Best gun finish company for revolvers?


December 18, 2004, 05:43 PM
I'd like to give my Detective Special Colt a new blue finish with nickle or chrome trigger and hammer. What's the best company with regards to quality, price, and return time?

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Phil in Seattle
December 18, 2004, 08:31 PM

Rule of thumb:
quality, price, and return time, you only get to pick one which one do you want?

:what: :banghead:

Standing Wolf
December 18, 2004, 08:34 PM
Trust me on this, please: do not send your gun to Checkmate Custom in Florida.

December 18, 2004, 08:56 PM
I've heard that Ted Yost and his crew do great reblue. I'll see it for myself when I get my 1911 back from him (hopefully in January).

Snake Eyes
December 18, 2004, 09:10 PM
Ted doesn't do his own refinishing, and he doesn't do revolvers.

The park he had done on my two 1991A1 Compacts is very nice though, and the hard chrome Delta Elite he showed me was spec-freakin-tacular.

It might be worth a call to his shop to get a recommendation.

December 18, 2004, 09:56 PM
I know he subcontracts out some of his finishes, but was under the understanding that they do the blueing in house. On his pricing page, he lists finishing options. Blue finish work is NOT included under his subcontracted list.

He does work on revolvers. His price list includes many services the shop will do and I spoke with him about some work in the fall.

December 18, 2004, 10:25 PM
Look into the T. coats, and the birdsong finishes, might want to check robar as well, expensive, but of outstanding qualities.... both in appearance and wear. Arc-Lite

December 18, 2004, 11:58 PM
To Snake eye's,

You must not know Ted Yost very well. He does all his own bluing and is one of the best of the best at it. Also both he and Lew do fantastic revolver work.

Believe me I am a very good friend of Ted's and if you go to:

Then look at his Forum you can see some of the greatest pistols done by some of the best Smiths in the country. Also if you notice I am a Moderator on that site so I do know of what I speak.

This is a Colt Commander Ted did for me a few years back.

Gary Morris

December 19, 2004, 12:53 AM
I highly recommend Accurate Plating & Weaponry ( in Florida. I've seen a number of their guns, and they do a wonderful job. They're not cheap, but they stand by their work, and are used by many top gunsmiths, including Clark Custom Guns. Their Web site also gives perhaps the best overview of different finishes that I've read - makes it easier to choose what you want.

December 19, 2004, 01:40 AM
The above posts give some good sources, now I'll ask, "are you really sure you want to do that for the sake of restyling?". Please ignore the fact that I've spent too much money playing Barbie-dress-up with 1911 grips, screws, and doo-dads. :neener:

The trigger and hammer feature the sear points, which are fine critical details that affect the trigger pull. A little too much build up of plating in those areas, and things could get funky.

Also, since Detective Specials are out of production and slightly collectable, you may want to avoid refinishing as it dimishes value to collectors. Of course, if the original finish is heavily worn or scratched, it may not hurt the value too much. If you do get it refinished, ask the shop to re-engrave the markings, which is the mark of a true professional restoration. Oh yeah, it will probably cost as much as what you paid for the DS.

December 19, 2004, 03:37 AM
Why not Checkmate?

December 31, 2004, 02:49 PM
Aside from the finish, I'd like to give it a trigger job. Who would be the best person to do both the finish and the gunsmithing?

December 31, 2004, 03:03 PM
Why don't you send it back to Colt for refurishing and see what they quote you for the reblue job as well?

What version/vintage did you get? I'm within a couple of weeks of getting a DS myself. Both I'm looking at are barrel shroud versions -- one is from the 90's, haven't yet seen the other one. One of them has a bobbed hammer. do you have any thoughts on that, pro or con?

December 31, 2004, 03:12 PM
Mine looks to be a shrouded third generation I think. It's well cared for and looks like it should be a great shooter. I've thought about sending it to Colt but I wonder about some of the other options out there.

I'm leaning toward Accurate Plating in Florida. Has anyone ever had their gun worked on with them?

December 31, 2004, 05:45 PM
Cylinder & Slide.

Possibly the primo wheelgun guys in the country. Very, very nice work and they do custom jobs too. (Changing barrel lengths, etc, not just reblueing).

December 31, 2004, 07:02 PM
There are very few places that really know what they are doing with Colt V spring revolvers. One is Colt, and they will do a good trigger job and a great blue job.

Another is Cylinder & Slide.

Teddy Jacobson can do a good trigger job but doesn't do any finishing.

Pittsburg Handgun Headquarters is another recommended place for working on Colts.

December 31, 2004, 07:46 PM
Maybe I will try Colt -- after all, it is their gun. I'll give them a call as it doesn't appear from their site that they use e-mail. Thanks for the info. :)

Standing Wolf
December 31, 2004, 09:14 PM
Why not Checkmate?

I send a four-inch Python to Checkmate for nitre bluing, which the woman assured me her company does all the time. What I got back months later was the most monstrous, wretched, disgusting mess I've ever seen made of a gun.

The so-called "customer service" was every bit as outrageous as the so-called "work" done to the gun.

I eventually persuaded the @#$%^&! woman to refinish the gun in regular blue. It wasn't done right: merely less horribly.

If you've got a gun you really hate, and don't care how long it takes or how much it costs, send it to Checkmate Custom.

January 1, 2005, 01:33 AM
Details, what was so horrible? Pics??

Standing Wolf
January 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Details, what was so horrible? Pics??

I couldn't stand even to look at the poor abused Python, still less take photographs of it.

The polishing was uneven. The inside of the trigger guard was rough rather than smooth. The top strap, which is normally matte-finished, had been polished in parts, roughened in parts, and left alone in parts. The "nitre" bluing was spotty, and the color was grossly uneven. After re-refinishing, the top strap was less unevenly finished, but still far, far below standard finish. The polishing left most of the lettering on the barrel blurred and the pony on the side plate almost eradicated. All the sharp edges were rounded, except a few that were roughened.

In retrospect, I wish I had taken photographs. Even after re-refinishing, the gun looked so pathetic, I put it in a box at the bottom of the closet for several years. I took it to the range once, cleaned it, shook my head over it, and put it back out of sight.

It's now being engraved. In spite of the abuse heaped upon it at Checkmate Custom, it remains an excellent shooter, and I sometimes carry it. I'm hopeful the engraving will offset the finish blemishes and let me like the gun again.

January 1, 2005, 11:36 PM
You could also talk to APW (see the link in my first post). They do gunsmithing, and I'd call them up and discuss what you want done. They have an outstanding reputation, and I've seen first-hand the quality of their refinishing: so even though I don't have personal experience of their gunsmithing, I'd be inclined to trust them if they say they can do what you want.

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