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repairing the "idiot mark" on a 1911.....

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by skipbo32, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Well-Known Member

    i just purchased my first 1911 from a friend of mine. i got a good deal, but the deal came w/ an idiot scratch in the parked finish of my Springfield GI-45.:banghead:

    the answer: PRESTO gun-blue-pen....


    well, im not sure if there really is an answer for an idiot scratch in a parkerized finish. but i am happy with the result. and before i go any further........i hate the elitist term "idiot mark" or "idiot scratch". to be honest i was fine with the scratch being there, but i decided to try this out of curiosity. this experiment is only half finished.......i still need to test the durability of the cold blue stain to see if it holds up under use.

    here are the "before" pics of my Springer with the take down scratch in the finish:


    rather than applying the cold blue directly with the pen, i ran a fine tipped paintbrush across the tip of the Presto marker and slowly dabbed the brush on the exposed metal. i recommend this because these scratches are so fine that having a finer tipped tool helps with the application.

    my first application matched the parkerized finish almost perfect, but it was uneven and bare metal was still showing through. i hit it a few more times to get it even but the color was a little darker. bottom line: you can still see that the scratch is there depending on the angle of the light. sometimes the scratch looks dark, sometimes it looks light, and sometimes it disappears completely.

    after i did the cosmetic surgery on my beauty, i oiled her up real good and took photos w/ different angles and color balances so you can get the gist of it.

    these are the "after" photos:


    i must add that when i took these photos, i was trying to show the remnants of the "mark" as best i could. when you casually look at the gun in normal light you can not see the mark whatsoever. these photos show extreme details of the gun under a spot light.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  2. Old Shooter

    Old Shooter Well-Known Member

    Looks like it came out pretty decent. The "after" is much better than the "before". I've put a mark or two on some 1911's and used similiar methods to lessen the appearance. That is why I like stainless guns, just a lite touch of very fine wet/dry paper and it's gone. If I'm putting them together at the bench I use a business card between frame and lever for "just in case" protection.

    How's that GI working for you?
  3. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Well-Known Member

    its workin' great, thanks for asking. i shot it for the first time the other day. feed every round. i just love this gun. the only thing i didnt like was that the trigger pull was very long. i am going to put different grips on there that are a little thicker. im not sure if this will help the trigger pull any....

    i just love the looks and feel of the 1911. my solution to the take-down scratch does not fix it completely, but the reflective bare metal is no longer slappin' me in the face every time i look at it. i dont mind scratches and blemishes on guns....but everything about the gun appeared to be in like-new condition except for that glaring scratch on the slide. the mark is still there but it is no longer burning holes in my eye balls.
  4. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Well-Known Member

    Needs more scratches. Looks silly all clean and new.
  5. schmeky

    schmeky Well-Known Member

    Agreed ;)
  6. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Well-Known Member

    Warning Warning.. The black oxide it creates accelerates the regular red oxide process. KEEP IT WELL OILED.
    I bought a similar pen just for that type of repair. I touched up my idiot mark and a few other bare metal spots. That being done I was curious as to it's "toughness" and being a avid golfer I had a sand wedge that I had worn the chrome / nickle plate off the sole of the club. As blasting thru piles of sand will do. YES I didn't expect to drag my 1911 thru the sand. My sand wedge had a large oval of raw steel showing. I rubbed the pen on it and it blackened just the raw steel, leaving the nickle plate and chrome plate unaffected. While playing a light rain hit. The water droplets on the black oxide quickly, almost before my eyes, became red circles of rust. :( This was weird cause I had NEVER had the raw portions turn rust so quickly. I went back and inspected my 1911 and sure enough the black oxide was a bit crimson. :( :(
  7. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    nice work....

    however...in my mind, an "idiot mark" isnt an accidental scratch or ding.....

    ive always though an "idiot mark" are the scratches and dings you get from using he wrong tool for the job......like trying to drift our rollpins with a philips head screwdriver..........or clamping a part into an unpadded vice.
  8. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Hummm. Guess I won't be repairing my "idiot mark" any time soon. Never considered that scratch an "idiot mark". Figured that if you disassemble and clean a 22 year old Colt .45 ACP (I bought it new in 1990) often enough that it would be enevitable that that scratch would find its way there at some time. More of a mark of distinction and showing lots of use and care in maintaining it.
  9. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Well-Known Member

    Mine has so many scratches, marks, and plain steel from holster wear and use, that I am no longer worried about my idiot mark. Maybe I'll get it refinished someday, when I can convince my wife. It's the same type of gun pictured in his pictures, and I've had and used it since 2003.

    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    I don't know about other 1911s but my brothers SW1911's slide stop glides into place and you would have to be an "idiot" in order to require it being slid into place and then pushed in.

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    long trigger pull on a 1911 Your kidding right. Their no way you can have anything close to a long trigger pull on a 1911. .
  12. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    That one is pretty bad. :uhoh:
  13. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Well-Known Member

    here is a more realistic picture of what the gun looks like at a distance and non reflective light. as you can see, the scratch is gone.


    now i want to see how long this cold blue lasts.......

    i totally agree with ya'll about these scratches on these guns. people make too much of a big deal.....

    i kind of did this out of curiosity. at first i didnt want to do this because i felt like it was putting Maybelline makeup on my gun...hahaha
  14. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    Guess I'm an oddball. The first time I took my first 1911 apart and went to put it back together, I stopped myself thinking "wait a minute, I'd better be careful.....this might make a scratch right here". At that time I didn't even know they were called 1911's, I just knew it was made in the Phillipines and looked like an "old Army Colt .45". I was surprised that I figured out how to take it apart and get it back together.

    Now I have five of them, and still no "idiot marks" on any of them. Reckon I'm just careful with that part.
  15. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Well-Known Member

    have you shot the GI models?
  16. gathert

    gathert Well-Known Member

    Still not that long of a pull. I have one that was made in 1918 and its got a good trigger.
  17. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Well-Known Member

    here is another update on my GI 1911. just put some stag grips on her. with all this special treatment im dishin' out, she better "put out".


    i live in Texas, so i guess i wanted a little western flare.
  18. gathert

    gathert Well-Known Member

    Looks good
  19. swinokur

    swinokur Well-Known Member

    Now you can take it to the BBQ
  20. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the 1911 club. You're now a member for life.

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