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Old July 3, 2020, 07:42 AM   #1
Kreyzhorse
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1961 Blued Colt Python

Hello TFL,

I recently bought a 1961 blued 4" Python. Accurate, wonderful trigger, solid as hell. Its everything a Python was reputed to be.

The finish shows some wear, the pattern suggests a gun that was often holstered. A possible police gun I think.

All that said, a friend wants to cold blue the worn spots and thinks he can match it up pretty close to the original finsh.

I don't know much about cold blue, but instinct is to leave it as it is as I dont think cold blue is going to offer anything other than a mismatched finish on a sleeper of a gun.

Thoughts?
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Old July 3, 2020, 08:23 AM   #2
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Trust your instinct on this one.
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Old July 3, 2020, 09:37 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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I would not put cold blue on holster wear on a nice gun.

My only cold blue is on sight dovetails and beavertail cuts where it is mostly covered up anyhow.
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Old July 3, 2020, 10:22 AM   #4
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Pass on this one !!!

Quote:
I don't know much about cold blue, but instinct is to leave it as it is as I dont think cold blue is going to offer anything other than a mismatched finish on a sleeper of a gun.
There are rare exceptions but for the most part, cold blue will not serve you well. Suggest you take a pass on this one. …..

Be Safe !!!
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Old July 3, 2020, 01:46 PM   #5
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Let me be discreet on this...
Oh Hell No!
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Old July 3, 2020, 01:48 PM   #6
Dfariswheel
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DON'T DO IT................

Cold blues will leave a permanent stain in the surrounding original bluing that often makes it look worse.
Also, cold blues acid can actually cause rust.

All cold blues are not very durable and can usually be wiped off by rubbing with a thumb, so it won't last.
All this will do is make a Python Royal Blue look bad.
If it's just lightly worn, leave it along, or suffer a lost in value and appearance.
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Old July 4, 2020, 12:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
All that said, a friend wants to cold blue the worn spots and thinks he can match it up pretty close to the original finsh.
Bet you $100 he can't. It's not possible.
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Old July 4, 2020, 08:50 AM   #8
Kreyzhorse
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Thank you fellows. I'll take a pass on this one. It would be great to have a pristine Python, and while I wanted one I could shoot, this one has a bit more wear than I wanted.

That said, it still looks pretty good and is simply a fantastic shooter.

We'll leave it exactly as it is. Happy 4th Gentlemen.
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Old July 4, 2020, 02:37 PM   #9
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Just for grins and giggles, how much would it cost to send it in to Colt for refinish, if they even do that work nowadays?
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Old July 4, 2020, 10:43 PM   #10
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I'd leave it alone. A friend of mine uses the term "honest wear". And he prefers a gun with some, because to him, that means the gun was carried and used by someone, and not a safe or dresser drawer queen.

Quote:
All cold blues are not very durable and can usually be wiped off by rubbing with a thumb, so it won't last.
Done poorly it doesn't last, done right, it doesn't last as long as a good hot blue. In the early 70s I cold blued a Mauser bolt handle, and it lasted (didn't rub off) the half dozen or so years I kept that gun.

Your friend might (MIGHT) be able to cold blue and match the shade of the factory blueing, but it won't match the "texture" or the way it ages. Even if he got a "perfect" match when he got done, over time this would change and your gun would look like crap.

Better some "honest wear" than a bad reblue, hot or cold.

Plus, collectors place a value on "original finish" and condition of the same. ANY reblue, even done by the factory diminishes that value.

why do you think Pythons with perfect factory new condition finishes cost so much??
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Old July 5, 2020, 01:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Just for grins and giggles, how much would it cost to send it in to Colt for refinish, if they even do that work nowadays?
Even if they would, I doubt they have anyone competent to do the polishing. They'd probably farm it out to a shop that could be contacted directly, like Ford's, which charges $450 for their Master Polish bluing.
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Old July 6, 2020, 05:40 PM   #12
Dfariswheel
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Colt will no longer service or refinish any of the older models like the Python.

There are very few refinisher services able to do a Colt Royal Blue level polish job and not blur the surfaces.
Most will come back with ripples in the flats, rounded off edges, irregular transitions from the polished to the bead blasted areas on the top, and thinned and blurred stamps.

95% of a blue job is in the polishing before the actual bluing operation.
Virtually no one these days is able to do that level of polishing without ruining the surfaces.
This level of polishing requires a true craftsman and that level of people don't work cheap.

About the only sources of a true Colt level Royal Blue polish are.........

Ford's, who are well known for their 1950's Python "wet look" finish......

https://fordsguns.com/

Glenrock is a top refinisher who does a lot of trade work for custom gunsmiths needing the very finest work.....

http://www.gunbluing.com/

Precision Bluing has a very good rep.......

https://precisionbluing.com/

>IF< you can afford it, the Custom Shop does a good job but bring a well-loaded wallet and hold you breath for the incredibly high price.
Note: The "Custom Shop" is NOT the Colt Custom Shop, and they have no relationship with Colt Firearms......

https://www.customshopinc.com/
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Old July 6, 2020, 06:24 PM   #13
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Man, I can't see spending that kind of money on my Python for sure. It's got some honest wear and I don't mind shoot it.

I also can't imagine that you'd ever get your return on investment if I ever wanted to sell it.... which I don't.
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Old July 7, 2020, 07:44 AM   #14
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Dfariswheel. - all three places you named do an incredible job. They must have special sanding blocks that conform with the shape of the object as well as using progressively finer emery paper. I wonder what bluing salts they use? It has to be better than the stuff we used at school.
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Old July 7, 2020, 10:12 AM   #15
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Most of the aftermarket "royal blues" I have seen illustrated are shinier than my 1970s Python and Gold Cup were when new.
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Old July 8, 2020, 10:49 AM   #16
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Helluva compliment Jim.

Then again, it could be lighting.
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Old July 8, 2020, 01:05 PM   #17
Jim Watson
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It was not a compliment, I think they look overbuffed.
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Old July 8, 2020, 07:26 PM   #18
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As said earlier, the key to a perfect bluing job is perfect polishing. When I did bluing, I did Pythons and other guns famous for high gloss blue (Weatherby, Winchesters, etc), and I did it all by hand with hard blocks and paper down to 800 grit, then wet sanded at 1000 grit. I don't care how good you are at wheel polishing, very few are good enough to do a polish like a Python because they don't have the same wheels and polishes Colt used. According to the mythology that is passed around in gunsmith schools, Colt used polishing wheels made of walrus leather and the polishing compounds were made special for Colt. Pythons didn't have a real shiny buffed shine on them, they had very good metal finish lightly buffed. Could it be replicated today? Sure. Will companies put that kind of time and energy into finishing a revolver? Not likely. Time = $$, and cost control is king.
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Old July 8, 2020, 09:54 PM   #19
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I've had a colt python for over 30 years and I'm think of sending it to Turnbull and have it restored. I am not a collector but I think it would be a fit for me and my personality. I've been offered a lot of money but that does not interest me. I think Turnbull will do a great job. I'll show a picture once I get it done.
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