Barrel Finishing

There seems to be an ongoing argument about the finish on the original Hawken guns; were they browned or blued? I don't know! My belief is that there were some of each, with brown on the earliest guns and blue on the later models, but there are not enough surviving examples to make any definitive conclusions about their production. My original S. Hawken had traces of bluing visible on the bottom of the barrel where it was protected by the wood of the barrel channel; it was also a very late "S. HAWKEN" marked gun. I like the combo of a case colored breech and tang and a browned barrel. There are numerous top quality English made guns from the Hawken time period that have survived in near new condition and many have the case color and brown combination. It is generally accepted that the Hawken brothers were influenced by the better English builders so it is not too hard to accept a case colored and browned Hawken rifle. My rifles come standard with a slow rust browned finish but I can do a traditional rust blued finish if desired.