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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for opinions as to what other Addicts would do in this circumstance. My first 1911 was purchased 25 years ago, it is a series 80 Colt. I sent it out several years ago and had it turned into a full blown custom by a well known smith, this included changing it from a blue to a polished hard chrome finish. As time has passed, I find myself not liking that look anymore and would prefer either going back to a full blue, keep the frame hard chrome and either blue the slide, or ionbond DLC it.

Now if this were any other pistol, I would just sell it and move on, as I would prefer not putting anymore money into it. However, being this was my first, it has sentimental value.

What say you my fellow addicts?
 

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So soon old, so late smart...
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If it were me in your situation, I would just leave it alone and buy something else to shoot. I am in a similar situation. My first 1911 was/is a Colt Mk IV Series 70 Government Model that I still have today. The only modification that was ever done to it was that I installed a Swenson ambi safety (I'm left-handed and was shooting IPSC competition at the time). Everything else about the pistol is still the way Colt built it.
I have occasionally thought about sending it off to get better sights, better grip safety, better this, better that installed, but I just can't bring myself to change it. I have a few trophies that were won with that pistol just the way it is, so the sentimental value, to me, outweighs any "improvements" I could make.
So instead I just have collected other pistols with all the "new" and "better" features, and I've left "old #1" alone.
Good luck making your choice!
 

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Kevin G
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If you still shoot it and it gets a lot of holster time, I really like the idea of DLC the slide for a nice 2 tone look. If it mostly sits a good bluing is hard to beat!
 

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The beauty of hard chrome is that it can be undone relatively easily. I don't know how true that is for other finishes. I gather there are very few refinishers who are willing to apply something different over Melonite. I don't know if that's true of Ion Bond or not, but it might be worth considering.

I think the two-tone black slide over hard chrome is a classic look, and if you can be satisfied with that, I'd go for it. It's definitely cheaper then buying a new custom gun, and if it restores your love-affair with your older gun, then go for it.
 

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I'm not a fan of the chrome so I would go with a full bluing of the whole pistol. The Colt Royal Blue look is what I'd do. But that's just me!
 
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VFW - Life Member
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What I would do, is detail clean that baby, shine here up and make a display out of her. That way you can keep her and reminisce of days gone past.
I have my first 1911, Colt Officer 80 series. HD right now, but will probably go back to being a safe queen. Completely stock, but the dots on the sights fell off.
 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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If I am not mistaken Hard Chrome is applied by an etching process, unlike plating it is basically etched into the metal surface and therefore becomes part of the metal surface itself this is 1.) why the finish does not flake like chrome plating, and 2.) why it is such a hard finish. As once it becomes part of the metal then it builds just slightly giving the surface a hard durable finish. I understand the idea of refinishing to turn something old to you into something new, but at the same time maintain the integrity of a one of a kind piece. Personally I would leave it alone and buy something new I could play with, but if you must refinish, make sure to send it to someone who can remove it properly. I know hard Chrome has to be chemically removed and cannot simply be removed like park, or bluing as it is a much more invasive process to apply the hard chrome. It is chemically etched into the surface of the metal.. Might not be a real cheap process to remove and refinish. So, no bead blasting or easy process for stripping off the hard chrome. But, ultimately this decision is your's I understand wanting to get everyone else's opinion, but only you know how you would be most satisfied with the gun. None of us can really tell you what to do as only you know what will make you happy lol. ;)
 

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Consider my signature line before replying . . . .
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TTT Patented / Phineas C. Zoid approved sub-urban rattle can finish . . . . . just sayin' . . . . . .

(This message approved by @tac45 , eminent Professor of all things profess-able . . . . )

rattle-can-finish.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the replies. Confirmed with both Metalloy and Evo, that the hardchroming can be removed by reversing the process and then can subsequently either blued or ionbonded. Just have to work it out on whether it is worth it to me. I have a couple others to tickle my fancy, but as I grow older my taste is changing and I find myself preferring simplicity.
 

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John 14:6
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That's beautiful keep it as is and pick up another one. Just my opinion.

Edit:
Ha, just noticed the Azoom 12 Guage snap cap. I used one just the other day for the same purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for the kind words. It did photograph very good. To give credit where credit is due, this pistol was done by Rob from Alchemy Custom and I was told it was his last one completed prior to his leaving for Cabot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's beautiful keep it as is and pick up another one. Just my opinion.

Edit:
Ha, just noticed the Azoom 12 Guage snap cap. I used one just the other day for the same purpose.
Lol. Was easier to grab a snap cap, then take out a shotgun shell from a stock sleeve. :)
 

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Leave it be as is. Looks beautiful. Besides. I think you may risk removing more of the roll marks if changed again.
 
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Even in the face of your pictures, I still support your decision to make the pistol what you want it to be. But not for nothing, I spent a fair chunk of change to make one of my Colts look very much like yours. So it definitely hasn't gone out of style.
 
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