Back in the day…around the turn of the Century, firearm manufacturers used to apply a finish to their firearms know as ‘blue.’ It was a labor intensive process to apply the finish, each part had to be polished, then dipped in several tanks at different degrees of temperature for different periods of time to achieve the final desired finish. That finish was actually a charcoal looking blue…but not black.
Well as the years progressed and Doctors determined how detrimental to your health were the fumes produced in the Blueing process, the process was changed and altered to be easier and less hazardous. However, the final product lost the ‘blue’ hue to it and it became black. What you see today is often referred to as ‘blue’ but the finish is nothing of the kind…it is black. Or even now a spray on black polymer finish.
Well there is one Company, Turnbull Restoration & Manufacturing, that still uses the old methods, and up to date safety procedures too. The final finish is the real Charcoal Blue of Yesteryear. If you have a very, very old Colt or S&W you can see the blue in the finish, it is not at all black.
Well Nagel’s was made aware that Wilson Combat, known for their Custom 1911 pistols the world over, was taking the final orders they would for pistols finished by Turnbull in the Charcoal Blue, it just got too expensive. Below are the pictures we took just today when that pistol arrived 1 year later. Check them out for a piece of firearms history.