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buffing out initials

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by gutterman, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. gutterman

    gutterman Well-Known Member

    I know this is a wierd post, but I acquired a model 27 S&W nickel with total engraving. The gun has genuine stag grips and 8 3/8 barrel. It is a beautiful gun, even came in a wooden display case. The probelm is, it had initials of a previous owner on the cylinder near the chambers and underneath the top strap. They were "engraved" with one of those "tools" for placing your initials on personal property. I can't believe anyone would be this STUPID, but they were. I was successful in polishing these out with my dremel tool, but was wondering about it's effect on value. Any opinions?
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member


    What does a spot on a nickel plated engraved gun look like after you have been after it with a Dremel? I doubt a patch under the top strap would matter much, but a location on the cylinder does not sound good.
  3. JHK94

    JHK94 Well-Known Member

    I have a revolver with some really poorly carved initials on the side plate. I can't complain though, it has the best DA trigger I've ever felt, and I got it for a song due to the "engraving"
  4. weisse52

    weisse52 Well-Known Member

  5. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    So the initials were on the lower side of the top strap inside the opening where the cylinder lives? Not a big deal overall in that case. But if they were on the thin side edge that is visible then you likely just removed all the nickel in that spot. You removed the nickel on the inside of the strap as well but at least in there it's not as visible. Either way I'm not sure which is worse. The initials or the damage you did removing them.
  6. gutterman

    gutterman Well-Known Member

    actually, unless you look closely, my polishing out the initials isn't that noticable. i used a dremel with a polishing wheel, and i really did'nt have to go to any links for them to be removed. i was just concerned about retaining the collector value, or do i have just a pretty shooter? the initials on the cylinder were on the cartridge insertion end near the bullet chambers, and they came off very easily. none of the initials were near any of the engraving.
  7. .38 Special

    .38 Special Well-Known Member

    I would tend to think that carving your initials into nickel would require penetration through the nickle and into the underlying steel. Thus removing the initials would require the removal of nickel. This can look perfect for a few days or even a few weeks, but then the bare steel will start to corrode and look absolutely dreadful.

    Hopefully I am wrong and the initials were just lightly "dusted" onto the surface of the nickel, and polishing them off didn't have any significant effect.

    Next time you might consider changing your name instead.
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Your revolver may require a trip back to S&W if it starts to corrode like mentioned in the above post. It might have been better if you asked these questions before you did anything to the revolver.

    Any pictures??
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    If you keep oil on the ground out spots, they will be ok until and unless the nickel starts to peel.

    I think you have a pretty shooter unless you get a letter from S&W that says it is a FACTORY engraved gun or unless it is signed by a famous independent like Winston Churchill (the gun engraver not the Prime Minister.)
  10. krs

    krs Well-Known Member

    Gee, I hope those weren't the signature of the factory engraver who did the work.

    Did you get the pistol lettered before setting to work with your umm, invisible dremel tool?
  11. stillaftermath

    stillaftermath Well-Known Member

    I would personally never buff out any kind of engraving, no matter how bad it was. If you didn't like it... why did you buy it?

    To me, the engraving is part of the history of that weapon. I've even taken very special care to preserve engraving.

    Take this example, the Colt .32-20 Police Positive Special issued to my great grandfather, circa 1921. :) Note the 'R.G.' chiseled into the frame over the Colt logo.

  12. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    Dunno if I'd call that stupid, necessarily. Maybe that was a gun with sentimental value which he never intended to sell, and it was stolen. Or maybe he handed it down to his children, and they were degenerate gamblers and drug addicts, and they had to pawn it?

    The day after someone steals your most cherished gun which you'd never sell, wouldn't you have some satisfaction knowing you scrawled your initials all over it, and that would give the thief a harder time to turn it around? And that is would be that much more likely that it might find its way back to you?

    ^^ I agree with the above. I expect there was some sentimental value for the previous owner, for him to do that. I'd leave it there and maybe wonder who he was and what the gun meant to him.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  13. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Well-Known Member

    Resale value is..


    Use the sales technique: Don't offer information IF they don't ask, don't tell.

    Value is in the eye of the beholder,


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