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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I bought #71B1000, a stainless Series 70. I doubt it's actually the 1000th one off the line, considering that the way Colt assigns serial number blocks is schizophrenic at best. This is one of two I own, which unfortunately are not consecutive numbers. :(

Anyway, there were a few minor things that have been bugging me about these guns from a cosmetic perspective, plus the weather outside sucks and I'm just generally bored. So I decided to get out the hand tools and go to work. The two things that annoyed me were the sharp edges everywhere, and more importantly the raised metal around the rollmarks. The markings are applied at the factory after most of the polishing operations have already been done, and it causes the metal that's displaced when the markings are stamped to crate a ridge around the letters. Anyway, it made the markings look odd to me. Therefore I first did a complete teardown of the slide and frame, including removal of the grip screw bushings and plunger tube (BTW the plunger tube was already loose and came right off with minimal effort). I degreased the parts, then began to polish the slide and frame flats with various grades of emery attached to a flat block. I oiled the surface first, and used a back and forth motion following along the "grain" of the metal.

I began with 600-grit emery, and with it I leveled the markings until the raised metal around the letters was gone. Once that was accomplished I moved up to 1000-grit, and put a nice polish on the flats. I followed that up with a few passes of 1500-grit, then 2000-grit. Finally I got out some automotive polishing compound and finished it off. I could have gotten a higher level of polish, but I only made a few passes with each grit to clean up what scratches the prior grit left behind. I didn't want to make the flats totally glossy, just a nice shine similar to the polish seen on pre-70 Colts. Following that, I dressed down all the sharp edges with a small stick wrapped in 1000-grit emery.

I then re-staked the original plunger tube back on, replaced the grip screw bushings (NEVER reuse them if they were previously staked in place), and degreased the parts again. The pistol was re-assembled and oiled, and I threw on a set of Colt custom ebony grips with medallions. The pistol now looks a lot better, with a nice semi-gloss polished finish (that will probably scratch the first time I even breathe on it :hrm: ). It is noticeably shinier than my factory-stock one. To give you an idea, I can clearly see my reflection in the polished pistol, while I can't in the stock one.

One other thing, the rollmarks on my pistol were obviously of an even depth. That was fortunate, as it allowed the markings to still remain consistent afterwards. If the markings were of uneven depth it would be hard to sand them down without starting to wipe them off.


 

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WOW!

That is without a doubt the prettiest Colt that I've seen posted in quite a while.

You do good work Dana.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. The pictures don't truly show how shiny-smooth the surfaces are. Unfortunately the weather has been a dog today so I couldn't take very good outdoor pics. The original finish on the new Colts is fine, but once you see a higher degree of polish it really sets the pistol off. I almost feel like doing the same to my blued Series 70 and then having Colt dunk it in the tank again.
 

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That does look nice Dana! You're right about that right side rollmark, it jumps out at me every time I look at the gun. I'll follow your lead, then bead-blast again.
 

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It looks great. I've been looking for a set of grips like those. If you run into anymore let me know.

Happy New Year to all. Hardball1911
 
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