in the white ?


December 14, 2010, 12:06 AM
Is this the correct term for a gun that is not blued ? Is it more difficult to repel rust if a gun has no bluing?
I just picked up an 1860 that is color case hardened with a blued barrel and cylinder. What do you guys think about stripping it down?

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December 14, 2010, 12:09 AM
i have an untreated carbon steel case knife and it will get orange spots is i leave it in my pocket on a sweaty hate to see what happens to yours from a day at the range and blackpowder

December 14, 2010, 01:59 AM
Is this the correct term for a gun that is not blued ? Is it more difficult to repel rust if a gun has no bluing?

There are different types of steel and finishes. A plain, unblued steel finish is known as being "in the white".
A highly polished steel can be more rust resistant by virtue of it having a more slick & slippery surface which is sometimes easier to maintain, and also depending on the type of steel that it is and what kind of products are used to protect it.
It's suppose to be the loose carbon molecules on the surface of the metal that contribute to it rusting, along with moisture.
But generally bluing does protect the surface from rust, even though bluing itself is a form of rust.
For instance, someone told me that the steel used for a Pietta case colored frame on one of their new revolvers showed a tendency to rust fairly easily.
But applying a coat of wax or Eezox may protect bare metal well enough to where if it's kept up it won't rust as easily as untreated blued steel.
But rusting is the reason why some folks nickel plate their plain steel guns while others welcome some rusting that makes their gun look more like an authentic antique.

December 14, 2010, 06:28 AM
"in the white" generally refers to parts (or even complete guns) that are unfinished. The term is mostly used to describe metal parts but occasionally applies to kits that include unfinished wood.

As arcticap said, metal parts may sometimes be finished with treatments other than bluing, and so "in the white" would not apply even though they are not colored.

December 14, 2010, 07:51 AM
If you are going to strip the blue off, I recomend navy jelly. The phosphate in it will leave your gun with a dull gray finish which will look like it has been worn from use but still leave a bit of protection from rust.

December 14, 2010, 09:54 AM
even though bluing itself is a form of rust.

yes and no

saying rust infers iron oxide, or the orange rust...bluing is an oxidation process, but not iron oxide

December 14, 2010, 12:22 PM
I have tried, unsuccessfully, to maintain 3 different guns at different time "in the white". The first two I gave up and browned sucessfully and the last one is being prepared for blue.
My thoughts are that "It ain't worth the effort".

December 14, 2010, 02:55 PM
If it's color-case hardened, I'd say leave it alone. I'd love to have a case-hardened gun, because I love the look, but I'm sadly too cheap to pay for it, so mine are blued.

Shoot The Moon
December 14, 2010, 03:35 PM
I took the blue off my Uberti .31 Pocket - used common vinegar from the larder. I take care over cleaning it when I'm done shooting, but other than that it gets no special care.

I have never seen a spot of rust on it anywhere. Finish has darkened over the years so it now looks (almost) like an original.

December 14, 2010, 07:55 PM
This gun has a good finish on it but I like the look of the raw steel. So maybe I should wait till she needs reblued anyway, then strip it and see how I like it.

December 15, 2010, 03:43 AM
My advice is to shoot it. I like the part about leaving it alone until it needs doing anyway...then I still wouldn't do it. Not that I haven't done it myself in the past, but really, they look better as is. For awhile Pietta was selling one that was ''pre-distressed'', or ''antiqued'' or some such....I notice you don't see those around much anymore. It's your gun, and you're free to do what you like, but I'd let it mellow and age naturally.

December 15, 2010, 10:25 PM
Yeah BHP, I think I will just let it go naturally and if I just cant stand it I have about 35 other firearms I could try it on to see how it goes.

December 15, 2010, 10:47 PM
Picked up this Pietta a few months ago, and here in Alabama the humidity is ruffer than a corn cob. This one was de-blued by previous owner and has no sealer and has shown no rust at all as of yet.

December 16, 2010, 02:55 PM
vinegar. straight vinegar. let it soak really good. then rinse off with hot soapy water. then take some mag and wheel polish basicly metal polish. then polish out the gun. After that your fine. Once in a while you will have to put some metal polish on it. However it wont rust or anything. here is mine
after redoing grips about 10 coats of black laquer

December 16, 2010, 05:45 PM
SCRAT, I love the way the black grips look. Might have to apply that to one of my 51's "with your permission of course :-} "

Jim K
December 16, 2010, 09:09 PM
I hope no one is thinking of stripping the blue from an original Colt 1851 or 1860. Even small strips of original blue can mean thousands of dollars in value.


December 16, 2010, 10:23 PM
Oh God no it's not an original. But I do like the look of Scrat's gun. Maybe I will practice on my '51.

December 17, 2010, 06:20 AM
the camera i used was junk i need to take another picture. once in a while i will take it out and polish up the metal. then use some automotive wax on the grips. it just looks soo good. Never last though when you go to the range. It does draw a lot of attention though.

Foto Joe
December 18, 2010, 10:16 AM
Okay Scrat, quantify "let is soak really good" please, how long is really good?? That Navy looks sweet "In The White" so to speak. And of course I happen to have a brass Navy that I might be willing to experiment with.

December 18, 2010, 01:19 PM
i let is soak for an hour. just make sure you take it apart. you dont want to soak any of the brass pieces in vinegar

Elbert P . Suggins
December 18, 2010, 04:15 PM
This post almost duplicates the one before it but as I said before, you get a nice look if you use a towel soaked in vinegar and wrap it around your revolver for maybe 6 minutes. Take it the shower stall and steam it for a few minutes. Rub with livestock linament until you get a good patina. Beat up the grips with a screw driver at different angles and except for Italian maker proof marks you have something even the pawn shops can't tell the difference. The key is wrapping in the towel because it leaves bluing where there should not be any natural wear to remove it.

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