My suggestion would be to clean the peice before and after each action. A light patina while setting is quite fine. Would not recommend putting anything, like wax or paint, etc on it. (they couldnt...)
Cant image getting those out of a lock or clean out screw. Light dap of oil before it goes into the sock.
14th NJVI- Buttonhat Boys.
3rd Batt USV
3rd Regiment USV- Buffington's Boys
Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society
Backus's Bodacious Battery- PNB Artillery Crew
"...mow hay, cut wood, prepare great food, drink schwitzel, knit, sew, spin wool, rock out to a good pinch of snuff and somehow still find time to go fly a kite." N.B.
Now thats living history.