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Pre war Colt OP frame forging in my collection. The forging line would be thin as you can see.

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Call me slow . Is that a home made half of a sand cast of a pistol and not much to do with factory casting ?
 

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I don't have so many to have given as much thought . Thanks for distracting me again :) . Out there on youtube ,there are some amazing videos on forging both with and without molds . I do see the advantage of forging in a mold . Simply amazing how much hot steel they can stuff in a mold by beating . lets you see the process , kind of like packing a snow ball . I'm not going any were with this other than those looked poured to me . Thanks , it has been educational .
 

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At one point Colt was being evaluated for some reason and the response was you are making chips not building guns. They were doing a ton of machining to get a part. The pictured forging is metal that was forced into shape at high pressure while still nearly molten usually with a smashing action. Look at youtube for many examples. This creates a very strong part. Cast metal is poured into a mold by different means and is not as strong and can have a lot of structural issues. Ruger too casting to a new level but it is still a casing. I have a raw blank for a pre 64 Winchester Model 94 and it looks cast to me. I will try to get some pictures later tonight.

Many guns have parts that have turned various shades of plum to purple over the years. You see this on guns when chemical types of bluing were starting to be used. A spring can be plum but for an entirely different reason. It is a result of the tempering process all done with heat the same way fire blue is done. Both are essentially the same process. Just before the bright blue you get a plum color, go to far and it turns a dull black. Plum to bright blue it the perfect temperature to temper a spring. Note how many coil springs are this color.
 

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I don't have so many to have given as much thought . Thanks for distracting me again :) . Out there on YouTube ,there are some amazing videos on forging both with and without molds . I do see the advantage of forging in a mold . Simply amazing how much hot steel they can stuff in a mold by beating . lets you see the process , kind of like packing a snow ball . I'm not going any were with this other than those looked poured to me . Thanks , it has been educational .
In the raw and with some patina added cast and forged can look the same. Both have a dull texture and semi rough surface. I wish I had pictures of my receiver but I will get some tonight. I have looked it many times and thought about all that had to be done to make a working part.

There is an amazing video on YouTube on the casting of a giant industrial engine block. The amount of work that goes into that part is amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
There is no doubt when you are cutting a forged frame, as compared to a cast or billet cut frame for 1911 guns.

Colt 1911s have a forged frame and a bar stock receiver. The Colt SAA has a forged frame no doubt. Colts SAA back strap and trigger guard are not forged parts. No reason for them ever to be forged. No need for the added strength (or price) of a forged part there.

I'd need to look but I's guess the cast parts were incorporated in the later 2nd Gen guns and continue to this day. It isn't just a one off for several years of production.
 

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I can see that . Maybe on older ones they used a two part forge mold and then switched to cast later to catch up with the times and be a touch faster ? It would neat to see a busted one for the end grain , over the years .
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
No reason to ever forge the back strap and trigger guard. If you think about it some of the earlier percussion Colts had brass trigger guards and back straps. Obviously cast as well.
 

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I agree . I used to buy for a different brand , some trigger guard back strap combo , Qualight , I think . They were cast brass and filed out and buffed up to were nobody would know one way or the other .
 

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I really like that look .(y)
 

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Call me slow . Is that a home made half of a sand cast of a pistol and not much to do with factory casting ?
Read carefully, it is a forging.
 
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I Love the plum look! Early Ruger loading gates are notorious for turning plum. I was told it was not due to bluing methods but rather the silicon in the steel that was used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
OD thanks for posting that. What a great reminder!
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When you realize just much more difficult it is to machine a forging compared to simple bar stock prior to heat treating, you can easily imagine why Colt asks a premium price for their 1911s.

There are well known 1911 makers who claim "forged" fames and slides. The only "forging" those gun's parts have ever seen is the rolled steel as it comes out of the smelter.
 

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I Love the plum look! Early Ruger loading gates are notorious for turning plum. I was told it was not due to bluing methods but rather the silicon in the steel that was used.
Similar thing with the receivers on 1970's Winchester 94. There is a process to make the surface of the receiver more pure iron (passiving?) to refinish those. The castings were "graphitic steel" and they iron plated them from the factory to get them to take blue. Du-Lite has a process to refinish these for the gunsmith.
 

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This is a raw Winchester 94 receiver. I think it is pre 64 It has one thin line down the center of the tang on the bottom. I am thinking this was a cast part.

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This is a raw Winchester 94 receiver. I think it is pre 64 It has one thin line down the center of the tang on the bottom. I am thinking this was a cast part.
It looks cast, the post 64 definitely were

From Du-Lite's web page on the Winchester 1894 (Du-Lite is one of the primary supplier of chemicals and equipment for commercial black oxide):

"During the early 1960’s, the Winchester Model 94 was redesigned to accommodate a more economical method of production. The re-engineered receivers were machined from a graphitic steel casting. "

Blackening Post 64 Winchester Receivers
 

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Don Wilkerson and I were chatting about this at a CADA show years ago. He stated that Colt frames have always been forged but that Colt started using cast parts in SAAs late in the 2'nd Generation run. He said the grips frames and loading gates were now cast parts.
 

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I’ve seen the plum color on Colts over the years. I have a nice blue 1911 Commemorative from about 1980 that had this on the thumb safety. A real easy fix for sure because I certainly dont like the plum color. Pete
 
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