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 How to spot a reblued firearm?
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sundowner
Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2003 :  4:43:20 PM  Show Profile
Does anyone have any pointers on how to spot a reblued firearm? Is there anything specific to look for? Thanks....



". . . let me forget about today until tomorrow"

Herschel
Senior Member

2016 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2003 :  5:35:14 PM  Show Profile
One thing to look for is dished out holes where screws go in. Careful polishing can avoid having these dished out holes but many are not careful when polishing. Look for tiny pits that have been blued over. Look at the numbers, lettering and logos stamped into the metal. These should be sharp and legible. Look for parts that should not be blued, e.g., S & W revolvers have casehardened triggers and hammers. Some Colts came with polished sides of the hammer. Many brands have a distinctive color and texture to the metal. You can learn what these look like and often spot a rebule. Factory reblues and some done by master gunsmiths are hard to distinguish from the original.

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vipereater
New Member

91 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2003 :  5:40:34 PM  Show Profile
The first thing I look at is the stamping. If the stamping is not sharp then I am suspicious of a "possible" reblue. If the firearm was bad enough to reblue then there had to be grinding done to remove pitting due to rust. If they ground around the stamping to leave it sharp then you should see pitting from rust around the stamping and removed everywhere else.

Vipereater

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JudgeColt
Senior Member

2381 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2003 :  8:04:49 PM  Show Profile
Look for surfaces that should be flat that are no longer flat, or have slightly beveled edges. For instance, on Colt Government Models and Aces and the like, the flats are dead flat, and the sharp edges are really sharp. Gas-blued Pre-War guns have a satin very blue appearance.

I believe the following Ace is reblued:

http://www.GunBroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=8403244

The finish is far too shiney, the blue is too black, and the edges appear rounded. Judging from the bids, apprarently the bidders do not realize the gun is a reblue or do not care.

This is an Ace with original finish:

http://www.GunBroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=8407991

Notice the satin look to the finish, how blue it is, and how sharp the edges are. Beautiful even with the honest wear.

Many guns have markings applied after finishing, and those should catch the fingernail when slid across them. You need to be familiar with how markings are applied originally on a particular firearm to help you decide if the finish is original on the one you are examining.

I have looked at so many old Colts and Smith & Wessons that I genereally can spot refinished samples even from a poor picture like the first example. Sometimes a picture can be misleading, as it was recently when I purchased a Commander where the seller represented it as original finish and the slide was reblued. The picture was so poor I could not tell, and as soon as I opened the box, it was obvious. I need an early (Pre-1955) Commander slide or gun to correct the situation.

Sometimes you run into sellers who are ignorant of the refinish and will argue with you because they paid an original price and got a reblue, worth probably less than half of what they paid. Reality bites sometimes, and they do not want to admit they got taken.

The other things mentioned, like pits under the finish and dished screwholes, are obvious clues to reblues.


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dkf
Junior Member

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2003 :  8:26:33 PM  Show Profile
Another thing to look for is in the magazine well and on the inside of the rail you will find two levels of colors if it has been reblued and if it was rust blued prior to 1940 it will have more of a blue tone, if it was done after 1940 it will have a blackish blue.So if you know that the weapon was manufactured prior to 1940 and it has a blackish tone than the odds are it was reblued.
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rldowns3
Advanced Member

USA
6718 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2003 :  9:38:01 PM  Show Profile
I'd also look for inconsistancies in the blueing color. Sometimes you can spot a gun that has been "touched up" by looking for dark(er) spots typically around where you'd see normal handling and holster wear.

_______________________

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bambihunter
Advanced Member

USA
9554 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2003 :  01:50:19 AM  Show Profile
Great question 'downer!
I have been able to spot obvious jobs, but hopefully will find some of the not-so-easy ones as well.
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Joe H
Junior Member

467 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2003 :  7:34:54 PM  Show Profile
One of the first things to look at is the finish..is it a high polish? Most of the older guns never had high polish finishes. Judge Colt gives us a fine example.Another important issue is the stamping that ViperEater mentioned. you should be able to run your finger over the stamp and feel a burr. A reblued gun with a high polish is a sign of a L A Z Y gunsmith...I personally will charge a customer more money if he brings me a gun that has touched a buffer!!

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p3skyking
Advanced Member

USA
19049 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2003 :  10:12:31 PM  Show Profile
I agree with everything previously, however I smell the gun. Even a hot blue has a smell that lingers. Not forever mind you, but if the blue is that new looking, it may still be there.

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JudgeColt
Senior Member

2381 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2003 :  10:41:09 AM  Show Profile
Here is another example of a horrible refinsih:

http://www.GunBroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=8499272

While this pistol may have originally been nickel, I doubt it. Notice the dished slide and rounded sharp edges. Sadly, some ignorant buyer may pay a big price for this pistol.
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JudgeColt
Senior Member

2381 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2003 :  10:14:24 AM  Show Profile
Here is an excellent example of the way a correct Pre-War Colt Government Model should look:

http://www.GunBroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=8515062

Notice how flat the flats are, and how sharp the corners and edges are. Notice the very blue color and satin texture of the finish. I would rather have this Colt with its blemishes many time over than any of the refinished examples set out above. It really bothers me that the bidders on those refinished guns probably do not know the gun is refinished, but I guess it is none of my business. Buyer beware!
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