I recently acquired an old Colt 32 auto fairly cheaply. Not a safe queen. Over a century old, per the number, it had seen some use. Sadly it had apparently also been stored loaded in a leather holster for several decades. Springs were set to compressed or simply broken, and the gun was heavily pitted. The retaining pin for the firing pin was actually rust welded to the slide. Pics are below. I cleaned it in Hoppes 9 and removed and replaced all the springs (thank you Gun parts and Wolff) and cleaned the rust out of the firing pin tunnel and threw some Jobbo in there to stop that rusting, then burnished the tunnel out (replacing the firing pin too). Test fired (both slow and rapid) yesterday, I am happy to report it now works flawlessly. I will probably go with Novak sights on a spare slide (from Gun parts), however, since there is almost no bluing left, the overall appearance needs an upgrade IMO. Note the slide pitting below (also marks from my efforts to remove a pin that had forgotten the meaning of the word remove).
I wrote Colt and asked if they could refinish it, i.e., restamp it and then reblue it to Royal. Got the old, "the gun is too old, it's discontinued, parts are no longer available, yada, yada" reply with a little printout suggesting I buy parts at Gunparts or Jack First (no mention of parts in my letter, just a pic and can you refinish the exterior). Not what I wanted to hear. I can polish it down and take out those pits, but I am pretty sure, given the depths and location of the slide pitting the lettering would totally disappear. The solution is to deepen the cuts (stamps) so the markings remain behind when the gun is polished before the re-blue. I know there is at least one smithy out there specializing in re-cutting and deepening faded markings on old Colts because I have seen his posts, but sadly I have not seen anything about this recently and don't have the links anymore. Does anyone know the link and what he charges? As stated, Colt was my first choice, but they won't do discontinued models. [What did they do with their old stamps for the discontinued models?]
My third option is of course simply parkerize it over the old markings. Thinking of that too if necessary. Suggestions are welcome.