Refinishing frame on 1958 three screw Single Six


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Orion8472
September 6, 2012, 12:21 PM
I talked about this before, but wanted to re-ask it.

I have a 1958 Single Six in VERY good condition. Unfortunately, there are scratches on the back strap in the aluminum. If I had it refinished, does that take away from the value [present and future]?

Does it really matter if a frame is finished from the factory or done expertly by a qualified gunsmith? I'm not talking about somethng like really OLD Colts, of course. I don't consider the Ruger Single Six as having "future potential for bringing thousands of dollars" like those old Colts.

The Ruger I have is exceptional, over other newer model three screw revolvers I've seen, but those scratches bother me. But I don't want my "being bothered" to mess up its value.

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CraigC
September 6, 2012, 12:32 PM
It will definitely affect collector value if you have it refinished and it does not matter who does it or how. The grip frame is anodized and Ruger doesn't do that any more. They also do not have replacement grip frames so the factory is out. 99% of gunsmiths would refinish with some sort of coating and any collector or sixgun fancier can tell the difference at a quick glance. That said, you do have options. You can have the grip frame stripped and polished bright for a pleasing two-tone effect. Which is something I like. Or you can have it coated with one of the various aluminum finishes like Black T or Aluma-Hyde II. If future collector value is a factor, you can procure a replacement grip frame. They run from $75 in well-used condition to $150 for a minty one. However, you run the risk of investing more in it than the gun will be worth on the collector/used market. My advice would be to polish or refinish, shoot the piss out of it and not worry about collector value.

Here's one polished:
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/clifton/large/P1010054.JPG

Jim, West PA
September 6, 2012, 01:25 PM
THAT is one sweet little six shooter right there Craig.
Did you make those stocks ?
She's got style ;)

Orion8472
September 6, 2012, 01:32 PM
I would be more apt to using the Black T or Aluma-Hyde II. I personally prefer the frame being black.

I'll post pics of mine, specifically the scratch in question later tonight when I get home from work.

CraigC
September 6, 2012, 01:33 PM
Thanks Jim! I can't take credit for anything but polishing the grip frame, installing the steel ejector housing and bullseye ejector rod. The grips came from CLC. That is an earlier pic of this sixgun, as I have since swapped the XR3-RED grip frame for the XR3 and had it fitted with claro walnut, also by CLC. Here's what it looks like now. I'll eventually get around to polishing this one too. This is also about what one can expect from a $100 XR3 grip frame, some wear and scratches.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_7107b.jpg

BCRider
September 6, 2012, 01:40 PM
What about a compromise?

If you play around with a mixture of flat and gloss black enamel you can match the sheen of the original anodizing with a few trial and error mixings. Let your test spots on some plastic dry for a couple of days when you're close before comparing as it takes that long for an enamel to mostly dry.

When you have a good match of the sheens between the paint and the gun simply wipe a little of the paint on to fill in the scratches. You don't want to paint the surrounding areas, just fill in the scratches. So a wipe on with a bit of paper towel or using an old business card much like you would a dry wall trowel would be the ideal way to fill in the scratches.

If they are a little deep it may require a second application but give it a few days to a week before you have a go at a second coat.

Of course it should go without saying that you want to fully degrease the scratched area first.

I've had great luck using Flecto brand enamels for this sort of thing. Done some motorcycle parts over the years that once fully hard after a week or two stood up well to handling and even some scuffs from the motorcycle boots in the case of an aluminium kick stand that I did. The tip that the boot pushes on soon wore away back to silver of course but the rest of the stand stood up well to the scuffs that it got from the edges of the boots for a year before I sold the bike.

Jim, West PA
September 6, 2012, 01:49 PM
Thanks Jim! I can't take credit for anything but polishing the grip frame, installing the steel ejector housing and bullseye ejector rod. The grips came from CLC. That is an earlier pic of this sixgun, as I have since swapped the XR3-RED grip frame for the XR3 and had it fitted with claro walnut, also by CLC. Here's what it looks like now. I'll eventually get around to polishing this one too. This is also about what one can expect from a $100 XR3 grip frame, some wear and scratches.

Mighty fine polishin job Craig. Mighty fine indeed.
CLC has got some beautifull hanks o' wood but i must say that thier fit does leave a bit to be desired. I spose they just sell ya pre made stocks and don't fit
em to yer frame ?
Maybe they could sell thier stocks 'roughed',or a bit oversized, and unfinished for the end user to fit and finish ?
Those " wear and scratches" = character.Allthough i'm lookin forward to see that farme polished up as well.
REAL nice 6 shooter Craig. Real nice.

CraigC
September 6, 2012, 02:00 PM
The maples were not fitted but the claro walnut was fitted to the frame. Cary's fit is typically very good. Not Roy Fishpaw good but they don't cost Fishpaw prices or take three years to get either. Sometimes it's just tough to get perfect grip fit on an imperfect Ruger. Tedd Adamovich of BluMagnum also fits his almost perfectly but his cost 1/2-1/3 more too. He also does not have a shape that agrees with me. Overall, Cary's "Colt-style" grips on a Ruger XR3 are the most comfortable sixgun grips I've ever held.

BCRider
September 6, 2012, 02:04 PM
That's nice work on the polishing Craig. But I can't help thinkong that it sure would have been nicer if removing the paint brought out a brass look.....

Having played around with paintball in the past I think that if it were mine I'd begin asking around for guys doing custom anodizing to see if they could lightly to moderately gold anodize the frame to produce a brass to bronze colour. The frame would still retain the highly polished look it has. The anodizing doesn't alter the surface texture to any noticable extent when done right.

CraigC
September 6, 2012, 02:08 PM
I think it would probably only be worth the effort if it was a true anodized hardcoat. If not, it won't be very durable.

Orion8472
September 6, 2012, 02:25 PM
A hard anodized brass look would be very nice. I hadn't considered that, but think it looks very good on this type of gun. I may have to figure out who, in my area, can do such a process.

Fotno
September 6, 2012, 03:48 PM
Thanks Jim! I can't take credit for anything but polishing the grip frame, installing the steel ejector housing and bullseye ejector rod. The grips came from CLC. That is an earlier pic of this sixgun, as I have since swapped the XR3-RED grip frame for the XR3 and had it fitted with claro walnut, also by CLC. Here's what it looks like now. I'll eventually get around to polishing this one too. This is also about what one can expect from a $100 XR3 grip frame, some wear and scratches.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_7107b.jpg

Craig, wear and scratches aside, I believe this is one of the handsomest firearms I have ever seen.

Orion8472
September 6, 2012, 08:32 PM
Okay, here's the scratch. I couldn't get a really good shot of it, but this is the general idea:

http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz55/orion_8472/IMG_6365.jpg

Here's the rest of the gun:

http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz55/orion_8472/IMG_6366-1.jpg
http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz55/orion_8472/IMG_6367-2.jpg

Ratshooter
September 6, 2012, 10:52 PM
Thats it??? I am sorry but life's too short. I would fine something else to worry about. What a nice looking gun. They don't have to be perfect you know.

Orion8472
September 6, 2012, 11:40 PM
Well, "perfection", perhaps that's asking too much. However, I'd like to have as blemish free finish as I can.

Never the less, thanks for the compliment. It is a very good shooter, too! I like it better than many of the new releases.

earplug
September 6, 2012, 11:47 PM
Got kids? Intend to leave them the revolver when you die? or to dicked up to shoot?
Do what you want with it. But remember they will curse or thank you for what ever you do to the gun.

BCRider
September 7, 2012, 12:09 AM
I've got some guns with lots of "patina" on them and I simply don't worry about any one mark or scuff. It is what it is.

But on a gun as clean and pristine as this one I can sympathsize with Orion over wanting to fix this scratch. I'd be in the same boat and I frequently have found myself there even though I normally don't go nutz over such things.

Where it is on the grip frame it's actually a replaceable part. If you're that upset about it simply buy a new grip frame and install it. Or try my paint trick first and see if that fixes it well enough for you. It'll cost you about $8 to buy the two tins of paint and some time playing around mixing a little of the two together to achieve just the right sheen.

If you try this get a small jar. The smaller the better. Put about a teaspoon's worth of gloss into the jar or small tin or whatever and drip in two or three drops of the flat. Mix well and try a spot on the edge of a small sheet of plastic or metal. Do NOT use paper or anything else which will soak up the paint or the results will shift. After the spot dries for 48 hours or more compare to the rest of your grip frame. If it's not right put in another two drops of flat black. Continue until it matches. Then degrease the frame finish to remove the oil and fill in the scratches with the paint. Leave to dry for a few days.

Once FULLY dry it will resist most gun oils and mild solvents.

Those wood grips are superb by the way.

bannockburn
September 7, 2012, 07:09 AM
Orion8472

Your Single Six looks a lot like mine; everything else on the gun looks fine except for the backstrap. For the time being I have left mine in its original finish, complete with all of its telltale wear and scratches. There's a certain history of the gun with all of its blemishes and I kind of like that.

Someday I may give it the high gloss all natural look like CraigC did on his gun, but for now it's fine just the way it is plus I don't worry about it being scratched or nicked when I take it out and shoot it.

Orion8472
September 7, 2012, 09:32 AM
I really like Craigs guns as well. But it does bring up a good question. Does it detract from the value of the gun if the frame is refinished, or polished to its aluminum?

CraigC
September 7, 2012, 11:14 AM
It may a little bit but if you're gonna shoot it and use it, I wouldn't worry about it. I gave up on expecting aluminum to look good for long, unless it has a real anodized hardcoat like on AR's. Ruger's anodizing is not very hard or durable. So I've basically decided that on any sixgun that's gonna keep its aluminum grip frame, I'll either just leave it alone, polish it bright or bead blast it bare. For guns I want to keep nice but black, I'll have them swapped for the Power Custom Colt-SAA style two piece grip frame. Although I must say that the Aluma-Hyde II I used on a 10/22 has held up very well for three or four years. It might be worth a try.


Craig, wear and scratches aside, I believe this is one of the handsomest firearms I have ever seen.
Thank you!

Orion8472
September 7, 2012, 11:22 AM
Well, I am definitely going to be keeping this revolver. Not sure what I will do with it. . . maybe a cerakote that mimics either a bronze finish or a blued finish, . . . but even so, I think it is safe to say that these older Rugers won't be bringing the amount of money that the old Colt revolvers do, so I'll just enjoy it.

Oh, and the wood grips are CLC Custom Grips as well.

I have considered selling them only because I have some stuff that I need to do instead, but if they don't ever sell, they are a great set of wood grips for a nice revolver. :)

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