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Hello,
I am Paul Lippold, and the person who is doing the finishing on the Colt 1911 WWI replicas. Since I occasionally pop in here and take a look at what’s going on, I thought I would jump in and add a little info for those who might be interested. First off, let me say that working with Colt on this project has been a pleasure, and I can tell you that everyone I work with there is really determined to make a first rate quality product! The finish on these pistols is the “true” Carbonia method, and is the exact same process that Colt had originally used. Now I’ll tackle the big color “thing”. Needless to say, the manufacturing of firearms has passed by this finish a long time ago, and we actually see this finish completely dropped by the end WWII by all the major manufacturers. The alloys and heat-treating methods used to produce firearms today is quite a bit different than it was back then, and those two items combined have a major affect to the finish. The fact that this finish can be accommodated to the modern steels is a testament to how good this old finish actually is. Of course, it is not without it’s negative side. Mostly being the care of polishing, cleanliness of product (and I mean squeaky clean!), and absolute perfection in finish processing, it is more art than science. This finish is completely different in how it produces its color compared to all modern blueing finishes. Carbonia is not an oxidizing process! It is blueing steel with heat, and that is a major difference. That is why the heat-treating issue does come into play. Oh yeah, Mark really doesn’t rag too much at all, he has a pretty placid personality :) Really though, everyone on this board is lucky to have Mark contribute to it, he is a great guy to work with. Paul.
 
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