Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.
Before you remove that Nasty Orange paint you might investigate it a bit.
I used to work as the metallurgist for a specialty nickel alloy distributor, retired the Ides of March 2007. One of the neat gadgets we had was an X-ray fluoroscope analyzer. Left no mark on the metal. For some years I used to bring in various brass mounted or framed firearms for analysis.
Used one called "Innov-X Systems Model #XT-245S Spectrometer"
This device is also used to analyze pigments in the paint on supposedly old oil paintings. Lets one know if this classic work used pigments - cadmium, for example - that were not available couple hundred years ago.
If you can locate either a friend in metallurgy, or at an art museum, you might get your paint analyzed. Give you some idea of age, though it sure does look old.
A Word of Warning - some lab guys have absolutely no respect for antiquity. Coupled with a bad sense of humor, well. Do make sure your personal body is present during any phase of lab testing. So they don't cut the thing up for a better job. Don't laugh.
Gun makers have been painting their stocks various colors for the last five centuries or so. Matchlock showed a lovely (to my eye) 500-year old Green snapping matchlock.
Here in the USA a successful gun-smith Henry Leman in Lancaster, Pennsylvania painted a number of his rifles red. Supposedly the Indians liked them, and he did supply rifles to our Gov't to fulfill treaty obligations with the Western Indians. Also it would likely be cheaper than his usual painted strips on plain maple. Am aware of one such red Leman rifle bought by a Caucasian in Lancaster County, them moved to our Midwest.
Personally I would leave that orange paint right where it is.