howyado amateur reblue? (or should I?)


May 19, 2003, 07:01 PM
Well, as I mentioned before I have grand-dad's ol' .38 lying around here... a Police Positive. The finish now is all mottled and grey.. not rust pitted yet, but I can see as it might get there before much longer if cared for badly.

Anyhow, given that its collector value seems to be about zilch, I was thinking of refinishing it myself. Is this the kind of thing I can just scrub clean with fine steel wool and paint with bluing solution? Or should I really really not try this at home?

And if I can... what sorta materials should I be looking for?


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May 19, 2003, 07:30 PM
My personal view is that any Colt revolver is worthy of a professional reblue. If you must do it yourself, I'd go with a proper rust blue, not a cold blue job.

Jim K
May 19, 2003, 07:44 PM
Hi, Kaylee,

I agree on not going the cold blue route. It is OK for a touchup job (like a screw head) but not durable and it is hard to get a consistent finish. (I know people claim to have done superb bluing jobs with cold blue, but I haven't actually seen one yet.)

You might call around in your area for a gunsmith who does rebluing (many have given it up because of all the OSHA rules), but a better idea might be to try Colt.


4v50 Gary
May 19, 2003, 10:55 PM
If you really want to reblue it, take a NRA summer gunsmithing class on bluing. You bring a buncha of guns and blue them yourself. Most time is spent polishing.

May 21, 2003, 10:58 PM
I tried to cold blue a slide release for 1911. I had to do it three times before I was satisfied with the consistancy of the finish. As 4V50 Gary noted, most of the time was spent polishing. It took very little of my time to actually apply the inconsistant finish.

May 23, 2003, 01:53 AM
I got 5 Colt Police Positives from AIM for $80 each. They were supposed to be trashed and no grips, but they are great. I can't say enough good things about that design.

I have had some good results cold blueing. I degrease with Simple Green. I like to apply round things in the lathe. I let the lathe do the work as I rub on the blueing.

The Dicropan is darker, but not as durable.
The Oxpho Blue is more durable.
So I use Dicropan at first and get all the micro valleys very dark and then rub it off the micro peaks. I then degrease and apply Oxpho. Oxpho Blue will get darker overnight under oil.

Some people boil steel wool, but I use Scotch Brite pads and cue tips.

Walt Sherrill
May 23, 2003, 09:23 PM
It is possible to get a pretty good and durable finish using cold blue. The following gun was a polycoated pre-B CZ-75 I picked up used and beat to crap. I used auto paint remover to bubble the poly coat off, and then polished it with a powered mild wire brush and reblued.

I used G96 Blue (in paste form) and a lot of Ox-Pho Blue. In many light coats.

I have to touch up the heel of the grip from time to time, but other than that, it looks better than most factory-blued guns and had been very durable.

Great shooting gun, by the way -- best DA/SA trigger I've ever experienced, and the SA breaks like a custom 1911. (That was why I traded for it -- despite the horrid appearance, scratches, screwed up finish, etc.)

May 24, 2003, 06:34 PM
The turned out well!

That is the trouble with cold blue, some steel looks good sometimes.

I have a VZ24 reciever that I screwed up when grinding off the charging hump. I had the mistake TIG welded up, and I re ground and colt blued and it looks great. That has got to be a cold blue longshot with two steels together.

May 24, 2003, 06:59 PM
Another view of my Webley MkVI ..... albeit with some flash reflections.

Did a cold blue job on this - using IIRC ''Formula 44/40'' ..... as always most of the work is prep'ing .... and VERY thoro degreasing. These guns are rarely as ''smooth'' a finish with their steel as modern guns and so .... much work can be done with fine wire wheel .... and if necessary some 600 emery.

many applications were made, with a careful rubdown and degrease at each stage. The luster is not that deep and care has to taken with sweat/dampness etc but, overall, I was reasonably satisfied.

I agree tho ... hot dip bluing will always be best.

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