my "new" old Colt Diamondback. To re-blue or no?


November 24, 2012, 05:09 PM
Just came into a Colt Diamondback .38 cal 2 1/2 " barrel. Very rougn shape lots of scratches and one nice ding! BUT no rust or pitting, and mechanically perfect.

Now the question- what to do with it..
1. Send to colt to have re-blued for $325 ! Ouch!!
2. Try and re blue myself.
3. Keep it as is and shoot the crap out of it.

I have never had a firearm blued by the manufacturer, or tried to do it on my own, so I am not familar with the process.

If I keep it as is, am I ok to smooth out that ding?, because it will snag, and I would like to use as CCW if I smooth out the ding(dremmel with a fine grit sanding wheel ok?)

Thanks all

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November 24, 2012, 05:43 PM
1) put the dremel down and never ever pick it back up

2) if you are going to carry it, i would leave it as is, its only going to get more scuffed up later on

3) i wouldnt try to reblue it yourself. the various cold blues on the market are purely cosmetic and will rub off fairly quickly if you do carry it.

November 24, 2012, 06:10 PM
I'd want to ascertain functioning and accuracy before even considering a re-finish.

Remember that $325 is before any replacement parts are counted should they be necessary.

Are you the kinda guy that once you re-finish will feel it needs to have factory grips? If so, there's that.

Me? Considerations worked out, I'd re-finish it and still shoot/carry it.

Maybe you've seen some custom versions that tripped your trigger - then this is a great one to customize-engrave-port or bob.

November 24, 2012, 06:23 PM
I would leave it as is until it's ready to retire. I have a tendency to worry about every little scuff or scratch on a refinished gun.

November 24, 2012, 06:27 PM
You didn't state what you paid for the gun but I'd take that figure, add in the $325 plus shipping and repair contingency, then see what you could buy another gun in the same condition for. It's been my experience that you will be hard pressed to get even a dime out of any refinishing expense should you decide to sell the gun.

November 24, 2012, 07:12 PM
To add my 2 cents... 2.5" Diamondbacks are nice finds and somewhat less common than the other Diamondbacks. Their value will remain quite high and no doubt increase, as they aren't making any more of them. They are pricing well North of $1,000 right now, with LNIB and NIB models in the $2,000. - $3,500.


If you do refinish, I would definitely have it done by Colt. While refinishing does diminish market value, a Colt refinish will be as correct as you can get. I personally prefer the Colt walnut service grips to what's on there now. Just because you will carry it, you can still make it look great and take pride in a fine Colt classic.

Here is mine that I have stashed away.

November 24, 2012, 07:57 PM
Here's where you get to hate me! It was a freebie. Guy I was trading for another revolver, threw this one in on the trade! :o !!

November 24, 2012, 08:18 PM
I would let Colt refinish it and pay what it costs to get factory grips.

November 24, 2012, 08:22 PM
Here's where you get to hate me! It was a freebie. Guy I was trading for another revolver, threw this one in on the trade! :o !!
Now you are cooking with gas! For free that sucker would be on the next UPS truck to Colt!

Congrats, I'm green with envy :)

November 24, 2012, 09:02 PM
I think this is one of those scenarios where a Colt refinish will in fact not diminish the value given its current condition.

Were one to set this pistol as-is on a table and another which Colt had refinished next to it - I'm fairly certain that the Colt finished pistol would go for more.

Then there's the fact that for you - the only money you'll have into it is the finish and grips.

Who gives a toss whether another person down the road says "Too bad it's a re-blue - that hurts the value" as they'll have never known it was in such sorry shape beforehand.

This one looks like a toad. Re-blue and dig the aging of the finish over the years rather than continue on with a pistol lookin' like it was carried in a holster made of nails.

Another way to look at it is get it blued if only to protect it given all the to-the-bone scratches currently in it.

November 24, 2012, 10:02 PM
I don't know that Colt does a better job than Ford's

November 24, 2012, 10:07 PM
Good point apache! Didn't even think about the protecting it part with re-finish! Now I guess I need to start saving up for the trip to colt!

My initial reaction was to sell it, I am glad I resisted that urge, cause I wouldn't get a whole lot out of it! Send it to colt, put some cash into it, and I will have a pistol I can be proud of for a long time! Do you guys think when colt refinishes it they will take care of that awful ding for me as well?

Thanks all...

November 24, 2012, 10:11 PM
perhaps you should sell it to me


November 24, 2012, 10:13 PM
Why did I know that was coming :).....

November 24, 2012, 10:22 PM
because I LOVE Diamondbacks

and I would give you a nice profit

and it a good home

November 24, 2012, 10:23 PM
1) put the dremel down and never ever pick it back up


November 24, 2012, 10:30 PM
That revolver is beautiful. Ford's did it, can money be saved having them do it instead of colt? Other than colt and Ford's anyone else you would consider? And obviously you saw pics of my DB, do you think colt, or ford can bring it back, and will they take care of that ding near the hammer?


PS- if I change my mind and need the cash I will contact you first ! :)

November 24, 2012, 10:48 PM
Now that I've focused on the hammer ding I'm having second thoughts. I'm moving back to just enjoy shooting it. Or sell it to Guillermo since he just upped my finders fee :)

November 24, 2012, 11:25 PM

I LOVE my DB snub

I wouldn't refinish it

Just shoot and carry, it is one of, if not the finest snub revolvers ever produced.

Shoots like a 4 inch target gun, carries like a detective special

The Ford's master polish and carry is 275

November 25, 2012, 08:26 AM

If it were me, I would want to see if Colt could bring it back somewhat more in line with what it looked like when it left the factory.

Jesse Heywood
November 27, 2012, 03:34 PM
It's going to take more than sanding and polishing to fix that. Most likely some welding. I would contact Colt's customer service and ask.

I'm not fond of reblues, but this is one where a factory job will only help. If you're looking at collector value, stick with Colt. Most Colt collectors won't touch a non-Colt reblue, no matter how good it is.

Ky Larry
November 28, 2012, 09:04 AM
If you have it reblued and you carry it, it will start to wear and will get beat up from every day use. I would give it a good scrubbing and try to wear it out shooting it. Either way you go, you have a Snake and thats something to be proud of.

There are no gun problems that can't be made worse with a Drimmel tool.

November 28, 2012, 06:31 PM
Send it to Colt.It will come back looking like a million bucks.They only reason why anybody would think it was re-blued cause it looks so good!You do this and you well never sell it.

Vern Humphrey
November 28, 2012, 10:11 PM
While refinishing does diminish market value, a Colt refinish will be as correct as you can get.
Right now, genuine Diamondbacks are running upwards of $1,000. If you have it reblued, you are paying $335 to turn a thousand dollar gun into an eight hundred dollar gun.

November 29, 2012, 10:39 AM
genuine Diamondbacks are running upwards of $1,000

not in that kind of shape and being a post 1980 model.

Vern Humphrey
November 29, 2012, 10:50 AM
not in that kind of shape and being a post 1980 model.
Post it on Gunsamerica at $900 and see how long it takes to sell.

November 29, 2012, 10:52 AM
I would bet he could get 800 for it.

But 900 would be surprising. I REALLY doubt that 1000 would happen.

November 29, 2012, 10:54 AM
I'd say $800 is a stretch for the condition it's in. Especially if he disclosed the dent in his auction listing.

November 29, 2012, 01:59 PM
Looks like its up for trade?

November 29, 2012, 02:22 PM
Wow, just wow.

Jimbombo offered me this gun for $500 and when I said I'd buy it, he changed his mind about selling and he'd had a higher offer he was also rejecting. He said he was going to keep it - which was fine with me.

That listing for trade on Armslist really chaps my butt! Nothing High Road about this deal at all!

November 29, 2012, 03:22 PM
Dammitboy, sorry to have offended, I jumped the gun with this one, listed it without knowing what I wanted for it. I am sorry for that! I think at this point I am going to listen to G and hang on to it!

Again Dammitboy I am sorry for my indecision. Sorry for any inconvenience!

November 29, 2012, 04:21 PM
I wasn't trying to start anything. I was only far enough into the thread the last time I updated to see that there might be some interested buyers. I was just trying to help him sell the gun more quickly. I wasn't trying to call anybody out. Sorry for that.

November 29, 2012, 04:21 PM

I inadvertently hosed you as I have been advising Jimbo not to sell it.

If he wants to liquidate a firearm, do not sell the one that is the rarest as well as, in my never-so-humble-opinion, the finest of its kind ever made.

I have a DB snub on my hip now and it shoots better than a Combat Masterpiece and carries like a Detective Special.

Sorry if I put my nose where it didn't belong.

November 29, 2012, 04:48 PM
Apologies accepted but dang dude! If you're not sure, don't list it. If you list it, sell it - if you make an offer, accept the deal.

Waffling back and forth is not cool.

/end rant

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