Nickel Premium


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Barry the Bear
July 11, 2013, 12:07 AM
Ive heard that nickel smith and wesson revolvers command a premium over the same gun in a blued finish, is that true?

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rcmodel
July 11, 2013, 12:11 AM
I don't know for sure.

But if I wanted one to collect & look at, maybe.

If I wanted one to holster carry & shoot, most definitely Not.

I've passed up a couple of older 6" Model 29's with nickel finish at well below the going price for the same gun in blue & 4" barrel.

Was it the barrel length, or the nickel finish that drove the price?

I don't know, but I suspect the blue + 4" drove the price up.

rc

Barry the Bear
July 11, 2013, 12:26 AM
RC,are you saying you wouldnt shoot a nickel plated revolver?

osteodoc08
July 11, 2013, 12:32 AM
10-15% depending on model from what I hear, but it has to be pristine. No scratches or corrosion.

rcmodel
July 11, 2013, 12:35 AM
No I am saying I wouldn't buy one to carry in a holster and shoot it all the time.

Nickel guns are maybe commanding a premium nowadays because they were a fairly small percentage of the blued S&W guns made in the 50's, 60's, & 70's.

Now, they are not made at all because of the EPA, Haz-Mat regs, and other reasons related to high speed low drag cheap production.

So they probably do command a premium from collectors who don't intend to use them enough to rub the nickel plating off.

Because we will never ever see the likes of them being made again.

rc

Barry the Bear
July 11, 2013, 12:38 AM
Say one did go through the nickel,any chance S&W would re-plate it like they can re-finish bluing?

rcmodel
July 11, 2013, 12:44 AM
No.

As I understand it, the old S&W nickel finish has pretty much been outlawed by the EPA because of the hazardous chemicals used in the process.

There are possibly other companies that can do it, such as Fords in Florida.
But I'm not sure it is quite the same real deal thing.

rc

Barry the Bear
July 11, 2013, 12:46 AM
Thamks RC, Guess Ill just have to be careful.

bikemutt
July 11, 2013, 10:29 AM
With the last few S&W revolvers I sold it was my experience that the nickel ones took longer to sell, had fewer folks interested but, in the end, fetched the same prices as the blued guns. This is a apples-to-apples comparison, that is, identical guns except for finish.

bigtubby
July 11, 2013, 10:58 AM
I don't care for nickel and would not pay a premium for it probably less. Here is a example of a nickel S&W M-57 up for sale on a local forum asking $450.00 and been for sale for a week with a good finish this gun would sell for $650 to $750.00

http://i730.photobucket.com/albums/ww302/bigtubby/nickeldamage_zps95838654.jpg (http://s730.photobucket.com/user/bigtubby/media/nickeldamage_zps95838654.jpg.html)

David E
July 11, 2013, 11:06 AM
Say one did go through the nickel,any chance S&W would re-plate it like they can re-finish bluing?

Sure they could. Prices used to start at $200

Gaucho Gringo
July 11, 2013, 01:09 PM
I am not sure about &SW original prices back in the day, but nickle plated Iver Johnson guns were actually less expensive than the blued ones.

Schwing
July 11, 2013, 06:34 PM
I have carried a couple of nickel plated guns over the years and RC is spot on. The nickel tends to wear off around the leather. I love the look but wouldn't waist it for something you are going to carry daily.

JudgeHolden10
July 11, 2013, 09:52 PM
The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, if I recall correctly, stated that there is a 25 percent increase (or $200...something like that) for a nickled 27. Not sure if that was just for that specific model nor if that's something that buyers actually pay that increase, but that's what the catalog says.

Barry the Bear
July 11, 2013, 10:17 PM
So would kydex or any other holster material be safer? Or should I just look at trading it away?

rcmodel
July 12, 2013, 12:57 PM
Kydex is the worst in finish because it is hard and dust inside them acts as abrasive grit..

Pigskin lined leather is the best.

El Paso Saddlery makes them.

Don't over react by trading it off.

If you want to carry it, buy a good holster and carry it.

rc

Barry the Bear
July 12, 2013, 01:53 PM
Just dont want to damage a finish i might never be able to get back

Confederate
July 12, 2013, 11:36 PM
Nickel is very temperamental, especially on the .44 mags. I had a S&W 29 that was nickel plated and the thing was gorgeous. But shooting it was hard on the finish. Also, Hoppe's #9 was corrosive to the nickel. The one shown above may have been the victim of this.

I finally had my 29 hard chromed, and I don't know how it affects gun values. It's beautiful, corrosion resistant, harder than steel and it tends to lubricate itself. Wear virtually stops.

It's also a ringer for stainless. I had my Beretta 70S .22lr hard chromed and polished at Mahovsky's (http://www.mahovskysmetalife.com/), and they did an outstanding job.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/Beretta70S_Metalife_1.jpg (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/jriler/media/Beretta70S_Metalife_1.jpg.html)

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/Beretta70S_Metalife_3.jpg (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/jriler/media/Beretta70S_Metalife_3.jpg.html)

Yes, they also do NICKEL!!

If I were buying a nice revolver, I'd prefer a nickel finish over a standard blued finish. How much a premium I'd pay would be negotiable. I'd want it in mint condition, though. A blued revolver with wear has "character." A nickel plated revolver with wear is like a junkyard bumper. No class.

Barry the Bear
July 13, 2013, 05:47 PM
The model 29-3 is the exact gun Im worried about getting worn over time however maybe I should just hard chrome it and call it a day,Thanks for the suggestion confederate.

bikemutt
July 13, 2013, 07:45 PM
The model 29-3 is the exact gun Im worried about getting worn over time however maybe I should just hard chrome it and call it a day,Thanks for the suggestion confederate.
My experience with Mahovsky's was not as good as others; be sure to have mutual agreement, in advance, as to the outcome you expect. Consider too that shipping a handgun to them is not inexpensive. And, unless they've moved, FedEx considers them to be in a "special delivery" area, worthy of a considerable premium.

Don't take anything for granted is all I'm getting at.

Barry the Bear
July 13, 2013, 09:26 PM
Thanks for the warning bikemutt, I was thinking about finding a gunsmith in the area who could do it for me.

BYJO4
July 13, 2013, 10:10 PM
If you have a gun refinished, besure the individual or company doing it has an excellent reputation for that type work. Over the years, I've seen many refinished guns that were poorly done. Hard chrome is an excellent finish.

WCraven
July 13, 2013, 11:38 PM
Some are more desired in nickel because very few was made like this model 38 with pinned barrel.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v400/crazycrave/IMG_1023.jpg

Jaymo
July 14, 2013, 12:39 AM
5 years ago, I had the chance to buy a gorgeous nickel model 38 from a co-worker, for $250.
I couldn't buy it, because of pay and hour cuts at work. I hated missing out on that one.

ColtPythonElite
July 14, 2013, 01:53 AM
I will pay more for a mint nickel than a mint blue.

feets
July 14, 2013, 11:50 PM
S&W nickel plating changed over the years. In the old days it was an electrolytic nickel plating applied by using DC current. That finish was not a uniform thickness. It adhered better (and thicker) in areas with better current flow. The finish was prone to cracking. Once the crack formed it was game over. You'd have a flaky nickel plated gun. That's why vintage nickel plated guns with a good finish command a premium.
Be aware that Hoppes #9 is well known to get under the plating through cracks and tiny openings. Once it's there your nickel is on the way out.

In the 70s S&W switched to electroless nickel plating. That's an autocatalytic deposit done through chemicals in a bath. Electric current is not used. The result is a far superior finish with uniform thickness and excellent adherence. These finishes will wear far harder and longer than the old stuff.

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