Company Profile: Turnbull Restoration

Turnbull Restoration Overview:

Doug Turnbull is the second generation of his family in the gun business. His parents owned the largest gunshop in upstate NY, and Doug grew up working in his family’s business. He later went on to found Turnbull Restoration in 1983.

One of the things that Turnbull is known for is color case hardening. While working in his parent’s store he became fascinated by the bone charcoal color case hardening process that distinguished one American gun manufacturer from the other between the 1880s and 1940s. 

Winchester 1876 restored by Turnbull Restoration
Note the beautiful color case hardening on this Winchester 1876

While some modern manufacturers have simulated the look of case hardening with what is essentially a “painted on” finish, Turnbull spent countless hours perfecting his own proprietary method of color case hardening that is uniquely beautiful and durable. 

Beyond case hardening, Turnbull and his team of talented gunsmiths can handle any project from a simple rebluing job to building a brand new museum-quality reproduction of a classic firearm. Their artistry and skills coupled with their knowledge of old guns are increasingly rare in our modern age. Whether it’s a complete restoration of an old Winchester, a custom reproduction, or a factory new gun that is customized and improved, any firearm that Turnbull touches is better for the attention. 

Turnbull Restoration Services:

Turnbull Restoration’s service offerings fall into the following categories: Restoration Services, Custom Reproductions, Turnbull Finished Favorites, and Turnbull Finished Services.

Restoration Services

The idea of restoring a historic firearm can be a source of debate. Some people consider tampering with an original gun as a sign of disrespect to the original craftsmen and to history. They believe that, at a minimum, it will diminish the gun’s value. Turnbull takes a different stance. 

Turnbull believes the original gun makers would be proud to see their work preserved and enjoyed in the future. After all, the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, and even our Constitution have undergone restoration work without diminishing their value or significance.

If you need more convincing, just look at Turnbull’s restoration work to see the value of breathing new life into an old gun. Below are some examples of Turnbull Restored Guns:

Parket BHE
A Parker BHE restored by Turnbull Restoration
Marlin 1893
A Marlin 1893 restored to like new condition by Turnbull Restoration

Restoration services include woodworking, metalworking, engraving, and upgrades and conversions like installing a new barrel or caliber conversion. The finished product that I’ve seen is nothing short of amazing. Turnbull offers free quotes to return your family heirloom to factory new condition. 

Tom Selleck's custom Winchester 1886
Tom Selleck’s Winchester 1886 restored and improved by Turnbull Restoration

The majority of firearms that Turnbull Restoration restores today are those produced by iconic companies, including Winchester, Marlin, Colt, Parker, L.C. Smith, and Fox.     

“It’s very rewarding to bring back a firearm,” Doug says of his love for gun restoration, “whether there’s a family history, it’s heavily worn, or altered from original by a previous refinish.” But most importantly, these cherished items are to be enjoyed. Doug shares, “It’s so rewarding to hear ‘Wow, this is the gun I gave you – it’s too beautiful not to use.’ These guns are meant to be used and enjoyed, not become that safe queen.”

Custom Reproductions

One of the most interesting aspects of the Turnbull Restoration company is its custom reproductions. The Turnbull team specializes in building custom 1911’s, Winchester 1886’s, and the powerful Turnbull Signature 475, (Based on the Browning Model 71).

These are factory new firearms that employ Turnbull’s signature finishes. The level of customization is up to what each customer can imagine and what their wallet will allow. Below are some examples of Turnbull Custom Reproduction Guns:

Turnbull 1886 Deluxe Takedown
A Turnbull 1886 Deluxe Takedown Model
This Turnbull 1911 is adorned with classic American scroll ornament. Every Turnbull manufactured Model 1911 is 100% hand fit.
Turnbull 1886
Turnbull Model 1886 rifles are immaculate reproductions of their iconic fore-bearers. They are renowned for their unmatched quality and use of signature Turnbull finishes. 

The video below showcases a newly manufactured Winchester 1886 built from the ground up by Turnbull Restoration.

Turnbull Finished Favorites

While a Turnbull custom reproduction may be financially out of reach for many of us, the Turnbull Finished line is more approachable. In their finished line, they take historically significant, newly manufactured firearms and apply custom finishes to greatly enhance the gun into an instant heirloom. Iconic models from Ruger, Winchester, and Marlin are among this collection that honors legendary American gunmakers. Below are some examples of Turnbull Finished Favorite Guns:

Marlin 1895
A Turnbull Marlin 1895
Turnbull Ruger Mark IV Target and Standard Models
Turnbull Marlin 1894CB

Turnbull Finished Services

In addition to buying a fully-finished product from Turnbull’s inventory, folks can send in their own factory-new (or new-ish) gun for the Turnbull touch. Turnbull will then apply their restoration-grade services and finishes to transform the customer’s new gun into a unique “old” gun.

Here’s a list of customer-supplied, newly-manufactured models that are candidates for Turnbull Finished Services. Below are examples of customer’s guns that were enhanced by Turnbull Finished Services:

Winchester 1885 Highwall enhanced by Turnbull
Winchester 1873 enhanced by Turnbull
STOL Texas Roundup Marlin 1895 enhanced by Turnbull

Learn More about Turnbull Restoration:

Turnbull Restoration is enhancing firearms, creating and preserving history one gun at a time. For those of us who love fine guns, old and new, their work is invaluable. To learn more about Turnbull Restoration, their services, and current guns available for sale, visit

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