Restoring Old Bluing

Restoring Old Bluing

This is a discussion on Restoring Old Bluing within the Firearm Cleaning & Maintenance forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; Hi All, I have recently acquired two fine old Colt revolvers; a Detective special and a Python, both 70's-vintage. The finish on the Dick Special ...

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Thread: Restoring Old Bluing

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Restoring Old Bluing

    Hi All,

    I have recently acquired two fine old Colt revolvers; a Detective special and a Python, both 70's-vintage. The finish on the Dick Special is pretty good, but the Python has a number of blemishes that have been touched up with cold bluing. In a couple of spots, the bluing is worn (or corroded?) through down to the metal, but there are some other places that just look a little discolored - kind of like water spots or something. I've decided against refinishing either of these guns, at least for now, but I would like to restore the bluing as well as I can without risking any further damage.

    Any of the old gun aficionados out there (Bryan, are you listening?) have any good suggestions for a treatment that would help restore some of the luster of the Blue without causing any significant abrasion or wear? I'd just like to get them looking as good as I can without a refinishing job.

    TIA for any tips!
    bmcgilvray likes this.
    Regards,
    Jim
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    I have used Brownell’s Oxpho-Blue both for touchup and as a total finish with good success, just be sure to totally de-grease the weapon first then immediately apply it. Sometimes it will take more than one application to get the color desired.

    OXPHO-BLUE® | Brownells
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  3. #3
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    I don't much fool with cold blue as I've never had really satisfactory results with it, despite explicitly following the directions provided by the manufacturer. Perhaps I'm too picky. Besides which, I can smell out cold blue on a gun at a gun show "from a mile away."

    My usin' gun just have to do without cold blue and any mars acquired on their surfaces in the course of use just have to be worn like badges of honor for good service rendered. My collectible guns don't get touched up for that smacks of cheating and a wrong-headed way to think, to try to "turn a sow's ear into a silk purse" through smearing a little fluid around on the surfaces, vainly hoping to reverse the ravages of time and misrepresenting a gun's surface finish condition as something it's not.

    Never tried any recommended bluing product that lived up to its glowing reputation. Here's one that is supposed to be "sure-fire, for sure" good stuff, giving really professional blue surfaces. I've been curious to try it for some years but I've not tried it as I don't have anything here that needs touch-up bluing.

    Gun Bluing Made Easy With Van's Instant Gun Blue!

    I can see how one could want to tone down the wear or uneven finish left over from someone elses heavy-handed cold blue methods. In years gone by, I've tried to touch up or undo someone elses bluing handiwork. Seemed that my results always were about as uneven as the mess I was trying to fix.
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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments!

    I'm with Bryan on this - definitely not talking about cold bluing. What I'm looking for is a polish, wax, oil, whatever, that will bring out the best in the existing original bluing. I'm OK with the "badges of honor" showing - would just like to make the best of what's left.
    Regards,
    Jim
    NRA Life Member
    Charter Member (#00002) of the DC .41 LC Society
    He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave. - Andrew Carnegie

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Just giving the thread a little bump here - hoping to get some more good feedback.

    This is a SLOOOWWWWW sub-forum!
    Regards,
    Jim
    NRA Life Member
    Charter Member (#00002) of the DC .41 LC Society
    He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave. - Andrew Carnegie

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    Hi All,

    I have recently acquired two fine old Colt revolvers; a Detective special and a Python, both 70's-vintage. The finish on the Dick Special is pretty good, but the Python has a number of blemishes that have been touched up with cold bluing. In a couple of spots, the bluing is worn (or corroded?) through down to the metal, but there are some other places that just look a little discolored - kind of like water spots or something. I've decided against refinishing either of these guns, at least for now, but I would like to restore the bluing as well as I can without risking any further damage.

    Any of the old gun aficionados out there (Bryan, are you listening?) have any good suggestions for a treatment that would help restore some of the luster of the Blue without causing any significant abrasion or wear? I'd just like to get them looking as good as I can without a refinishing job.

    TIA for any tips!
    Leave them alone. Unless it involves out of control rusting... the origonal finish is always better. Of you can get an actual factory re-blue. I'd contact Colt.
    OD* and Wunderneun like this.

  7. #7
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    Flitz metal polish works great! Side note- bought an antique .22 rifle barrel at a yard sale for resale. Heavily coated with rust, no blue showing. Two weeks soaking in kerosine and the original blue is now visible! Patience and no heavy abrasives saved it..
    RIP Jeff Cooper

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    Distinguished Member Array Wunderneun's Avatar
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    What SS says. I wouldn't fool with trying to improve the blueing on the Colt. Send it to them and have them do it properly. You will just lower the value further by trying to fix this yourself without the proper equipment and knowledge.

    It's one thing to try and improve or save a basket-case .22 plinker (I've done it myself more than once), but that Colt is worth much more and you don't see them around as much as you used to.
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    I like all kinds of foreign guns. Walther, SIG-Sauer, and H&K.

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