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It was actually cyanide. Yikes.
Yes you are quite right, my mistake. The carbon in the CN molecule migrates into the surface of the steel to harden it. If I recall, gunsmiths would have a small bottle of it handy to case harden sears, etc. There are some things from 'the good old days' I am very glad that are over!
 

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At the risk of making a fairly modest observation, the front sight has been dressed down yet the top is as well and same blued as the rest of the blade. If someone did a little POA work around 1916 I don't know what they'd do for spot bluing. And whatever it might have been, back then or recently, I'd imagine there would be a noticeable difference.
 

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The frame markings were applied with a pantagraph, and the pattern they used happened to be an earlier format. Notice the round ends of the cut, and the squiggly letters in the high magnification of the markings. VP was also applied with pantagraph, as the triangle corners are round instead of sharp.
 

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IMO, the Uberti box it's setting on is a huge clue. Could be a fairly well faux Cattleman.
 
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