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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a new memeber and would like to thank everyone here that contributes. I've been lurking and searching a little while in an effort not ask stupid questions. So I hope this'll not qualify, here goes.

I recently purchased a Colt Cobra which according to the serial number was manufactured in 1955. The action works very well without any timing problems. It doesn't spit lead etc when fired. The barrel is rust and pit free and the rifling looks sharp. The only question I have about this weapon is the finish. The aluminum frame has purple coloration to it which I can only describe as plum colored. Similar in color to the plum colored hammer and safety on my Makarov. It doesn't appear to be refinished but I still have to ask is the plum annodized aluminum normal for this firearm?

Thanks for your time,

Dave
 

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Welcome to the Forum,Dave, I have a .32 Courier,and much of its annodized frame and annodized cylinder has turned "plum". This gun I know has not been refinished,as I bought it from the proverbial "little old lady". Gun also has finish wear.

Some of the older Rugers have this plum color,and I have had a few Great Western Single Actions with this shade,and it is just NOT the alloy parts that can turn this color.

Best guess,from a lengthy thread on this discolorization over on the S&W Forum is that the bluing was applied too hot(or too cold??),at the factory,or by a gunsmith if the gun was refinished,ala an older Triple Lock I have.

If your over 60,you may recall the High Standard Sentinel .22 revolvers, In the mid 50's,these alloy framed double action snubs,were offered in turquoise,gold,nickle,and "pink" finishes,with fake pearl grips---for women!!! Didn't sell very well,but are collectors items today. That "pink" often reminds me of the "plum color" you refer to.

Hope this helps,don't worry,and,IMO,I kinda like the "plum color"!!

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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I have a Winchester M70 .300 H&H that the bolt handle has done the same thing. Real pretty shade of plum. I have also seen a couple of Pythons with cylinder latches that had turned the same color.

I've read, as Lonewolf has stated, that the temperature at which that the metal is blued can cause it as well as, for steel anyway, a high nickel content.
 

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Early aluminum anodizing often had a plum color.
Later, the process improved to eliminate the purple tint that sometimes appeared.

In other words, this isn't all that unusual for early aluminum guns, and black aluminum in general.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for your help. I like the plum color as well but was just curious. The only problem I have now is that I want a couple of other Colt revolvers now too. Looks like a few nights will be spent on the couch in the future.
/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Dave
 

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Dave; When I got "seriously back into guns",close to 25 years ago,I chose handguns as I could "sneak them into the house" compared to military rifles that I liked also!! Plus my "backyard range" is only 40 Yards,hardly a challenge for a rifle. Plus I kept the guns in my file cabinet,with my teaching notes etc.,a place my wife never went.

Since I pay cash,and work(ed) 2 & 3 jobs,she never saw all my checks. But she has never bitched(much),as she knows guns help keep me away from some of "other activities",that she really didn't approve of!

Once tried to smuggle a nice 44/40 Remington take down, pump rifle,broken down into its two parts into the house. I made it,but the barrel part gave me a good gouge on my lower back,from being stuffed inside my pant legs! Had a helluva time explaining the cut!

She also saw a nearly mint 2nd Gen SAA,inside my belt and asked what it was? I said it was "an old gun",I'd got for fifty bucks at a flea market(I actually paid $400-a helluva deal). Pointing to the case colored frame,compared to the blue barrel and cylinder,she remarked that I had a lot of work to do getting "the rust" of and refinishing that part of it!!

Anyway,sorry for the "ramble",but just a couple of experiences I have had,trying to "keep the wife happy",while still feeding my gun habit!

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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The all time classic on getting guns past wives was an article in the Field & Stream magazine many years ago.

It said to buy the expensive, custom made gun for the usual high price.
Then, dust the gun with dust and wrap in old news paper, the older the better. Something from 1958 would be about right.
Coat the outside of the newspaper with a liberal coating of dust and plenty of cobwebs.
A few dead spiders is an added bonus.

Making sure the wife is in the kitchen, carry the new gun in, casually under the arm.

Instantly, her antenna will deploy, and she'll snap "Did you buy ANOTHER new gun"??????
(This is in a tone quite similar to a dull chain saw hitting a tree spike).

As you casually toss the gun into the corner, (careful, you don't want to scratch the Exhibition Grade French Walnut stock), you say, "Oh, remember "Bob"? (Choose a generic name, and make SURE the person never really existed. If "Bob" really exists and the wife ever asks about the "$25.00 gun" what Coffeeville Kansas did to the Dalton's will pale by comparison).
"He: went on a drunk, was divorced, got transfered" etc, something plausible.
"He needed money so he sold me this old gun for $25.00".
"Wanna see it" as you shove the spider and dust shrouded, smelly old news print in her face".
"NO, get that nasty thing out of my face".

At this point, you put the gun in a corner in the garage, (making sure the hand polished and color cased finish is protected) and leave it there for at least two days.

Then gradually, one careful step at a time, you move it into the basement, then by steps upstairs and into the gun room.

Over a period of weeks you carefully unwrap it a bit at a time, clean it up, and move it into the gun case with your other treasures.

By the time it arrives in the gun case, she's so used to seeing it around that she no longer notices it, and never suspects a thing.

WARNING: Women also use a similar technique with shoes or purses and you never notice a cheap purse has morphed into several hundred dollars of new, complete outfit.
 

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400-1200 dollar purses here. They pop up from time to time, and Im like, Hmmmm that looks new. Her reply, No its an old one from my sister. Yeah right, I know better. They gotta have their fun too. Never thought I would need to buy a safe for purses lol /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
 

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Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies!

I think the "plum" color on anodized frames also may sometimes be related to cleaning chemicals, and wear. As the finish gets thinner from wear, it begins to look "plum." I have seen some alloy frames with plum streaks that appear to be from chemicals.

Of course, some of it is just bad anodizing. One of my earlier Couriers (a .22 I think) has a plum cast, but my first-year Commander, another Courier, a first-year Agent and a late 1950s Cobra do not.

The "plum" cast on alloy frames is different from that found on cast steal, such as Rugers,. where the bluing process causes it. Winchester Models 94 with cast steel receivers are also found with plum receivers. Ruger actually replaced some guns when the problem originated in the 1960s if I recall correctly.
 

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We collect Rugers also, and the plum color is a much appreciated color variation.

Just bought a Super Blackhawk, and the frame is a beautiful shade of plum. Loading gates are very often plum.

I have never seen a Colt with plum parts. Your plum Cobra must be neat looking. Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well thanks for all the replies. What do you think I ought to purchase next? I'm thinking either an Agent or an Anaconda in 45LC.

Dave
 
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