The bluing itself in both cases was the bluing of the day. The difference in Royal blue was and is the level of polishing before bluing.
Is there a difinitive thread that talks about the Colt blue vs Royal blue?
The saying was that while S&W and Ruger's were being shipped out the door, the Python was still being polished.
The Colt "Royal Blue" was the best blue job ever done on a production revolver. Only Colt's very best polishers were allowed to do them, and they were doing a level of polishing one expert said probably less than 200 people in the world were capable of doing.
The standard Colt blue was still better than most other brands bluing, and with the Mark III series, it got even better with a more glossy shine.
Where you judge a blue job is not on how shiny it is, the judgment is made by looking under the blue to the polishing job of the metal.
A gun may have a brilliant shine but the metal may have machine marks, rounded edges, ripples in the flats, and dished out holes.
A Colt standard blue had some machine marks but not much of the others.
The Royal Blue had no machine marks and none of the others.
Other makers polished with large hard felt wheels and often finished with soft muslin wheels.
Colt made their own extra-large wheels from wood, covered with leather.
This gives a better, smoother polish, but isn't as forgiving of "slips" as the felt wheels. When doing a Royal Blue job, no slips are allowable or it shows.
So in reality, the bluing on Pythons is all "the same", but some may have a nicer polish and be referred to as "Royal Blue"? Have I seen original boxes that state Royal Blue as the finish?
Mr. Wheel, Sir, I'm interested in your opinion of sending a perfectly blued, original, 1978 Colt Gold Cup back to Colt for a Royal Blue refinish.
Just proposing the idea has prompted other Colt enthusiasts to threaten to drive all the way to Texas and slap me silly.
Thanking you in advance, I remain
Dodging and Ducking Doc
NRA Lifetime Member
Shooting more, typing less
dfaris, Thanks much for posting those pics of the polishing wheels and actual polisher in action I love this kind of historical information
So that's how Colt did it. Interesting. Thanks for the photos
Maybe this previous thread will help a little.
1965 COLT PYTHON
BTW you know those are older photos. OSHA would have a fit.
Last edited by A1A; 09-09-2010 at 01:42 PM.
Doc,to the collectors of the bunch it is a sin to do what you are thinking ,but if you love to watch people's eyes pop and drool it is perfectly acceptable.My Detective Special was going to have all 30+ years of instructor holster wear stay but because he was lousy @ gun upkeep it was badly rusted under the grips and had light hit issues.Off to Colt it went and spent 4 1/2 month but when it came back it was a thing of beauty looking better than the day it left the factory.I also added some custom Stag Grips and it stays on my hip in honor of him.Now many of my students ask "Where did you get that new gun" and love the expression when I tell them it was made when I was 4 years old....All the best...Mike
I'm not sure how Colt would do a change from a standard Gold Cup blue to a Royal Blue.
The standard has bright blued flats and bead blasted "edges" on the frame and slide.
I suspect Colt would convert the entire gun, minus the top of the slide to the full mirror polish of the Royal Blue finish.
The gun would probably come back with the full polish "wet look" deep blue mirror of the Royal Blue finish.
Since you don't see 1911's with the full polish these days, that would be a spectacular looking gun.
Even on the edges of the frame you could just fall into the deep polish.