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Thread: Smith and Wesson 1917 - Polished Backstrap?

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  1. #11
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Enfield View Post
    It's not a "rust blue", it's what S&W called "Carbona / Carbonia" bluing, using an oil mixture, sperm whale oil, "Tar pitch" and bone charcoal ect.
    That would require a lot of infrastructure. I think rust bluing this narrow strip would be a respectful way to go on this 102 year old revolver.
    It will certainly protect it and while it may not be a perfect match to the carbonia bluing, I think it'll look better than cold blue. Certainly helps that a bottle of rust bluing solution will only run me about $16.

    Thanks for the input, by the way. I knew Colt was big into carbonia bluing but I didn't know S&W did the same.
    When did Colt make the change in their process? I assume they both went to a hot bath blue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcathey View Post
    That would require a lot of infrastructure
    I've never had any luck landing a Sperm Whale.......

    Sorry, Couldn't resist.
    Charlie-Painter777

    A Country Has No Greater Responsibility Than To Care For Those Who Served...

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  6. #13
    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcathey View Post
    That would require a lot of infrastructure. I think rust bluing this narrow strip would be a respectful way to go on this 102 year old revolver.
    It will certainly protect it and while it may not be a perfect match to the carbonia bluing, I think it'll look better than cold blue. Certainly helps that a bottle of rust bluing solution will only run me about $16.

    Thanks for the input, by the way. I knew Colt was big into carbonia bluing but I didn't know S&W did the same.
    When did Colt make the change in their process? I assume they both went to a hot bath blue?
    Apparently Colt changed to hot salt bluing during ww2.

    S&W soldiered on until approx. 1970...

  7. #14
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Enfield View Post
    It's not a "rust blue", it's what S&W called "Carbona / Carbonia" bluing,
    I didn't say it was. I said rust blue would match. It's a beautiful deep color that's durable and looks like this original effort by the manufacturer.
    Regards, Jim

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  9. #15
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Rust bluing solution and a carding brush are on the way from Brownell's.

    So for this revolver I'll be looking at:
    Purchase Price - $451
    Swivel - $42
    Grips - $39
    Rust bluing the backstrap - $36
    Total - $568

    And I'll be selling my current one. I'll probably break even on this deal. Not bad!
    I'll post some pics of the bluing process.

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  11. #16
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Wish I could buy your current one...being up here would make it prohibitive for a couple reasons.

    Let us see after...also range report.
    Regards, Jim

  12. #17
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Wish I could buy your current one...being up here would make it prohibitive for a couple reasons.
    I've got some pics of that one on this computer as well. Sorry to twist the knife!
    It's been through a heavy repark. This one, actually, also came to me in a monogrip and missing the swivel and original grips. Seems most of them led a few lives after serving their country.


  13. #18
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Looks good, would be better than the South American issue I had. It had a couple of faults mechanically and ended up being sold to someone in Germanyicon... Anyway, I have a Colt Govt' to tide me over.
    Regards, Jim

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    Had a look at My .455 S&W and the back has lost most of its colour etc were it sits in the palm of the hand, its got the brown look but seems just to be in that area, maybe the reason someone has give yours a good polish?

    Must admit when I picked this up it didn't look (or feel, if that makes any sense) like it was over 100 years old.....

    Last edited by bigduke6; 08-09-2019 at 07:16 PM.

  15. #20
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Step One: Get rid of that polish.

    Fortunately, whoever polished the backstrap did so carefully. There's no severe rounding and edges are still pretty sharp.

    Using 220 then 320 grit sandpaper cut into thin strips, I used really light strokes perpendicular to the grip. This should come somewhat close to matching the original surfaces.

    The rust bluing solution and carding brush came in yesterday.
    My plan is to swing by a Goodwill and hopefully snag a hot plate (or else just pay full retail price for one...yuck). Grab a good sized pot while I'm there and I'll be ready to go.


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