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Discussion Starter #1
I think i am going to own/love the stainless python i have instead of selling it. That being said there is some wear on the side of the barrel and a smidge on the cylinder that is irking me right now. I really like the brushed stainless finish and i know that if i tackled this problem with polish it will only make it shiny. That being said i know the colt custom shop could fix this problem but im not trying to wait half a year.
Sooooo do the scotch pads work that well at returning to a brushed finish (i dont trust my deft hands) or does anyone know a place that can restore it to its former glory?

Seperate question, does bead blasting produce the same look as the colts originial brushed finish? I like the grain-like lines in the finish.

thanks!
 

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Bead blasting looks nothing like the brushed Colt matte finish. To see the difference just look at the top of the barrel and frame and compare that to the sides of the frame.
The top of the barrel and frame are bead blasted, the rest of the gun is matte brushed.

The Scotchbrite trick really does work well if you do it right and use the correct "grit" pad.
Most automotive supply houses sell Scotchbrite pads in more grits than the hardware stores do in the sand paper department.
The auto pads are bigger and are available in finer grits.
Just buy a couple and use the one that most matches the factory grit.

To do it, use a pad to rub the worn areas until the damage is either gone, or for deeper scratches until it's blended in with the rest of the finish. Deep scratches can't be removed short of using a more abrasive method like wet or dry sand cloth and then you have to be careful not to botch it up.

Once the worn areas are removed or blended in, use the correct grit of Scotchbrite and "stroke" the pad in the direction the original grain runs.
Stroking the pad prevents leaving those tiny circular scratches where a pad is reversed if you just rub it.

Done carefully you can restore it to a very factory-like resurface.

While doing it, be VERY careful to keep polishing dirt and pad particles out of the action and cylinder crane, and be sure to wipe off the surface and apply a little lube or wax just as insurance to prevent corrosion.

Last, if you just don't want to tackle this yourself, first decide if it's really bad enough to warrant sending it out.
If you want to send it out, I'd go with Colt. There are other professional refinishers, like APW-Cogan and Ford's who could probably match the factory finish, but I'm of the opinion that Colt will do a job that's totally original.
Don't trust ANY local gunsmith, to avoid disappointment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks dfariswheel!

That is an extremely precise/loaded answer. i think ill grow a pair and try this out. slowly....
 

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RefinishingMade a few purchases over the last week - think I've completed the Python series of artwork finally grabbing a 2 1/2 (artwork meaning the ones Ill most likely be looking at) However, I really wanted one I could shoot (or would shoot) so I purchased another 4" Blue Python that wasnt perfect cosmetically and had it shipped directly to Bob Cogan (great guy) to have it done in brushed chrome. While speaking to him, he mentioned that Colt Custom was sending him quite a bit of business for their refinishing jobs - individual parts and complete guns. I think that speaks volumes about the quality of their work. Have a great day
 

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Back in the pre-stainless steel days I sent out a good number of pistols for hard chrome plating.
Done right it's still the best all around gun finish and is one of the few that's a true life time finish.

Cogan even recommends having stainless steel guns hard chromed. Stainless is a little softer then carbon and scratches easier.
Hard chrome gives you the best of both, a highly rust resistant gun that doesn't scratch easily at all.

I had my personal 6 inch Python and some other personal guns plated back then and found it to be a great finish. Fouling won't stick to hard chrome as badly as it does blued guns, and fouling is easier to see.

I still prefer stainless guns and when they started to become available I sold off my plated or blued guns and bought stainless.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
dfariswheel - update an question

first i went to home depot got a few scotch brite pads and me being a scaredy cat got two different kinds of the "non-scratch" kind. I spent two hours rubbing...and nothing happened lol i got to go get some more aggressive ones

my question is along the lines of your hard chroming of the pythons. Now i dont have much experience with finishes or colts but i do have alot with revolver wear and tear. for me with heavy shooting ive noticed that about every 5000 rounds of magnum loads (regardless of gun or brand) the barrel to cylinder gap gets too large and the gun has to be rebuilt to get the forcing cone and cylinder closer together. That being said how easy or difficult is this to do AFTER a revolver has been hard chromed? Do they take the barrel out of the frame when they hard chrome it? I dont know but i wouldnt imagine they would, but if they did i would think the revolver overhaul would be easier. i would think that ive the barrel/frame got hard chromed together it would they would have to destroy that nice finish to get those two apart to achieve the maitenence.
 

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Shooting a revolver can't cause the barrel-cylinder gap to open up.
What can happen is that you get cylinder end shake which allows the cylinder to move back and forth.
This may look like the gap has opened, but what's really happened is the cylinder can be moved forward, closing the gap. When pushed back you may think the gap has opened.

In Colt's, the repair is to have Colt stretch the collar on the front of the cylinder. This requires a special hydraulic operated tool and a hardened steel stud that fits into the cylinder to prevent crushing the collar.
With Colt's you can't use washers like you can with S&W and Ruger's.
This factory repair does not require removing the barrel.
Even if the cylinder is hard chrome plated the hydraulic tool will still work so that's not an issue.

When hard chrome plating the barrel is not removed. However, it can be removed for any repairs just like any other finish and if done by an expert with the correct tooling, the hard chrome will not be damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
very interesting, i might have to send a sacrificial revolver out to fords or cogans to try. Ive always wanted to but still have yet to see a chrome revolver in person
 

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As above, the appearance can vary depending on the processor.

Some offer only the original matte pearl-gray, others do a brushed stainless steel look, and a few offer mirror polish.
The appearance depends entirely on how the metal is processed before plating. Once plated the appearance can't be changed.
Also, make sure to do all gunsmithing before having it plated.
For non-removable sights, most suppliers offer masking off of the sights so they stay black.

Hard chrome is not only highly corrosion resistant, it's actually harder then a Swiss needle file and doesn't scratch easily.
The "slick" hard chrome actually improves the trigger pull and the action needs less lubricant.
 

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Bead blasting looks nothing like the brushed Colt matte finish. To see the difference just look at the top of the barrel and frame and compare that to the sides of the frame.
The top of the barrel and frame are bead blasted, the rest of the gun is matte brushed.

The Scotchbrite trick really does work well if you do it right and use the correct "grit" pad.
Most automotive supply houses sell Scotchbrite pads in more grits than the hardware stores do in the sand paper department.
The auto pads are bigger and are available in finer grits.
Just buy a couple and use the one that most matches the factory grit.

To do it, use a pad to rub the worn areas until the damage is either gone, or for deeper scratches until it's blended in with the rest of the finish. Deep scratches can't be removed short of using a more abrasive method like wet or dry sand cloth and then you have to be careful not to botch it up.

Once the worn areas are removed or blended in, use the correct grit of Scotchbrite and "stroke" the pad in the direction the original grain runs.
Stroking the pad prevents leaving those tiny circular scratches where a pad is reversed if you just rub it.

Done carefully you can restore it to a very factory-like resurface.

While doing it, be VERY careful to keep polishing dirt and pad particles out of the action and cylinder crane, and be sure to wipe off the surface and apply a little lube or wax just as insurance to prevent corrosion.

Last, if you just don't want to tackle this yourself, first decide if it's really bad enough to warrant sending it out.
If you want to send it out, I'd go with Colt. There are other professional refinishers, like APW-Cogan and Ford's who could probably match the factory finish, but I'm of the opinion that Colt will do a job that's totally original.
Don't trust ANY local gunsmith, to avoid disappointment.
 

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Hello, does anybody know the best method to bring a polished "Bright" Colt Python back to the plain Stainless look ? I hear the process is called brushed but cannot find an exact answer of the correct way a real Colt expert would address this situation. It is seems easy to make them Bright but going in reverse seems to be much more difficult.
 

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Love Bob Cohan’s work - he’s the best!

Be warned, if you get him on the phone, settle in for a long conversation- he’s a talker! Great guy, only place I’d send a Colt for refinish
 

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With care, you can restore the brushed stainless look with the Scotchbrite pads, but I recommend buying them at an auto supply house that sells auto painting products.
The usual hardware store types are usually not "right" to match the factory look.

Again, select the grit pad that most closely produces the factory grained finish.
If you don't feel up to doing it yourself, one of the better gun refinisher companies can do it for you.

Recommended companies are APW-Cogan and Ford's.
Contact them and ask if they'll do it.
Note that Colt no longer offers any service on the older Colt's made prior to the most recent models.

Cogan

Ford's Custom Gun Refinishing | Crystal River, FL
 

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Ask Forum Member Rick Bowles about his experience with Ford's. Based on Mr. Bowles' experience, I would not send a Raven or RG there for refinishing.

I have "depolished" a "Bubba Bright Polish" stainless finish with ScotchBrite pads and, if done carefully, the gun will will look original again. It is not rocket science, but requires a lot of patience. Having an original brush-finished Colt for reference for direction of grain and grit size would be helpful.

If at first the finish does not look right, you can keep working on it until it looks right. Do not take off the side plate when restoring the original finish. The protruding action pins can be difficult to polish around, depending on how successful Bubba was when polishing the area the first time. The pins should not have the same grain as the frame, since Colt installed them after the frame was polished. .
 
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