View Full Version : Cold Bluing a S&W Mod.36?

January 01, 2010, 20:41
I recently got a S&W Mod.36 in trade that has some bluing issues, I have virtually nothing in the gun and intend on keeping the gun. I am considering re-bluing and want some input. Any suggestions on what to use or not use, steps to follow? Just looking for some pointers.

January 01, 2010, 23:04
Unless the appearance offends you, I wouldn't bother with the cold blue.
Most don't work all that well and it won't do anything for the value either.

January 01, 2010, 23:17
Cold blue always looks like crap. You won't be happy.

If you want it to look great again, send it back to S&W. Their refinish will run about $200.

If you plan on carrying it, numerous aftermarket finishes that are rust-resistant are available from many vendors. Some are exotic paints like gun-kote, others are forms of plating that can look like stainless steel.

I would just leave it alone, or sell it and buy a gun that meets your standards and expectations for appearance.

January 02, 2010, 04:37
I cold blued a 36 that was carried in the ex's purse where asprin came into contact with it and ate the finish. The cold blue cleaned it up but it wasnt a royal blue by any means. Looked ok for her tho and as she became the X I didnt much care.

Regal Beagal
January 02, 2010, 10:26
The only cold blue I would even touch is Brownell's Oxpho blue.. But what I prefer is a rust blue finish. Much more durable than even a hot blue finish. Pinkston's Rust blue formula is a fine finish but very time consuming. I am now using Laurel Mountains Barrel Brown that with a minor change in processing, produces a rust blue/black finish. I just redid my daughter's light 1100 by bead blasting then finishing in the Laural Mountain and it came out a very nice matte black. The only thing that you need to be careful of is not over carding the edges, other wise you'll have bare metal and you will need to start all over. RB

January 02, 2010, 17:35
Don't do it ... you will not like it !! ... pay a professional ... not that much $$$

ETA: I agree the "Oxpho" Blue from Brownells is the best cold blue on the market ...

ETA: #2 ... If the 36 has the finish worn off it has probably has enough age on it to be a really nice Old Smith !! ... deserving of a professional blue job ... they will never build 'em like that again !! ... the old Colts and Smiths are "works of art" mang ... jus' sayin' ... :wink:

January 03, 2010, 11:19
A re-blue is just that and will end up needing to be done again...IF it is a piece to be carried and used.

If ya want to re-finish and it's not a special or collectible piece; consider hard chrome. For the same money (Or less!) that what S&W will charge, ya can get it matte-chromed and never worry about it again.

Looks like stainless and is very slick, hard and long wearing. I have an auto that was done a couple hundred thousand rounds ago that still maintains a decent finish.
If memory serves, there are several doing the process. Accurate Plating Works comes to mind; but might not have it correct. Armalloy was one of the first. Was another big one in Texas that I can't remember offhand

Then again.....
I have an acquaintance that found a 36 in a snowbank at a rest stop while on a trip. Booger'd up and stripped mostly by road salt; he simply sanded it down and keeps it well oiled. :D

Yer call ;)

January 03, 2010, 11:39
I cold-blued an IMBEL barrel (ahead of the gas block - where there was practically no finish anyway).

I used 220 grit, then 400 grit to get it down to the bare metal.

Then I wiped Brownells Oxpho-Blue on the prepped area, using fine steel wool as an applicator.

It looked FANTASTIC!

(apologies for the crappy pics from the old 1.0 megapixel Kodak camera)
(didn't get the photo scale/sizing consistent - so this pic smaller)


Then I took that rifle hunting.
And it rained just a little bit during the hunt.
And every spot that the water hit that cold-blued barrel almost immediately turned into a rust spot.

So, I took my rusty gun home and wiped the cold-blued barrel really good with CLP. Most of the rust disappeared immediatly. However, I could still see a haze from where the spots had been.

Cold-blue is for TOUCH UP, or for a gun that stays nicely-oiled, and NEVER GOES OUTSIDE.

January 03, 2010, 14:36
As Gary said, cold blue is for touch up only. These guys have a great holiday sale going on and do first class work:

January 03, 2010, 19:15
Check with your local gunsmiths and ask who does the best blueing. Find out who it is and ask to see samples. I've seen some blueing jobs that look fantastic, but the bluer used too much pressure when polishing and buffing and lightened or smeared the stamped lettering.

There have been times that I have had someone polish the gun and someone else blue it.

Expect to pay around $100 for a good Model 36 blue job