To Refinish or not to Refinish?


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mesinge2
April 10, 2010, 01:26 PM
I have a Smith and Wesson Model 19-4 that just runs like a clock. I mean it is mechanically perfect.

I am more accurate with its 2.5" barrel than with my Security Six's 4" barrel.
But the finish is in shameful condition; don't blame me, I bought it that way.

119352

119353

119354



I have been toying with the idea of sending it to Smith & Wesson for a refinish. I know that refinishing can lower the value; however collectors tend to be lenient/forgiving if it was done by the manufacturer, but I never intend to part with this gun anyways.

Also since I plan on keeping it, I can't decide to have the high bright blue it originally had restored or a hard chromed finish or nickel plating applied.

Furthermore, would any of these options weaken the metal?

For example, I was worried that in order to make the weapon hard chromed or nickel they would have to remove metal, thereby weakening the frame. Am I being overly cautious or is this a potential problem?

Sorry, about the barrage of questions
But I honestly can't decide what to do

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mesinge2
April 10, 2010, 01:30 PM
For some reason the camera actually made the gun's finish look better than it is.

This one shows it better:

119357

Guillermo
April 10, 2010, 01:39 PM
I do not mind a little wear..makes it so I don't have to worry about it

On the other hand, sending a gun to Ford's is always a good thing

Radagast
April 10, 2010, 01:55 PM
You won't get a stainless finish, as the gun is made from carbon steel. You could have it hard chromed or nickel plated. Both are durable finishes. I am not a gun smith, but I would expect it to mean an acid dip and possibly bead blasting to remove all the old finish, this shouldn't change the tolerances much.
Smith & Wesson will do a top quality factory re-blue, I think it was over at The Firing Line that pics were posted of before and after on a slightly rusty gun that appeared to be factory new after they had finished. Also go to www.thefiringline.com and search for member HammerIt for examples of work by Fords, as mentioned by Guillermo. They do exceptional restoration work.

MCgunner
April 10, 2010, 01:58 PM
Parkerize it. :D

Wishoot
April 10, 2010, 01:58 PM
It's a fine looking carry piece. I say leave it alone and spend your time and money on something else.

mesinge2
April 10, 2010, 02:05 PM
You won't get a stainless finish, as the gun is made from carbon steel. You could have it hard chromed or nickel plated.

Thanks, I knew I used the wrong term (stainless), but I did not know the correct one (hard chromed).


It's a fine looking carry piece. I say leave it alone and spend your time and money on something else.

I'm just worried that it will erode to nothingness if I don't as least repair the finish.
I am probably worried about nothing, but my knowledge of finishes and bluing is nil.

pmeisel
April 10, 2010, 02:17 PM
I would go with nickel-plating myself, but as long as you get a high quality refinish you can't go too far wrong.

mesinge2
April 10, 2010, 02:22 PM
Mods, could you alter my poll to make Matte or Brushed Stainless Finish into Hard chromed and High Polish Stainless Finish into Nickel.


Thanks in advance

kimbernut
April 10, 2010, 02:38 PM
The way you shoot it how long before it will be right back where it is today?
To me that is the question you need to ask yourself. If you are going to shoot it a lot I would wait til you come to the point in your life that you will not be shooting it as much.

Now I know that a model 28 S&W Highway Patrolman is not a model 19 by any stretch of the imagination but mine shoots very well with much holster wear, cylinder ring, and very little finish left on the backstrap. It will be refinished one day to be passed on most likely to my kids or their kids but not until i don't shoot it near as much as I do now.

Brushed chrome is an awesome finish if you just have to do it.

oneounceload
April 10, 2010, 02:47 PM
Since you're not going to sell it, resale pricing is a moot point. If you want it to look like it's new, then go ahead and get it done. (highly polished! ;))

mesinge2
April 10, 2010, 02:47 PM
kimbernut I shoot least 200 rounds every 2 weeks with it and it is one of my primary carry guns, that's another reason I wanted a more durable finish like the hard chromed

earplug
April 10, 2010, 02:55 PM
I voted, leave it alone. If it ever needs fixing, then send it to a firm that can fix it and do a hard plating of some sort. Electro-less Nickle used to be the big thing. New process come and go yearly.
I would go for a dark matt pistol that would not shine or go bling while I was carrying it.

jad0110
April 10, 2010, 03:23 PM
Another "leave it alone" vote. Personally, I own a S&W Model 15-2 2" and a S&W post-war transitional K frame with an equally worn and a more worn finish than that and I don't worry about it. If it were my daily carry gun, I'd wipe it down at the end of each day and let it be.

Spending a ton to reblue it, though the end result will be very nice, doesn't make much sense in that it will show holster wear again over time. Then again, I'm not a huge hard chrome fan on a gun that originally had a blued finish. I guess I just love blued guns too much. Stainless or parkerized to HC, fine. But I'd personally keep blued blued.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Military%20and%20Police%20Transitional/DSC06770.jpg


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Military%20and%20Police%20Transitional/DSC06760.jpg


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Military%20and%20Police%20Transitional/DSC06768.jpg

buck460XVR
April 10, 2010, 03:38 PM
I too voted to leave it alone. To me, guns are just tools and get character with the patina of use. You say it's your everyday carry.......regardless of what finish you have done, it will, after a while, show wear again. If you continue to do basic maintenance on it, I doubt if the finish will get much worse. No way is it gonna rust away to nuttin'.

Taurus 617 CCW
April 10, 2010, 05:09 PM
I would only refinish it if it was showing severe signs of rust or heavy pitting. Hard chrome is not a bad option if you must refinish it.

savit260
April 10, 2010, 05:17 PM
Another "leave it alone" vote. Keep it wiped down, and keep carrying it the way it is.

joed
April 10, 2010, 05:56 PM
For durability you can't beat hard chrome or nickel. I hate blued guns with a passion and only have a few left. If I can't get stainless I'd want nickel, very tough.

I would refinish just as I have to a few that I own. I don't even listen to those that say don't.

Guillermo
April 10, 2010, 06:07 PM
I don't even listen to those that say don't.

This is a discussion board and he asked for input.

Mr.Revolverguy
April 10, 2010, 06:10 PM
I went through the same thing a while back and asked the same question LOL. There were a lot of votes for leave it like it is. But it was my very first handgun ever fired and it was with my grandfather whom is no longer with us. Because of this sentimental value I ignored the folks here and sent it back to S&W and I am so happy I did. I knew how proud my grandfather was of his model 10 and could not stand to see it this way.
Below is a before and after and S&W did an awesome job, not only did they refinish they replaced all the internals to ensure proper timing.
http://www.dayattherange.com/weapons/model10before.jpg
After
http://www.dayattherange.com/weapons/model10after.jpg

Then I met a very nice gentleman at the range who said he would reblue my grandfathers Ruger Standard and his Ruger MKII here locally. WOW what a beautiful job he did on them. I have since sent more work to him and he is now doing work all over the U.S. There are pictures of my stuff on his website here
Fogles Gun Smithing Photo's (http://www.foglesgunsmithing.com/index.php?p=1_4_Photos)

Here are sample photos of my Rugers. Notice the rust and pitting on the first shot
Ruger Before Bluing Rust and Pitted (http://www.foglesgunsmithing.com/index.php?supermode=gallery_view&previewm=1&a=Ruger_MKIIT_1&image=091025064048_im000065.jpg&screenres=1440-900)
After Buffing and bluing, This guy does great work at a fair price and is very honest and will not take long.
Ruger After Fogle Bluing (http://www.foglesgunsmithing.com/index.php?supermode=gallery_view&previewm=1&a=Ruger_MKIIT_2&image=091025064306_im000171.jpg&screenres=1440-900)

Pictures with a crappy camera of the Rugers really doesn't do justice on his work.

jimmyraythomason
April 10, 2010, 06:22 PM
Personally,I have no use for plated guns. I either own/carry stainless or blued. I try to keep my blued guns LOOKING new,if they were bought used I make them look new by rebluing them. Patina is fine on a collector piece but on other guns it is just unsightly wear IMHO. BTW,I didn't vote, a man should make up his own mind what to do with his property.

joed
April 10, 2010, 06:53 PM
Quote:
I don't even listen to those that say don't.
[QUOTE]
This is a discussion board and he asked for input.
__________________/QUOTE]
Yes, he asked for opinions and got them. Some that are saying leave it as is are just echoing what they've seen others say about refinishing without any merit of their own.

I've had a few revolvers refinished and never once regretted it. I had one of the last Pythons refinished by Colt before they quit doing them. Would you believe I sold that gun for a good profit a few months ago?

I won't own a ragged looking gun and would pay for a refinish if I liked the gun. Look at that gun by Mr.Revolverguy, if that doesn't sell you on refurbishing fine, but that's what I've always gotten back from the factory.

savit260
April 10, 2010, 07:12 PM
Yes, he asked for opinions and got them. Some that are saying leave it as is are just echoing what they've seen others say about refinishing without any merit of their own.

Being completely honest here... I'd be more inclined to own the worn Model 10. While the refinish looks nice, it isn't going to stay looking like that very long if actually carried. Personaly, I'd rather have the carry gun than the safe queen.

One of my most favorite revolvers is an old Colt Army Special that I wouldn't think of ever refinishing. I find part of this old revolvers charm is it's wear. I have no issues putting this old revolver in a holster and carrying it all day.
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c337/savit260/rnadom%20stuff/zcropIMG_0826.jpg


That's my opinion, and I'm stickin' with it. :)

jad0110
April 10, 2010, 07:26 PM
Look at that gun by Mr.Revolverguy, if that doesn't sell you on refurbishing fine, but that's what I've always gotten back from the factory.

Actually, I like it either way. I have pristine guns, and guns with plenty of wear. They each have their merits, in my eye. A deep blue S&W or Colt in mint or near mint condition is a thing of beauty. Then again, a blued gun with plenty of honest holster wear, exudes a meaner, tougher, more business-like appearance with loads of character (IMHO).

The 1st 2 pics below are of my Ruger Police Service Six with plenty of wear, followed by my S&W Model 14 & 17 in near mint condition. I happen to enjoy the appearance of each for differing reasons.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Ruger%20Service%20Six%20357%20Magnum/DSC07849.jpg


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Ruger%20Service%20Six%20357%20Magnum/DSC00530.jpg


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Model%2014%20and%2017/IMG_1632.jpg


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Model%2014%20and%2017/IMG_1637.jpg

ScratchnDent
April 10, 2010, 07:26 PM
I vote for re-bluing. Model 19s look best in blue, IMO.

Wahoo95
April 10, 2010, 07:27 PM
Why don't you pony up a few dollars and have it refinished in Robar's NP3 :)

mesinge2
April 10, 2010, 08:25 PM
Mr.Revolverguy, I remember this thread.
If you don't mind me asking: How much did that cost and how long did it take?

It came out beautifully

Guillermo
April 10, 2010, 09:26 PM
A carry gun is a tool and therefore is going to get some marring. Holster wear at least.

Personally I like the character of good honest use.

It is also nice to not be so hyper worried about a gun.

This is not to say that I don't have some pristine guns.

While I prefer blued guns, stainless is practical and a couple live at my house. I am not a fan of nickel plated guns. Too ostentatious for my taste.

The Bushmaster
April 11, 2010, 10:25 AM
I don't know ScratchnDent...I have one in high polish nickel and it looks quite good. at least to me and I don't have to worry about rust.

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