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Colt won't do any work on any DA revolver they produced with the exception of the new Cobra. Since the old Cobra is alloy framed, you have to find someone who does anodizing. I am not sure if Ford's or Turnbull do. The custom shop start at around $1000 for refinishing.
 

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Colt won't do any work on any DA revolver they produced with the exception of the new Cobra. Since the old Cobra is alloy framed, you have to find someone who does anodizing. I am not sure if Ford's or Turnbull do. The custom shop start at around $1000 for refinishing.

Starting at $1000 is an expensive way to turn a $350 gun into a $400 gun at best due to no longer being original.
 

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Colt won't do any work on any DA revolver they produced with the exception of the new Cobra. Since the old Cobra is alloy framed, you have to find someone who does anodizing. I am not sure if Ford's or Turnbull do. The custom shop start at around $1000 for refinishing.

Starting at $1000 is an expensive way to turn a $350 gun into a $400 gun at best due to no longer being original.
 

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It's likely that no one will refinish an aluminum "D" frame revolver.
This is because of a problem with the frame cracking through the barrel threads when the barrel is removed.

Since the frame is aluminum the barrel HAS to be removed to be reblued, and due to the number of guns that have cracked most refinishers either will not do it at all, or will do it with the customers acceptance that the gun may well be destroyed, for which they will not be responsible.
In other words, the guns is destroyed and they will NOT pay for it.

This leaves you with a few options.....

Cerakote.
This is a very tough baked on epoxy finish with tiny particles of ceramic mixed in.
This looks good and is tough enough many gun makers and custom shops are using it. It's said to be more durable then bluing or parkerizing.
For the best results Cerakote needs to be applied by a factory authorized service because the application process is much more complicated then might seem. You can do it yourself and the web site has an application tutorial that shows the correct procedure.
Done improperly and the finish won't adhere well.
It comes in many colors.

Do it yourself.
There are a number of these paint type finishes offered. Most are epoxy based, some are lacquers, and can be had in air curing or oven bake.
If done with care and with the correct procedures they look good and last well.
Among these are Lauer Dura-Coat, Brownell's Aluma-Hyde I and II, Gun-Coat, and Brownell's Baking Lacquer.
Brownell's sell most of them.
You can also have these applied by professional refinishers.

Hard chrome.
This is still the best all-around gun finish. It's very rust resistant, harder then a Swiss file so it doesn't wear, and actually makes the action smoother. It's easier to clean since fouling won't adhere to it, and it requires less lubrication.
Appearance ranges from the original matte pearl-gray, to a stainless steel look, to a bright mirror polish.
Since most platers will not plate the softer aluminum they usually just bead blast the aluminum parts to look like the hard chrome steel parts.
At least one suppler will even plate the inside of the barrel and chambers, although others question how well this works.
A few platers will plate aluminum by first plating with nickel then plating hard chrome over that.
The problem is the soft aluminum can dent and the plating might crack and flake off a small piece.
Normally, when applied to steel hard chrome can't crack, chip, or peel like Bright Nickel can.
Hard chrome is one of the very few gun finishes that's considered to be a true life-time finish.

Other plated finishes.
Robar Company offer a nickel matrix-Teflon coating that has an excellent reputation and can be applied to aluminum. Appearance is usually a matte color.
This finish is partially self-lubricating.

Electroless nickel.
Several companies offer this, which is a non-electroplated chemical finish. It usually has a matte finish but can be done in a more shiny finish. It can be applied to aluminum.
Colt offered Electroless Nickel as a standard and custom finish on most of their firearms, including the Python.
Colt called it "Coltguard" and for the Python it was shinier and called "Royal Coltguard".

Ford's.
Until further notice most of us will NOT recommend Ford's.
Last year several members sent in Pythons for work and got back ruined guns. They apparently hired a new worker who botched up guns.
Whether this was a temporary anomaly or will be common is unknown.
Until we know more or see some new work from them, most members will not recommend them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Colt won't do any work on any DA revolver they produced with the exception of the new Cobra. Since the old Cobra is alloy framed, you have to find someone who does anodizing. I am not sure if Ford's or Turnbull do. The custom shop start at around $1000 for refinishing.
I assume that is recent? Because, Colt re-timed and blued my Dad's old Detective Special a few years back.......I was asking for a good friend of mine that has an OLD Cobra that he wanted re-done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's likely that no one will refinish an aluminum "D" frame revolver.
This is because of a problem with the frame cracking through the barrel threads when the barrel is removed.

Since the frame is aluminum the barrel HAS to be removed to be reblued, and due to the number of guns that have cracked most refinishers either will not do it at all, or will do it with the customers acceptance that the gun may well be destroyed, for which they will not be responsible.
In other words, the guns is destroyed and they will NOT pay for it.

This leaves you with a few options.....

Cerakote.
This is a very tough baked on epoxy finish with tiny particles of ceramic mixed in.
This looks good and is tough enough many gun makers and custom shops are using it. It's said to be more durable then bluing or parkerizing.
For the best results Cerakote needs to be applied by a factory authorized service because the application process is much more complicated then might seem. You can do it yourself and the web site has an application tutorial that shows the correct procedure.
Done improperly and the finish won't adhere well.
It comes in many colors.

Do it yourself.
There are a number of these paint type finishes offered. Most are epoxy based, some are lacquers, and can be had in air curing or oven bake.
If done with care and with the correct procedures they look good and last well.
Among these are Lauer Dura-Coat, Brownell's Aluma-Hyde I and II, Gun-Coat, and Brownell's Baking Lacquer.
Brownell's sell most of them.
You can also have these applied by professional refinishers.

Hard chrome.
This is still the best all-around gun finish. It's very rust resistant, harder then a Swiss file so it doesn't wear, and actually makes the action smoother. It's easier to clean since fouling won't adhere to it, and it requires less lubrication.
Appearance ranges from the original matte pearl-gray, to a stainless steel look, to a bright mirror polish.
Since most platers will not plate the softer aluminum they usually just bead blast the aluminum parts to look like the hard chrome steel parts.
At least one suppler will even plate the inside of the barrel and chambers, although others question how well this works.
A few platers will plate aluminum by first plating with nickel then plating hard chrome over that.
The problem is the soft aluminum can dent and the plating might crack and flake off a small piece.
Normally, when applied to steel hard chrome can't crack, chip, or peel like Bright Nickel can.
Hard chrome is one of the very few gun finishes that's considered to be a true life-time finish.

Other plated finishes.
Robar Company offer a nickel matrix-Teflon coating that has an excellent reputation and can be applied to aluminum. Appearance is usually a matte color.
This finish is partially self-lubricating.

Electroless nickel.
Several companies offer this, which is a non-electroplated chemical finish. It usually has a matte finish but can be done in a more shiny finish. It can be applied to aluminum.
Colt offered Electroless Nickel as a standard and custom finish on most of their firearms, including the Python.
Colt called it "Coltguard" and for the Python it was shinier and called "Royal Coltguard".

Ford's.
Until further notice most of us will NOT recommend Ford's.
Last year several members sent in Pythons for work and got back ruined guns. They apparently hired a new worker who botched up guns.
Whether this was a temporary anomaly or will be common is unknown.
Until we know more or see some new work from them, most members will not recommend them.
So, if an old Cobra is re-blued the barrel has to be removed but not removed to put any of the other finishes you wrote about??? Just asking......
 

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That''s pretty much the case.

The barrel has to be removed from an aluminum frame to be re-blued because modern hot salts bluing chemicals attack and dissolve aluminum.

Most of the other options I listed don't require barrel removal because they work on aluminum and steel, and the assembly can be processed as one part.
I'm not sure how hard chrome platers handle it, since most don't plate aluminum, so you'd need to talk to them about it.

One great resource on gun refinishing is Cogan. He apparently just LOVES to talk about refinishing and if you call and manage to get him, make sure your phone is fully charged and you don't have to be anywhere soon.
He can give you chapter and verse on refinishing of aluminum-steel revolvers and what your options are.
He's also probably the best all-around refinisher of them all.

Accurate Plating & Weaponry ? Cogan Custom
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That''s pretty much the case.

The barrel has to be removed from an aluminum frame to be re-blued because modern hot salts bluing chemicals attack and dissolve aluminum.

Most of the other options I listed don't require barrel removal because they work on aluminum and steel, and the assembly can be processed as one part.
I'm not sure how hard chrome platers handle it, since most don't plate aluminum, so you'd need to talk to them about it.

One great resource on gun refinishing is Cogan. He apparently just LOVES to talk about refinishing and if you call and manage to get him, make sure your phone is fully charged and you don't have to be anywhere soon.
He can give you chapter and verse on refinishing of aluminum-steel revolvers and what your options are.
He's also probably the best all-around refinisher of them all.

Accurate Plating & Weaponry ? Cogan Custom
BUMMER....I think I'll advise my buddy to leave his Cobra alone.....
 

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BUMMER....I think I'll advise my buddy to leave his Cobra alone.....
That's generally the best route to go with these Al frames.

If I was still working at the one manufacturing plant where I was a polisher and plater, I actually could have done the anodizing, as I used to run the vat line for a while. Skip the coloring tank, and the parts come out anodized "white". If you want color, they get added to a special tank until the proper darkness is achieved, which ranges from brownish/bronze to black. Probably could have gotten it almost completely black.

Still, the sketchy part is barrel removal. Which would need done.
 
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