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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
How's this for my first post...Back in 1990 I bought a Colt WW1 Bellau Wood Commemorative 1911. The gun was used, and didn't come with a case or documentation, but had been extensively carried and fired.
It has holster wear on it, but it is in very good shape, except for the worn blueing.
I plan to give it to my son for Christmas, and I need to know if it should be left as is or reblued. I'm inclined to leave it alone. If it's like anything else of this nature, it would devalue the gun to reblue it. But it's devalued already, isn't it?
It's a shame that the piece was ever carried, it's a beautiful gun.
What would you recommend that I do, leave it or reblue it?
Thanks,
Dave
 

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Unfortunately the 1967 WW1 commemoratives have never gone up much in value. The only ones worth keeping in unfired condition are the ones that still have the display cases with them, or better yet the complete like-numbered set of all four pistols. I would say to treat yours as a shooter and do whatever you like to it.
 

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I agree with dsk. In fact, IMHO, a NIB standard blue '67 Government would be worth a lot more than a NIB WWI commemorative...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So blue, or don't blue...it really doesn't matter? I have treated it as a shooter for the 23 years I've owned it, and it really has been a good gun. Reliable as gravity.
If I do reblue it, how much does a job like this cost, and should I send it to Colt for the work?
Sorry to jump into the forum asking questions left and right, but I have been reading the forum for a while, and I respect your experience in these matters...thanks!
 

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Colt can't get it back to you by Christmas, so there goes that idea.

If you can find a shop that can re blue it for Christmas for ~$300, do it.
 

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Don't be in such a rush to refinish that you end up with some hack who might damage it by poor prep work. It's gone this long, so take the time to get the refinish done by a quality shop.
 

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My late father's 1966 Government Model has a few scratches and wear areas to the finish. I'd never consider refinishing it however, because once I did it'd no longer be "his" if you know what I mean. I think this would apply here as well. I say present it to your son as-is and let him decide if he wasn't to refreshen it to look like-new.
 

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I wholeheartedly agree with DSK. My dad had a lot of guns he collected, and a few he shot. He has a .22 target pistol with handmade grips, whiteout on the rear sight under the front post alignment, and lot of wear. If he cleaned it up, put the original grips back on, and made it look like new, it would have ruined the meaning of the gun for me. Same with his trap shotgun. All those dings in the stock and blueing remind me of our days at the trap range together.

A gun's wear is like its memories. All that wear and tear are memories of my dad.


dakotaTex
 

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Colt can't get it back to you by Christmas, so there goes that idea.

If you can find a shop that can re blue it for Christmas for ~$300, do it.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster!

Bob
 

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The FFL I used to transfer one of my 01918 Repros trades Colts, especially ones that are collectable, and appreciate in value, and is seemingly knowledgeable. He called my WWI Repro a "Commemorative", and said they don't appreciate much at all. I told him it wasn't a Commemorative, but a Reproduction, and that I was going to shoot one them, and keep the other a safe queen. All I got was a deer in the headlights look, especially when I said I was going to shoot one regularly. I am sure he knows Pythons, Diamondback, and Woodsmans much better than more current Colts.
 

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Hold one - I thought the OP said he bought it used, with the wear already "applied" by the previous owner.

If the wear was done by the OP, or a family member, I retract my statement to be in line with what I have always said: honest wear makes the pistol an heirloom.

The gun was used, and didn't come with a case or documentation, but had been extensively carried and fired.
In this case, refinishing is the only thing the OP did (could do) to "make it his." Otherwise, he is just giving his son a used gun he picked up a while back.
 

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Hold one - I thought the OP said he bought it used, with the wear already "applied" by the previous owner...
You're right, but that was in 1990, over 20 years ago. I assume he and his son have shot it since then. So if he leaves it as is, it will be the way his son remembers it. If the OP refinished it, it's not the same gun. My dad bought a used Model 41 that we shot a lot as a kid. My brother now has it. I highly doubt he would have wanted my dad to have refinished it before he got it.

The son can always decide what to do after it's his. But once refinished, it can't be undone.


dakotaTex
 

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He said he has used it for 23 years - that qualifies to me as a 'Dad's gun' with wear from his use - that's what makes it valuable as an heirloom IMO. I would simply detail strip, clean, oil, replace recoil and firing pin springs if needed and gift-wrap it. It should stay original.
 

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So blue, or don't blue...it really doesn't matter? I have treated it as a shooter for the 23 years I've owned it, and it really has been a good gun. Reliable as gravity.
If I do reblue it, how much does a job like this cost, and should I send it to Colt for the work?
Sorry to jump into the forum asking questions left and right, but I have been reading the forum for a while, and I respect your experience in these matters...thanks!
I would not be so quick to refinish, if my dad were to give it to me I would like it the way he had it.
 
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