Question for the Colt Experts Here re: Finishes


September 3, 2010, 12:10 PM
So, I called the lady in Colt Customer Service regarding the finish on my 1978 Gold Cup.

She told me there was a "National Match Blue" and a "Royal Blue", but she did not know which finish was applied in 1978.

She also told me I could order the Colt "letter" for $100 that might answer my question about which finish it has.

Then she told me the Letter was their only available resource regarding that question.

What do the experts here know for sure?

Factory finish in 1978:

Here's a factory finish 1967.

Here's a factory refinish in "Royal Blue".

Thanks for your help.

If you enjoyed reading about "Question for the Colt Experts Here re: Finishes" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 3, 2010, 05:32 PM
I've never heard of anyone at Colt's mention a "National Match" finish.

You have the standard Colt bluing which was an almost mirror bright polish on the flats of the slide and frame, with the "edges" given a bead blasted finish.
This was the standard finish given to all Colt 1911 pistols back then, including the Gold Cup.
Colt didn't have a special name for this finish, other than "two tone" or "Colt blue".

The Colt "Royal Blue" was known inside the factory as "the Python blue".
It's finished all over in a brilliant mirror bright polish, including on the edges.

September 3, 2010, 06:32 PM

That's what she called it, "National Match Blue".

I think I'm going to have this one done in Royal Blue for no other reason than I want it.

September 3, 2010, 06:35 PM
I remember reading that Colt's "Royal Blue" was, from a chemical standpoint, exactly the same as their standard blue. The difference is that guns receiving the "Royal Blue" treatment were polished to a better finish before the blue was applied.

September 3, 2010, 07:01 PM
The Python's Royal Blue was solely a result of surface preperation...the chemical bluing was the same as lessors blues. The final polish was done with leather wheels coated with a polishing medium with the consistency of talcum powder.

The Nickel Pythons had an even more painstaking polish...any flaw would show up more readily in nickel

September 3, 2010, 07:24 PM
Thanks, gentlemen.

So far, no one on either the Colt Forum or 1911 Forum has offered up the information you've posted.

props to ya

Jim Watson
September 3, 2010, 08:43 PM
In my OPINION, the second gun pictured is way overbuffed and I would not want that done to a gun of mine. My Python, which was definitely a Royal Blue gun, looke more like your 1967 gun when new and pretty.

September 3, 2010, 09:03 PM

Who didn't think their first Gold Cup was the most beautiful gun in the world? :cool:

September 3, 2010, 09:04 PM
The straight edges on the second gun appear to have been rounded a bit too

September 3, 2010, 10:15 PM
That I'm even considering refinishing it in Royal Blue already has the purists threatening to drive to Texas and slap me silly.:D

Old Fuff
September 4, 2010, 11:14 AM
Starting just before World War Two, Colt set up a conventional salt/tank system to replace the "gas oven" process they's used since the early 1920's. The equipment and chemicals were provided by the Du-Lite Co. in Middletown, CT, (

All of Colt's bluing was done using the Du-Lite process. The differences in finish and color between "standard" vs. "royal" blue was caused by the degree of polishing before the metal was blued. Unless special ordered, Gold Cups were finished in standard blue.

A major factor that is either unknown or overlooked is that Colt used special buffing/polishing wheels that were contoured to match the shape of the part, which resulted in more true radiuses and curves along with flat, flats and straight edges.

Last I knew Colt was still using Du-Lite, which is (or was) popular with a number of firearms companies and professional refinishers. But unfortunately government environment regulations may have changed this.

If you enjoyed reading about "Question for the Colt Experts Here re: Finishes" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!