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Would you refinish this Colt 1903?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ryan3465, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. ryan3465

    ryan3465 Member

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    Hello all,

    Found a Colt 1903 after some more searching, a good price at 240 cash from a local shop. My question is, would you go to the trouble of refinishing it or would you leave it as is? I can already tell that some previous owner already reblued it, judging by the splotchy patches on the front grip strap, and by the way some of the lettering and Colt Logo are worn. Would you do it yourself with one of the available cold blue products or would you send it away, and if so, where would you send it?

    Thanks everyone!
    Ryan ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361232539.651065.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361232555.268956.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361232565.621359.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361232577.558237.jpg
     
  2. Creature

    Creature Member

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    If it were mine, I'de leave it just the way it is...
     
  3. ryan3465

    ryan3465 Member

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    More pictures...
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361232629.871626.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361232641.036671.jpg
     
  4. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I agre creature. Leave it as it is. I've been looking for a 1908 that has no collector value. And duracoat it for a new carry peice. But no luck soo far. Blueing looks good in that pistol
     
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    ryan3465

    Sure looks like that's one pistol that has seen better days. I mean the one side doesn't look too bad but the other side and the front grip frame are pretty rough in their appearance. If it were mine I might be inclined to see about getting it sandblasted and then refinished in a nice matte blue.
     
  6. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    Oh I'd probably just leave her as is and use heavy oil on the outside.
     
  7. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    It has enough exterior pitting that you would get less than optimum results from LOTS of work on a refinish. I might even be inclined to get some naval jelly, or something else to remove ALL the blueing, and just oil it and let it look REALLY old, rough and worn. Then you can pack it, shoot it, carry it, etc, and never worry about marring the finish like you would on a really nice, new gun.
     
  8. ryan3465

    ryan3465 Member

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    Where would you typically find someone That would sandblast and do general metal prep? Like what kind of shops should I look for locally? Or is this something I could do myself? (Forgive my ignorance on the subject, I'm great with wood prep but know almost nothing about metal prep)

    Thanks,
    Ryan
     
  9. ryan3465

    ryan3465 Member

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    Thank you everyone for the responses. If I were to leave the gun as it is currently, what steps could I take to prevent that pitting on the left side from getting worse? The main driver behind my thinking about getting it refinished stemmed more from a desire to prevent any further damage from rust, etc. Would I be safe to take a few preventative steps and leave it as is, allowing it to remain a shooter?

    Thanks!
     
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    One place that I know of that does quality work is Mahovskys Metalife (mahovskysmetalife.com). They can bead blast the old finish off and replace it with a hard chrome, electroless nickel, or blued finish. I think their prices are still very reasonable and I can readily attest to the longevity and durability of their hard chrome treatment.

    This is a Beretta Model 70S which Mahovsly's refinished with hard chrome over 20 years ago. Still looks as new as the day I got it back from them.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. 280shooter

    280shooter Member

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    no let it go.... leave it as it is...if it anit broke dont break it...
     
  12. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    You know, there is a lot to said for old trucks and guns.
     
  13. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    I would, but only if I sent it to Colt for a rebirth.
     
  14. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Nope, I would leave it as is.
     
  15. ryan3465

    ryan3465 Member

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    Do I run the risk of more rust forming on some of the worn areas? Or would a light coat of oil prevent that?
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    No way would I refinish this gun.

    A few years back I found a beautiful Colt New Service in .45 Colt. Before it was refinished, that gun would have been worth $800 or more (as prices were then.) It had been buffed aggressively, so the markings were blurred and nearly invisible. I bought it for $300.
     
  17. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Looks like it has been refinished a time or two as it is. I owuld not worry about collector value if it were mine and would do whatever blew my skirts up.

    Me, I would strip it,clean it to make sure there was no active rust anywhere, degrease it and refinish it with either multiple coats of cold blue, chemical plum brown, or something like MG coat baked on and be happy with it.

    I would have paid $250 for it or traded for that much value in a heart beat. Local Gunshow table guy has one with some sort of grey, silver coating which I think is MG coat for the last two years and he wants more for his and is not getting it from me.

    -kBob
     
  18. Hurryin' Hoosier

    Hurryin' Hoosier Member

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  19. Roadking Rider

    Roadking Rider Member

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    I'd let it be.
     
  20. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    (I kept going back an looking at the two sets of photos, and each time, I wanted to say something different!!)

    The gun I saw in the first four photos looked to be in pretty good shape, and I thought it was a potential "collector" gun if you didn't abuse it. But then I looked at the second set of photos in message #3...

    That gun look likes it's been rode hard and put away wet. Obviously refinished after it had been pretty badly rusted; a good bit of the frame metal gone before the refinisher got hold of it.

    Having COLT do the work wouldn't help -- they can do wonders if the gun is basically sound, but they can't really replace missing metal.

    I'd maybe just touch it up with a good cold blue like Brownell's Oxypho Blue. Not real expensive, and if done right (many coats applied to very warm metal) that cold blue can sometimes look pretty good. (Note: most cold blue treatments will wear through pretty quickly with routine handling.)

    Do what you've got to do to keep yourself happy, and shoot it. But I don't think you have a gun that will ever be of great interest to a collector -- so you're free to do what you want with it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  21. ryan3465

    ryan3465 Member

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    Thank you everyone for the responses. I think I will probably leave it as is, and just keep an eye out for any future rust forming so I can take care of it right away. The gun shoots great and that's what matters. Thanks a lot everyone!

    -ryan
     
  22. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    It's not that I don't believe you, but are you sure? Colt's custom shop can do many things. I know they can't do magic and make metal appear from thin air, but what about smoothing it out and finishing?
     
  23. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    Sorry, it's physics. Colt's custom shop does excellent work, but you just can't replace metal that's been buffed off.
     
  24. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Leave it as is. Truth be told I was expecting to see a gun in much worse condition when I opened the thread. For a gun of that age is just looks like well earned wear on it.
     
  25. willypete

    willypete Member

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    TIG welders everywhere disagree with you.
     
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