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I know you guys love original finish ( or lack of) on the old colts, but at what what point do you draw the line.. LGS has a late 50's early 60's commercial with some rust spots(not patina) on the slide. Still has a lot of blue left, but the rust is harsh in a few spots. Whats the right move, get it refinished, or leave it as an ugly survivor. It seems priced just a bit high, but its a consignment.
 

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For me obvious signs of physical abuse or neglect are where I draw the line. Rust and pitting count. I can have a gun reblued easily but trying to fix severe corrosion is very difficult and expensive.
 

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If the weapon is starting to pit, your ruining it, get it fixed.
 

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Rust is a price killer. Say the pistol would normally be priced at $1500. With active flaking rust, certainly covering pitting, it could lose 75% of value. In this case, with the rust on the slide only, I would look at it as the value of the frame and other parts (minus slide) at retail, for which I would pay 50% to 70%. So, I might give somewhere around $500 for it. I'm sure the LGS and the pistol owner would be insulted by this offer. They probably know that sooner or later, a sucker is going to offer $1250 for it.
 

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Wear is one thing, active corrosion is another.

I'm not a collector, so having a super rare model (which this doesn't appear to be) that has the dreaded "sock drawer rash" of being left lying unprotected/unoiled in a drawer for long periods, is not an issue. I buy my guns to shoot and while having some collectable value is nice, it's not THE thing for me.

You've gotten GREAT advice so far imo. Deduct what you'd have to do whatever you want to do with it and make that your offer. If they don't bite, pass on it and seek another pistol.

Just my .02 but rust is BIG no-go for me.
 

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Well let me say this. Every gun has it's price. A gun with rust or a broken part is worth less than one without rust and 100% serviceable. The older they get the more you will see wear and neglect on some. I've made offers on some guns that were in pretty bad shape cosmetically with the idea of having them refinished. Make the owner a ridiculously low offer and see what happens. He probably won't be getting many offers. Just know what it's going to cost to clean it up before you make your move.
 

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All the above advice is on point.If the slide is actually pitted and you want the piece I'd go with the low-ball and see what happens,but pitting is a major problem,and almost impossible to correct. You have to remove too much material prior to re-bluing. I had this problem w/ a C-96 , I had restored. We wound up re-barreling the gun (pitting was along the barrel) and it came out great ,BUT it is now not original.
Also Colt will probably not work on that gun. I have a very nice 1931 commercial ,1911,I got at auction , but they wouldn't re-blue it because they said it was too old!
 

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Reblue

Has anyone had one reblued?
Who did the work?
What were the results like?
How much did it run?

I have a couple sitting around that I fantasize about having restored, but other than the obvious issue of them subsequently not being original, I have a sinking feeling that I'll invest more into them than is wise.
 

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From the above advice, you can more or less determine the chances of this gun ever fulfilling YOUR objectives (whatever they may be). Is it 50/50? 60/40? 30/70? Then factor in the value of the gun to YOU, and there's your offering price.

Of course, dealing with the actual issues (the situation does not seem so bad from your brief description) is something else. While some would turn heaven and earth to "rescue" it, I would get it for cheap, shoot to determine worthiness, hit it with some steel wool, oil, add to my shelf of range guns.
 

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Rust is neglect. I know Flitz is sacrilege on a pristine weapon, but when I see the damage isalready done, I kill it, clean it and sin no more.
 
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