Python Blues

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by McX358, May 6, 2014.

  1. McX358

    McX358 New Member

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    Customer brought in a Colt Python, someone had done a REAL nasty nickel job on her, and I mean nasty. He wants me to remove the nickel; which I have, and see if I can give her a nice bluing. Whoever did the nickel, used it to cover up some pitting on under lug on barrel; pitting on a scale of 1-10 about a 7.5, however it is a very small overall amount. I would like to fill it in, and if it can be done, a very high polish dark blue could be done. I have excellent high grade silver solder 97%+; has anyone had experience in this situation? Will it take a blue? We are only talking a few spots; but enough to be noticed. I'm concerned on using a nickel gas welding rod so near the barrel; although the under-lug is solid there, and it would be just a dab, then polish / buff out.
     

  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    its already been fubar'd

    if the only thing thats f'd up is the barrel lug and the rest of the gun is decent enough a new barrel might be in order.

    welding nickel onto it, it isnt going to take a bluing.

    depends on if its worth the cost to the customer. having colt blue it will add value IF he keeps the paperwork. no offense intended here, if you do it it decreases value regardless of how well you do. but from your description value is pretty much shot anyway

    if the owner intent is just to make it a shooter with no intent to sell or rebarrel just clean the pitting and blue as is. you cant add metal back and re blue.

    if you used some sort of other coating it is possible
     
  3. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    I've never seen a Silver Solder (or ANY solder) that would take bluing.

    A fill with 3% nickel rod would probably work. Tig might be better than
    oxy/acetylene. I've set barrels up with water circulating through them
    to prevent any heat treat issues while welding.

    As others have said---it IS a Python, but it's been Bubba'd. Best it's ever
    going to be is a shooter. So heck yes--take a whack at filling the pits etc.
    You can always screw in another barrel if it all goes sideways----
     
  4. McX358

    McX358 New Member

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    I appreciate the input; just wanted to hear from some other "gunny's". As said yea the firearm was trashed when the customer had the moron nickel it. However that being said; that is what I've been in the business since 84; restore, and make silk purses out of sow's ears. a lot of my customers come to me, because they want dad's old shooter too look good again; few have any intention of selling. After I removed the nickel, I shot her, and she shoots extremely well; like the snake it is. The water through the barrel sounds like a good idea, was thinking along packing it with a heat sink material, or something along that line. The pitting is very slight, few would see it, and actually I could take it down enough where a Matt Finish would cover it up; but a Python deserves a nice dark high gloss finish. I have used a tig, and also a gas {I've been using gas for over 41 years; and dam good at it} and have blued over the welds; I.E bolt handles etc; but these specks are small. Again thanks for the advice.
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Mac- bluing is a layer of black iron oxide Fe3O4- which is different from rust- Fe2O3. In order to "blue" metal, the metal must contain iron.

    Silver solder is a mixture of Silver with copper and zinc. Notice the lack of iron? Silver solder is not going to blue.
     
  6. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    I see a number of problems here-
    Nickel plating won't cover pitting.
    I don't think there is a 97% silver solder. Sterling silver is 97% silver.
    Regardless, you can't blue any solder.
     
  7. McX358

    McX358 New Member

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    Bill; that's the problem the bone head who nickel the Colt, thought he could;it was so thick the cylinder would barely turn. Your correct; I had a brain cramp on using solder; wanted something to flow into holes, and forgot it won't take a blue. And yes I have 97% silver solder; and yes I will try to remember to snap a picture of it, and send it too you. I acquired some a few years ago; it is very expensive high end stuff; used it recently to fill in the front sight slots on a Vaquero. Customer wanted sights removed for fast draw comp. It polished up real nice, you could almost not see the difference between it and the stainless. It is harder than regular solder; and it is a ***** to work with unless you use the correct flux. I have decided just to take enough metal off lug to remove the pitting; if it is over a few thousandths I would be surprised, so it would be better that way; luckily the pitting is directly under, so it will come out OK.
     
  8. McX358

    McX358 New Member

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    Yea I forgot; believe it not I hold a degree in Geology...use to teach it; hey ask a question before you make an error...I'm old sometimes I forget things....a lot on the mind lately...just finished the new building...most of the help was all lip service from my "friends", so after a couple heart attacks while doing the foundation ...hence why I've not been on gun sites, etc..I'm getting back into my gunsmith work. It takes quite a bit out of you, and surgery leaves you with...what was my name, so it is some catching up in order. I have always felt a fool goes in head first sometimes, a wise man will ask if he doesn't know or in this case remember.
     
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i am not a gunsmith but a home tinkerer of guns, so take my advice with a grain of salt!

    what about draw filing the pits out and then sanding and polishing the metal?

    then once the pits were gone an the metal polished to look like the rest of the pistol, then you could re-blue it.
     
  10. McX358

    McX358 New Member

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    Bill; I apologize I'am in error; hard to believe I use to teach Geology and know the tables. It is SN I.E. 97% Tin you are correct. I'm having one of those days, when I shouldn't have done anything more than rolled over, and I would have screwed that up.
     
  11. McX358

    McX358 New Member

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    That's what I have come to finally figure out; just have a massive brain cramp tonight....way too much on whats left of my mental reasoning:eek: it appears today.
     
  12. McX358

    McX358 New Member

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    Well will send some pics I have a few before when the nickel was one it, like I said it was so thick the cylinder was turning hard...I have all the parts de-nickle except for the trigger and hammer, have to draw file the lug, and polish out the nicks, clean her up, and give her a baptism of salts. I have another nickel handgun; but I'm just repairing some issues, and sending that baby off to be striped, and re-plated. I will strip; but I do not plate....striping is bad enough. Perhaps all these chems. have finally leached into the gray matter.
     
  13. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    anytime you weld on something like this you need a massive heat sink. anti heat compound and a solid metal rod in the barrel for a sink. pack solid as you can carefully press the sink to the bore on the side thats getting welded and it should do no damage if you keep weld time short.

    im so paranoid about that when i removed my scar17 barrel lower rail i packed it with heat sink compound to melt the red locktite they put on the screw threads...

    worked like a charm. only the threads heated surrounding metal stayed cool.
     
  14. McX358

    McX358 New Member

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    I do however have a question concerning bluing; I have a pristine Marlin 455 built in or around 1957, 1958. She was built for a good friend of mine who has past away many years ago, he was an Olympic shooter, and sport / gun writer,and Marlin like other manufactures would give or make special items for them to test own etc. The dog I'm chasing is this; the rifle is a stainless barrel and receiver, however it is a very nice high polished blue. How they do that back then? I had heard it was copper platted then blued; anyone else know anything about that procedure? I know they did not have the special bluing mixture back then for stainless.
     
  15. McX358

    McX358 New Member

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    I know exactly what you mean concerning heat; I try to pull as much away from what ever I'm welding...heat is bad...I've seen some gunnys heat that barrel up to melt the lock-tite; their comment was well we are going to throw the barrel away...I just stare in disbelief thinking of the receiver. If I do have to weld her up, I will do exactly what you suggested. Thanks
     
  16. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i read something on the early Remington M700's back in the 1960's that some of the magnum calibers had SS barrels and were blued. in the article i read in American Rifleman, it said that they plated the barrel with copper first and then iron so it would accept blueing.

    this was in he December 2012 issue about the 50th anniversary of the M700. in case you would like to read about it. it may even be online in their archives.