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Irish-Pat

Who can reblue my old colt

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I would like some recommendations for a good gunsmith outfit to re finish my 1906 colt. It is a shooter not a collector item but I want it to look nice. The barrel is re nickeled the ejection housing is gold plated along with the back strap.  It has ivory grips  but looks like it came from a whore house. It is a 45 but my colt letter stated it left the factory as a 32-20.  Irish Pat

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Any pics of this whore? Seriously I would like to see it

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I I am allergic to nickel

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I too would love to see pics. And there are a lot of folks out there that can blue it easily enough. That isn't the issue. You want to find someone that has a good reputation for do the prep work needed to get a good final finish. I can look up some folks that I know of who do exceptional work. They are usually a bit pricey, but all will be less than Turnbull

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Hombre that is what I am looking for 

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Posted (edited)

Pat that is a neat gun.  El Hombre asked me to join the conversation.     Your gun isn't completely trashed.  Just cosmetically challenged :)    Many ways to go about refinishing the gun.   You can spend any where from hundreds (strip the gun and reblue) to thousands bring it back to like new.

 

This effort on a 1901 gun was a few hundred for stripping and blue.

DSC09341.JPG

 

bit more $ to clean off the frame

DSC09355.JPG

 

 

add some $ to that for some color enhancing ( and where I'd have stopped for a neat looking shooter)

DSC00953.JPG

 

 

this on a 1901 and a few $1000 more for a total rebuild and factory refinish.

19002%2B%25283%2529.jpg

 

this is what we started with an old over buffed nickel gun, needing a total rebuild, and by the look of it was  much worse than yours.

 

IMG_8671.JPG

 

 

My suggestion?  Decide how you want the gun to look when you are done and how much money you are willing to spend to get there.   The trick..if there is one... is not to letting anyone near your gun with a buffing or polishing wheel

Edited by levi littleton
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Posted (edited)

I'll have to disagree with you Gritz.  There are at least 3 or 4 folks  all very capable of  rebuilding an old Colt to "brand spanking new".  At least one I can say from personal experience with both that is better IMO.   Those that have done something similar typically agree with me on the "one guy".      Turnbull is  far and away, over the top,  the most expensive of the three I have used and takes the longest.   If you can swallow the $ amount and the time I am sure Turnbull's work won't disappoint.    But when you are talking a "better" quality end result, I do believe there are better sources.

Edited by levi littleton

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To be honest, I wouldn't change a thing.   It's got character.   It's an honest shooter and it looks kinda nice.  I especially like the gold highlights.

 

Compare it to this...

 

404922855_44-405.5ChromeColt.thumb.JPG.79f71c44551c1a3f029232c13d72cf03.JPG

 

4440Right.thumb.JPG.d0653355df4daeae119942051e72ba8c.JPG

 

As you can see, it has what the dealer I got it from called a "bad chrome refinish."    But the gold hammer and ejector housing give a interesting look.  The grips are worn and broken and over all it makes for one ugly First Generation antique that cost me 500 bucks that is a good shooter.    Yours looks a heck of a lot better than this one, and in spite of how ugly this thing is, I'm gonna leave it as is.  It's got some history and character.   I don't want to erase all of that.

 

Still, if you really wanna redo yours, go ahead.   I just don't think you need to.

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26 minutes ago, levi littleton said:

I'll have to disagree with you Gritz.  There are at least 3 or 4 folks  all very capable of  rebuilding an old Colt to "brand spanking new".  At least one I can say from personal experience with both that is better IMO.   Those that have done something similar typically agree with me on the "one guy".      Turnbull is  far and away, over the top,  the most expensive of the three I have used and takes the longest.   If you can swallow the $ amount and the time I am sure Turnbull's work won't disappoint.    But when you are talking a "better" quality end result, I do believe there are better sources.

I have seen other's work-T'bull does the very best real CCH.

His remarking of the bbls and rec'r is legendary.

Never said he is cheap-Best never are.

Might be a reason he takes so long-Work load;)

OLG

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U might check with Griner Gunworks .I know he does quite a bit of Blueing.

                                                                                                                                             Largo

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

I have seen other's work-T'bull does the very best real CCH.

 

 

There we go disagreeing again  :ph34r:

 

I've had Turnbull do a bunch of work over the years .  Still do on occasion.  I consider myself pretty picky on how  I want my guns done and have found other folks  that I use more often because I think they are better at duplicating what Colt and Winchester did.      

 

Look closely and it isn't  the old Winchester colors?  Is it the old Colt colors? Nope.    Adding lacquer to the finish makes the colors "pop"  but  it doesn't make the best or real.  FWIW Turnbull does  do real color  case on some things but not all.  Getting a hard surface finish is the goal  of case hardening not color.  Color is simply a by product of the meal/bone/charcoal/urine combo furnace process.  

 

Lots of folks do real color case hardening and have  for a while that are closer to the original Colt colors.    Take a look at a couple thousand 1st Gen old Colt's that still have good color on them and then get back to us about the "best".

 

Colt is now delivering  Custom Shop orders from 2 and 3 years ago.  Don't make them the best six gun in production either.  Just proves they have real piss poor time management skills.

 

Blueing?   Easy way to refinish these old guns is just blue them.   Might even be a "traditional finish" by now :)  as so many working guns  were treated just that way.   Like 90%  of the old movie guns   Problem as mentioned prior by one poster is the metal prep.  And the bad metal prep is why so many old Colt's  got wrecked with round corners/edges and missing roll marks.   You could get the OP guns stripped and reblued for under $250.  easy enough...and may half of that in the right place.  A little elbow grease past that and you'd have a nice looking old Colt that would be  protected for another 100 years if taken care of.  

Edited by levi littleton
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7 hours ago, Irish-Pat said:

...It is a 45 but my colt letter stated it left the factory as a 32-20.  Irish Pat

 

Did it letter as a nickel 32-20  originally?   If it did start off nickel you might think about having it re-nickeled by the right guy.    It looks to have an early 45 barrel and cylinder.  I like the gun and the grips.

 

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3 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Not cheap-NONE better......

https://www.turnbullrestoration.com/

 

OLG

+1 on Turnbull, I saw the before and after on a barely shootable Win 73 that was absolutely amazing. And one restored Colt 73 too. NOT cheap!!

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Lonnie at Run-n-Iron.  He'll go as far as you want to go toward making it factory original.  Make it clear it's to be a shooter, and price should be reasonable.

http://www.runniron.com/index_cowboy.html

 

Good luck, GJ

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12 hours ago, levi littleton said:

 

There we go disagreeing again  :ph34r:

 

I've had Turnbull do a bunch of work over the years .  Still do on occasion.  I consider myself pretty picky on how  I want my guns done and have found other folks  that I use more often because I think they are better at duplicating what Colt and Winchester did.      

 

Look closely and it isn't  the old Winchester colors?  Is it the old Colt colors? Nope.    Adding lacquer to the finish makes the colors "pop"  but  it doesn't make the best or real.  FWIW Turnbull does  do real color  case on some things but not all.  Getting a hard surface finish is the goal  of case hardening not color.  Color is simply a by product of the meal/bone/charcoal/urine combo furnace process.  

 

Lots of folks do real color case hardening and have  for a while that are closer to the original Colt colors.    Take a look at a couple thousand 1st Gen old Colt's that still have good color on them and then get back to us about the "best".

 

Colt is now delivering  Custom Shop orders from 2 and 3 years ago.  Don't make them the best six gun in production either.  Just proves they have real piss poor time management skills.

 

Blueing?   Easy way to refinish these old guns is just blue them.   Might even be a "traditional finish" by now :)  as so many working guns  were treated just that way.   Like 90%  of the old movie guns   Problem as mentioned prior by one poster is the metal prep.  And the bad metal prep is why so many old Colt's  got wrecked with round corners/edges and missing roll marks.   You could get the OP guns stripped and reblued for under $250.  easy enough...and may half of that in the right place.  A little elbow grease past that and you'd have a nice looking old Colt that would be  protected for another 100 years if taken care of.  

CCH fades some over time from UV-None of us know for sure just what the color 'depth' was when they left the factory in the 1870's.

I have seen a few NIB Colt's from the 1870's at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody Wy, and the color was fairly sharp.

Who do you go to for your CCH work?

OLG

 

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I've been looking at Ford's Customs in FL to refinish a non SASS gun. Prices look reasonable and the photos on the web site look good. I have no experience with them though.

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24 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Who do you go to for your CCH work?

OLG

 

I can't speak for Levi, but I have been using Classic Guns Inc out of Illinois for all of my Colt hammers and a few other parts. The Colt hammers match my colts perfectly. I've also done the lever and parts of an original 92 as well as a dragoon frame and some other stuff. I'll try to dig up some pictures later.

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2 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

CCH fades some over time from UV-None of us know for sure just what the color 'depth' was when they left the factory in the 1870's.

 

 

That is nonsense.  You only read that kind of statement coming from people who haven't had the good fortune  to examine  dozens of  high condition older Colts.  There are many, many  pristine Colts from the 1870s to tell us just how vibrant original Colt colors were/are.  Lots of first gen guns in new condition, as well as 2nd Gens to tell us exactly what Colt colors looked like originally.  I have one sitting near my desk as I type this.  But here is a hint for you.  Colt used sperm whale oil to  improve the durability/lessen rust on the color case.  Which in turn made the  colors brighter at least till the Sperm oil dried out.    But no colors as bright as what modern clear lacquers make something like Turnbull's  color case.  Turnbull will leave off the lacquer if you request it.   Makes them closer to a original Colt.  Add Sperm whale oil and you are good to go.

 

I've been involved in SASS a long time.  When a pard asks a question I can help answer in detail I'll try.   Most of us got into SASS in part for the history as well as the shooting.   Might be cap and ball guns, might be B western.   But I don't take every fad as gospel...and there are a lot of fads.    Bright lacquer finished case colors are simply a modern fad.   They aren't  historically correct any more than shooting a 32 H&R magnum or a 44 magnum is or a 45 Colt in a lever gun.   I might do it but I sure as hell know the difference and I aint gonna be trying to convince anyone other wise.      

 

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I'm not talking about lacquer covered CCH. -_- I hate that........

As I posted-I've seen NIB 1870 era Colt's, and the CCH was very nice.

Colt also used Sperm Whale oil as a cutting oil. ;) As did other makers of the time.

UV of Sunlight is well known to fade the colors of CCH. Call folks that do this work, and they will tell you.

If you can-Sure would like to see pictures of the guns you speak of sit'n at your desk.

OLG

 

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John Powers of Powers Metal Works is in duson (right next to Lafayette).  If you wanna drive that far to save the hassle of shipping, he does excellent work. 

337.940.9400
 

Alan Harton of Single Action Service in Houston is very good too.  He and turnbull probably have a long lead time. 

Can't find his number right now. 

 

I had Alan fix up a colt I had that was made in 1877.  He restored it to how it left the factory with the exception of the blueing because I don't like shiny guns.  John actually did a lot of Alan's CCH work when he lived in the Houston area and he's worked on just about all of my cowboy guns. 

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5 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

I'm not talking about lacquer covered CCH. -_- I hate that........

 

 

99.9% of Turnbull's work is lacquered, DA.  You obviously need to get out more.  Whale oil was the highest quality lube  they had for machine work for years.  It got used for a lot of things.   You might need to call someone.  I  have done the metal work on enough  guns to actually have a clue.

 

Office looks like this.   Unfired 1st year 2nd gen is top right, vertical with factory 2 piece pearls in 44-40.

 

unip.jpg  

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Posted (edited)

 

2 hours ago, levi littleton said:
 
 
 
 
2
2 hours ago, levi littleton said:

 

 

99.9% of Turnbull's work is lacquered, DA.  You obviously need to get out more.

 

Office looks like this.   Unfired 1st year 2nd gen is top right, vertical with factory 2 piece pearls in 44-40.

 

unip.jpg  

 

:wub:

OLG

Edited by The Original Lumpy Gritz
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so many beautiful revolvers , i keep looking - love the sight of them , thanks for sharing all 

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I'm a huge fan of old Colts like the OP's.   So when he asked about a reblue, when done right it is a finish I always think is a great choice for a gun you want to shoot a lot.    Blue can be cheap up front and as mentioned "almost traditional" now on  old Colts that have been well used for a Century.

 

One of my favorite guns  is something similar that I reblued, hand scrubbed some  and then added  Paul Persinger ivory to.  Love this gun because it shoots extremely well.  Better yet, cheap to buy, easy to fix if anything breaks and may be best of all, easy to refinish to my liking.  I did have Classic  color case the hammer to add a little "flash"  :D.

 

It was a lightly used Uberti  a couple of years old when I picked it up....and nothing special other than exceptional timing and shot my 255 gr handloads perfectly to POA/POI.  This one earned its ivory.   Easy enough to do the same thing to Pat's gun and really show off that fancy ivory his gun is packing.  

 

IMG_3386%2B%25282%2529.JPG 

 

 

redo (2).jpg

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Posted (edited)

I needed to find this photo from an earlier discussion on a similar topic also discussing case colors.

 

Left to right.

Current Uberti done with their salt bath colors,  my unfired 1st year 2nd Gen, which is very typical of untouched and well preserved 1st or 2nd Gen guns and a recent Turnbull.   

IMG_3300%2B%25282%2529.JPG

 

Same guns  in a little different lighting

 

Top to bottom, Uberti, unfired 2nd Gen and the Turnbull

IMG_3299%2B%25282%2529.JPG

 

 

 

 

Edited by levi littleton
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Myself personally I'd either send it off to someone trusted to do a nice color case job, or I'd sit and slow rust blue it myself. 
Nothing looks better on an old gun then slow rust blue and CCH at least to me

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