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I was asked by a Forum member about using Oxpho Blue, as he had tried it and had mixed results by following the directrions from Brownells.

Here is the method that I have used to blue complete pistols with good success:

Oxpho Blue is not a typical "paint on" cold blue. It is kinda a cross between cold blue and rust blue. I approach it as a "short cut" rust blue method. Be sure your parts are degreased good, Acetone or rubbing alcohol works well. I heat the part in my kitchen oven to the point that I can barely stand to touch it without getting burned, (but don't touch it and get skin oil on it, use clean cotton gloves or forceps to handle the parts). Then take a cotton swab (Brownells sells them) wet with the bluing solution and cover the part well. It will dry immediately due to the heat. Let it scale over and then apply another coat. Repeat this until it quits drying quickly due to the part cooling down. Let the part sit for about 1/2 hr, then wash under cold running water. Now take some fine steel wool, 000 or 0000, and remove all the rust scale and wash under cold running water again and wipe dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. If you don't think the bluing is dark enough repeat the whole process over again. Let the bluing cure for 24 hours and then oil lightly. (After the curing period, you may see a small amount of rusting on the part, remove this with steel wool and oil).

If I am bluing small parts, after degreasing & heating, I just drop them into a container containing Oxpho Blue and let soak for about 5 mins, then wash and proceed as above.
 

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I'm a strong believer in Brownell's Oxpho Blue. It works well in most any situation, some better than others, depending on the existing surface and the amount & care of prep you give it. I have had guns with some original blue that fails into turning brown in places. Time was I would have put effort into cleaning, brightening, etc, then try to match that to what's original that still there --- looked better but obviously attempt not too successful. Lately I have just dampened a rough rag in Oxpho & rub it long & hard that gives my formerly brown-patch area some blue again. It blends pretty well where you overlap into a patch of original blue. It isn't anything like professional but it can turn a tacky old shooter into a presentable piece that's more like just another old survivor .

This is one of them showing some different color in the blue where the Oxpho rub treatment was used on the side plate below the Colt stamp. It was about the same on the other side but a little worse and not quite as good blue match. Even so, no more browning patches.

 

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Would Oxpho Blue help with this problem, or am I better off leaving well enough alone? This is a 1911 Officers Model. As you can see, the gun has beautiful-condition blue except for the unfortunate area on the sideplate. With a good coat of oil or grease, it doesn't show as baldy, but it's there nonetheless. It's such a shame, given what a pretty gun it is.







 

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Your close-up looks a lot like my New Service above looked. Whether Oxpho will give the same, better or worse results I dunno. Colt blue process in 1904 was different than that used on your gun. If you want to try it I suggest taking off the grips and rub some Oxpho on where the result (if any) won't show. If it doesn't harm the blue, I'd give the rust patch my rub-on treatment. I think it will look better but not a perfect match.
 

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I'd test any cold blue VERY carefully on this gun.
The old pre-war Colt's were heat blued in furnaces and often, cold blues instantly remove the heat bluing.
 

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My concern is that cold blue may stick out like a sore thumb on this early Colt, given the rich surrounding finish. If there is a possibility it will remove existing finish, that's a much bigger concern.
 

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I would definitely leave the OM alone. While you would love for it to be 100%, the brown on it now looks natural. Trying to make it look like original blue again just isn't possible.
 
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