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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:confused:
 

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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.
 
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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
 

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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

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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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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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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Change in the process.
While not as pretty, the new finishes are more durable and more corrosion resistant.
YEP! and they are cheaper to apply and less time consuming as well.
I have a couple three pretty nice blued guns, the Dan Wesson 41 mag, the Dan Wesson 1911 are 2 of them.
but for durability I don't think anything in my stable in blue compare to the beretta/ Stoeger with the bruniton finish, or the EAA witness and the tennifer finish and certainly the Taurus Pt1911 in the Cera Coat finish.
all of course are coatings, not bluing.
the all time best however is a taurus PT99 with a Z-Coat finish that is over 25 years old and has years of holster use and thousand of rounds down the tube and almost looks like the day i got it back.
 

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