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Blue or SS?
Gene L Posts: 12,815 Senior Member
Best as I can count, I own only 1 SS handgun, a Model 65 that was given me upon my first retirement. i seem to prefer blue, which reinforces my stance as an old codger. SS guns require less maintenance, but that shouldn't be much of an issue unless you sweat a lot and carry a handgun next to your sweaty body. SS seems to be the preference now, but are there other benefits I'm over looking? I don't much like the finish on SS guns, they don't seem as "crisp" as blue steel. The only nickel gun I own is the I frame I posted earlier; wish it were blue, more rare in the early Smiths.
Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
I've come to regard nicely blued guns as being like high end sports cars - - the depreciation starts as soon as you roll off the dealer's lot and the downward slope is STEEP. . .and that SUCKS. Sadly, with the surface polish work required to do it RIGHT, the non-durability of bluing is just a heinously inefficient thing to do today.
What I'm a little puzzled by is that none of these modern, super-tough black tenifer or DLC finishes has made it from the duty auto world and onto carbon steel revolvers.
"Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
"Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
Form = Blue
"It could get scratched! Stolen! BREATHED ON WRONG! A pigeon could **** on it!"
Paint on a show car is largely incompatible with the job of transportation that a car was made for - you end up parking it at the far end of the lot to avoid dings from shopping carts and other car's doors; you worry constantly about some jealous fool keying it; you pay a ridiculous amount of money to specialists simply to get it washed; a 30 yard stretch of gravel triggers an acid reflux response; and other cars kicking up stones with their tires has you travelling in the slow lane with all the following distance you can muster.
And so it is with bluing on guns - especially the nice stuff. Just about any non-competition gun was made to be carried next to the human body (which sweats and bumps into things) in conditions that often involve rain and snow. A quick glance at a rack of military surplus rifles will tell you immediately that carbon steel is not compatible with that life - - it's just what we used because at the time, that's what we had. The truly tragic thing about the blued handguns of the 1920's and '30's is that no one but the collecting connoisseurs have any conception of the amazing work that went into finishing them - - because the original finish on most of them has died the natural death that goes with that process when it gets subjected to its intended use.
Cars or guns are tools that are supposed to be an accessory to your life, but with the added care required when the car or gun gets fancy, your life becomes an accessory to the maintenance of the tool.
Unlike bluing, stainless, synthetics, and the modern wonder finishes were made for the environments that guns get subjected to, and the quality of my hunting increased GREATLY when I could sit in a rainstorm and not think about how I needed to completely disassemble, dry out, and oil my blue and walnut masterpiece when I got it home.
I own a lot of the "old process" guns and really enjoy playing with them, but I wouldn't say I really USE any of them for the reasons above. They're my museum pieces. His personal problems aside, John DeLorean was really onto something - - even if its only in the ordinary, rising and setting of the sun way, a stainless steel body travels through time better.
"Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
The time of carrying pretty blue guns to war is long gone so whatever damage those guns got is now supplanted by TLC and range/safe time so no further damage/depreciation will be coming their way.
Personally, I do carry my pretty blue guns on occasion and while I will admit my field time is at a severe premium nowadays that was not the case a few years back. I never really put undue punishment on a blue gun. And if it got wet a quick but thorough clean and some TLC with an oily rag was all that was needed to keep them pretty. Not like I'm a LEO with a shinny blue Model 15 in a leather holster riding in a hot squad car all day like back in the day. That's a different story altogether, but even that is rather rare nowadays.
If it's a downpour, I'm staying home too, but a light rain/drizzle/mist is a great time to be out in the woods if you have the gear for it. ie. Waterproof clothing and/or a good blind. It's SO peaceful sitting in the woods listening to the rain.