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Well, I read this advertisement in GunsAmerica: "1902 .38ACP SPORTING Model with 6' barrel, much of the orig. blue has turned a blueish patina, markings are just fine, xlnt. black h/r Colt stocks, orig. blue magazine, casehardening on the round spur hammer is faded, produced in March of 1906, s/n 907x...", and I want to know what is "patina". Sorry.
 

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Some blued guns, over time, turn a sort of brownish plum color. I've heard various explanations as to why. I have Colts that are 90yo that show no traces of this, and I have some that do.
 

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Don't forgot if you are trying to sell your priceless heirloom to a dealer he'll call it "greying". If he is trying to sell said priceless heirloom to you, it becomes a "pleasing plum patina".

Lots of old Colts, mostly SAA but others also, and old lever actions get the "patina" description.

"Bluish Patina" means "greying gun", just mostly still blue. A faded blue.
 

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Patina

Purely a WAG on my part, but since a lot of bluing is a rust process, the brown/plum patina appears to me to be a fine rust. Its often slick and shiney just as it would be if the blue were still present. I have a Win '06 22cal and a Colt '03 32acp that has the "patina"......not a speck of blue remaining. On the other hand, I have taken an old rifle and "browned" the metal using a browning solution sold by Brownell's which causes the metal to rust. Sorta looks like the patina guns I have, just not as smooth as it seems to eat into the metal some.
 

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Van Lacke...I have heard two different reasons for firearms turning "patina",
plum, or purpleish.,

1. Steel composition i.e. (higher nickel content)

2. Putting the steel components into the blueing tanks prior to being
brought up to the proper temperature. :grumble:

just my .02 cents. :D

smith one
 

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I don't know what causes it, but I have seen quite a few older guns with a "patina" color. My 1911 produced Colt Army Special definately is patina. It's sort of a brown color that used to be blue. It's just my guess, but I have a feeling its the decomposition of the blueing over time. Here's a picture of my patina Colt:


 

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I've always heard that "pleasing plum patina" is just a marketing term for "rust."
 

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Kev_byf said:
I don't know what causes it, but I have seen quite a few older guns with a "patina" color. My 1911 produced Colt Army Special definately is patina. It's sort of a brown color that used to be blue. It's just my guess, but I have a feeling its the decomposition of the blueing over time. Here's a picture of my patina Colt:
Interesting that you chose an Army Special to demonstrate the patina effect; I had an Army Special (mfg. 1916) that was as close to 100% condition as any pistol I've ever owned. The (original) bluing was in perfect condition, with no hint of the peeling/freckling/fading/graying, etc. that can be seen on old guns. My M1908 pocket model has just about every kind of fading and discoloring imaginable, and it was made about about the same time (1915). My somewhat earlier M1903 pocket is in much better condition, with more of the finish remaining, and what's left being more nearly "blue" than the grays and browns of the .380. I suspect that the manner in which the guns were cleaned, stored, and otherwise cared for, over the years, is what determines which guns will remain pristine, and which won't.
 

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Klingon said:
I've always heard that "pleasing plum patina" is just a marketing term for "rust."
You win the cigar !

Patina is the resultant mix of the remaining blue (if any) and the rust that over time has turned the gun a PLEASING brown ;)

No offense meant , but the above Army Special appears to have a worn/rusty area on the side that was then possibly cold blued leaving a blueish/brown area . Just an observation .

I have not seen any vintage Colts turn plumb unless it was from a reblue .
 

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No offense taken! :D I picked this gun up a few years ago and its past has been a mystery to me. It's missing two chunks of plastic from the grips at the bottom of the frontstrap and has the marking "D W.G. No. 2" on the bottom of the grip. I honestly don't think its been reblued, maybe just exposed to the elements a little. It doesn't have any pitting or rust and is a very accurate shooter. I keep thinking I want to get rid of it, but it's one of those guns that shoots well and just sorta feels right. Here's a pic of what of I'm talking about. If anybody has an idea what this means please let me know!

 

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FWIW, I was reading an article in Guns and Ammo magazine this morning (Nov. 2005, p. 69-70) and they made passing reference to this exact condition when talking about early Ruger Single Six's.

"However, the alloy in some of the earliest guns did not take the blueing well, and their frames subsequently took on a purplish hue, much to the delight of ruger collectors who actively seek this variation."

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A condition less desireable to me might be much more desireable to someone else.
 

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Blued cast parts are very susceptable to the plum color. Note the old Auto Ordnance 1911s. I have seen very few that did not have a plum tint to it and it got worse as the bluing wore. Ruger used casting in MANY, if not about all of their guns, I would suspect they have their fair share of plum tinting also.
 

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fxntime is correct. Here is a pic of my NIB S70 Gold Cup, you can see that the safety has turned a plum color. I have a blued Python that the cylinder release has turned plum and a Ruger M77 .308 that the entire reciever has turned plum. I think it looks kind of neat myself and gives a hint of the age of a weapon...
 

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