Is blueing less "blue" now? Old vs new M10
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    Is blueing less "blue" now? Old vs new M10

    Hello again all,

    Id like to ask the community a question that's been burning at the back of my head as of late.

    I finally got to visit the larger Gander Mountain downstate just to see what they had different from where I live, and while perusing their much more diverse stock of revolvers I noticed that the majority of the bluing finish on the new revolvers are more of a black than a "blue". I especially noticed this(among other things) on the newer S&W Model 10 revolvers. In comparison, the bluing on my model 10-10 has more of a blue-ish hue to it. Even the Taurus m66 they had looked more black, however some of the single actions(don't remember brand names) where more blue. Could it just be that the metal on my model 10 turned blue from age and use, or is this just a product of the current manufacturing process?

    Just wonderin',

    Thanks.

    P.S.

    The newer Model 10 felt a bit less hefty to for some reason
    Rossi likes this.

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    I have to agree. The S&W 10-9 I just got done working on - had a very noticeable - almost deep navy blue finish. I haven't seen anything that blue in the last few years of new guns anyway.
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    Change in the process.
    While not as pretty, the new finishes are more durable and more corrosion resistant.
    Rossi and gasbag like this.
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    The bluing process has changed over the years. The older guns were blued in a hot bluing process that most manufacturers no longer use for a variety of reasons. The older blue is a deeper, smoother, richer looking blue where as the newer guns are more black in color and usually not as deep or shiny. The link will give you the technical basics.

    Bluing (steel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Reddrage, Rossi, rogertc1 and 1 others like this.




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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSkiff View Post
    The bluing process has changed over the years. The older guns were blued in a hot bluing process that most manufacturers no longer use for a variety of reasons. The older blue is a deeper, smoother, richer looking blue where as the newer guns are more black in color and usually not as deep or shiny. The link will give you the technical basics.

    Bluing (steel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Great link! Thanks for posting.
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    Wow! Didn't know this about the bluing, though I also have noticed a difference. The nicest finishes I've seen have been on some of the older Colt guns, followed by S&W. Some of the old S&W's didn't have the "bright" blue finish - not quite as pretty. I like how some of the older Smith's with the bright blue can have almost a silvery shimmery look to them, Don't know if that's patina or what. My 1959 model 14 has scratches, but I'd never get it refinished, as nobody could recreate what's on it now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossi View Post
    Wow! Didn't know this about the bluing, though I also have noticed a difference. The nicest finishes I've seen have been on some of the older Colt guns, followed by S&W. Some of the old S&W's didn't have the "bright" blue finish - not quite as pretty. I like how some of the older Smith's with the bright blue can have almost a silvery shimmery look to them, Don't know if that's patina or what. My 1959 model 14 has scratches, but I'd never get it refinished, as nobody could recreate what's on it now.
    Actually there are places that will still do the hot blue and do a beautiful job of it. Although I don't know this to be a fact personally, I have heard that the S&W Custom shop will rebuild and refinish older guns and have the ability to still do the old hot blue finishes. I've been told they are really nice. That may be BS or it may be fact. I've never had need of a reblue so I never really pursued the information any further. Besides S&W there are a number of gunsmiths that do rebluing the old fashion way and do it very nicely.
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    The outcome of a bluing job will largely depend on the preparation. Older S&W revolvers still had a good amount of polishing that resulted in a shiny "blue". The Colt Python and Korth revolvers were polished with particular care and the Python was finished off with a leather wheel.

    Ford's in Florida is one of the best bluing facilities when it comes to restoring older S&W revolvers.

    Ford's Custom Gun Refinishing - Ford's Desert Eagle Sights
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSkiff View Post
    The bluing process has changed over the years. The older guns were blued in a hot bluing process that most manufacturers no longer use for a variety of reasons. The older blue is a deeper, smoother, richer looking blue where as the newer guns are more black in color and usually not as deep or shiny. The link will give you the technical basics.

    Bluing (steel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The shine comes from polishing of the metal, not the bluing process.
    Here are two 1911's I've blued in the same hot bath. The only difference is that one was polished the other was bead blasted.

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    On hot blue the shine comes from polishing, on rust blue it comes rather from that extra coat. I used 400 grit on the K98ks, they still have a nice shine.


 

 
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