Colt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you clean up the brown dusty residue on early grips and keep it from coming back?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,514 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

You'll get used to helping us help you by providing more detail and specificity with your questions or at least a photo.

Wood, hard rubber, or other grip material? Checkered or smooth? What kind of brown dusty residue?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,851 Posts
I can't see in your photos, but what is the year of manufacture of the revolver and are they original to the revolver?? If they are early Gen 1 Revolver stokcs, the material is Gutta Percha. If Gutta Percha, they appear that they have been in the sun a lot. Gutta Percha will turn a tannish brown color from the sun fading them.

You can test the stocks to tell if Gutta Percha or not. Take a long sewing needle and heat up the sharp tip. While hot, stick it slightly into the backside of one of the stocks and you will see it smoke when touched. Smell the smoke and if it is very pungent oder like buring hair, it is Gutta Percha and has been faded to brown from the sun. If it smells like burning plactic, I have not idea why they have the brownish color. If it is plastic, you can try polishing an area with toothpaste on a cloth to see if it will buff back to black.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,200 Posts
How do you clean up the brown dusty residue on early grips and keep it from coming back?
It's not a "residue". The Gutta Percha has turned brown over the years from exposure to light, primarily sunlight. You really can't clean it off.

Clean the stocks with a soft nylon brush and mild soap or detergent. When dry, apply a light coat of Fiebing's black leather dye with a lamb's wool applicator or artist's brush. Immediately wipe off the dye and polish/ burnish with a soft cloth. This procedure will permantantly return the stocks to their original appearance and will not rub off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,514 Posts
They're a natural material, rubber made from the gutta percha tree sap. The modern grips are a form of plastic and won't do that.

Cut the bristles off of a clean toothbrush as short as you can to make them stiffer, use in the checkering with Flitz or Mother's mag wheel polish as jplower advised.

After polishing off the 'dead' discolored surface use the very best rubber preservative; Armorall. They'll look like new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
So, what does the rest of the gun look like? It would be nice to see a photo of it.

I have a pair that is so slick you can just barely see the logo and they have this. I'll take one to a friends house tonite and borrow a dab of Ren Wax and see what effect that has. It is fully removable and is considered non-invasive so when removed there should be no change.

I have never heard a collector complain that a patina was left alone in its present original state. I've heard a few choice comments about patina's being removed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,851 Posts
Ok, I will leave them as is.
I am glad to hear that you going to leave them alone. The brown color is a part of the revolver's history. We may never know how they got that way, but it is still history. I have a couple of 1st gen SAA revolvers that have turned brown and I like the "old look"!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,200 Posts
It's not a "residue". The Gutta Percha has turned brown over the years from exposure to light, primarily sunlight. You really can't clean it off.

Clean the stocks with a soft nylon brush and mild soap or detergent. When dry, apply a light coat of Fiebing's black leather dye with a lamb's wool applicator or artist's brush. Immediately wipe off the dye and polish/ burnish with a soft cloth. This procedure will permantantly return the stocks to their original appearance and will not rub off.
I think that if the hard rubber stocks are worn, and brown, and are commensurate with the overall condition of the gun, that's appropriate.

If, on the other hand, they are original to a high condition gun, and show little or no wear themselves, I think the leather dye treatment may be a good solution. Particularly if one stock panel is still black and the other has turned brown, for instance from the gun having laid on one side in a display case for years exposed to sunlight.

I first learned this trick from an old post of JudgeColt's, and it works well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,514 Posts
If you decide to leave the patina so age matches the gun.

But if you decide not to leave the patina on the grips, don't paint over it with dye or wax. The brown is only skin deep. Best to remove it as jpower advised. He properly restores SAAs for a living and has a reputation as an expert.

There would be no brown grips if Armorall was around and used on them 100 years ago. It blocks the UV fading and oxidation of the rubber which turns the surface brown.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,200 Posts
If you decide to leave the patina so age matches the gun.

But if you decide not to leave the patina on the grips, don't paint over it with dye or wax. The brown is only skin deep. Best to remove it as jpower advised. He properly restores SAAs for a living and has a reputation as an expert.

There would be no brown grips if Armorall was around and used on them 100 years ago. It blocks the UV fading and oxidation of the rubber which turns the surface brown.
The dye does not "paint over" the brown, it penetrates and restores the original color, leaving no residue.

Polishing with Flitz or Mother's can abrade and artificially wear the surface of hard rubber stocks. Perhaps this wouldn't be a consideration with a well worn pair, but not a good idea for those not showing significant wear, but only discoloration.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
641 Posts
It's not a "residue". The Gutta Percha has turned brown over the years from exposure to light, primarily sunlight. You really can't clean it off.

Clean the stocks with a soft nylon brush and mild soap or detergent. When dry, apply a light coat of Fiebing's black leather dye with a lamb's wool applicator or artist's brush. Immediately wipe off the dye and polish/ burnish with a soft cloth. This procedure will permantantly return the stocks to their original appearance and will not rub off.
I agree. Black shoe dye works wonders on these old grips. Apply sparingly and wipe off completely before it dries. You can even follow up with black shoe polish, and they will look like new. Unfortunately they'll still show the wear!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
That brown residue is oxidation. Gutta Percha was made from latex, early rubber. Gift boxes were made from the same raw ingredient. These were small boxes and often were used to hold a lock of hair from a deceased loved one. Also picture frames for early tintypes.

Bob Wright

Come to think of it, hard rubber was used for the knobs on the instrument panel of my Dad's old Lafayette, a 1937 offering from Nash.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top