Colt 1917 US Army .45ACP Revolver Restoration


Found one really cheap at a near by dealer. Was in perfect condition that called out to me.

And look at the barrel face damage

And here is how pitted it was but the markings were crisp

Stay tuned… Pics of the restoration to follow.


My name is Mister Torgue and I approve this message.


I think you and I can be friends.


I am friendly. And not a ghost.


At first I actually wasn’t planning to fix the barrel issue, so I went straight for the refinish in slow rust blue.

Surface prep while trying to sand in the same direction as the original. The goal was to carefully sand around the markings. Some pitting left was ok for me.

Then onto Rust Bluing. Sorry, I only took a couple pictures of it rusted, then the rest after 10 applications of rust blue, slow rusting boiling and carding.

And then the true fixing began. I know, I should have fixed it first and then refinished, but oh well. You live you learn.

In order to fix the damaged area shown below…

The barrel had to be removed. All smiths I contacted turned me away due to the age of the revolver, saying that the frame is likely to crack. Well, I made a frame wrench and barrel vise jaws, and my simple setup worked. Again, the camera is playing tricks with colors.

After that I used a manual barrel shoulder cutter sold by brownells to take the shoulder in so the barrel would turn into the frame 1 more turn.

At this point, when the barrel was reinstalled, the face and forcing cone had to be recut, again using the Brownells revolver face and forcing cone cutter kit.

Here you see the cylinder cannot close due to the barrel sitting further in.

Here you see the result of cutting a new forcing cone. The gauge shows that I cut it precisely in the middle of the spec.

Here you see the resulting cylinder gap and that the damaged area is obviously gone.

And here is a comparison between what it shot like with the damaged area and after it was fixed.

This was pretty nuts right?


A really informative fix and good sanding. The ‘graining’ looks outstanding. I have not tried rust bluing and carding but your results are so incredible I want to try it.


Thank you very much.

Slow Rust Bluing is very slow but very rewarding. One of the most important things is to keep using clean water.


The photos and the story are as impressive as the work, great story, great job, great photos.


Thank you sir.


Fantastic! Beautiful job! :+1:

Thanks for sharing!!!


It is my pleasure.


Playlist for this restoration is here:


Tremendous restoration. The presentation was extremely easy to follow in the 11 part series and very informative. As an “old” Colt guy, I am very impressed.


Bravo once again @Mosinvirus


Thank you very much. I am glad you liked it. It was a pleasure working on this one.

Thank you.


Enjoyed all 11 videos…:wink:


That series and the Winchester 1895 are my favorite.


Not only here in Restorations, but in most Categories, you seem to effortlessly produce remarkable talent and skill. Mark me down as a fan.


You are too kind. Thank you very much.