Opinions on refinishing...


February 22, 2009, 11:50 PM
I have inherited a mid-70's Colt Combat Commander that needs to be refinished. The gun originally came with the satin nickel finish and needs a refinish job due to pitting which was due to negligence. The question is what finish and that's where I could use some suggestions.

My first thought (with the idea of having it refinished coming from some of you) is to ship it off to Colt and have them restore it as best they can to the original finish. The nostalgic part of me says the gun deserves to start it's second life with me as it was originally built.

Then I spent some time looking at Robar's Roguard and NP3. I also looked into having it parkerized. Any of these finishes would look good on the gun. Of course, these would not be a Colt finish, but does that really matter?

So my question... go with Colt and the original finish, or go with a new look altogether?

A couple of other items to add to the mix... the gun is mechanically sound and has all of it's original Colt parts. The gun has seen less then 500 rounds in it's life and I will never part with it so resale value means nothing.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

If you enjoyed reading about "Opinions on refinishing..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
February 22, 2009, 11:59 PM
Your instincts are correct (in my book at least). Send it to Colt or a reputable nationally known refinisher for a quality blue job.

If you live near one of them, it might make a difference as shipping costs can be high if you don't have a transfer FFL nearby to use the USPS.

February 23, 2009, 03:11 AM
i think you need to stick with your gut on this one. send it back to colt and have it re nickled. thats just my $.02. like you said, you will never part with it so what ever you do is right.

dave from mesa
February 23, 2009, 07:51 AM
Can't help with you're decision but if you go with Robar go NP3. Have had mine since the early 90's and it still looks great.

Thomas Garrett
February 23, 2009, 08:24 AM
God Pistol. Grats! Think about giving it a face-lift. Maybe Black-Chrome?

February 23, 2009, 11:51 AM
Make sure, whoever you send it to, they remove the old finish before putting a new finish on. If they just sand down the pitting and put a new finish on, it will show up and I don't think that's what you want. I know, I've been there and regret it!!!

February 23, 2009, 09:14 PM
If you intend to use it I would suggest parkerizing or some other high impact finish. If you intend to keep it as a personal artifact I would say send it back to Colt or the finisher they use to be refinished to new condition and find or make an appropriate display case.

February 24, 2009, 03:27 PM
Thanks for the input so far. I do intend to use it as it would be a shame to let it sit and accumulate any more dust. The black chrome is an interesting thought, though I am not sure the pitting the gun has can be overcome with that finish, but I will look into it.

February 25, 2009, 04:38 PM
The key to any good finish is the prep work that is done to the metal before the new finish is put on. If the gun has pits they need to be removed in order to refinish it properly.

As for Black Chrome it is not durable at all. It is considered a decorative finish at best.

February 25, 2009, 04:44 PM
I hear there is a new finish called Teflonobama,nothing sticks to it,black finish with red streaks.

February 25, 2009, 08:12 PM
Be aware that black chrome is NOT a particularly tough finish.
It's actually not any better than the old bright nickel and doesn't stand up too well to use.
Like bright nickel, it cracks, chips, and peels.

February 25, 2009, 08:33 PM
Hard chrome by Mahovsky's would be a good way to go, and a lot more durable than Nickel.


If you enjoyed reading about "Opinions on refinishing..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!