Colt Forum banner

21 - 40 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
It was bone and wood from a very reputable outfit
I'm no expert but that looks like a chemical dip. I hope not if you wanted real bone and charcoal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,351 Posts
I'm no expert but that looks like a chemical dip. I hope not if you wanted real bone and charcoal.
Definitely not a dip. Here are some better pictures with the gun assembled. Note the hammer and lever, which looks a bit more traditional. Different steel? I don't know. Also a before picture
Winchester 1873 two.jpg Winchester and 51's 1.jpg Winchester and 51's 2.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,103 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
I suppose there could be worse concerns in the world today, but what I have not liked about later Colt SAA revolvers is the production of "designer" guns which is an amalgamation of variations that existed in the past for various reasons and were discontinued for various reasons, but can be purchased, now or recently, at the whim of the customer:

Namely, vivid case coloring--NOT in keeping with historical precedent;

Black powder frame: Discontinued when smokeless powder became more readily available and because it is an improvement, as it does not take a screwdriver to remove a screw, which can be easily lost, to remove the base pin;

Long flutes: These were simply to use up remaining 1878 cylinders in inventory. Yankee thrift, not a nifty variation at the time.

Etc.

So, I suppose if everything else is removed from historical precedent, why not the case colouring, as well?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
I may be late to this party, but I think the most beautiful colors that I have seen are those on quality English doubles. The wrought iron and different steels that Colt used must have given them fits trying to match previous colors. What I really don’t like is a faux or imitation process. Colors produced with a torch or acid have no place on a real Colt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
The 73 receiver is not bone and charcoal. It is a dip of some kind. See the waves where it was lowered into the concoction. Looks like the colors on old H&R single shot shotguns.
 

·
Registered
Colt SAA, Usfa SA, Std Mfg SA.
Joined
·
1,395 Posts
I have an idea that could put to rest this debate. Since there are a few gentlemen here on this forum with the knowledge and skill to CCH you could do an experiment for us. Get a piece of 147 year old steel and CCH it using Colt's original recipe and process. Then we could know if the colors were muted or bright back then. Since nobody here today was alive back then, nobody really knows what these finishes looked like when original. Since the inception of photoshop, no pictures can be trusted to truly depict what these guns looked like when new, also time and environmental variables can fade anything. A ' controlled ' experiment is needed to seperate fact from fiction, truth from opinion. Personally I would love to see it, and if it worked I would want whoever does it to refinish a gun or two of mine, for a fee of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
There are surviving guns that do have very nice original case colors from the early percussion days forwards. The best original colors remain on the inside and protected places. Even the best original colors have been affected to some dergee by time and exposure to light and air. Some of the cased Colts have survived in nearly new condition. The closest you will come is to look at excellent surviving examples.

The original formulas and methods are long gone. Each company and even the individual doing the work would have had some variance in how they did the job. Even the batch of Iron being used would have a slight impact on the results. As I said earlier no two guns are alike and the process changes all the time. This is not something that comes through time completely untouched like the blue finish on most guns. Many guns have excellent original blue that looks just like it did the day it left the factory.

Lots of restoration experts claim to use the original process but they all have some slight differences and theirs even vary from job to job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,051 Posts
Just no way to know what the originals looked like today. 150 years of oxidation may, or may not, have changed the colors. Add in various oils and various lighting (Sun, artificial, etc). Just no way to know. And yes, I LOVE Turnbull colors.


project8.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,308 Posts
Many years ago I got ahold of a H&R Handi Gun .410 before I found out they were illegal. It got lost quick. Anyway it was in new condition and had as pretty of a case color as I ever seen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,035 Posts
Just no way to know what the originals looked like today. 150 years of oxidation may, or may not, have changed the colors. Add in various oils and various lighting (Sun, artificial, etc). Just no way to know. And yes, I LOVE Turnbull colors.


View attachment 681095
Respectfully, there are lots of ways to know. Old color photographs (Kodachrome came out in the 1930s) or movies. Old timers that remembered what they looked like when new (I don't recall ever reading anyone who wrote 'the colors in 1930 just don't look like those in 1880...') Then there are those that have fairly vibrant case hardening, from the 1860s to 1900, that were in cases, kept in boxes in storage, etc. If it's simply time or oxidation that mutes colors, then ALL of them from the same year would look the same. But some look good, some muted. By deductive reasoning, originally they had more of the look of the survivors. By the same token, the results of bone/charcoal case hardening are not THAT different today, or in 1975, or in 1965. And well preserved ones from 1959 look about the same today, as they did when new, according to owners. Why would a 1880s one that is stored in similar conditions be the only one to substantially fade?

But I think in the old days the case coloring was pretty close to the vibrant, high contrast of today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Early case hardening got a little crazy. There were many who used cyanide in the process and obviously we can't use that today. I have seen magnificent examples of both US and European styles of color case from US shops. So regardless of whether or not anyone is using the exact same "old process" is irrelevant. We can clearly see we're getting the same appearance, so it just doesn't matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,308 Posts
The two top colts I bought in the 1980`s. The bottom one is a 1906 Copper Queen I think restored by King Gun Works in Los Angeles probably in the 1950`s or 1960`s.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,035 Posts
Here are three well preserved examples of Colt color case hardening from the 1800s. I agree that how you photograph makes a difference. So I chose two from one auction house, one from another. I think these show very close to what they would have looked like new.




 

·
Registered
Colt SAA, Usfa SA, Std Mfg SA.
Joined
·
1,395 Posts
Now those colors look pretty close to what we see today. Thank you for putting in the time to find those. I think it puts things into perspective.
 
21 - 40 of 42 Posts
Top