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From what I understand the rollmarks are applied after final polish and before bluing. Do they save that much by not doing a quick polish to even out the letters? Many of the new guns (autos and single actions) look like the marks were pressed into mud. The gun below is Colt's top of the line auto 'from the Custom Shop.'

Perhaps Colt's way to address this was the recent elimination of rollmarks on most of the 1911 style guns.

 

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You already found the answer. Time is money, money is saving by not doing a follow up polishing.
Colt is not the only company that does that.
 

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Why? Cost savings of course. My research shows that Colt did polish Government Models after roll marking up to the Series 80's. Those were the first with "feathered" or raised edges. On other of Colt's models (revolvers and others) they left the raw unpolished roll marks going all the way back to the pre-war WWII days, mainly on top of barrel addresses. But on the Government Models it was always polished until the 1980's. Material property Metal Material property Metal Material property Metal
 

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That's my one complaint with my WW1 carbonia repro. In all other respects it's right up there...being a custom shop product, it's fitted tighter than any other factory .45 I've handled, and with GI match ball is capable of one-hole groups @ 50ft.
But the roll marks...ugh. Like the OP commented, it's like they were pressed into mud. Turnbull did the actual finishing on these, and I had the opportunity to talk with one of their reps at one of the Louisville shows a couple of years ago. He stated that they appealed to Colt to allow them to finish off the rollmarks, but Colt declined due to increased costs...penny wise and pound foolish, IMHO, especially in a premium collector's product like that. I doubt if they would have lost any sales were the price $20 higher...

Interestingly, in the above post CJS57 states that Colt "polished off" the slide rollmarks on M1911 pistols, yet the examples he pictures (especially #39630) seem to display the "feathered" edges.
 

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If i'm not mistaken, haven't the gun manufacturers actually changed the way they do the roll marks?
They appear to be more of a "stamp process" which would raise the metal on the edges.
The stamps also appear to be more uneven in comparision to the earlier guns. I noted this in the mid 1980s with S&Ws.
 

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That's my one complaint with my WW1 carbonia repro.
I was all set to buy the military reproductions until I saw the awful-looking raised lettering. That ruined them for me. I agree with the observation that it was penny wise and pound foolish. It also indicates a philosophical problem at the decision-making level of not understanding why someone would want to buy these guns.
 

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I was all set to buy the military reproductions until I saw the awful-looking raised lettering. That ruined them for me. I agree with the observation that it was penny wise and pound foolish. It also indicates a philosophical problem at the decision-making level of not understanding why someone would want to buy these guns.

Same here!


I had several opportunities some years ago, once the first of them had been out a little while...NIB 'used' ones or just about as new and no Box, were popping up 'reasonable' and I would have got one or two, but for the raised edges of the tests/rolls.

I thought about getting one, removing the raised edges, and, re-Blueing it, but, never did.

I know how fast and easy it is for these to be Draw Filed off, it would take about ten seconds or so, per side, or say, 20 seconds total, per 'Slide', and about ten seconds per Frame...'tops', and really, for someone in their stride with it, likely it would take a lot less than that time-wise.

Draw filing leaves a surface which is ready for Polishing.

So, an Operative, doing the Draw Filing process, could certainly do a great many Slides and Frames in a day, without breaking a sweat.


Even if say, it took one Minute per Frame-n-Slide 'set', that is still 60 an Hour, or 420 for a 7 Hour 'day'.

If being paid $25.00 an Hour, for the 'day' ( including lunch and two breaks ) then, basic cost would run out to about $200.00 then for say 420 Pistols, or, at most, about 47 Cents per Pistol.

I am not practiced Draw Filer, and, I am sure I could do 500 Pistols a 7-hour-day, or at least as long as I could have my Coffee and my Pall Malls at my Bench and not have anyone bothering me with "Honey, can you go to the Store and get some Milk?" or any other jive.

Others tell me that the removal of the displaced 'edges' was done by the 'hard' wide-face Leather Polishing Wheels, without Draw Filing, where, no extra 'Step' occurred at all.


The real problem, in my opinion, is one of any longer caring....or knowing how to.


That combined with being ignorant about HOW to do things intelligently ( verses 'corporately' so to speak), how to treat/motivate Operatives so they can Work efficiently and still care, and how to have informed or knowledgeable Pride in what one does, all the way up the ranks.
 

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This is a Colt Model 1911A1 from the last of the blued pistols. On this one they missed the M1911A1 U.S. ARMY until after the pistol had been finished. They pulled the pistol and had the marking applied through the finish. The marking shows some raised metal, as well as a slight halo around the markings from being applied through the finish. Normally the raised metal would have been removed in the final polishing stages as the military pistols did not get a high polish finish, and the wood polishing wheels were capable of removing a lot of metal while still keeping everything flat. You only have to look at the final polish of the Model 1917 Revolvers to see how much metal could be removed in this manner.

 

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The Colt automatic I showed is a 1902 Military or Sporting I can not find a Government Model that is unpolished from prewar days.
 

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Hey there weagle99;

I like the heavy/sharp roll-mark on my Colts because it's just one good way of determining whether or not the firearm has its original finish. I like it because it equates with newness, and for real, "NIB".

Just my opinion.

Bud


From what I understand the rollmarks are applied after final polish and before bluing. Do they save that much by not doing a quick polish to even out the letters? Many of the new guns (autos and single actions) look like the marks were pressed into mud. The gun below is Colt's top of the line auto 'from the Custom Shop.'

Perhaps Colt's way to address this was the recent elimination of rollmarks on most of the 1911 style guns.

 

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One advantage of the raised-edge Lettering, is that if one is ever in a real pinch, needing to grate some hard Romano or Parmesan Cheese, one could do it on the Texts of the Slide.
 

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Hey there weagle99;

I like the heavy/sharp roll-mark on my Colts because it's just one good way of determining whether or not the firearm has its original finish. I like it because it equates with newness, and for real, "NIB".

Just my opinion.

Bud
I was thinking the same thing. I like it.
 

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Experience story Old & New --- I have 2 early Colt 1902 .38ACP autos and one New Service that have the 'splash' after stamping still on. Had it on a 1903 Hammer also. Most had it removed. In my re-created Colt 1902s I had Turnbulls leave the splash on a couple of them. On phone Turnbulls said no problem either way. They normally remove the splash with 1500 paper before blue and can just omit that step on request.

I like the feel of the splash on the lettering much like the feel of engraving. I gave my Son & Son-in law each one of my Colt 1905 re-creations, one had smooth lettering, the other had splash. They disagreed with me and liked the smooth best. Dunno who got first choice.
 

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I gave my Son & Son-in law each one of my Colt 1905 re-creations
Are you looking for any additional family members, and if so, are you still giving out Colts? I need a way to get more without spending anything...
 

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Are you looking for any additional family members, and if so, are you still giving out Colts? I need a way to get more without spending anything...
Thanks for volunteering but when I develop a procedure that works, I stick to it till I can figure out something to improve it. Thinking about something for my twin G-Sons, vets of Iraq & Afghanistan, but they're going to school now in NY state.

Hmmm -----
 

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The "COLT'S GOVERNMENT MODEL" doesn't look too bad but the serial number looks like the ones applied by Century International to imported surplus arms.
 

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FOR SALE

One used, Colt Gov. Model cheese grater. Worn out from grating hard old cheese. $5.00:rolleyes:

Bud

One advantage of the raised-edge Lettering, is that if one is ever in a real pinch, needing to grate some hard Romano or Parmesan Cheese, one could do it on the Texts of the Slide.
 
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