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Old April 16, 2018, 10:12 AM   #1
Jakeway
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Refinishing Uberti 1873 Hombre?

I found an 1873 Hombre in 45 LC at a pawn shop for a decent price, but I hate the matte finish on the thing. It's already got a fair amount of wear on the finish. How difficult is it to refinish it?

I've been toying with antiquing the finish on my C&B revolvers by soaking in Vinegar to remove the bluing, then using Plum Brown to get a slightly brown patina. I have no questions on the refinishing part, but I don't know what the matte finish is comprised of, and if I'll need to mechanically buff it off, or if soaking in some chemical will do the job.
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Old April 17, 2018, 09:49 PM   #2
Hawg
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It should soak off but a plum brown is a deep rich brown. It doesn't look like patina.
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Old April 18, 2018, 03:54 PM   #3
Jakeway
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Thanks Hawg. I've used Plum Brown on several black powder rifles, and I've gotten the rich finish you mentioned. But I used several coats. I've seen videos where people use a very light coat of Plum Brown, with a quick rinse. It takes it from bright polished metal to a slightly uneven dull finish, similar to one with the bluing wore off. Some folks smear cleaning patches with black powder fouling on the guns to also give it an aged look.

Either way, it would look better than that matte finish on the Hombre; that looks like something from Mattel or Hasbro.

Here's the third in a three-part series on how he did it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnluSyELgqY

Last edited by Jakeway; April 18, 2018 at 04:02 PM.
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Old April 18, 2018, 04:38 PM   #4
Bill DeShivs
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The metal is bead blasted (or sand blasted) prior to bluing.
You will have to sand/polish the metal before refinishing.
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Old April 19, 2018, 10:31 AM   #5
drobs
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I posted a similar question awhile back on here as well.
A gentleman that goes by Claydoctor sent me a pic of a Uberti Hombre he did. Have to say it looks pretty good:

Claydoctor Uberti.jpeg

From his email:

"I decided to see if I could make it a project gun and set about antiquing it. I first rubbed the rough surface down with some 4-0 steel wool.

I then used stripper to remove the lacquer from the grips , brass grip frame and trigger guard. I darkened the grips a bit then left them smooth.

We all know that Colt cartridge guns never had brass grip frames so I treated the trigger guard and grip frame to look like gunmetal. Birchwood Casey makes something called Aluminum Black which makes brass look like steel but I used something similar I found in a hobby shop.

The last step was to have friend of mine who unlike me is not hesitant about disassembling a single action, install a spring kit."

My Uberti Hombre still wears the factory finish.
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Old April 19, 2018, 12:31 PM   #6
T. O'Heir
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"...don't know what the matte finish is..." Fiddle with removing that by testing on the grip frame under the grips.
Aluminum Black is for Al. Birchwood Casey also makes a product called Brass Black. Cheap, it ain't though. $12.60 for 3 ounces.
Plum Brown is for browning ML stuff. 5 oz. is $12.60.
Machinery's Handbook has all the formulas(using really nasty acids and chemicals) for colouring metal. Downside is the book runs over $100US on Amazon.
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Old April 19, 2018, 01:28 PM   #7
drobs
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I'd be tempted to go for a gray frame with black cylinder and barrel to match these original Colts:

Colt Single Actions.jpeg

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Old April 19, 2018, 01:57 PM   #8
Oliver Sudden
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I refinished my matte finished Rodeo for the same reason. Nasty bead blasted look just isn't right! I'm a fairly experienced hobbyist so I did the polished blue and color cased the frame. Well worth the effort to me.
Before and after,
IMG_0318 by Oliver Sudden, on Flickr
2015-02-28 001 2015-02-28 001b by Oliver Sudden, on Flickr
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Old April 19, 2018, 03:37 PM   #9
maillemaker
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Quote:
Machinery's Handbook has all the formulas(using really nasty acids and chemicals) for colouring metal. Downside is the book runs over $100US on Amazon.
Google, man, Google!

http://allaboutmetallurgy.com/wp/wp-...th_Edition.pdf

Steve
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Old Yesterday, 06:49 AM   #10
Roaddog
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Very nice work all the way around Oliver.
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