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COLOR CASE HARDENING

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2009 at 22:14
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Besides Doug Turnbull has any one used someone else to have this done?I want to do my Ruger 44 mag Bisley model frame and hammer, I have had the barrel cut down to 6" and want to put a different front sight with a barrelband as well, then get a set of aged fuax ivory grips.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 05:30
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I haven't used anybody to case harden, but there are a bunch of guys out there doin' it.  Bucky
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 07:11
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I say do nickel and real ivory.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 07:40
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James, one thing to consider with your project.  With modern heat treated steels, the color case hardening process can sometimes cause problems like warping, cracking, etc. if it isn't done while the steel is in the annealed state.  Consequently, some people won't do it on a current production, out of the box factory gun.
 
Doug Turnbull is the best in the industry at color case hardening... period.  Even if you don't use his services, I would call and get his company's advice on whether or not it's a good idea to have it done on your revolver and heed the advice.  I once considered having a Ruger #1 receiver color case hardened and was advised against it for the reasons mentioned above.
 
Wes's idea about nickel and ivory is a good alternative to consider, though real ivory grips are pretty expensive.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 08:33
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All that said, NOTHING I've seen looks as good as a nice case hardened weapon.  It is a beautiful thing.  I am considering buying a gun I'll probably almost never shoot just because I like the color case hardened finish.

Who makes a nice case hardened break-open revolver in a common cartridge (no 44-40 or such)?
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I agree; a well executed color case job is a thing of beauty!  I don't know about the break-open criteria, but the nicest color cased classic handguns I've ever seen have all come directly from Turnbull.  They have their own line of handguns, not just restoration work.  Their work is the standard from which all others are judged.
 
 
Anybody heard anything about these folks' work?:
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 09:25
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http://www.uberti.com/firearms/top_break.php


That's more what I was looking for.

Dammit, man; I didn't need a $2000 revolver, but now I "need" a $2,000 revolver!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 09:48
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Laugh
 
If you've ever seen Turnbull's work -- not just all the fantastic metal finishes they do, but also their metalwork, stockwork, superb checkering, and wood to metal fit... it will nearly make you cry!  You suddenly start thinking of things you can sell to finance a Turnbull project! 
 
You should see some of their "no holds barred" classic Winchester lever actions up close and personal!  Every other lever action will then look like crap from then on!
 
Uberti's guns are pretty nice for what they are...
 
But there's no comparison to anything Turnbull puts out.
 
Then again, it's not a fair comparison, because nobody else does comparable work either!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 09:57
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...I rest my case...
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 09:58
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

 
Anybody heard anything about these folks' work?:
 
 
If they do stuff for Bill Ogslsby, then I've seen it, and it is nice and they should have a good lead time.  Call Bill and ask him.  Tell him the crazy guy from Bloomington Ind sent you. Bill did a 1911 for me a few years back. I went over to the shop which is about 4 hour drive.  They had some nice case hardened stuff in the shop. Bill's shop does some AMAZING stuff with Rugers that only Bowen compares to.  Bill's stuff is art in both form and function.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 10:00
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Thanks for the feedback, silver.  That's good to know!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 10:12
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Dammit, this is not helping, now I need a lever gun!

That first one is flipp'in sweet.  I'm not a "gold in-lay" kinda guy, but the engraving looks fantastic, and I am a case hardened fan.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 10:19
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Dammit, this is not helping, now I need a lever gun!

That first one is flipp'in sweet.  I'm not a "gold in-lay" kinda guy, but the engraving looks fantastic, and I am a case hardened fan.
 
Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 22:23
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 One piece ejector housing with barrel band sight?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2009 at 22:31
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Dammit, this is not helping, now I need a lever gun!

That first one is flipp'in sweet.  I'm not a "gold in-lay" kinda guy, but the engraving looks fantastic, and I am a case hardened fan.
 
Wink


Man I agree with RC, those things are sweet!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2009 at 11:47
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Thats definitely the prettyist lever I have ever seen!  SWEET!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2010 at 12:31
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Turnbull color is not hardening, it's only cosmetic.  Ruger frames are so tough that color hardening would be unnecessary.  In discussions years ago with Doug he admitted his color is not hard because he fears it will warp frames.  He can actually get a hard surface, but I seriously doubt that his current "color" is actually hard on the surface.  This is the reason all his work has been spray varnished.  If it were not for the varnish, the color rubs off.  Most people looking at his work ASSUME it's hard, but his process is not authentic as far as color on oriignal coltls and winchesters.  There was a time when he was smaller and at the old location when the color did match very closely, but I believe the water supply and or his fear of warpage and the subsequent legal problems that could result have changed the quality.  He's the biggest NAME on the block, but by far not the best.  Scratch one of his color jobs in a hidden area with a screwdriver, it will ma and scratch the metal.  Rea case color can barely be touched.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2010 at 14:27
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Originally posted by jplower jplower wrote:

Turnbull color is not hardening, it's only cosmetic.  Ruger frames are so tough that color hardening would be unnecessary.  In discussions years ago with Doug he admitted his color is not hard because he fears it will warp frames.  He can actually get a hard surface, but I seriously doubt that his current "color" is actually hard on the surface.  This is the reason all his work has been spray varnished.  If it were not for the varnish, the color rubs off.  Most people looking at his work ASSUME it's hard, but his process is not authentic as far as color on oriignal coltls and winchesters.  There was a time when he was smaller and at the old location when the color did match very closely, but I believe the water supply and or his fear of warpage and the subsequent legal problems that could result have changed the quality.  He's the biggest NAME on the block, but by far not the best.  Scratch one of his color jobs in a hidden area with a screwdriver, it will ma and scratch the metal.  Rea case color can barely be touched.
 
With all due respect, that is not entirely true, especially with regards to vintage guns.  He does the original, authentic bone and charcoal process the same as was done on the original Colts and Winchesters, but he has perfected the process so that he gets more vibrant colors.  I have actually talked with him about this.  The surface is indeed case hardened the same as any other color case job.  He anneals the steel first and uses a jig, along with a precisely controlled process to control warpage.  Anytime you place annealed low carbon steel parts into a furnace packed with charcoal and bone, you will carburize the steel surface, i.e., case hardening.  This applies to soft steels that can accept additional carbon.  The Winchester rifles and Colt pistols he has restored, as shown on the previous pages have an authentic color case hardened finish.
 
It's true that color case hardening can cause warpage and isn't advisable to do on modern alloy steels that have been pre-hardened... usually through-hardened, as is the case with modern firearms.  This applies not only to Rugers, but all modern firearms.  Color case hardening provides no benefit for chrome moly steels other than cosmetic, and if these steels have been prehardened, it can destroy the heat treat properties.  This concern is not limited to Turnbull, but anyone else doing color case hardening.  This may be what you heard.  While it may be true that he has developed a special process for countering warpage and providing a color case appearance on modern steels that have already been heat treated, to say he is using some sort of simulated process that isn't authentic case color on the softer steels used on old Colts and Winchesters is simply false.  If he is applying a simulated color case finish on pre- heat treated steels, at least he provides that option.  Some others who do color case work won't apply the process to modern firearms at all.  In other words, he is faced with the exact same limitations as anyone else who does color case hardening.
 
If Turnbull isn't the best in the industry at metal finishes, then why is it that some of the most prominent custom gunmakers in the world use his services, and why is it that he is most often regarded as the best?  His work is usually the standard by which all others are judged.  He didn't reach that status by doing substandard work.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2010 at 18:48
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Well Ted, it's like I said, Doug is a great self promoter.  I've watched him grow over the years and he did everything and anything to get his name in the limelight.  He fanagled 200 raw guns from Colt to put his finish on it at a time when Colt should have been thinking about how to improve their own guns instead of letting an outsider outshine them with their own products!  It takes a lot of BS and other favors to make a marketing excutive flip on his own company.  You'll note that there are no more "Turnbull Colts" because the new CEO put a stop to that self defeating practice.  And there are very few collectors of high dollar Colts or Winchesters that regard his color as "matching original", it simply does not unless we are talking about the late Colts and 1886 winchesters, upon which he comes the closest.  Turnbull is the go to for the Colt Collecgtors association MODERN gun work, but those collectors into antiques gag on his color and polishing.  All one needs to do is read the preamble in any of his catalogs and you will know instantly where this man is at.  He's done a good job at makeing himself a legend on the backs of those he has employed over the years.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2010 at 19:03
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Let me add the reason Turnbull is shuned by some antique guys.  Why would anyone want and expensive antique restoration done with the SAME color found on the modern guns he treats, like the USF single actions and others who send him volumes of clone guns that flood the market?  Until his "restorations" look entirely different than his clone work, I will not have him do my restoration work.  Incidentlally, the charcoal blue process he perfected flakes off if you wrap a gun in sandwich wrap for shipping sometimes.  Best just to oil it and use paper.   BTY, charcoal blue is not the color used on antique Colts pre 1900, another reason the antique guys don't like it.  Too black.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2010 at 19:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2010 at 20:52
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No one doubts he has world wide clients; many others do as well.  As far as setting the "standard" , he has created and promoted the standard the way he sees it and convinced many, with pro bono work,  that it is the best or the most original looking.  Compare his colt work to a high finish original antique and you'll see the difference immediately.  I don't even know why we say "his" because he employs 16 people, 10 or more who actually do the work.  Doug oversees the charcoal blue and case color process because he regards them as secret.  Other than that, his ability to personally restore an antique Colt or Winchester is average.  He thrives on publicity and has earned a reputation of arrogance with many collectors.  When his restoration display wasn't recognized at a Colt collectors show with a prize, he had a fit.  Another person with a restoration display did win a prize.  Standard?  The Colt collectors association made the judgement that day.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2010 at 22:16
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I think Turnbull's work is incredible, but I actually prefer the color of the USFA's case color.  Of course, those Turnbull Winchesters look fantastic.  And Colt does a good job, too. 

Edited by Ed Connelly - April/09/2010 at 20:01
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2010 at 20:00
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Doug Turnbull case color..............lots of yellow....
 
 
 
USFA.........more blue and gray.....
 
 
 
Colt.................subtle..
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2010 at 20:18
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I thought Rifle Looney was back....  Bucky


Nice pics Ed!!! Thunbs Up
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