refinishing advice


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Guillermo
February 13, 2011, 02:43 AM
Okay Guys and Gals,

This is Old Fuff's fault.

I bought an old Colt Diamondback Snubby.

Got it cheap knowing that it had some finish issues (the seller was very forthcoming and sent me the best pics that he could)

Mechanically it is outstanding.

Well tonight I got the chance to bring it into the shop and give it a good cleaning. Under the bright lights and magnifiers the finish is REALLY bad.

I do not mind a worn weapon but this poor gun had some idiot attack it with steel wool. Criminal abuse.

Perhaps I never would have thought of it but Old Fuff mentioned that I should send it back to Colt for a factory re-blue due to the fact that it is an early example.

Usually I do not care about a perfect finish but the nature of the wounds have me thinking that refinishing is a really good idea. Being covered in "idiot marks" offends me.

I am considering doing what "the great one" suggests and sending it back to Colt. Also thinking about a great quality company like Ford's.

If any of you have personal experience that you would like to recount I would appreciate it.

Quality of the job, cost, turn-around-time, etc would be valuable information.

Thank you for your help.

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ColtPythonElite
February 13, 2011, 03:09 AM
I would send it to Colt. First, because they do an outstanding job. Second, because the factory refinish with documentation will help boost the value more than a refinish from even the best outside source (which Ford's may very well be). The cost will be around 300 bucks. The estimated time will be said to be around 3 months. However, often that time is cut in half.

GUNKWAZY
February 13, 2011, 06:48 AM
I found this short barrel nickel Diamondback last year. I never see the short barrel version in nickel and I'm always looking.
The nickel was not pitted or pealing at all, it's only problem was the nickel was cloudy and the bright finish would not come back.
I had to send it back to Colt for a new look on life.
It cost more due to it being nickel, but it was $355 delivered.
Some people like guns with character. I prefer my guns to look nice and me be the character.
Good luck with your choice.
Here's the before and after shots.

http://i445.photobucket.com/albums/qq172/toykwazy/dbacknickelb4.jpg

http://i445.photobucket.com/albums/qq172/toykwazy/Dbacknickel.jpg

Jeff (GUNKWAZY)

WC145
February 13, 2011, 09:19 AM
They did an incredible job on that gun, Jeff. Money well spent.

motorcycle-charlie
February 13, 2011, 10:04 AM
outstanding.. what a difference. i''ll bet it is even more spiffy lookin in person. i would say its worth every penny.

kbbailey
February 13, 2011, 10:14 AM
My uncle died unexpectantly and friends cleaned out the contents of his semi.Three or four years later... my aunt found my late uncle's Python in a cardboard box on her garage floor.
The gun was in very poor condition and deeply pitted. She gave the gun to me, and I sent in back to Colt.
They re-blued; replaced the hammer; replaced all internals; put new grips on it; new sights. It is beautiful.It has the smoothest action of any revolver I have ever fired. They did an awesome job. If you look closely, you can still see some pitting that was too deep to buff out.
I do not remember what Colt charged me.(probably wasn't too much or I would remember)
6 week turnaround as I recall.
I say send your gun back to Colt....you'll be glad you did.

Old Fuff
February 13, 2011, 11:46 AM
GUNKWAZY would know better, but it's my understanding that an original factory nickel finish on a Diamondback is worth $300 extra. :what:

Especially so on a snubby, which supposedly were less then 20% of the total production.

Anyway the answer to the refinishing question should rest with the owner's future intentions. Also what the base gun is worth, and what it is likely to be worth down the road should be a consideration. "The best" refinishing job is likely to be expensive ($200 - $300 and possibly more) and anything less may reduce, not enhance the gun's value.

Restoring a gun to its original, like-new condition can make sense - and Gunkwazy's nickeled snubby is an example of this, as the increase in value may well pay for the refinishing - and more so in the future.

On the other hand, rebluing a revolver you intend to carry very much and use on a daily basis will likely have a worn look pretty quickly and recovering the cost of the work will be unlikely.

But sometimes this doesn't matter to someone who wants to tote a fine-looking, classic handgun just to make a statement. After all, honest wear is much different then neglect or abuse. That, and the Diamondback and other similar classic handguns (particularly revolvers) represent a level of quality we are unlikely to see again, because in a 21st century manufacturing economy they couldn't survive in the marketplace - as unfortunately Colt found out.

If I was in Guillermo's place (such an awfull thought :neener:) I would consider keeping one Diamondback as it is for a user, and have the other one factory refinished to keep as a collectable. It is after all a classic Colt, of which a whole lot weren't made (much less so in the snubby version), but he'll have to resign himself to the fact that as soon as his daughter gets ahold of it he likely won't have it anymore... :evil: :D

bannockburn
February 13, 2011, 12:30 PM
Guillermo

If the gun is really that badly off with its original finish, I would definitely have it refinished, preferably by Colt. I would contact them for the particulars on getting it done and proceed from there.

If it were a more modern gun and was going to see considerable use on a daily basis, then I would go with some sort of hard chrome finish, like SS Chromium Metalife.

Guillermo
February 13, 2011, 12:33 PM
Okay...I will call Colt Monday and see about sending it to them.

I can't let it stay like it is.

If Colt refinishing is good enough for Jeff it is good enough for anyone. That man has high standards.

As to carrying it, I don't know. I have another that has been well used. It is my on my hip more often than any other gun. Yes, part of it is because I like it but it is also because I shoot it well.

On the other hand I am not much for "collecting"...I buy these things to use. Besides, there are MORE than enough Colts in safes being preserved in pristine condition. I can use mine and know that they are not the last of their breed.

Maybe I should get it re-blued and then give it to my daughter as a graduation present...or save it for her for another occasion.

Or maybe I should send it to Old Fuff. He seems a nice guy...although knowing him he would take a hacksaw to it in honor of his old buddy Fitz.

Old Fuff
February 13, 2011, 12:41 PM
Or maybe I should send it to Old Fuff. He seems a nice guy...although knowing him he would take a hacksaw to it in honor of his old buddy Fitz.

I will let you know that I'm not so crude as to use a hacksaw... :cuss:

I have a bench grinder for doing such work... :uhoh: :D

But sometimes this (cost of refinishing vs. wear) doesn't matter to someone who wants to tote a fine-looking, classic handgun just to make a statement.

Guillermo
February 13, 2011, 12:44 PM
I have a bench grinder

on these occasions Old Fuff scares me :what:

TrakHack
February 13, 2011, 01:45 PM
Maybe I should get it re-blued and then give it to my daughter as a graduation present...or save it for her for another occasion.

No offense to Old Fuff, but I like this option. The best is none too good for your daughter!

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 13, 2011, 02:54 PM
I have had no experience ever having a gun refinished, but if that were my gun, I would send it to the factory. Who knows, they may find a couple of other important things while they have it (like loose and worn parts, springs, etc).

It may cost more to have the factory go over it but rest assured, when they are done with it, you should essentially have a BRAND NEW gun!

Olympus
February 13, 2011, 05:12 PM
+1 on Colt's Refinishing

I've had a Royal Blue Python refinished and although it's not cheap, the result is better than anyone else could have achieved in my opinion. I say go for it! Life's too short to shoot an ugly gun!

Guillermo
February 14, 2011, 12:32 PM
FYI, just got off the phone with Colt.

275 for Royal Blue

30 for shipping

60-90 day turn around

788Ham
February 14, 2011, 12:44 PM
Olympus,

How long ago did you send your Python in? Just curious, as seeing they aren't making them anymore, will they still do work on them, a "seasoned" worker doing the job?

Thanks

Olympus
February 14, 2011, 01:15 PM
I think I sent mine back about 2, maybe 3 years ago. I would imagine that Colt will always have "seasoned" gunsmiths working for them that will be able to do any kind of work on a Python or Diamondback.

I can't say enough good things about the refinish Colt did on my gun. I also had them redo all of the rollmarks too. I've tried taking pictures of the gun to try to capture the finish, but there is always some kind of glare on the gun and the pictures don't do the finish near enough justice. The gun literally looks like all of the metal is dripping wet.

Guillermo
February 14, 2011, 01:53 PM
I am bringing it to UPS maņana.

Going to try to get some REALLY good "before picks" so that I can report back.

Should I send it w the grips?

Olympus
February 14, 2011, 02:21 PM
I think I sent mine with the grips still on the gun, but I don't know that it would matter either way. I would trust Colt to return the gun with the original grips.

Are you going to have the rollmarks redone? The reason I ask is that there is a possibility that the marks will get polished down and/or removed in areas when the prep work is being done to the pistol. I can't tell you how many of the pony logos I've seen that are half visible and half gone due to being polished out of the metal when the gun was refinished. Redoing the rollmarks is an additional expense, but I gladly choose to have them done. I don't want to spend $300 on a refinish to get the gun back and have half of the rollmarks polished out. I asked Colt about it before I sent it in and they couldn't give me a definite answer on whether or not the rollmarks would be polished out or not, so I bucked up and spend the additional money. Without knowing what the gun would have looked like if I hadn't had them redone, I can safely say that since I did have them redone the gun looks like it just came out of the box for the first time. Worth the money in my opinion, especially for Pythons and Diamondbacks.

Guillermo
February 14, 2011, 03:29 PM
I am going to be into this thing near retail so it had better look perfect.

Making sure that the writing is perfect seems a small expense.

Although at that price, you would think that it would not be an extra charge.

:eek:

Olympus
February 14, 2011, 04:53 PM
Well it's going to be hard to determine what "retail" would be now since they aren't made anymore. But I really wouldn't worry about it. Keep the gun for another 5 or 10 years and you'll make the money back just in resale value.

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't send any other guns back to Colt for a refinish other than the Pythons or Diamondbacks. The cost to refinish is just too steep to justify on any other Colt revolvers.

Guillermo
February 14, 2011, 08:47 PM
The cost to refinish is just too steep to justify on any other Colt revolvers.

you are probably right but they made some other really nice ones.

A ore WWII Officer's Target is in my list and I would treat it with the respect that the snakes get.

Olympus
February 15, 2011, 10:42 AM
If I found one of those, I doubt I would have it refinished.

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