Les Baer Rebluing a Hillsdale

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by uncommonsense, May 12, 2019.

  1. uncommonsense

    uncommonsense Active Member

    Apr 14, 2018
    I've started lusting after blued 1911s, and I like how they can develop a nice patina. I had wanted to get a Dan Wesson Valor Blue when they were out, but didn't get one before they discontinued and pretty much dried up.

    I did find a new Valor Blue 9mm, but for $1750 which kind of detracts from the idea for me since I could have had one for quite a bit less had I jumped earlier. (Is $1750 overpriced for a NIB 9mm Valor Blue?)

    So I just won a Hillsdale 5" 9mm that has some scratches which don't strike me as being of the desirable patina type, and I was thinking if it bothered me enough I could have it reblued so I could start fresh.

    I was wondering, would Baer do any cleaning or polishing as part of the $160 rebluing process? Or is it some sort of a basic stripping and/or bead blasting and then bluing?

    The impression I get is that Baer's bluing is kind of functional and not as beautiful/deep as it could be, like old Colts for example. Perhaps I could polish the flats and scratches and such before sending it to be reblued.

    On the bright side the blemishes will let me relax a bit about possibly making any new ones and it adds a bit of workhorse/tool kind of character.

    So I'm basically wondering if rebluing is something that would make the gun look "like new," or is it more of a functional thing and any light scratches in the old finish would still be visible (just in blue)?

    Is "rebluing" equivalent to "refinishing," which to me definitely connotes an aesthetic-focus.

    Another option could be to have it hard chromed. I understand some say the Hillsdales are potentially better built and since they are of limited quantity they can be desirable and even command a premium sometimes. Would having a Hillsdale either reblued or hard chromed reduce its desirability or value?
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  2. gun_fan111

    gun_fan111 Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    Congrats on the win!

    Pay for it, shoot it. Then decide if all it needs is a refinish job or it needs anything else. For refinish only, I would personally send back to Baer. If it needs other work, I would look for another shop like NH (they do not do blue finish though).

    Choosing hard chrome over blue should not lower the value of your gun, since you should be disclosing that you refinished it when selling anyway...
    simonp and uncommonsense like this.

  3. simonp

    simonp Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2016
    Agreed shoot the hell out of it then decide if to refinish it & how.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    uncommonsense likes this.
  4. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    Baerwill prep the pistol prior to rebluing. It will essentially look new
    FWoo45 and uncommonsense like this.
  5. WWB

    WWB Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Supporting Addict

    Apr 11, 2015
    And more then likely be purple again I would send it to someone else personally. Steve Owens will turn it around fast with more options for what finish you really want.
  6. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Never really considered hard chrome until I purchased a HC STI here recently. I really like the finish and would give it serious consideration if I was contemplating a refinishing project. Either way I think you’ll be happy.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    simonp and uncommonsense like this.
  7. retrieverman

    retrieverman Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2013
    I like “wear” on a gun, so my vote is to just enjoy it and not worry about the finish.
  8. Hairtrigger

    Hairtrigger Active Member

    Sep 27, 2018
    If you love a quality blued finish check Turnbull, I’m sure it is way more than 160 but maybe worth asking
    FWoo45 and uncommonsense like this.
  9. Mark Anderson

    Mark Anderson Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2017
    Agree. Les keeps his gun prices lower by not providing a premium finish. I doubt his shop is set up to do fine detail finishing.
    uncommonsense and WWB like this.
  10. mbacker_99

    mbacker_99 Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2017
    Send it to Glenrock Blue when you are ready to refinish. Some of the best prep and bluing out there.

    My Evolution Armory Government Model with Glenrock’s 400 grit long-polish and my Wilson Supergrade in deluxe blue.

  11. uncommonsense

    uncommonsense Active Member

    Apr 14, 2018
    Thanks for the perspectives. The consensus makes sense.

    It's funny the part about affecting the value. I am not so concerned about what a buyer would think, as I pretty much don't sell my guns. I'm more interested in not misusing my stuff, or doing something contrary to its best use. For example, drag racing a 4x4 or offroading a sports car, if that makes any sense. Or maybe a better example is taking a limited production or classic car and painting it a different color.

    I realize we can all do what we want with our stuff, but while I wait for the gun to get to me I can't help but think about "what ifs."

    Here are some auction pics. The seller had a monolith for sale too with a magwell but it went to more money. I am thinking this one is a better fit for me anyway since I have a Milt Sparks I can use for it. LB9 1.JPG LB9 2.JPG LB9 21.JPG
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2019
    WhoIsJohnGalt?, FWoo45 and simonp like this.
  12. retrieverman

    retrieverman Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2013
    I’ve found that pictures can make wear on a gun look worse than it is, but I don’t think it looks bad at all.
    Raven312 and uncommonsense like this.
  13. Joni Lynn

    Joni Lynn Professional Pest, NRA Patron member

    Dec 21, 2014
    Another great looking finish is the DLC that Nighthawk does. When the metal is polished first it'll come out looking a lot like a blued gun much much wear resistant.
    WC145 likes this.
  14. grayghostforge

    grayghostforge Hit it while its hot

    May 17, 2017
    In no particular order..

    Just shoot it & luv it
    Hard Chrome

    Reblue sounds like a waste of $ to me.
  15. nod

    nod Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Nov 19, 2015
    If I may, does Baer hard chrome used LBs and anyone no how much?
  16. uncommonsense

    uncommonsense Active Member

    Apr 14, 2018
  17. Greg6640

    Greg6640 John 14:6 Supporting Addict

    Apr 20, 2015
    uncommonsense likes this.
  18. nod

    nod Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Nov 19, 2015
    Thank you. I'll have to kinda mention it to the wife :). I always wanted hard chrome and have a new TRS sooo...

    I apologize to the OP for straying.
    uncommonsense likes this.
  19. uncommonsense

    uncommonsense Active Member

    Apr 14, 2018
    Stray away! I got my answers and am enjoying the thread.

    I'm geeked to get my 9mm. Does it look like it's a Premier II based on the pics? The auction called it a match.
  20. Joni Lynn

    Joni Lynn Professional Pest, NRA Patron member

    Dec 21, 2014
    LB guns can be hard identify since models and options can cause over lap. To find out for certain, call LB up and give them the serial number and they can probably tell when made and what it is with whatever options were included.
    uncommonsense and FWoo45 like this.

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