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Old 01-20-2012, 10:24 AM
Nowhere Man Nowhere Man is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Port, FL
Posts: 395
How can you tell if a gun has been reblued?

Are there telltale signs to look for?

Thanks, Dave
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:32 AM
dbarn dbarn is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,088
Look at known originals

Lines are not as crisp or well defined

Markings are worn or partially obliterated

Finish and parts are not period correct or not factory original

Older finish should have some degree of patina or browning mixed in

Uniform wear patterns
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:01 AM
old cop old cop is online now
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,454
All true but also:

Many reblues are different in color and some are so far off you can spot them across the room.

Look for rounded edges and letters that are not as deep as normal

But the best advice has already been given: compare with other examples.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:56 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Rural VA
Posts: 14,935
Sometimes if the job is professionally done, you can not really tell.

But some good points have been made so far. As you gain experience you will be able to tell. Additionally one has to consider wether this is something that matters to you or not. Certainly if you are a collector of rare guns you do not want to spend a lot of money on refinished guns MOST of the time. On the other hand you may just like an old, hard to find gun as a shooter, etc. For any reason, I do this from time to time on guns that I like but that I do not wish to spend a lot of money on. In this case does it really matter to you if the gun is refinished or not? There are a number of ways to look at this.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:42 PM
dfariswheel dfariswheel is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 4,477
Some signs of a re-blue:

A finish that doesn't match an original factory finish for that brand and model.
As example, the factory finish is well polished and this one is a duller polish.

Sharp edges and corners rounded off.

Lines blurred.
As example the line where the flats of a slide join the rounded top is indistinct and uneven.

Holes are dished out.

Hammer and trigger pins in revolver frames are flattened or show a difference in the polish around the pins.

Lettering and logos are washed out or shallower on one end.

Many guns have a raised "crater" effect around roll stamps left by the factory.
Polishing will flatten these.

Signs of pitting or scratches UNDER the finish.

Odd colors.
A reddish or purple color often indicates a re-blue.
Some factory guns, notably some older Ruger's had a purple color, and many blued Pythons have purple cylinder releases.
However, purple and especially reddish colors are a sign of a poorly operated bluing operation and almost always are a sign of a re-blue.

Ripples or waves in flats.

On Colt pistols and revolvers blued hammer sides are a certain sign of a re-blue. Colt polished the hammer sides "white" after bluing.

Polishing intrusions into bead blasted areas.
Manufactures usually do a good job of bead blasting slide tops and revolver top straps.
Re-finishes often show areas where the polisher intruded into the bead blasted areas.
Conversely, showing bead blasting that intrudes into a polished area may be a result of poor polishing.
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