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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a thread asking about DA blued hammers. My question is about 1st generation SAA's blued revolvers and if they all had blued hammers. On a recent thread there was a picture of a 1980 blue SAA revolver that didn't have a blued hammer. The blueing on my 1890 .41 SAA revolver is coming off I guess after 115 years of use, (it has even been reblued). When did Colt stop blueing SAA's hammers? In the Colt books I have and have seen, the 1st generation SAA's that are blue appear to have blued hammers. I hope my terminology regarding "blue" is correct. Thanks
 

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rick, all saa that i am aware of have bright polished hammer sides, the early guns had the top and bottom casehardened, which later changed to blue, still the sides on all were bright polished. bud mentioned that this is a colt trademark and has been for yrs, which i think is correct. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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The hammers on all blued SAA were case-hardened until about 1936, from then until 1940 generally were blued with bright polished sides. Post-war, 2nd and 3rd generation SAA, blue guns had blue hammers with bright polished sides. In the last 20 years the many variations from the Colt Custom Shop have had case-hardened types on some models. See Don Wilkerson's "Quick Reference Guide". Your early SAA hammer has been reblued, you could have it case-hardened or look for a used replacement to make the gun original...
tommix
Re: case-hardened hammers, the entire hammer, all surfaces, were case-hardened, there was no polishing of the sides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
dux and tommix, thanks for your responses. I'm new to Colts. What does case-hardened mean? Is that the same as blued or not? In looking at the 1st generation SAA's in R.L. Wilson's Colt book, none of the SAA's look dark blue as mine do, and the hammer's are steel looking. Is that steel apperence, case hardening? I'm wondering if both my SAA and Bisley are a result of a bad reblue job, where they reblued everything, including the hammer sides. I'm confused!!! Rick
 

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rick, casehardening is the same finnish as the frame had with the different colors reds,oranges, blues, browns. i am not certian that ALL prewar saa hammers were completly c/h,i too have wilsons book and see some that are clearly not, however i havent owned a prewar saa since the 70`s and dont remember.perhaps someone else will testify. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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rick, here`s a photo that is advertised as prewar finnished. the sides of the hammer is clearly casecolored on this one.this type of finnish silvers out quite easily and unless the gun is high condition it`s hard to tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks A1A for the site. Where do I go on it? Beautiful SAA revolver dux. That's the finish I see mostly in the books. Regarding my Bisley, the Colt letter said the original finish was "blue." When it was reblued, I don't think they did a good job, because they buffed off the markings on the barrel. I've contacted someone who said he could redo the markings at a reasonable price. The original finish on the .41 SAA was nickel. Crap, why would anyone reblue over a nickel finish? What I've done to touch up the marks on the hammers is to use a blueing marker, oil it and it looks pretty good. Of course, if I shoot it again the reblueing will come off. So many guns, so many finishes. Rick
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Thanks A1A for the site. Where do I go on it?

[/ QUOTE ]
That is a link to the particular AOL member's answer to faq on case hardening. While viewing it, if you delete the "faq/case.htm" portion of the url from your location bar and press enter, you can see the member's entire site with other topics, if that's what you mean. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

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The pictures in Wilson's book make many of the hammers on case-hardened frames appear dark, as if they were blue. Some of the hammers on the SAA and Bisley target models had blued hammers with polished sides. When hammers and frames are case-hardened, the parts are packed in the bone/charcoal mixture and heated, all exposed surfaces are affected, no selective sides are done, sides are not later polished, would defeat the purpose of the surface hardening technique. None of these specifications as to finish are 100%, but generally, virtually all hammers on Bisleys or SAA, except for nickel guns, were case-hardened until the late 1930's...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks tommix. So when both revolvers were reblued, they reblued the hammers as well. When a gun is rebued is it normal to reblue the hammers? Thanks, Rick.
 

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No, it depends on who is refinishing the gun and what one requests. The Colt factory or a restorer like Doug Turnbull would most likely case-harden the hammer if the original were case colored, and they are capable of doing it. Not many gun restorers have the ability to properly do the case-hardening process. Much easier to reblue all the exposed parts, not necessarily correct...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeh, that's probably what happened. Now the blueing has started to come off. I would assume that case-hardening last longer on a hammer than a blue job.
 

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I believe you will find the standard hammer finish was:

Blue or Casehardened between 1873-1934.
Clear sides with blue edges 1934-1940.

djh
 
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