fair price for NIB IBOK mirror polished SP101


bill bryant
January 27, 2008, 06:09 PM
I bought a new SP101 a few days ago, did the IBOK action smoothing, and then decided to try giving it a mirror polish. I have a lot of experience in fine polishing from formal training and work on band instruments (ever try rouge buffing a trombone before lacquering?) so the revolver wasn't too much of a challenge other than the time required to do it all by hand without power tools (I have a couple of buffers but decided not to use them on this gun). I took it through several levels of automotive wet/dry sandpaper and finally through several hand polishing cycles with Mothers Mag polish. The result is very nice even when taking into account the very small machine marks here and there that I decided to leave rather than remove that much more metal (and spend maybe 40 more hours).

Now the question. I have more than one person interested in buying this gun. I will post pics as soon as I can get access to a digital camera. Meanwhile, what would be a fair price to ask for a NIB (never fired except at the factory), IBOK smoothed action (very nice with factory springs, incredible with Wilson), and almost mirror hand finish? I paid $445 for this gun and have added over 20 hours of hand work to the action and finish (sears were untouched and are still totally factory).

BTW I feel very inclined to keep this jewel now that I've taken it so far, but if the offer is right, I could easily do this again and have a few buck extra in my pocket.

I need to decide whether to sell, of course, before firing any shots through it (a great temptation at this point).

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January 27, 2008, 06:12 PM
What do you value your free time to be worth? If you spent 20 hours and you think your free time should net you $10/hr, just add $200 onto the price of the gun.

Many custom trigger and melt jobs run more than $200, so I would say something around that price range would probably be reasonable.

January 27, 2008, 07:56 PM
Ok I'll bite; what's the "IBOK action smoothing"? I have a SP101 and am curious.

January 27, 2008, 08:20 PM
tag to see about IBOK

January 27, 2008, 08:51 PM

January 27, 2008, 09:01 PM
Iowegan's Book of Knowledge?

January 27, 2008, 09:13 PM
One of the gunsmith's on the Rugerforum.com named Iowegan has a writeup on smoothing trigger actions on Ruger GP100 and SP101's. Document is called Iowegans Book of Knowledge. Document is fairly large but he will email you a copy if requested.

January 27, 2008, 09:16 PM
Iowegan's Book of Knowledge
Wow, sounds like something you'd find in a pile of wizard loot. Neat.

bill bryant
January 27, 2008, 09:33 PM
Yep, that's the IBOK. Good stuff.

Be careful, though. Some people think they're handier than they really are. "A man's gotta know his limitations!" Do it in a plastic bag for when those springs fly!

January 27, 2008, 09:42 PM
Also after much searching found a description on this forum for the SP101 trigger smoothing. Its considerably less detailed than the IBOK but both originated from Iowegan.


After reading it you may appreciate what Ruger gunsmiths like Grant Cunningham, "Iowegan" or Gemini Customs will do for you. I ended up just taking a few rough edges off mine and lightening the hammer spring very slightly with wolff springs.

January 28, 2008, 05:54 PM
Truthfully, the self done action would realistically add nothing to the value of any gun. Were it done by one of the big boys, Clements, bowen, etc, it will. The DIY home gunsmithing though, if anything can often detract from value.
Same for the finish job. The gun it's of any collectable variation and unless the prospective buyer is so much in need of it to warrant them paying for the work, it's again likely worth a bit less. It is after all designed and marketed as a carry gun so the poliched finish is kinda a backstep for that use. Yes you have your time into the gun now but custom work, especially if done by the home smith does nothing for adding value. An exception would be if a buyer REALLY wants it just as you have it. That be the case, it's worth only as much as that person is wiling to spend.
'Member, even though you bought it new and didn't fire the gun, it's been paperd so technically it is a used firearm.

January 28, 2008, 06:19 PM

bill bryant
January 28, 2008, 06:47 PM
"Now we know why 1.2 billion Indians have not been able to defeat 165 million Pakistanis."

I'm failing to see how this statement contributes to this thread. What am I missing?

January 29, 2008, 05:55 PM
wizard loot

Now thats funny. Thats why i get up every morning. I learn something new everyday.

January 30, 2008, 05:29 PM
If that gun were laying next to an untouched brand new one in the box, and, they were the same price, I would choose the new untouched one. No offense, but, I have no idea if you know what you are doing and if it will cost me more money to replace any parts that may have been damaged. Guns value are generally based on "original finish remaining". Your gun has 0% original finish remaining.

Now, if I were wanting a nickel looking SP-101, and I found yours, I might be interested and, may pay a premium just so I don't have to do the work, but, I doubt it will bring more than a factory gun.

Generally, once you do any custom work on a gun, you will never make back the time or money you have invested in it. Since thats what YOU wanted, I would say enjoy it and take pride in the work you have done, and if somebody wants it done, decide how much you would charge for the work on thier gun.

January 30, 2008, 07:31 PM
It's just like anything else in a free market, it's worth what you can get. If someone wants your product/services it's worth what they will pay and what you will accept. Time is money, what's it worth to you? That's your price. You say you have more that one person interested in buying your gun, now you have a market. Just as a matter of principle you should not charge less for your time than you make at you regular job.

January 30, 2008, 08:11 PM
I won't buy any gun that has had anything done to the insides. That is, unless it was done by somebody famous and there is the appropriate paperwork to go with it. Or if it's "collectible" and I plan on restoring it and/or plan to replace all the internal parts. Do-it-yourself gunsmithing may work out perfectly. And many Rugers revolvers get worked on by their owners. But when buying a used gun, I want it completely stock, all original. An "action job" knocks $100 off the price. A polish job on a gun that didn't come from the factory that way, knock off another $100. :eek:

January 30, 2008, 08:43 PM
I IBOK'ed my GP-100 and it's nice. :D

Very helpfull folks over at the Ruger Forum (http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/). :)

Hard to argue with JB696's logic though. :uhoh:

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