probably have to be performed by skilled craftsmen. But there is much you can do to prepare your firearm for restoration, saving you money and giving you the satisfaction of doing the job yourself.

The video is presented in an easy-to-follow format, outlining the steps necessary to remove the old finish and polish the metal parts in preparation for restoration or refinishing.

Before you begin, make sure your firearm is unloaded!

  1. Evaluate the amount of damage.
  2. If you have any doubt that your firearm can be repaired, take it to a gunsmith for a professional inspection.
  3. If your firearm is heavily engraved, it may be best to let the experts do all of the work.
  4. Have enough time and adequate space to perform each step.

Thanks for watching! Feel free to use the comments below for thoughts and questions.

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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.


  1. Jeremy

    This video series is awesome. I never realized it existed for the past 25 years.

    • Sara Turnbull

      Thanks, Jeremy! Agreed–hats off to our Creative Director, Mike, for digitizing this and posting it.


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