I bought the Python, now how to refinish?


April 26, 2007, 11:14 PM
Well, I went ahead and bought the Python for a total of $325. The lock up was tight, excellent trigger, and the barrel looked good on the inside. It is currently the factory nickel finish. I think the serial number began with E and still has the original wood grips on it. The left side is pristine. The right side did have more pitting than I expected but none of it looked deep. So I will need to refinish the gun as I plan on reselling it after I have some fun this summer.

What type of finish would be most popular? Matte, brushed, or black chrome? Cerakote matte black? Who would you get to do it?
How much would a refinished Python be worth?

Thanks for all the help.

If you enjoyed reading about "I bought the Python, now how to refinish?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
April 27, 2007, 12:20 AM
The ideal thing to do would be to send it in to Colt for a factory refinish.

This will have less effect on the value than a non-factory refinish will.
Unless the pitting is deep, Colt can restore it to near-brand new.

If the original finish was bright nickel, that's what I'd refinish it in.
Any other finish will actually reduce the value.

Steve C
April 27, 2007, 12:29 AM
There is nothing better than an original manufacturer's factory refinish as it doesn't detract from the value of the gun. You can get the contact number for Colt customer service at: http://www.coltsmfg.com/cmci/custserv.asp

Even if it costs a couple hundred dollars you'll turn that old colt into a $1K piece. Get it restored to the original finish, if it was nickel then have them re-plate it.

Refinish to other than original Colt finish and you'll decrease the value to about 1/2 the going used value or around $500 to maybe $600.

April 27, 2007, 12:39 AM
I don't think a refinished Python is going to be worth 1000 dollars, even if Colt refinishes it. Maybe there is somebody out there who collects refinished Colts, and will pay as much for them as a new unfired one, but these people have to be few and far between.

April 27, 2007, 09:44 AM
The only guys I would trust are www.fordsguns.com. Other than, of course, the factory.

April 27, 2007, 10:35 AM
Since the gun is already a shooter I'd prefer not to get a nickel finish. Nickel finishes seems to damage easily. Unless of course it would drop the gun's value significantly, to the point I won't make a profit.

How much money will I lose if I went with a chrome finish over the original nickel finish?

April 27, 2007, 01:41 PM
http://www.gunbluing.com/ talk to Phil. he's who I recomend.

April 27, 2007, 02:11 PM
Probably one of the most durable and attractive finishes is hard chrome aka:Metalife.
To refinish your nickel Python it will have to be de-nickeled and then refinished. I had Ron Hovsky re-finish a blued Python in Metalife for me a few years ago. It came out excellent! Sort of a satin stainless steel look to it.
Follow this link http://www.mahovskysmetalife.com/ for more info.

April 27, 2007, 03:10 PM
Their website isn't working. How much did it cost you to have it refinished?

What is the price difference of colts that have been refinished in chrome verses original nickel finish?

April 27, 2007, 03:17 PM
Good tips people. I have a 6" Nickeled Python that someone left in a rug. One side has some pits. I too heard the best thing was to send it to Colt but I had a Smitty tell me they do not Nickle anymore. I'll try the address's above and check it out. The nickled Colts are already collectors I think the last Nickled ones were around 1980. Some of you guys may know more about this. Thanks:)


April 27, 2007, 03:37 PM
Just called Colt and the rough estimate is $355 for pit removal and re-nickel. This includes the shipping back. It might not be possible to remove all the pits and that is not guarenteed.

April 27, 2007, 04:01 PM
Their website isn't working.

The web-site works for me. Did you click the active-link that I provided in the text????
How much did it cost you to have it refinished?

I don't remember what it cost me ( I think it was in 1995 - memory fades in 17 years).
His current revolver rework price list (from his web-site that works for me):
De-nickeling charge $15
Electroless nickel $110
Metalife $125

What is the price difference of colts that have been refinished in chrome verses original nickel finish?

Refinishing any gun moves the gun out of the collectable market place and into the shooter category. If there is anything collectable about your Python (age, unique barrel length etc.) a bad finish won't effect its collector's value very much. If its going to be a shooter that you will eventually resell, then the gun with a good hard-chromed finish which will never peel,chip or flake will probably be worth more to a potential buyer than the same gun with a worn original nickel finish.

Master Blaster
April 27, 2007, 04:06 PM
In My experience with a nickle plated colt 1911 made in 1975 Nickle finish, AKA ColtGuard is quite durrable. When I bought the 1911 it looked pretty bad and someone on TFL suggested giving it a rubdown with a soft cloth and Flitz. Alot of what I though were scratches and rust came right off, and the gun looked pretty darn good.

Get some flitz and try giving the bad side a good rubdown with an old sock and some flitz.

And Post a pic for us of both sides:) so we can see what a great deal you got!!

April 27, 2007, 05:07 PM
You are not going to like me....

You paid too much for a gun that is a piece of junk. If the metal is pitted then refinishing will help exactly zero... nada... squat. It will still be pitted after refinishing and the whole mess will be worth LESS than you have in it.

You paid $325. Add $300 for refinish and shipping both ways. Would you pay $625 for a pitted and refinished Python because I certainly would not. I don't think anyone would. You sound like you plan to turn a profit on this thing. Good luck with that.

I would have paid $200 for the gun you described and shot it without regard for appearance or further damage because the gun lost its value when the pitting occurred. It cannot be fixed, now.

File this experience under "live and learn."

Black Knight
April 27, 2007, 08:51 PM
I'm with the Colt refinish group. I had them refinish a blue 6 inch a few years ago after a botched job from a gunshop 20+ years ago. The Colt refinish looked like new. It had the deep rich blue Colt Pythons are known for. Since yours is nickle I would not hesitate to send it to them for refinishing. Resale value may drop. For me my particular Python means more sentimentally than financially and do not plan on selling it ever.

April 27, 2007, 09:16 PM
I had my nickel Python refinished by Colt a couple of years ago and it looks new and the finish is perfect! Best money I ever spent. If you do a search on here I posted pic's. I'd use Colt first for sure, that will keep the value up too. Colt even replaced springs and screws at no charge and its as smooth a light on the trigger pull as when I sent it out.
Here is the link: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=143852

April 27, 2007, 10:21 PM
I guess you guys are right. It just sucks that Colt is so expensive. It's $100 more than AWP, who also has a very good reputation, quoted me to clean and chrome. But I guess it's worth it to help keep it more desirable. In fact it's going to cost me more to refinsh than the gun cost me to buy.

If anybody else has any ideas keep them coming. My mind isn't completly made up yet.

Nomad, 2nd
April 27, 2007, 11:07 PM
Sell it or trade it to me...

April 28, 2007, 09:45 AM
Why don't you post a pic of it. That would help. I wouldn't pay $355 if they couldn't get all the pits out but they should be able to determine if they can before they start.

Joe the Redneck
April 28, 2007, 11:06 AM
Well, all I know about Colts is that they are great guns that cost a ton. It sounds like you got a great gun with a bad finish for a reasonable price. Sounds like a win to me. I'd love to ind something like that around here.

I always felt that a "collectable" gun concept is silly. Buy a Colt, hang it on the wall, never shoot it, never open it, and then sell it in 20 years to another guy who won't fire it. Silly. There are better thing to hang on your wall, and better investments than guns. Man, I'm so old I remember when policemen used to actually caryy and shoot Colts.

You have a great gun that you can shoot and enjoy without having to worry about a few scuffs and scratches. So this gun may not have "collector value", so what. Sell it as a gun. If the finish is really crappy, than get it refinished in a camo pattern. Call it a combat or hunting revolver. Or just leave it and resell it as is.

I think you did fine.


April 28, 2007, 12:53 PM
I have to wait until next week to pick up the gun and I'll post pictures than.

Adding up the cost of Colt's original finish compared to a aftermarket chrome finish I'm back to thinking I'll go with the chrome. The chrome finish is a more durable finish. Than I keep thinking of how good Colt will make it look and they'll give it a once over and I'm back to thinking I'll go with Colt.

Mainly I don't want to lose money if I resell the gun.

April 28, 2007, 08:10 PM
In 2005 Colt charged me $200 plus my shipping fee to them for the Nickel job, they shipped it back to me no charge. Don't know if they will do that again, but I'd jump on it if they did. I spoke to a Paul there at the shop, maybe he's still there. Any other gun I'd chrome, not a Python, but that's just me.

April 28, 2007, 08:15 PM
since it's not exactly as you expected, don't refinish it. I'll give you your money back and relieve you of the headache :p :evil: :neener:

April 29, 2007, 12:35 PM
I vote to ONLY have Colt re-finish it in the original finish. Keep the receipt.
Get it tuned up as well while there. You will then have a very nice Python for 1/2 the price of an original with the same finish.

July 12, 2007, 11:28 AM
Here's an update. I sent the gun back to Colt for a check up and have them look at the finish. They can get most of the pits out except a couple of spots on the corners. So I'm going to cancel the Colt factory refinish.

I bought the gun as a shooter but don't want to lose money if I decide to sell. What finish should I go with now?

Brushed hard chrome seems the next choice. Will it hide small pits?

July 12, 2007, 11:32 AM
The ideal thing to do would be to send it in to Colt for a factory refinish.

Yes, Colt will refinish a python for about $250 (blue) last time that I checked.

July 12, 2007, 11:37 AM
Well, IMO a Pyton with a bright blue finish is the only way to go. Regardless of a few pits.


You can contact these people or another plater and ask them if chrome will cover up all the pits.

July 12, 2007, 11:44 AM
You should really post some pictures. Just how bad is this gun? Personally, if it is good mechanically, I would be inclined just to leave well enough alone and keep it as is. If you are worried about losing money, I can pretty much assure you that you won't by leaving it as is. If you are trying to make a bunch... that's another story.

July 12, 2007, 09:52 PM
I have read about Ford's Guns in Florida refinishing some nickeled S&W revolvers with pitting and the returned pistol(s) looked like they just came out of the box brand new.

I just sent a 1911 (not a Colt) there for a new blue job but there was no pitting on my pistol.

If you enjoyed reading about "I bought the Python, now how to refinish?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!