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Two-tone mags revisited

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I was digging through a box and found a "B" marked two-tone mag which was full-blued at sometime in its past. Does anyone know if this was ever a rework procedure carried out by ordnance suppliers, or is it more basement trash/good shooter?
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Two tone mags,

I may be wrong,but I believe all two tone mags start out fully finished and it is the hardening process(part of which is dipping the top end of the mag in cyanide) that removes the finish from the top section of the mag.

Stumpy
 

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Two Tone Magazine

Stumpy has it correct. Colt heat blued their magazines by the same process they used to blue their pistols. The magazines were originally tempered and then blued. Colt found that the temperature from the heat blueing was removing the the temper from the lips of the magazine, and changed the process to blueing the magazines first, and then tempering them in liquid cyanide at around 1500 degrees F. The cyanide removed the blueing to the depth that the magazines were dipped, which was specified to include the magazine catch notch early after the tempering procedure was changed. Colt did not find this finish objectionable, as they used it on both their commercial production and government contracts to almost 1940.

 

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Refinished magazines I've seen directly from the military, those with DCM pistols or in field service wrappers or etc, have all been parkerized. I've always thought the overblued two tones were probably thrown in the tank when the pistol was reblued so they would look "new" also.

I've seen some later blue pinned magazines that show different colors on the top and bottom that I thought might have been tempered first and then blued but that's just my theory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I figured as much, but thought the question was worth asking. BTW, I didn't see anything good at the DesMoines GUNshow today except a couple barrels, worn-out keyes grips, a tuned-up and peened framed early commercial gov't, a refinished 1914 GI 1911, and a bus-load of KNIVES and BEADS. Pretty dry.
 

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I have been looking for a teo-tone for my 1918 Colt on various sites including ebay and gunbrokers. From time to time I see mags that are two tone but the bottom (blued) portion of the mag is an almost as new blueing and the the two tone seperation is very distinctive and very straight. Are there are a lot of fakes two tones out there? I figure since they are doing guns and gun parts why not mags. Is this a safe assumption? How can you prevent from being taken, sometimes it's hard to tell detailing from a photo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In my observation, the original two-tone mags usually will have a dark band or line around the color division at the very top of the blued area (like the top mag in Johnny's photo here). Yes, there are fakes, but the ones I have seen just fade from blue or charcoal grey into the bare metal area. Also, an early military mag will not have a "weep" hole at the base where it meets the toe/floorplate like most modern mags do.
 

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Reproduction Tw-Toned Magazines

At a gun show in North Carolina, a table that only dealt in magazines (they had them for just about every semi-auto pistol and rifle in existance) had a bin full of two-toned magazines with lanyard rings. At first they said they were original until they realized I wasn't buying it, then they admitted the magazines were reproductions. Not hard to see how someone could artificially age a reproduction to look like an original finish, so I am very suspicious of the two-toned magazines sold on ebay.
I have a fully blued commercial Colt magazine, pinned floorplate and a clear line just below the magazine catch slot. I figured that at some point Colt re-blued all the commercial magazines left over after WWII and sold them that way.
 

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Thanks guys. I have a 1924 Transition and it had a two tone. But you can tell it was original. I guess my comment was that the mags I saw were brite blue to brite metal. But I would agree, I am real suspicious of things on ebay and gunbroker.
 
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