Friday, May 22, 2015

The Phoenix Project: The Resurrection of a Colt Trooper MK III: part 4

This is the 4th installment of the restoration of a Colt Trooper MkIII. See Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

This is the part of the build where we really get to make the gun look great. Once blued it may even look even better than it did when it left Hartford.
It would be nice to achieve a Python "Royal Blue" finish (Royal Blue was the name of the finish, not the color). Seeing as how we are adding a vent rib barrel and the guns share the same frame size....


Replicating Colt's Royal Blue finish is a lofty goal, but like Vince Lombardi said:"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence"

In case anyone is interested, the Python and the Trooper are not the same underneath....
The Python uses the old Colt lock work from the New Service, Police Positive and Detective Specials while the Trooper uses a new system that incorporates a coiled hammer spring and different internal parts. The Troopers were more durable, cheaper to make and some say stronger than the Pythons. 
The Troopers lock work was also used on the Lawman, the Border Patrol, the Metropolitan Police, The Whitetailer, The King Cobra as well as the .44 Magnum Anacondas and Kodiaks.


 Back to work....I taped off the frame and sand blasted the top of the frame and blended it with the top of the barrel. This does two things, it prevents glare in the sight picture and it helps hide some of the pitting on the top of the frame

The factory did this on Troopers and Pythons

I turned my attention to the cylinder, in this picture it looks flawless compared to the old one....but it wasn't
 I removed the old bluing with my wire wheel on the bench grinder, you can see the small scratches in the metal, these may have been there from when it was made, they were hard to see under the bluing. If we want a high polish, Python like finish we will need to remove all imperfections


Close up of the scratches

The sanding started with 220 grit and finished with 2000 grit, now it is time for the buffer.
I went back to working on the frame and barrel, this is a 2000 grit finish, there are very minor scratches from the sanding that the buffer will take care of



This is after the initial pass on the buffer. I will gently work the gun, staying away from screw holes and roll marks, using gentle pressure and a mild abrasive.
I ordered a new buffing wheel to perform the final polish, this will be time consuming..




More polishing, I used some worn out 2000 grit wet/dry sand paper along with some Mothers polish.
The problem now is to figure out when it is smooth enough


A couple of pics showing the progress



The next step is to blue the gun and reassemble