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Removing plating, looking for someone to do it


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I just bought an 1883 manufactured Cavalry/Artillery Colt.  The gun is listed in the Springfield Research Service as having been issued to Company L of the 7th Cavalry in March 1888.  It was probably at the battle of wounded knee.  It’s a functional gun, but…. some idiot gold and sliver plated it.  I would like to restore the gun but the first step is to remove the plating.  Obviously, I want to be very careful with the gun and not do any damage.  I want to limit abrasion as much as possible and don’t want to cause corrosion.   
 

luckily, the cylinder is later one so I am looking for a period GI cylinder and this one can go on another gun.   I am talking with Dave Lanara about doing the restoration work.
 

Has anyone had this done or don’t it themselves?  

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Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188
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Find a plater near you that does work for the aero space industry or even engine type plating.

Anyone who plates can remove it.

 No abrasion as it's done thru electrolysis.  DO NOT have it blown off!!

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Fords Custom Gun Refinishing is a very good shop, handling all sorts of plating.

I'm sure they would be able to strip the gun cleanly, and even put a nice blue back on.

 

https://fordsguns.com/

 

good luck, GJ

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15 hours ago, Dutch Nichols, SASS #6461 said:

Find a plater near you that does work for the aero space industry or even engine type plating.

Anyone who plates can remove it.

 No abrasion as it's done thru electrolysis.  DO NOT have it blown off!!

Well, here in Alaska such platers are thin on the ground.  Absolutely no on blasting it.  I am a smith and have restored a number of guns including Colts.  I just have not removed plating.  

Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188
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And a smooth smith, too,  I would imagine. :o 

 

When the gun was plated, it most likely had some buffing done, so the plate would be as shiny as possible.  Hope most of the markings survived that.

Deplating by electrolysis is going to be the best approach to get back to steel that will take future finish well.   Most likely there is a base coat of copper next to the steel.  Since there seem to be few platers among the browns and salmon, you probably are headed for shipping that piece to the lower 48, so it might as well go to a good shop.

 

good luck, GJ

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2 hours ago, Dutch Nichols, SASS #6461 said:

if you have to ship APW Cogan .... NONE better give them a call.

Do you have contact information for them?

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While you are waiting to find someone to do the removing of the nickle plating there may be an easy thing you could try to remove the gold finish (providing it is a "wash") from on top of the nickle. It may not be worth the time since you are going full restoration.

 

I've had several old Colts that had a gold finish over nickle plate on various parts.

They were just shooters so I never had the plating removed.

I removed the gold finish with a lead removal cloth.

One was an SAA that had the Trigger, Hammer, Ejector Rod Housing & Cylinder all in gold.

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Interesting.  I have used lead remover cloth to remove rust and blue, which works quite well.  It works but is not instantaneous, which allows you to control how much is removed.  it sounds like a good place to start.  I am going to search for the parts needed (particularly a proper cylinder) before I getting going on the gun.  

Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188
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