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Discussion Starter #1
I've had an Old Army since '92 that I got in a killer deal. $100 for it and a radar detector from my Section Sgt.

It was in pretty rough shape so I took it apart and threw it in a box. Well, here it is, 17 years later and I've finally got all the replacement parts I need (replacing virtually ever pin, spring, screw, etc.).

I was going to get it coated, but I just don't want to put that much money into it and am thinking of coating it myself.

Any of you guys have experience with the home bake-on finishes? I did it once to a 1911 back in the mid-90's and it seemed to go pretty well. Wondering if there's anything on the market now that is superior to what I used then.

I'll post pics of the dissected project tomorrow and some after pictures once it's finished.
 
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I've never done the baked finishes but have seen a few that have been done. They looked great...

I'd be tempted to take the gun and simply give it a good rub down with oil and steel wool and leave it. The older looking the finish the better..something in the order of a 100 year old Colt. I'd love to have an Old Army that looked like that, but functioned perfectly... ;)

giz
 

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Baked on finishes are OK if the prep work is done well. Bead blasting is almost a requirement.
That said, the finishes do wear and cap and ball revolvers have more external moving parts {loading lever parts} than a swing out cylinder {I call extractor rod internal} revolver. Those surfaces are going to show wear quicker with a baked on finish than the original blue finish {IMO}
Unless it had alot of finish issues, I would agree with Giz on it
 

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When I lived down on the coast, my neighbor acquired a Dan Wesson .44 Magnum that was functionally perfect, but had a lot of surface rust and pitting on it. He intended to carry it regularly on his offshore fishing boat, and wanted a "renewable" finish on it - so I helped him apply Brownell's bake-on finish to it - several times. It looked good for awhile but would began to chip and wear on the high points. Perfectly satisfactory for what he had in mind.

I'm sort of with Giz on the "antique" finish on this one.

However, the first thing I would do would be to send the frame and hammer to Don Menk's shop (scroll down here: http://www.cgm-gunstockcheckering.com/J1.htm ) for case color treatment. Prep the metal yourself (which you're gonna have to do anyway) and the cost of the job is much more reasonable. If I liked the look, I might prep the other parts and have them reblued locally for a unique "new" Old Army.

xtm
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You guys make an excellent point! I would love to keep the steel parts as is, but a lot of it has been sanded and polished. :( The barrel has a decent amount of blue left, but the receiver has virtually none left.

I wonder if I cold blued and steel wool'd it, that might give a decent antique look to it. Maybe I could match up the barrel and receiver a bit better. I might just experiment with it and see what happens. If I'm not satisfied with the results, I'll probably have to coat it. :(

The grip frame is aluminum, and has been sanded as well (it was in seriously rough shape), so it's probably gonna have to be coated.

I've already spent over $100.00 in parts alone and just don't have the cash to put much more into it. It's gonna be a shooter and although I don't really care how it looks, I'd like it to look better than it does presently (I'd like to take some pride in it ;) ).

If I had my druthers, I'd throw the whole thing in a park tank. :lol:
 

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Just this afternooon I re-blued a Swedish Mauser project gun I've been working on for longer than I'd like to admit. I used Brownells Dicropan T4. I had previously removed the old bluing with Birchwood Casey's rust and blue remover and polished the metal with varying grits of wet/dry sandpaper down to 600 grit. Foloowing the directions on the bottle and about 4 coats later, the finish absolutely amazes me. I never dreamed that a cold blue job could look that good. Best part is the T4 only costs about 10 bucks. Needless to say...very happy with the results.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I got tired of fiddle fartin' around with this thing and got it finished. I have yet to get the grip frame done and will just get a can of "spray and bake" to do that.

I re-sanded it and simply cold blued (I use 44/40) a few times with a wipe and steel wool between each application (I find that generally 3-4 applications produces a pretty decent blue).

Everything other than the ram and frame was refinished. I had a heck of time remembering how to install the cylinder latch spring as this thing's been torn apart since 1992. After 20 minutes of staring at it, I finally figured it out. I got so excited about getting it together that I forgot to install the pawl. :lol: Still have to install the new nipples as well.

I'm surprised at the trigger pull. I didn't do any work on the trigger or hammer hooks, but simply slathered 'em with moly. Feels like it breaks at about 3#.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and can't wait to shoot! I've only used Pyrodex in my black powder guns, but I think I may get some true black as apparently the fake stuff is much more corrosive.

Here's some pics:

During sanding:


Other side:


After bluing:


Other side:
 

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It really does look good in your photos!

If the Old Army turns out to be a fine shooter - and a favorite one - I'm still of the mind that you ought to consider sending that frame and hammer off to have them case colored for a one-of-a-kind look.

xtm
 

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LeMat,
That gun looks real nice.
You did a fine job on it.
Like the others said, surface prep is crucial before coating any parts.
Don
;)
 

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That came out great!, Nice job.
 
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Of all the BP handguns, the Ruger Old Army stands alone. Bill Ruger was a BP enthusiast, and when he set out to redesign the BP handgun, he applied his personal standards. If it wasn't going to be the best BP handgun ever built, he'd of scratched the project. Everything about the design is a step above. I have a friend here in Maine that was a direct report to the old man. The legend about the shooting of Bullseye in the OA is true! The gun held....

I've had 3 over the years and am looking for the elusive short barreled target sighted version ;) I would easily put the gun as accurate as most centerfire cartridge revolvers. Out to 100 yards if using conicals.

giz
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the kind words guys! :D

I recently compared the cylinder to that of my Dragoon and was amazed at how much thinner the cylinder walls, as well as the cylinder in general, was than that of the Dragoon.

Anyone know if the carbon steel Rugers are cast like the stainless guns? I'd imagine that the steel is stronger in the ROA than that of the Dragoon...... :?:
 

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LeMat said:
I recently compared the cylinder to that of my Dragoon and was amazed at how much thinner the cylinder walls, as well as the cylinder in general, was than that of the Dragoon.

Anyone know if the carbon steel Rugers are cast like the stainless guns? I'd imagine that the steel is stronger in the ROA than that of the Dragoon...... :?:
IMO, there are plenty of other things out there to keep you awake at night besides worrying about a Ruger cylinder failing with proper loads! :D I wouldn't try to proof it with a cylinderful of Bullseye and a conical, though.

Your Dragoon is an dimensionally-exact replica of a 1840s design for 1840s metallurgy. I'm sure Colt designers beefed it up so their available steel would withstand those heavy charges of black powder - and I'm certain that your replica is made of much stronger steel than the originals. If they slimmed it down to account for the improved steel, it would no longer be an exact replica.

xtm
 

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Nice job LeMat, It doesn't look any worse for wear. I'll bet you enjoy it. Frank
 
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