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The cold aluminum blues or blacks are not very durable and don't color anywhere nearly as dark or well as an anodized finish as originally done.
You can usually wipe them off with your thumb.

Options:

1. Finish the part with one of the gun type "paint" finishes.
These are usually an epoxy finish and come in many colors and type of gloss.
Top finishes are Lauer Duracoat, Guncoat, Brownell's Aluma-Hyde, and the new Cerama coats that are ceramic based.
Some of these need to be oven baked at 300 or so degrees, some are air curing.
Some can be bought for home application or they can be applied by professional gun refinisher companies.

2. Send the parts out to a professional gun refinisher service that does aluminum anodizing.
They can refinish it to factory level standards.

Some companies that offer anodizing:

Ford's Custom Gun Refinishing - Ford's Desert Eagle Sights

Welcome to the TechPlate, Inc. Military Plating Specifications Index

Elite Custom Plating --* Re-Finishing, Custom Work, Competition Guns
 

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The Searcher
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Be aware that on alloy framed guns, reanodizing requires barrel removal and replacement as the anodizing process is not compatible with carbon steel. Colt will not do this because of the risk of cracking the frame and the lack of replacements. Fords would do it the last I knew, but if the frame is damaged in the process, you are done. Just a caveat emptor. Other refinishes that can be done are nickel and hard chrome as they can be done to both metals simultaneously with the barrel in place. :cool:
 

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I just tried the Birchwood Casey black for aluminum. It was not successful at all. There are some guns out there that it has worked okay, but I will have to side with Dfaris as there is gonna have to be an alternative solution to the cold bluing to get satisfactory results.
 

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The Birchwood Casey aluminum treatment will work fine on bare aluminum, but it is very hard to get it to "take." It will turn bare aluminum black, but the resulting black is not durable. I have found that very vigorous degreasing, followed by very vigorous application of the solution with a semi-rough cloth will darken the aluminum, IF the aluminum is truly bare. Often times, the anodizing is just thin and almost transparent, but it is still there and, since the aluminum is not bare, the solution will not darken the light spots. I have found it most useful on major scratches, where the anodizing has been scraped away by whatever scratched the surface. Since the solution will not affect the surrounding anodizing, the scratch is darkened and can be almost undetectable if the anodizing is not the super shiny kind.

Some prefer a coating to cover the anodizing, but I would rather have the original worn surface than something that looks like paint. Others will disagree.

It is my understanding that the primary danger with removing the barrel from an alloy frame is galling, so that the frame threads come out on the barrel threads. IF I had to do it, I would soak the joints in Kroil for several days, then heat up the frame while keeping the barrel as cold as possible, then, using a proper frame wrench and barrel wrench, attempt to unscrew the barrel, going just a fraction of a turn before turning the barrel back a bit, and then going a bit further, etc. until the barrel begins to unscrew freely, IF it ever does. If the frame threads are damaged, I would reinstall the barrel using JB weld after scrupulously cleaning off all oil. I have seen JB hold some amazing things, and am quite sure it would hold the barrel in place, especially since there probably would be some mechanical bond (threads) left in the frame.

That said, I would just sell the gun and buy one with finish that suits you better.
 

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If it was me, I would figure out how to remove any remaining Blueing, and just have it looking like 'Alloy', even do a light careful Polishing or light Walnut Shell 'Bead Blasting'.

I think it would be a very cool look.

That and maybe send it off to some able Smith and get the Steel parts and Screws re-Blued, having or leaving the Alloy frame and so on polished naked 'Alloy'...then just keep a good coat of Wax on it.
 

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I found Aluma Black to be unsatisfactory for using on large areas of an alloy frame. As the Judge said, it's OK for scratches. As far as removing the anodizing on a large area of the frame so the Aluma Black will "take", you would be removing the treatment that makes the surface of the aluminum hard. I don't think that's a good idea.

My '55 Agent has no finish left on the back grip frame at all. I have grown to love it anyway. It's a carry gun so I don't care.
 

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I have one hunting rifle that has been ceramic coated and two others that have been teflon coated. Both finishes wear like iron and still look new. The teflon took to the aluminun floorplate on my Remington 700 as well as the steel parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the help. My gunsmith won't attempt anythig except nickel plating. From what I read here that is what I am left with
 

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Thanks for the help. My gunsmith won't attempt anythig except nickel plating. From what I read here that is what I am left with
This sounds like a gun you intend to keep and not to sell from your business. If so, I'd suggest having it hard chromed instead of nickeled. Hard chrome is more durable than nickel. I am pretty sure the aluminum alloy frame can be chromed. I think it looks pretty good in a brushed matte finish.
 

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Snub,
I agree with Mike. I have an old Cobra that I wanted to refinish, until I was informed about the alloy frame. I saw a Cobra that was hard chromed. The matte finish looked pretty sharp. I decided to call the wear on my Cobra "character" and left it alone. Good luck with whatever decision you make.



Blade
 

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Lou, that looks like my 1964 Cobra but yours has a bit more finish left on it. I like yours more because it has the pre 1964 semi ramped front sight.
Having said that, the Cobra was in my cargo shorts pocket this a.m. while doing some cleaning before the boss gets home from work ;)
 

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Snub,
I would contact Colt. I believe they offer that finish, I do not know what the cost is or what the wait would be though.
 

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Check grantcunningham.com for a possible fix. He is a tremendous revolversmith and one of the few who will work on old Colts. He might not re-annodize it, but may have a finish like black chrome you will like.
Also, Robbie Barkmann at Robar Industries does refinishing of aluminum frames in a soft, black finish like durachrome.
Best of luck.
chc
 
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