I don't think Colt will refinish a gun that old.
There's always the problem of opening the gun and finding a safety issue, and not having parts to correct it so Colt usually won't do any work on older guns.
Good sources of a refinish are Ford's, Glenrock, and if you want a finish more "correct" for that era there's Turnbull's.
Turnbull's is a restoration service and are EXPENSIVE.
Ford's and Glenrock do top quality work using modern hot salts bluing.
As for whether to have it refinished, much depends on the condition of the gun and finish. Refinishing a 1909 Colt Police Positive is not going to increase the value, and again, depending on how much original finish is left, may decrease the value.
The issue of whether or not to refinish a vintage Colt arises here regularly.
Refinished guns are completely unwanted by collectors (with a few minor exceptions).
Refinished guns are worth less than the same gun before refinishing - in most cases.
While it is your gun, to do with as you wish, a gun only has an original finish once. Once it is refinished, it has zero remaining original finish. Guns are typically priced according to, in part, the remaining amount of original finish. Thus, typically, refinishing a fine old revolver has the financial effect of reducing the value of the gun. If you just want the refinished look, and do not care what it does to the value or the desirability or collectability of the gun, go right ahead and refinish.
A lot of gun guys like the "honest wear" on older guns that have been used, but not abused.
Thoughts then on refinishing say just the cylinder for a nickel python? I have a 1969 4" nickel python that I got and it looked nearly unfired, but I fired it anyway. My disappointment came when I came back from the range and noted that the cylinder had some nickel flaking off it - devastating to me. Should I
1. skip the refinish,
2. refinish just the cylinder (or would that now be a mismatched finish?), (by Colt - maybe if they do it the value would not depreciate?)
3. find a replacement cylinder/extractor in Nickel, or
4. refinish the whole gun? (again, by Colt)
Appreciate anyone's thoughts on that. I actually have it for sale on GB now to see what I can get for it - if I cant get my reserve price (what I have into it), I'll consider refinish options.
Best option is to have Colt refinish the cylinder.
The plating should not have flaked off, but at this late date I doubt that Colt will do it for free.
They can refinish it and it's unlikely even an expert could tell it was re-done. There should be no issues with matching the original finish.
I suspect the best way to deal with it is to send the entire cylinder and crane assembly in, rather than risk damaging it by attempting disassembly.
Back then the cylinders were much more difficult and risky to disassemble and you need a special wrench to do it.
Just contact Colt to get the details straight, then you can mail the cylinder through the US Post Office well insured, or sent it through UPS or Fed-Ex without having to pay a significant amount of money for shipping the entire gun.
To remove the cylinder assembly, just unscrew the cap screw on the right front side of the frame and remove the spring and plunger under the cap.
Rotate the cylinder so a flute lines up with the lower front of the frame and gently slide the entire assemble forward.
Make sure to use a real gunsmiths screwdriver bit to remove the screw to avoid damaging the slot.
The right driver bit can be bought from Brownell's.
It would be a Magna-Tip bit # .210-3:
Wow thanks so much for the great information and guidance. I'll likely let this auction run its course and pull the auction down after that. I really like the Python and feel that I'm really one of the first shooters of it. And I am very careful in removing the screw. Screwdriver link is excellent thank you now I have to do is wait till the fall and send it in when I start taking orders again a colt.