1/2 oz tincture of steel, 1/2 oz sweet spirits of wine, 1/2 oz nitro,1/2 oz sublimate of mercury, 1/2 oz blue stone, 1 oz brimstone (sulfur), 10 drops of nitric acid.
One look at that list of ingredients should answer anybody's question "why can't you do it just like they did it in the old days, the pre war days". A question or statement we all hear, not infrequently.
I would like to assure everyone it is very, very difficult to do a great deal of things related to gunmaking 'nowadays' in a way it was done in the 'old days', perhaps in a way this explains why so few people actually bother!
Many of the chemicals involved with the old finishing process on a gun are now, quite rightly (but annoyingly!), illegal. These chemicals and substances were used in the tinning, blacking, blueing, case colour hardening and stock finishing processes and have had to be substituted by modern equivalents, often less effective substitutes. It is a constant game for the craftsmen working out new processes when they find they can't get a chemical which has been used for a specific task for years.
So I dedicate this 'Leslie Taylor recipe' to all the craftsmen who continually strive to get the very best results, from within ever stricter Health & Safety laws and regulations. To the people who continue to make it possible to make a best gun with a best finish.
And for the person who is not satisfied with the modern day results, the recipe can of course be used in their kitchen, please be careful with the boiling water, mercury/acid combination, and good luck!