Colt Python

This is a discussion on Colt Python within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Got to love the "big snake", I think you got a good deal. I would spring for the Colt refinish job and you will have ...

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Thread: Colt Python

  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Got to love the "big snake", I think you got a good deal. I would spring for the Colt refinish job and you will have a true show piece.
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  3. #17
    OD*
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    I would agree, have Colt do it. Colt can very nearly match the Royal Blue of old, the beautiful bluing of the old Colts came from the amount of polishing, not necessarily the salts used.

    This is a Colt Model O1911 WWI Reproduction that belongs to a member of M1911.ORG, Colt refinished it in "Royal Blue."

















    You can't get anymore Royal Blue than that.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, don’t give them a tomorrow."

  4. #18
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    Wow OD, that's just art!

  5. #19
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    Isn't that just gorgeous?
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, don’t give them a tomorrow."

  6. #20
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    Thumbs up Excelent Finish

    Quote Originally Posted by OD View Post
    Isn't that just gorgeous?
    Yes it is ! The only way it could look better............................is if it were mine. Beautiful.
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  7. #21
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    Well, OD, I stand corrected. It appears that the old Colt Royal Blue that we all know and love can be duplicated. Of course, a lot depends on just when that M1911 was re-blued.

    I know S&W can't match their old high polish blue finishes of the past because they can no longer use their old formulas, plus metal polishing seems to be a dying art at S&W these days.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

  8. #22
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    The pistol was done just last year, they still do it, it's the same as their "Bright stainless" polish jobs.

    S&W could very easily replicate their old blue if they wanted to spend the time on polishing, Ron's Gun Shop http://www.ronsgunshop.com/coltwwrepro.html has come very close in reproducing S&W's old original carbonia finish used on the Colt O1911 reproductions (Smith was the originator of the carbonia blue finish). A beautiful finish is the direct result of a good polish job, don't take my word for it, contact any of the best re-finishers and asked them.

    CARBONIA Heat/Chemical

    Now here's one of the most mis-used, least-understood words in the entire bluing lexicon. 'Carbonia' Blue was a S&W proprietary method used in the period from before WWI thru the 1960's. It was also known as 'Smith & Wesson blue'. It was ONLY done by Smith. Never by Colt or any other manufacturer. Carbonia bluing resulted in that deep-black/glossy high-polish finish that Smith was noted for during the years they used it. It's similar to 'DuLite' and Charcoal bluing as far as the process goes, but certainly not the same.

    The Carbonia oil (a product of American Gas Furnace Co.) was used by many gun manufacturers in their own versions of 'DuLite' bluing, but the use of Carbonia oil does not make it 'Carbonia Blue' as only S&W did it. DuLite bluing, such as Colt did on their 1918/1919 military model 1911's is an industrial/utility finish. It was generally done over a fairly coarse-polished and/or sandblasted surface, and is a dullish, dark-grey or near-black color when used in that way. It was also far less durable than the S&W Carbonia Blue.

    And there's a funny story to go with the S&W Carbonia Blue. I'm telling it like I heard it, and I have no idea if it's true.

    The basis of S&W Carbonia Blue was an oil mixture (pine-tar based) made by the American Gas Furnace Company, and they supplied the oil in bulk to S&W, who mixed it with bone charcoal and other 'stuff' to make their own Carbonia product. Years ago, by the way, I contacted the American Gas company for info on the process, and they were kind enough to give me a list of the chemicals/ingredients used by Smith for the process, but it was just a list of chemicals, not a formula.

    So, here's the story:

    Apparently, only one old-timer at Smith knew the exact formula and he had it in a notebook which he kept. He eventually retired from Smith, and later died. His widow, so the story goes, contacted Smith and offered to sell them the formula in the notebook for $50k. I guess she knew that her husband had the only written copy of the secret formula. Well, Smith had gone into hot-bluing by then, and wasn't really interested in shelling out $50k to her for the Carbonia formula. So, she burned the notebook. And that was the end of Carbonia.

    The moral of the story is that all of these companies who now say they do 'Carbonia' bluing, or worse yet 'Colt Carbonia blue', are just you-know-what. Maybe they can do something that looks similar to S&W Carbonia Blue, but it ain't. And Carbonia blue is not Charcoal blue. It's very black the way Smith did it, not blue, and please, Colt never did it.

    Carbonia, when applied to a surface that is not expertly high-polished, results in just a so-so utility kind of blue. Time and temperature controls were critical in obtaining the exact color Smith desired.

    I've still got the list of ingredients, but there are numerous items on the list, and you'd need to combine them in the correct measures to get the actual S&W formula. I've combined most of the ingredients (or similar ones) in various percentages and at one time did quite a bit of R&D with it, but I never got too interested in pursuing it much further. It was hard enough to find any whale, let alone a sperm whale, so I never had any sperm-whale oil. That was just one ingredient I couldn't locate. American Gas Furnace Company doesn't make the stuff they supplied to Smith any more, so it's a futile pursuit as well as further proof that true Carbonia bluing no longer exists. However, the Carbonia look can be simulated or duplicated by other means.
    Restoration Articles - All About Bluing (ARTBLUE.HTML)
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, don’t give them a tomorrow."

  9. #23
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    Great reference stuff here OD for those of us who are old geezers who enjoy perusing such arcane information.

    The photo of the 1911 should give bmwaddicted the zeal to go through with sending his Python on up to Colt for the "treatment."

    Here's a photo of Smith & Wesson Carbonia finish and the later hot blued finish as represented by Granddad Model of 1926 .44 Special (circa 1932) and his grandson Model 29 .44 Magnum (circa 1980). The .44 Special sports an old factory refinish. I used to actually shoot the old .44 Special quite a bit. The finish is so tough that it still scarcely exhibits a turn line.


    Got a new toy a week ago this very hour. World War I pocket piece with original Carbonia finish. I'll stick it up on a new thread.

  10. #24
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    S&W could very easily replicate their old blue if they wanted to spend the time on polishing
    Exactly, which is why I said metal polishing is a dying art.

    I looked at a Model 29 "Classic" re-issue just the other day. The finish doesn't hold a candle to the finish on my 1975 Model 27-2.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD View Post
    Isn't that just gorgeous?
    That is about the most beautiful gun I have ever seen.....
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    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  12. #26
    Senior Member Array rdoggsilva's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new (old) Python. You really got a great deal. I always wanted one but never did get it.
    John Steinbeck: Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

  13. #27
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    Beautiful pieces, bmcgilvray.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, don’t give them a tomorrow."

  14. #28
    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
    Exactly, which is why I said metal polishing is a dying art.

    I looked at a Model 29 "Classic" re-issue just the other day. The finish doesn't hold a candle to the finish on my 1975 Model 27-2.
    Yep, they're close, but not exact. I've handled several models from the *Classics* line and they looked pretty good though.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Great reference stuff here OD for those of us who are old geezers who enjoy perusing such arcane information.
    I came across that by accident, Mr. Adair has restored several pistols for me and is very easy to talk to.
    Last edited by OD*; September 28th, 2008 at 01:45 PM.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, don’t give them a tomorrow."

  15. #29
    Member Array bmwaddicted's Avatar
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    That 1911 does look good OD, and my python will get sent to colt eventually. Im having fun with it right now, its a sweet shooting gun. After I send it to colt im going to put it in the box and never shoot it again. So I expect I'll send it sometime soon. I just got a new camera so Im going to take a before picture that I'll post and eventually I'll post an after.

  16. #30
    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwaddicted View Post
    That 1911 does look good OD, and my python will get sent to colt eventually. Im having fun with it right now, its a sweet shooting gun. After I send it to colt im going to put it in the box and never shoot it again. So I expect I'll send it sometime soon. I just got a new camera so Im going to take a before picture that I'll post and eventually I'll post an after.
    That sounds like a plan, amigo.

    I have a 1978 model I plan to send in for the high polished finish.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, don’t give them a tomorrow."

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