I spent another hour or so scrubbing away at the barrel of the garden gun this evening. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, since I’ve got a lot more work to do on it (not to mention all of the other pieces of the action) but I think I’m finally “there” with polishing out the dents and pits which aren’t so deep that they can’t be removed without severely endangering the thickness of the metal (and myself when I come to fire the gun next).
In fact, there is quite a lot of pitting on the underside of the chamber and barrel which I haven’t been able to remove, but for the most part, the visible areas of metalwork are clean and free from defects, with the exception of a handful of tiny marks that ought to be extremely hard to spot once the gun is re-blued.
After I’d got to that point, I used the angle grinder with a flap (sanding) disc to (ever-so-gently) remove metal from the muzzle and from the rear of the action, which has eliminated the damage in both areas. I then smoothed off the edges of the muzzle with some 180-grit paper and dried, oiled and cleaned the gun, before putting it away for the night.
I’m out tomorrow evening, but I should be able to work through the remaining grades of paper (180, 240, 320, 640, 1200 – I think) to get a mirror shine onto the barrel and the other metalwork over the next week or so, after which I should be able to plan the re-bluing proper for the weekend after next, time and money allowing. We’ll see what happens.