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Unread 04-10-2024, 11:02 PM   #1
big open
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Default Shooter P.38 Re-finish

I have a shooter byf 43 P. 38 that had been re-finished many years ago (1960's I think) and that finish has about 50% remaining now. To have a gunsmith refinish it in my area would run about $100+ today, more than I want to spend. Could someone recommend a good blue removal liquid and a liquid or paste bluing compound I could use to refinish the external surfaces of the P.38 ? The P.38 has all matching numbers through out and the bore is a little rough but not bad. So it is just a shooter piece. I have it in a new desert tan hard shell holster I picked up from Sarco for a good protective home to keep it. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Unread 04-11-2024, 01:56 AM   #2
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Default P.38 prep!

Hi Big open! I may be able to help you out... There are two distinct processes that need to be addressed for you to successfully acomplish your quest.
First is prep, and second is finish application!
The best way to strip the old blue is with a glass bead blaster and medium glass beads. After it is completely stripped, you can repolish the flats and exposed areas and leave all the non polished surfaces just as they are after the bead blasting. The flats, grip strap and other parts can be sanded with 220W/D. then 320W/D, and if you want some shine, 400W/D after which you use a 3M fine scotch bright blending pad. If you are going to send it to a salt bluing service, then give all the parts a light coat of oil to prevent rust.
Now for the finishing, you can have it salt blued, which is going to run you about all of the $100.00 you mentioned? Or you can have some other coating applied like nickel, powder coat, dura coat or something similar. Or, you can buy some rust blue solution online and rust blue it yourself and have practically nothing in your quest but time?.. If you want, I can do the glass bead part. It would be inexpensive and we can work something out if you'd like to play.. That's where it ends for me as I haven't any of the bluing / finishing skills to complete the task.. You can reach me at: gctomeks@msn.com best, til.....lat'r...GT...
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Unread 04-11-2024, 02:02 PM   #3
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G.T. ----- Thanks for the posting above and your offer to glass bead and prep the gun's surface for refinishing. Would the glass bead work remove any metal, round edges or in any way change the surface areas of the P.38. There are machine marks on the surfaces of the piece and I would want them to remain as they currently appear. Thanks again
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Unread 04-12-2024, 12:44 PM   #4
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Default glass beads

Hi big open! The beads do not remove any metal but it will leave a fine matt finish unless you finish the prep with some type of sanding or buffing? It is hard to overdo by hand, but can ruin a part in a few seconds if done on a buffing wheel or a wire wheel? I leave it all matt amd just polish the high spots or flat surfaces just like they originally did. It won't remove any of the machining marks, even the smallest mark is just about impossible to remove by hand.. A P.38 would be pretty easy as a big percentage of the frame is covered by the grips? And the slide surfaces are pretty much flat as well... The barrel will be a combination of polish, (barrel tube, and matt, chamber area) It won't be perfect! Gunsmiths spend decades trying to master the finish application. But, it will be nice. Better than lipstick on a pig! Especially when you add earrings and pearls!
Best to you, til.....lat'r.....GT...
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Unread 04-21-2024, 05:37 PM   #5
DonVoigt
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Default

If you are going to refinish by hand with a "cold" blue product; why strip the old blue?

I would clean/degrease and then use the cold blue product. The addition of the cold blue will blend with existing blue and likely give a better looking result.

I've found that "Van's" gun bluing is the one that works best for me
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