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I had a water line broke in my attic recently. We were not home and it ran for several hours before I discovered it . Two day later I discovered that water had seeped down from the attic into my basement and soaked into the case in which I had a Navy marked Colt Model 1911 stored. When I opened the case I found the water had caused pitting on the original finish. I scraped off the rust (and wiped away my tears).

I generally don't favor refinishing guns, but because of the value of the gun and reasons for the damage I'm considering having this gun refinished. Has anyone had experience with experts in refinishing Colt Model 1911's. I would appreciate hearing from you about who you might recommend.
 

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I had a broken water line also recently, but I was lucky and it only got a few guns wet! No damage done. Your insurance should pay for the loss or no? I would consider purchasing a similar gun and replacing the rusty one. Those refinished Turnbull guns look like wonderful brand new and expensive reproduction guns to me.
 

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J.L. I'm not going to proffer an opinion about refinishing the Navy or not. I just wanted to say I'm very sorry about the damage your gun suffered, it's a shame.
 

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Doug Turnbulls shop does excellent refinishing as well, and the bluing coming from there is spectacular! Mike
 

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I too am very sorry to hear of this. This is one of my worst nightmares...

Sounds to me like the pitting could have been happening before the water leak. I wouldn't think 2 days of being damp (wet) would cause actual pitting, but (as usual) I could be wrong. I would start by using solvents to try to clean the damaged areas, (keeping all tears away from the gun) and see what is actually there.

What year is your gun? While Turnbulls does amazing work, I think they over restore many of the historical pistols they work on. Any chance of posting pictures? The damage may not be bad enough to warrant a full restoration. Currently, it is still (assumed to be) an original finish US Navy marked pistol which is a pretty rare pistol. Once it is refinished, the value could be substantially lower than it is now... leaving you upside-down on the pistol. If the pistol has significant family history, then I might have a different answer about restoring it.
 

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I also do not beleive 2 days being wet will cause pitting. If it is surface rust try the following. Complete disassembly, dry with blow dryer on low heat, remove surcface rust with 4 OOOO steel wool and gun oil, using nothing other than 4 OOOO. It will remove the surface rust without attacking the original finish. remember to keep it wet with oil. Wipe down lightly oil and reassemble, it should now be in as good a condition as before the flood.
As to restoration at the end of the day it will always be a restoration not original.
 

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remove surcface rust with 4 OOOO steel wool and gun oil, using nothing other than 4 OOOO.
Rather than steel wool, I recommend bronze wool. BRONZE WOOL - Brownells It is softer than steel wool and blued finish and won't damage the finish.

For oil, instead of gun oil use Kroil KROIL - Brownells

The combination of Kroil and bronze wool will remove rust without harming the blued finish.

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Sorry for the damage to your pistol J.L., that's a shame. I'd send it back to Colt for repairs/refinishing.

Good luck and please keep us updated on your situation.
 
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