Re: Type of blue that can be safely used on !945-1950 Smiths.
Posted by Chris Frantz on January 29, 2019, 9:26 am, in reply to "Type of blue that can be safely used on !945-1950 Smiths."
I just read again in the Rich Beyer book (2nd ed. pg 109-11) that Marlin wanted to reduce the bluing time from the 4 days that it took to rust blue the barrels. They tried a new process/product called Duolite that used a baking soda solution and cut the time to 4 hours. Unfortunately, they learned that the Duolite ate through the solder and had a tendency to flake off. About 5000 guns (assuming "S" prefix guns) were done this way and recalled to be rust blued. |
As someone who dabbles in Smith restoration on non-collector grade guns, I would not use anything caustic. I also don't think the finish would look correct on a Smith if the barrels did somehow survive the salts. For something faster than traditional rust bluing, I've had great luck with Mark Lee's Express Blue. It uses the same process as slow rust bluing (rust, boil, card, repeat), but the "red rust" step requires much less time. The final finish is slightly more black (and less blue) than some slow rust solutions produce,in my opinion, but its very close, very durable, and looks "right" on guns from this era.