I own three original Remingtons: two New Model Armies and one Navy. I'm always being asked to bring my originals to a match. I thought it would be fun to have a shooter that looks like an original to use regularly and save my originals for occasional plinking.
To begin the project I purchased an old junker and proceeded to rebuild it. First I had to replace the bolt, hand and trigger spring. Since it was in pretty sad shape, After stripping it down I removed all the finish and Italian markings. The hammer spur was reshaped and hand checkered it like one of my originals.
The gun was originally an early 70's import built on the smaller Navy frame. Although it's in 44 caliber the loading lever was reshaped to the Remington Beals Navy configuration. I made a new set of American walnut grips to include the screw and escutcheons of silver. The grips were shaped like the original Remington which included doing away with that big brass type knurled washer on the right grip panel. The grip profile is rounded and bulbous (hourglass) as on my original. It was then linseed oiled to a satin finish.
As a final touch I rust browned and "pit finished" all the metal parts and dinged up some of the screw heads a little for the hard look. I used a slow rust browning solution that I had left over from when I used to build reproduction flintlocks. It was called Regent Agent (aqua fortes) which is no longer available. It actually etches into the metal during the slow rusting process. A simpler way to do it is to use Chlorine bleach to etch the metal then use Birchwood Casey's Plumb brown and a torch.