'49 Colt Officers Model Special - What To Do?


June 5, 2013, 08:45 PM
Finish is seriously degraded, but the action and lockup are superb. Shoots accurately out to 50yds.

What would you do with this old Colt?



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Archaic Weapon
June 5, 2013, 08:46 PM
Carry it with me on a regular basis? I feel like this is a trick question. Maybe get it reblued.

I doubt that saying that I would allow you to gift it to me would be a legitimate answer.

Vern Humphrey
June 5, 2013, 08:57 PM
I'd keep it as is -- there's no disgrace to a few scars on an old warrior.

June 5, 2013, 08:59 PM
Vern, I like the way you think. :)

June 5, 2013, 09:02 PM
Have Colt refinish it.

June 5, 2013, 09:52 PM
I'd put on a set of appropriate target grips (like I have on mine) and shnoot the snot out of it...

Old Fuff
June 5, 2013, 11:04 PM
Even the best and most expensive finish will not affect the way it shoots. It will I suspect equal or surpass the accuracy offered by a much more expensive Python.

If I had it I would clean it up and then bench or machine rest test it. Then look at the target and decide what to do next. If you must spend additional money, get a pair of better stocks to replace the plastic Coltwood ones.

June 5, 2013, 11:13 PM
You could have Colt refinish it, it's collector value would be seriously compromised, and it would be too pretty to shoot.
OR you could take it out and shoot the heck out of it. Thats exactly what I would do with that wonderful old target gun. These target model Colts are superbly accurate. Shoot it!

June 6, 2013, 09:48 AM
Change the stocks oil it and shoot it ;)

June 6, 2013, 10:08 AM
If you spend the money refinishing the gun, you will add no value to it because would become a refinished gun. You also won't get to shoot it anymore because you wouldn't want to hurt the finish.

I don't see any benefit to it.

June 6, 2013, 10:16 AM
I hate rust, so I would have to refinish it. I would have made that decision if it was worth it before the purchase, because I simply hate rust.

I do wish I had bought the $600 short barreled rusty .38 Diamondback that fit my hand like a dream that I handled at a show a couple of years back.

June 6, 2013, 11:11 AM
I'd put a black Tyler TGrip on it and shoot it.

June 6, 2013, 03:52 PM
Old war horse doesn't look too bad afterall


June 16, 2013, 12:18 PM
How about some real, wood Fitz targets? ;)



June 16, 2013, 12:46 PM
I'd clean it up and shoot it if you want to shoot it. Basically, I see little reason to refinish the gun. But I tend to view these kinds of revolvers from a collector's perspective.

June 17, 2013, 01:52 AM
Walkalong -- You are from Alabama? Your Diamondback wasn't this one (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8931044#post8931044) by any chance?

As to the OP, the above link may be of use in making your decision. They still do great great work, but it took nine months to get mine back, and the lady on the phone said they aren't taking any guns for refinishing work at the moment because of their backlog.

Personally I see more than enough finish left on your old gun that I'd let it be.

June 17, 2013, 03:38 AM
Shoot clean repeat

evan price
June 17, 2013, 06:12 AM
I would give it to a deserving forumite. This guy named Evan Price is a real nice guy who appreciates Colts... :)

June 17, 2013, 06:21 AM

Looks a great deal better after you cleaned it and with the addition of the Fitz stocks. But I'm like Walkalong in as much as I hate rust on a gun. I would have to have it refinished at some point.

Old Fuff
June 17, 2013, 10:45 AM
For reasons that should be obvious quality refinishing is necessarily expensive and anything else may reduce rather then increase the revolver's value. Once it's been returned it looks great - but all too often it looks so good one hesitates to use it. Thus it becomes a safe queen, or mostly so. If it is extensively used the "new look" is soon gone, especially if it's holstered and carried (which is unlikely in this case).

Sometimes if one takes the cost of a cosmetically distressed gun and adds the total cost of refinishing it turns out that the total could have provided for the purchase of a piece that had most, if not all, of its original finish.

The point of all this is that this revolver now looks pretty good as it is, and factory refinishing apparently is not available. I would take this as an opportunity to get out and use it, and thereafter decide if I wanted to invest in refinishing. Given the cost, refinishing simply for the sake of doing so doesn't seem wise.

I don't like rust either, but in those rare cases where I want cosmetic perfection I spend the money to buy (whatever), that comes with the original finish in that condition. Then I try to keep it that way.

June 17, 2013, 10:40 PM
A set of Ropers and shoot the daylights out of it!!

June 17, 2013, 10:44 PM
I'm just adding that set of vintage, (wood) Fitz target stocks.

Then I'll see where we go from there (besides the range).

Ordered 1K wadcutters which should be here by Friday.:)

June 19, 2013, 11:01 PM
Here we go!

148gr wadcutters
3.1 Win231

Hope to shoot 'em tomorrow.

June 20, 2013, 01:08 PM
It likes the wadcutters.

5 shots, 25yds

Old Fuff
June 20, 2013, 02:03 PM
Such a suprise... :D

You might try some loads running in 1-grain steps, going from 2.5 to 3.5 grains and see if the group tightens any.

June 20, 2013, 02:08 PM
Oh, the group will tighten when the nut behind the grip gets adjusted better. ;)

Vern Humphrey
June 20, 2013, 02:47 PM
I find 2.7 grains -- the usual recommended starting load -- does very well in all my revolvers.

June 20, 2013, 02:48 PM
Thanks, Vern, I'll try that load in my next batch tonight.

royal barnes
June 21, 2013, 12:50 PM
The gun looks good since you cleaned it up and put the new stocks on it. Beyond that I would make those thousand rounds into empty brass so you can repeat the process.:)

June 21, 2013, 01:39 PM
Workin' on that. ;)

June 21, 2013, 08:37 PM
Wood Fitz target stocks sure are comfortable.

June 26, 2013, 04:53 PM
You could have Colt refinish it, it's collector value would be seriously compromised,

A verified factory re-finish, though obviously not as desireable as a new original finish, will not seriously detract from the revolver's resale value. My Officer's Special was manufactured in 1951 and it is a superb shooter in terms of intrinsic accuracy. I still shoot it in Bullseye matches. Imo, your Colt is well worth considering getting re-finished by the factory and would add to your sense of pride of ownership.

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