Royal Blue for 1911


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trbon8r
December 1, 2008, 07:32 PM
Would a Royal Blue finish as currently done by the Colt Custom Shop be similar to the type of finish that was found on early model commercial Colt 1911s? I am considering doing a 1911 project that would somewhat replicate the look and feel of an early model commercial 1911.

In case anyone is wondering, no I am not butchering an original vintage gun either. :) I'm thinking of using a Colt WW1 repro as a base gun. If the Royal Blue isn't the correct finish, can someone direct me to a place that can apply the proper finish? I'm looking to duplicate the mirror polish blue of the early commercial guns.

Does anyone know which time period Colt typically had the highest polish blue on their 1911s? Thanks for the info.

The second thought I had is to possibly use a Series 70 repro, and have a high polish blue done to it. It would sort of create a 1911, like Colt would still be producing today if the labor costs weren't so prohibitive.

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Old Fuff
December 1, 2008, 08:22 PM
Some time back a member posted pictures of a World War One reproduction that he had Colt do up in Royal Blue. It was sharp looking, but not historically correct.

The original commercial Colt 1911's were charcoal blued, which was a high-gloss heat process. Royal Blue is more blue-blue rather then black-blue. Some who do restoration work claim to do charcoal blue, but all of the examples I've looked at weren't quite right when it came to color.

But to answer your question, if you got the bucks ($$$) they'll Royal Blue your Colt.

Probably the highest polish was done around the early 1900's. As a final polish men wearing white cotton gloves rubbed down the parts with powdered telc.

krs
December 1, 2008, 08:44 PM
The TALO National Match Colts are about as good as it gets in Royal Blue chemical process blue, find one of them or see if Talo Distributing has any more of them. They were a limited run about a year ago:
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p263/twagger/guns/TALO.jpg

krs
December 1, 2008, 08:46 PM
Probably the highest polish was done around the early 1900's. As a final polish men wearing white cotton gloves rubbed down the parts with powdered telc.

while you watched, Old Fuff?

rondog
December 1, 2008, 09:09 PM
This may be the one Old Fuff is talking about. Not mine, but I just had the save the photos when I saw them. Colt WWI repro done by the Colt Custom Shop. Freakin' GORGEOUS, in my opinion!

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/picture4.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/picture5.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/picture.jpg

Old Fuff
December 1, 2008, 09:10 PM
You didn't notice the white stuff under my fingernails??? :D

I would say that the polish and color on the pictured Gold Cup is the same as the WW1 repro. that I mentioned. It is without question top-quality work, but so far as the early 1911's are concerned it's too blue, and/or not black enough.

Yup, the above pistol is the one I had in mind.

Beagle-zebub
December 1, 2008, 10:16 PM
Daggum, that thing looks like a well-buffed magnetite stone.

(Which it should, since they are the same oxide of iron.)

Gordon
December 1, 2008, 10:50 PM
Here's my Daddie's 1911a1 which has a commercial finish Colt Frame but got a Colt Parked slide along the way.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/practicalstuff048.jpg

And my Daddie's WW1 1911 that was done by Bob Chow in the 70s.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/practicalstuff043.jpg

Drail
December 2, 2008, 10:07 AM
Rondog, that is a perfect example of what a good blue job should be. Absolutely gorgeous. That grade of finish would cost an arm and a leg now.

Jim Watson
December 2, 2008, 10:24 AM
Older guns I have seen did not have a mirror polish, even the Royal Blue on my Python is not as shiny as the guns above. My well preserved .32 Auto is not nearly that bright. Buy what you like, but that just looks overdone to me.

krs
December 2, 2008, 12:45 PM
I have to agree with you, Jim. Thankfully the Talo pistol has aproriate matte areas underside and the sighting rail.

I remember that the owner of the pistol that Rondog posted put it up for sale not long after receiving it from the custom shop, so maybe he felt the same way.

But, it's all about "Different Strokes for Different Folks" right?

rcmodel
December 2, 2008, 01:57 PM
Is it just my eyes, or does that one appear to be over-buffed with the round fluffy wheels?

Looks to me like a lot of rounded edges and uneven flats where there shouldn't be any!
Or is that a melt-job?

The slide flats in particular look like a hi-speed buffer got the best of it.

rcmodel

krs
December 2, 2008, 02:42 PM
So many reflections that it's kinda' hard to tell what's what.

Most all of the edges are softened, even rounded but it looks to me like the flats are flat.

It would be an impressive gun to hold in hand, and given that the normal factory output had pronounced metal pushed up by the rollmarking as well as several edges that were too sharp (some owners complained of being cut by an edge), it is an improvement for sure.

To me there's just too much high polish. Every bit of that gun is polished. I'd have rather had some contrasting matte surface to define the edges more realistically.

rondog
December 2, 2008, 04:03 PM
FWIW - this is my own personal pistol, a Rock Island Armory GI model that I did some mods to, then had it polished and blued locally. Not as nice as the Colt I pictured, but pretty damn nice IMO. I love it. Really need to make some better photos of it, these don't do it justice.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1365-1.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1370.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1378.jpg

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