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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Pardon my ignorance but when a gun is sent back to Colt to 'repair' pitting is the damage 'filled' and then smoothed or is it just bead blasted?

If beadblasted how do they prevent the removal of too much metal?
 

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Pitting can be Acid-Washed and then Electro-plated with Copper, where, leveling out between coats, one can fill in the Pits, leaving everything else, naked Steel.

Then one would Nickel Plate the whole ( other than for any Blue small parts, assuming they are not pitted ).

Otherwise, one has to remove the Metal to below the depth of the pits, while somehow maintaining the correct surface shapes and planes, and, that is not always worth it.

I am not sure if any of it is worth it, unless one is onto 'Labor-of-Love' things...or, spending big bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can live with a gun that has zero bluing remaining and good honest wear...in fact these are the guns I like most, but pitting just looks unpleasant...
 

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My 'Summertime Official Police' Project, is THE 'pittiest' Gun I have ever seen in person, short of a few 'dug' relic ones.

Deep pits too, all over the poor old thing.

I think one could use parts of it as a sort of 'Rasp' if one wanted...Lol...
 

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A couple of answers to this. The first is to gradually build up the pits with copper plating (once cleaned) when the gun is smooth then plate.
The other is to go out to your dirty grinder and sweep up the steel dust, bag it strip the offending firearm down, open a tube of super glue and put a dab over the pit, apply the steel dust and tamp into place with a cut match stick. Don't get frisky and try to do them all at the same time. When it hardens there will be a bump that will need to be flattened. If you want to use sand paper use about 320 backed by a flat stick so you won't get a bunch of wavy lines. Continue as needed.
If bluing, use a cold blue of your choice. The finish will looked mottled but otherwise very good.
If plating, apply a copper plate (non heated) and see if that will the pits will hold.
I haven't plated this, but I have blued and the result is much nicer than a pitted firearm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks RedGreen...just so that I understand you - are you saying you blued the copper plate? Didn't know that was possible.
 

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No, though it is possible to stain copper. I meant that you can cold blue the firearm (or spot cold blue) once the pits have been filled and smoothed.
 

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'Way' too much work, for way too little result.

You 'could' talk to someone who plates - but metal prep beforehand will pretty much ruin your flat or round surfaces and lettering.

If you use the Super Glue and dust method - won't cold bluing make it look like it belongs at the Leper Colony on Molokai?
 

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'Way' too much work, for way too little result.

I agree...I can imagine no scenario where the time and trouble and finesse would be worth it.

You 'could' talk to someone who plates - but metal prep beforehand will pretty much ruin your flat or round surfaces and lettering.

In theory, the Plating would only be done to the 'pitted' areas...and if the Barrel Stamping Texts are pitted, then, that would be a problem for the Text's survival, yes.

Otherwise, one would use a 'resist' on non pitted areas, Plate ( with Copper ) the clean pitted areas...draw file or otherwise carefully remove the plating from the surfaces, letting it successively fill the pits...then, Nickel Plate the whole.

If you use the Super Glue and dust method - won't cold bluing make it look like it belongs at the Leper Colony on Molokai?

I thought all that petered out with the advent of Tetracycline?


Although, those who were disfigured, even once cured, would still remain in the old Leper Colonies I suppose, since their appearance would discourage them from wishing to associate in regular Society.
 

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The steel dust and super glue method will work and produce a much better looking revolver than one with all pits. The main advantage is it's almost cost free, and where cost is a factor and man hours not important then it works out fine.
 

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Absolutely foolproof but probably not practical for the average person ---here's my total DIY fix for pitting - before/after. Simple, you just file, grind or otherwise remove the pitted area, polish it, replace the lettering and put on finish -- in this case nickel.

If you can remove the pitting and do your own polish & prep, you can send it to Turnbulls who can replace the lettering (if nec''y) & do a blue.

Some of the advice above is hip-shot info from those with no experience and/or results worse than just leaving it alone.

 

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I brought up the idea of steel dust pit filling because of the expense factor. If you can afford a top of the line finish then that is certainly a much better choice. If however, you have a nice gun but it is ugly and you don't want to dump a bunch of money into it. Then this works. The photos are of a 5 screw that someone had left in a leather holster for about 30 years. The barrel and cylinder were heavily pitted. Pits upon pits. Some covering more than a 1/4 inch and 1/16th inch deep. Since I am never going to sell it and it's for my personal use I don't have to have it mint. Look close at the cylinder , barrel and top strap.
Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Starting pistol Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Ok guys, I finaly got to take some pictures. I was considering two guns with rust and pitting.

This one however wont be touched other than a gentle clean with Big45 or bronze wool + a good oil. It's a 1905 New Pocket / Pocket Positive transition model in .32 S&W. Other than the small patch of pitting visible on the cylinder in the first photo, the gun is in pretty good shape considering it's 108 years old.

I wouldn't dream of refinishing this gun but I had hoped for a simple solution to the pitting. Turns out on closer inspection that the pitting is not as serious as I thought.

What can I say - I have a soft spot for well worn guns and on this one I can live with a blemish or two.

I bet it has an interesting story or two. Probably arrived here at the height of the Gold Rush.



 

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In the past I've had requests to repair and blue pitted guns. It's not worth the effort in my book. The super glue with filings sounds interesting and one of those repairs that will be interesting to see how it holds up over time. Thermal spay of vaporized metal usually warps because of the heat needed. Plugging pits with soft steel is iffy at best. There are some steel based low temperature solders out there that will take cold blue but be prepared to commit to a lot of hand work. Blending the color takes a long time.
 

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I like old guns with history too. This one is in much better condition than my SW 5 screw. Personally, I wouldn't bother with it, but refinishing is a definite possibility. Let us know what you decide.
 

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Other than the small patch of pitting visible on the cylinder in the first photo, the gun is in pretty good shape considering it's 108 years old.

I wouldn't dream of refinishing this gun but I had hoped for a simple solution to the pitting. Turns out on closer inspection that the pitting is not as serious as I thought.



As Dave Chicoine told me one time when we were discussing a S&W that I wanted a tiny pitted area repaired on a 99% gun otherwise, said "Bob some things you just have to forgive and move on because it just isn't worth the trouble and expense."

I'm older now and have to agree.
Some interesting techniques proposed for curing those pesky little divots though.
 

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The 'forgive & move on' idea is sometimes the only choice. I bought this one (below) just from the pictures and seller's description at almost bargain price. On arrival I saw a patch of red rust, left side of barrel about two inches behind the front sight. You can see it in the pix as it is after my work on it. Obviously with pitting underneath, I guess you'd call what I did 'burnished', the area with a piece of hardened steel, being careful not to scrub into the original blue. It kind of crushed the rust and I kept wiping it clean & burnishing till I could see points of bare steel peeping up in the pitting. Then I gave it a treatment of Brownell's Oxpho Blue. It didn't do anything for the actual pitting but it blends enough with the rest of the barrel that it isn't an 'eye-catcher" like it was.

 

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rhmc24
I bet that barrel never enters your mind as you handle and shoot that great old triple lock. It's a lot like the mole on Cindy Crawford. "What mole" ?
Thanks for sharing "the other brand" with a switch hitter; Colt and Smith.
 
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