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Old June 15, 2008, 11:21 PM   #1
fnewguy
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Colt Blue, Royal Blue, and Reblueing

What is the difference in Colt's Blue and Royal Blue finishes? I have noticed, i think, that some of NIB Pythons that I've seen have an incredible deep, smooth blue which I guess is the royal blue. Was this the same blue used on colt detective specials?
And are Colt's refinishing jobs with royal blue the same as the originals?
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Old June 15, 2008, 11:32 PM   #2
nate45
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I'm not sure what Colts refinishing jobs look like, I would assume like the originals, but remember the secret of the shine and depth of blueing is the type and amount of polishing that is done before the metal is blued. A company such as Ford's Custom Gun Refinishing can duplicate most factory finishes.
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Old June 16, 2008, 12:39 PM   #3
Scorch
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The Colt Blue and Royal Blue finishes used the same bluing process, but the Royal Blue had a better polish on the metal before bluing.

Old Colts (pre-1950s) had a distinct bluish color to them, and it was created by adding ferrocyanide to the salts. Anything with cyanide is not good for your health, and will eventually cause a public outcry when small animals and children get to playing around the dump site.
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Old June 16, 2008, 06:48 PM   #4
Dfariswheel
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The big difference is in the hand polishing that Colt did.
Colt always made their own polishing wheels from large wood disks, covered with leather.
They polished the metal with much finer polishing media than anyone else did, and this gave the final finish a deep blue mirror-like shine that was unique to Colt.

While guns like the later Detective Special and Trooper Mark III had a very glossy blue finish, only the Python and Custom Shop special order guns had the "Royal Blue" finish, which was always known inside the factory as "the Python finish".

Happily, Colt STILL can do a Royal Blue Python finish or re-finish on pistols, and even offer re-stamping services for faint or over-polished stamps and Colt logos.
Recent re-finished Colt Pythons have come back looking like the old Pythons of the 1950's with that deep blue mirror look.
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Old June 16, 2008, 07:10 PM   #5
tplumeri
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so, this is royal blue?


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Old June 16, 2008, 11:31 PM   #6
Dfariswheel
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If it's factory original it's a later Python blue, which just wasn't quite as well polished.
The older 1950's blue and the Custom Shop re-blues are brighter.
Literally like a deep blue mirror.
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Old June 17, 2008, 09:42 AM   #7
tplumeri
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Quote:
If it's factory original it's a later Python blue
YEP, 1983 vintage.
anyone have a pic of royal blue?
tom
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Old June 17, 2008, 12:39 PM   #8
fnewguy
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Thanks Dfariswheel, this is the second info-gathering post of mine that you've aptly responded to. I am in the market for a DS, which will be my first Colt altogether, and I've noticed even with them there seems to be a difference in quality of blue finishes, or at least that's how the pics appear online.
But you are correct, even the best blueing i've seen on a DS, doesn't compare to that Royal Blue i've noticed on some pics of Pythons. But now I can get that old amazing deep royal blue finish on a dick special if i desire?
So then you say colt "now" will do royal blue finishes that come back looking like the 1950's python royal blue. Why, then does this fella above's "royal blue" look drab in comparison to the deep mirror blue finishes of the 1950's, and, apparantly now?
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Old June 17, 2008, 01:15 PM   #9
tplumeri
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Quote:
Why, then does this fella above's "royal blue" look drab
who you callin' drab?!
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Old June 17, 2008, 02:14 PM   #10
HKuser
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Quote:
Old Colts (pre-1950s) had a distinct bluish color to them, and it was created by adding ferrocyanide to the salts. Anything with cyanide is not good for your health, and will eventually cause a public outcry when small animals and children get to playing around the dump site.
It's not particularly poisonous. In fact, potassium ferricyanide, which reduces to potassium ferrocyanide, is often used as a mediator in the test strips used with blood glucose meters. Other cyanide compounds kill by binding to the iron in red blood cells so that they can no longer carry oxygen. Ferrocyanide is already bound with iron (ferro) so it does not easily bond with iron in the blood.
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Old June 17, 2008, 06:43 PM   #11
Dfariswheel
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First, a common problem is that many photographs don't show bluing in a "real life" way.
It's not unusual for photos to show the finish as looking rather dull when it's not, and it's the photo that makes the above Python look like it has a duller finish.

Second, like everyone and everything else in the world, Colt Pythons bluing did tend to be less polished in later years.
Bluing at the Python level is almost 100% hand labor, and only the very best Colt polishers were allows to work on Pythons.
In later years, especially after the big Colt strike, a lot of the old Master polishers were gone, and the level of polish suffered.

The reason todays re-blues look like the old 50's bluing is because Colt is selling a re-blue job, not a complete gun that they have to try to hold prices down on.
Colt now offers several different levels of re-bluing, INCLUDING the "Royal Blue" which is the best bluing any gun company ever offered.
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Old June 17, 2008, 07:03 PM   #12
fnewguy
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No offense tplumeri, i do envy the drab.

Last edited by fnewguy; June 18, 2008 at 04:20 PM.
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Old June 11, 2009, 11:47 PM   #13
Bonehead55
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Heard bad Things About Ford

in other forums. Slow, non responsive. Anyone know first hand?
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Old June 12, 2009, 12:40 PM   #14
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Other cyanide compounds kill by binding to the iron in red blood cells so that they can no longer carry oxygen.
Cyanide binds to various cytochromes in cells and halts metabolism at the cellular level in the mitochondria, and it does it at very low concentrations and very quickly.

Carbon monoxide binds to heme in the blood and interferes with oxygen carrying ability.
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