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  1. #1
    Jon54 is offline Junior Member
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    Refinish or not?

    I have an ancient S&W revolver that has a date of 1917 on it. It is either nickel, chrome or some other finish. I got this from my dad when he passed away. It has been around for as long as I remember. Best I know, someone gave it to my dad. This thing is well worn. I've considered having it completely refinished. Comments, suggestions, criticisms? I don't plan on shooting it but it is a neat keepsake simply because it was Pops.

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  3. #2
    scooter's Avatar
    scooter is offline Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash
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    If it is just going to be a keepsake I would oil it up to prevent any rusting and keep it as is, Just my opinion

  4. #3
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    It is a piece of history. I would leave it alone.

  5. #4
    FNISHR is offline Member
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    If I did choose to refinish it, I'd find out what the existing finish is first, so that it was a rejuvenation instead of a fundamental change. That's just me; when I have a car repainted, I never change its color, I just freshen it up.

  6. #5
    WI45 is offline Junior Member
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    Take it in for an appraisal before you have any work done on it, if there is any collector value you don't want to destroy it with unnessary re-finishing.

  7. #6
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    MicsGun is offline Junior Member
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    Hey! We have the exact same thing going on. I got a Model 19 from my dad a couple of weeks ago. It's in terrible condition and I just want it to be back in its original shape because I know its good gun, it might just need a little TLC. lol. Anyway, I found this article a couple of hours ago. I guess this the same thing as the refinishing that you are think of. Check it out Refurbish Your Smith & Wesson Model 19 with an Ultrasonic Cleaner I'm considering doing this but I really don't know yet. It sounds new but it looks good. Tell me what you think. Is this the same as the "refinishing"?. Thanks.

  8. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    "Refinishing" removes the old finish and replaces it with something new. It also includes polishing.
    Running a gun through an ultrasonic cleaner, following all directions, will only do a deep-cleaning job, and also could remove any surface rust it finds. This is not refinishing, but merely cleaning.

    When you refinish an antique gun, you remove most of its antique value. The necessary polish job softens its original markings, and removes wear that can tell you a lot about its history. If it is a rare or desirable gun, or if it has important sentimental value to you, you should clean it well, maintain it carefully, and resist the temptation to refinish it.

  9. #8
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    Hi Steve! thanks for your comment man, good thing I read it before doing anything on my Model 19. I dream of passing it on to my kid just like what my dad thing. It would be really cool to keep this gun as a family treasure. I have a question tho, do you have any suggestions on how I can deep-clean my gun and still main its history?

  10. #9
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicsGun View Post
    ...[D]o you have any suggestions on how I can deep-clean my gun and still main[tain] its history?
    I would just use ordinary gun-cleaning solvents, including "gunk-away" rinsing sprays.
    Bronze bore brushes are OK, including inside revolver cylinders.
    I am not expert at disassembling revolvers any more complex than Colt's Single-Action Army pistol, so I am not the one to ask about the innards of S&W revolvers.

  11. #10
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    If it has any significant value, refinishing will detract from it. Like a lot of antiques, you're better off leaving it as is. Normal upkeep & maintenance will not hurt the value. Failure to do normal upkeep & maintenance may be a problem. For 98% of cleaning needs, off the shelf gun cleaning products should do the trick.
    If you're thinking about a thorough inside & out tear down & cleaning, talk to a gunsmith.

  12. #11
    MicsGun's Avatar
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    Great! thanks for the suggestions guys. I really appreciate it. I'm not completely decided on what to do but I sure do have a better idea on what would help keep the value of my model 19. I'm really excited but I think I'll take my time. Thanks again for all the help.

  13. #12
    Dempsey is offline Junior Member
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    I'd find out what the existing finish is first, so that it was a rejuvenation instead of a fundamental change.

  14. #13
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    Hey Dempsey! That sounds like a good idea. Would you know how to classify/find out a gun's existing finish? Any tips and advise on that? Thanks

  15. #14
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicsGun View Post
    ...Would you know how to classify/find out a gun's existing finish? Any tips and advise on that? Thanks
    1. What color (or colors) is it? Most S&W pistols will be blue or black.
    2. Is the color the same on all parts (allowing for wear, of course)?
    3. If it isn't blue or black, or mottled blue (case-hardened), it's probably plated with nickle, chrome, or silver. Are there places where the plating has worn off?
    4. There's an outside chance that it's stainless steel, but I bet that it isn't.

    Contact S&W with the gun's serial number, and find out what its original finish was.

  16. #15
    MicsGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    1. What color (or colors) is it? Most S&W pistols will be blue or black.
    2. Is the color the same on all parts (allowing for wear, of course)?
    3. If it isn't blue or black, or mottled blue (case-hardened), it's probably plated with nickle, chrome, or silver. Are there places where the plating has worn off?
    4. There's an outside chance that it's stainless steel, but I bet that it isn't.

    Contact S&W with the gun's serial number, and find out what its original finish was.
    Thanks Dempsey! those are really good stuff. I'm thinking of calling S&W to get more help. Thank you so much. You've been so helpful

  17. #16
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    berettatoter is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon54 View Post
    I have an ancient S&W revolver that has a date of 1917 on it. It is either nickel, chrome or some other finish. I got this from my dad when he passed away. It has been around for as long as I remember. Best I know, someone gave it to my dad. This thing is well worn. I've considered having it completely refinished. Comments, suggestions, criticisms? I don't plan on shooting it but it is a neat keepsake simply because it was Pops.
    Well, if you do have it refinished, make sure you have a professional do the work. I would have it appraised first, just to see if the refinish will take away from the value of the gun myself.

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