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The reason was that the combination of heat and chemical by products formed when the pistol was fired soon did away with the blued finish on the cylinders of percussion Colts. Thus, the Army and Colt saved money by not bluing the cylinders on both the Walker and Dragoon models.
Colt percussion pistols used by the military were cleaned as soon as possible after fireing. During the American Civil War, this was usually done en masse by disassembling the pistol and tossing the parts into a large cauldron of boiling water containing lye soap. After a few minutes of boiling the parts were retrieved, the cylinders and barrel bores were cleaned out and dried and then reoiled before re-assembly. This is why most military '60 Armies that saw combat have mis-matched serial numbers. During the ACW, no one was concerned with serial numbers - or future collectors.
 

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The 1860 Thuer were partially blued?...Jim

Upon fireing a Theur cartridge, the heat resulting from the combustion of the gunpowder was concentrated in the cylinder body. Because the thickness and density of the metal in that location, the heat lasted longer there than at the Theur breech mechanism. This heat, plus routine cleaning is what destroyed the blueing on the cylinder.
 

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Heat from a Revolver being fired, will have no effect on the Blueing.

Acids or strong enough Alkali can degrade or remove Blueing but Heat associated with firing a Hand Gun, no.

The Wood Stocks would be combusting way prior to there being enough Heat to damage the Blueing.
 

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Heat from a Revolver being fired, will have no effect on the Blueing.

Acids or strong enough Alkali can degrade or remove Blueing but Heat associated with firing a Hand Gun, no.

The Wood Stocks would be combusting way prior to there being enough Heat to damage the Blueing.
Then, how would you explain that the bluing on the cylinders of modern repro Colt revolvers disappears after fireing no more that 2 or 3 rounds from each cylinder... even if you do not clean the cylinder after fireing?
 

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Then, how would you explain that the bluing on the cylinders of modern repro Colt revolvers disappears after fireing no more that 2 or 3 rounds from each cylinder... even if you do not clean the cylinder after fireing?
I do not know...

Traditional Blue was accomplished with Heat.

To destroy Traditional Blue with Heat, you would have to heat the item over 590 Degrees Fahrenheit long enough, so that it is at that Temperature all through.

Even using a Blow Torch, or Oven, this would take a little while.

The Wooden Stocks would be violently conflagrating well below that temperature.


The amount of Heat a Cylinder will have for being fired, is not even as much as it would be, if simply left in the Sunshine a little while in Summer in any warmer Clime.


To understand what is going on with rapid Blueing loss on some ( some? or all? and or 'Colt' 2nd and 3rd Generation also? ) Cap & Ball 'reproductions', we would need to know:

- What are these particular Cylinders made of Alloy wise?

&

- What Blueing process was/is used to Blue them at the Factory?
 

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I do not know what type of steel was used in 2nd or 3rd generation Colt cylinders, but they were supplied in the rough, un-ingraved by Uberti. After machining and roll engraving, the blueing was done using the original Colt factory process of burying the metal parts in bone charcoal and heating in a kiln/oven at high temps for a period of time.
 

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I do not know what type of steel was used in 2nd or 3rd generation Colt cylinders, but they were supplied in the rough, un-ingraved by Uberti. After machining and roll engraving, the blueing was done using the original Colt factory process of burying the metal parts in bone charcoal and heating in a kiln/oven at high temps for a period of time.
Heat from the Revolver being fired...should not effect the Blueing then.

There is just no way one could achieve enough Heat, by firing, to ever bother/degrade the Blueing at all, even if firing strings of 'Six' over and over all day, as fast as one can re-load to do it.

I have not fired my own few 2nd Generation Colt Dragoons, ( or my ASMs or Ubertis ) enough to have seen any deterioration of any kind. I suppose my ASM Dragoon I have fired maybe three hundred rounds out of, and, no deterioration whatever with it, in any way, anywhere, of any kind.

I was not aware that Cylinders loosing their Blue, was a problem with the Colt 2nd and 3rd Generation Percussion Revolvers, till this Thread.

I have no idea why they ( or if not all of them, then, some of them, ) would do this.


Too...

I have no idea why the original Walkers had 'In the White' Cylinders.

Did any other Colt Percussion Revolvers have 'In the White' Cylinders back when?
 

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Why were their ncylinders left unfinished (blued)?Was there a practical reason?
I'm inclined to question the premise that they were left unfinished. Where did that info come from? I had a Dragoon with some original finish on it and its cylinder looked like the rest of the gun, no sign of 'in the white'. Also there are several high condition Dragoons in exhibits & collections & I never saw an unfinished cylinder.
 

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the blueing was done using the original Colt factory process of burying the metal parts in bone charcoal and heating in a kiln/oven at high temps for a period of time.
I thought this was the case hardening process? I have seen a formula - supposedly the Colt original - for blueing which used a liquid.


Rio
 

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You are right, but I was in the Colt Blackpowder factory in Brooklyn and saw parts being removed from the kilns that were blued, not case hardened. I think that the liquid bluing process was a later developement.
The funny thing is that the early 2nd gen. C series percussion pistols were blued with the liquid process and their blued finish was identical to that of contemporary SAA's. The F series 2nd and 3rd generations have a much darker blue, almost black finish, and was done by a different process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm inclined to question the premise that they were left unfinished. Where did that info come from? I had a Dragoon with some original finish on it and its cylinder looked like the rest of the gun, no sign of 'in the white'. Also there are several high condition Dragoons in exhibits & collections & I never saw an unfinished cylinder.
I have seen it mentioned several times while searching info on the walker. Also mentioned in the 9th edition of Flayderman's Guide page 83, Colt Walker Model Revolver......."cylinder in the white".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Outstanding Colt First Model Dragoon Revolver with Scarce "U.S. ...Online Firearms Auction Catalog cylinder has the single safety pin found on early production First Dragoons. The pistol has a military blue finish on the barrel, casehardened loading lever, ...www.rockislandauction.com/viewitem/aid/51/lid/3147

Fine. The revolver retains 40% of the original blue and shows only limited firing wear. Substantial amounts of the original military blue finish are present on the barrel lug and protected areas of the barrel. The frame and hammer retain traces of the crisp dove-gray case colors. The bright finished cylinder has 90% of the roll-engraved Ranger and Indian scene. The barrel markings, cylinder scene and serial numbers are sharp. The frame marking is lightly struck at the top. The nipples and front and rear faces of the cylinder show minimal flash pitting. The brass trigger guard and backstrap have been polished but remain in good condition with scattered light handling marks. The grip is in good condition with moderate handling wear on the butt. The action is crisp and functions perfectly. This is a fine example of an original, first contract First Model Dragoon revolver with "U.S. DRAGOONS" marked cylinder.
 

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I'm inclined to question the premise that they were left unfinished. Where did that info come from? I had a Dragoon with some original finish on it and its cylinder looked like the rest of the gun, no sign of 'in the white'. Also there are several high condition Dragoons in exhibits & collections & I never saw an unfinished cylinder.

Now that you mention it, the old/original Colt Dragoons I recall admiring at the Antique Arms Shows, when not devoid of finish entirely, had Blue Cylinders, far as I recall.

Walkers, I have no idea, since the few purpoeted ones I have seen had no Blue anywhere remaining.
 

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Outstanding Colt First Model Dragoon Revolver with Scarce "U.S. ...Online Firearms Auction Catalog cylinder has the single safety pin found on early production First Dragoons. The pistol has a military blue finish on the barrel, casehardened loading lever, ...Outstanding Colt First Model Dragoon Revolver with Scarce "U.S. DRAGOONS" Marked cylinder

Fine. The revolver retains 40% of the original blue and shows only limited firing wear. Substantial amounts of the original military blue finish are present on the barrel lug and protected areas of the barrel. The frame and hammer retain traces of the crisp dove-gray case colors. The bright finished cylinder has 90% of the roll-engraved Ranger and Indian scene. The barrel markings, cylinder scene and serial numbers are sharp. The frame marking is lightly struck at the top. The nipples and front and rear faces of the cylinder show minimal flash pitting. The brass trigger guard and backstrap have been polished but remain in good condition with scattered light handling marks. The grip is in good condition with moderate handling wear on the butt. The action is crisp and functions perfectly. This is a fine example of an original, first contract First Model Dragoon revolver with "U.S. DRAGOONS" marked cylinder.

So...is this then an example of a Cylinder left 'In the White'?

Or, it is an example of a Cylinder which has lost it's Blue?

Image does not let us see in to the Nipple recess areas, to see if they remain Blue, or, if they were ever Blued to begin with.
 

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According to R.L. Wilson's Book of Colt Firearms, 2nd edition on pg.82, the only other percussion revolver that came with its cylinder in the white was the Whitneyville-Hartford Dragoon, which followed the Walker and preceeded the 1st Model Dragoon.
 
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