View Full Version : Refinishing a Colt Viper

February 11, 2008, 10:12 PM
I want to have my well worn Viper (alloy frame) refinished, but i'm looking for something a little more durable than the factory blueing. Maybe something like a hard chrome but i'm not sure what's avaliable for an alloy frame. Any suggestions?

February 11, 2008, 10:14 PM
Given the scarcity of the Viper model and their desireability to Colt collectors, I wouldn't refinish it at all. It would only reduce the value of the gun.

February 11, 2008, 10:50 PM
I've been told they only made them for a few months back in the late '70's. My dad bought it new from Montgomery Wards in 1978. It cost him something like $180 otd. It was his fishing and general knock around gun for years. it resided on his night stand until the day he passed on. He always wanted to have it refinished.

I also have his mint condition Diamondback .22 he bought from "a kid at work" back in the early '80's. That one cost him $250.

February 11, 2008, 11:51 PM
The Viper was a rare model, but if the finish is gone on yours, collector value will be low.

Due to the aluminum frame, there are going to be limits as to what it can be refinished with.
Most platers will not plate aluminum due to the soft metal causing adhesion problems.

Some options:
Have the steel re-blued and the aluminum re-anodized so it looks like factory original.
Have the steel hard chrome plated, and the frame bead blasted and left bare.
Have one of the new polymer coatings applied to everything.

Here's some re-finishers who can give you more info on what to do:

February 12, 2008, 12:11 AM
Thanks for the links. That gives me somewhere to start.

The finish is pretty worn (but it still locks up nice and tight) so as far as a collectors value goes, it isn't that great. I wouldn't sell it anyways. It just has to much sentimental value.

February 12, 2008, 11:26 AM
I have similar problem with a cobra with a lot rub marks. I talk to colt and they told me that will not redo the aluminum frames and they prefer not to remove the barrels from them to refinish them (worried about cracking the frame). So basically only the cylinder assembly will be redone by them. In end I am going to have the bare metal on the assembly redone. The aluminum will not rust so it works fine as a carry gun.

Bill DeShivs
February 12, 2008, 03:35 PM
Aluminum frames can also be plated with electroless nickel. Nickel was usually a factory option.

February 12, 2008, 10:49 PM
I have an old Colt Cobra that was pretty beat up when I bought it from a retired detective. I sent it to Cylinder and Slide in Fremont, Nebraska, and asked them to do an an action job and refinish it.

I wanted a dark, durable finish that wasn't slippery, so I chose an in-house finish they call Cerami-Cote Black Satin Graphite. I'm really happy with it.

When I first called them, their president, Bill Laughridge took the time to speak with me about the choices for refinishing an alloy revolver. Cylinder and Slide is a first-rate operation, and I plan on using them again for any revolver work I need.

February 13, 2008, 08:07 AM
Can also contact www.robarguns.com for discussion of what is possible.

February 13, 2008, 08:31 AM
If it was my dads gun and I was determined to refinish it, I'd be inclined to have it brought back to the way it looked when he brought it home years ago.

By Colt if possible :)

February 13, 2008, 07:35 PM
As above, apparently Colt is no longer offering refinishing services for the aluminum framed revolvers.

February 14, 2008, 08:42 AM
Ah, that's a shame! I didn't notice that first time reading through.

Sounds like there are several other attractive options out there though.