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Factory Refinish

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by highpower, Oct 6, 2012.

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  1. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I do my own high polish bluing(and very nicely IMHO)so it costs me very little to do since my equipment and materials were paid for long time ago. I have no problem bluing ANY gun other than a known (and proveable) historically significant piece. Having said that,I would leave that particular Model 29 alone because,in my personal estimation,it looks great for it's age!
     
  2. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    I am a shooter and my guns reflect that.

    Rather than spend the money on a refinish I choose to spend the money on another gun.

    Example: I have a 1953 S&W K22 with a finish as dull as parkerizing. Instead of spending $275 with Ford's to have it refinished, I bought a Model 15.

    Of course, some people get off on a perfect gun. I understand that...it is just not my decision.

    If you want fewer, more perfect guns...by all means...go for it.
     
  3. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Speaking of the Colt,it has obviously been glass beaded then blued. From the condition of the metal there was only a few options to make it look better. It could have been parkerized. It could have been dura-coted(or similar). It could have been plated or the finish that was eventually put on it. Well...it COULD have been high polished but so much metal would have had to have been removed....that would be the least preferrable option. My opinion is that the best option was chosen at,likely,the least cost.
     
  4. Doc3402

    Doc3402 Member

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    I just bought a 6 inch S&W 19-4, and I fully intend to send it to S&W for refinishing. It looks about the same as yours finish wise and appears to be rust free. I paid $250 for it because of the way it looks, and got one heck of a deal. It has the model appropriate target trigger and hammer which would cost an easy $100 if I could find them.

    My reason for sending it back is to get a better price on resale if I ever decide to get rid of it. People that are not collectors don't care about a refinish job. They see the beautiful blue Smith finish and want the gun.

    In my opinion a gun with excessive wear will not be as appealing to a potential buyer if the intent is to shoot the gun. For someone that wants to use the gun it's much like painting a house to gain curb appeal. If it looks like it has been abused then in their mind it probably has been. If it's cosmetically pleasing in their mind it has probably been taken care of.
     
  5. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    The original intent of blueing steel was to make it more resistant to corrosion not to enhance resale value. I have seen guns that because of their manufacture and shooting characteristics I would love to own and if I decided to do so I knew I needed to refinish for protection from rust. I have never done so because another such example with a better finish was a better economical equation.

    The Smith in the pictures is not in such a state. The finish will still perform the desired corrosion protection to a very serviceable degree.

    If however you want the pride of ownership and asthetic value a reblue will bring you and have the drachmas, go for it. As CraigC states, use bears cost and your money is never so well spent as when it brings you true satisfaction (everything within reasonable degrees of course).
     
  6. Ash

    Ash Member

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    So, a 1956 Ford Thunderbird in original, but faded paint, should be repainted?

    Value is what it is, and if guys who know the value of an item in original condition compared to refinished condition caution or warn (or, heck, bemoan) the waste of refinishing and the loss of value that comes with it, they get trashed.

    There is another side of that coin. Those who call them merely tools but then get their panties in a wad if there is a scratch and suddenly need to refinish them seem to place too much emphasis on that consumable. Me? I haven't refinished a toaster, TV, couch, or the like in my life. But, I do know quality, and a refinished plantation desk has much less value than one that has not been refinished. An 1876 Morgan dollar has more value unpolished than one that has been polished. An 1814 Curassier's sword is worth more with cracked grips and tarnished basket than one "refinished."

    And the idea that I should buy a gun to throw away is also silly. Yeah, I do expect my firearms to last a long time - which is to say out live me. We take care of our stuff that way. They aren't a bic lighter. I throw my used up pens away. I also don't worry if they get nicked up.

    I also know that a well-worn firearm bought, then refinished, means I could have gotten a better one. Why waste the money on inferior since I'm going to spend the money any way? Why buy a 1961 Impala only to drop another ten grand into having it purdied up when I could go ahead and buy a better one? The better one will cost the same and retain its value. I also don't wipe my butt with $5 bills.

    But, I do believe in private property. If I give you a $5 Confederate bill from 1862, it's yours to burn to light your cigar. I may still call that unwise, I might even bemoan the needless destruction of the $5 bill, but it was yours to destroy. So, this isn't destruction we discuss? Okay, I might give you a tarnished 1840 Wrist Breaker. You can polish the guard and blade until it shines. It's yours. I won't say its a good idea. You want to use it as a machete? Fine by me. But, don't get too upset when I point out you are wasting money and losing value.

    I find it odd, though, that many of the guys here to proclaim they are mere tools get so upset about weapons buy-back programs. If such a program makes a leftist or anti-gunner happy (the theme of the day at the present it seems), why would we care if they "take guns off the streets." The seller is happy, the anti-gunner is happy. Everyone is happy. Why would we care if they crush a ton of revolver, rifles, and gear with a steam roller? The guns are theirs to do with as they please. Makes mine worth more, right?
     
  7. Remllez

    Remllez Member

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    The way I see it is a gun is only NEW once....when I see a refinished gun it makes me wonder what else is being hidden.
     
  8. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Exactly!


    If that is the owner's wish. If he wishes to tear out the engine and suspension to build a Pro-Touring T-Bird it is his business and nobody else's.


    I agree but who suggested that???????


    Me neither but I don't read books and daydream about them all day either. :rolleyes:


    Who says it has to be inferior???


    Apples to oranges. Some folks like to "purdy-up" their own cars in their own way, rather than driving somebody else's version of "purdied-up".


    Who in this thread has said they are mere tools??? Seems like because I favor refinishing I'm being lumped in with the "mere tools" mindset and that is not me.

    Like I said, some folks are obsessed with monetary value and see no other. Yes, I expect my guns to last a long time too but I wouldn't keep a sixgun in well-worn condition, when I would rather have it refinished, just because I would lose a little money "IF" I sold it. Life is too short to worry about such things. The enjoyment I get while I am here is VASTLY more important than the value a collector will see when I'm gone. Jesus, is the quality of your life not worth a couple hundred bucks???

    Americans are really strange about this sort of thing. I'm not talking about a local `smith hack-job but rather a proper refinishing. The Brits have never worried about such things and do not think twice about sending a shotgun or rifle that's worth tens of thousands of dollars back to Purdey or Holland & Holland for a complete refurbishing. Yet we are worried about losing a couple hundred bucks having our favorite sixgun refinished??? Very silly if you ask me.

    Did I "waste" my money having this Ruger refinished? No. I invested it.
    IMG_0942b.jpg
     
  9. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    inferior for what?

    My K22 with the dull finish is not inferior in any way except cosmetic. And I bought it for $290.

    I do agree that if one wants a pristine revolver it is almost always always better to pony up for one that is already pristine. Same thing with a car. You almost never can get your money out of a restoration.

    I am happy with, I think Old Fuff called it my "ghetto k22". Cheaper than a Taurus...accurate as a laser and I don't have to baby it. I drop it into a crossdraw and take it with me whenever I am in the woods.

    Best 300 bucks I ever spent on a gun
    K22-1.jpg
     
  10. harvester

    harvester Member

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    When a firearm begins to develop value beyond its "tool" status much of it comes from its historical preservation and manufacturing significance. In the art world we would probably not value a computer generated copy of a painting as much as an original or a print of an original. Guns begin to reflect this train of thought when collected, placed in museums etc. Certainly not all guns do this, or should. For many when you can look at a 100 year old Triple Lock and see its finish and fit it is possible to look past a few blemishes to see what was accomplished back in that period. Look back further on a 500 year old Beretta or a 150 year old Colt. There is room for many points of view but it is only original once which is what is enhancing the value.
     
  11. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    It depends on exactly what it is and what condition it's in. Many times "original" has little to no value to a collector. A well-worn "original" Colt may be worth $2000 and a restored blackpowder Colt may be worth ten times that. Old guns are wonderful and have an appeal all their own but some folks like to know what they were like when they were new. Because you can't buy a brand new Registered Magnum but you can have a model 27 tuned and refinished in carbona blue for a fraction of the cost of a minty RM. Virtually no blanket statements can be made. Like I said, it depends.....on everything.

    I think when refinishing is brought up, some folks can't think past the overpolished butchery that plagues many guns on the used market. That is NOT what I'm referring to.
     
  12. Ash

    Ash Member

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    If I pay $800 for a new condition revolver, it is worth $800.

    If I pay $500 for a used revolver and then drop $300 refinishing it, it is not worth $800.

    It is not an investment if it cannot return value. It might look good, but it is not worth more money. Refinishing almost never returns value. I did have a Tanfoglio hard-chromed, but that was to increase wear resistance and make it less likely to rust in the swamps I carried it. The pistol is not worth what I have in it, but it is preserved for the rough service it gets.

    As to throw-away, the point was made that firearms are consumables. That means that at some point, they will be worthless junk. Ergo, buy a gun to throw away.

    Do with your property as you wish. Polish that sword hilt. Replace the worn grip. It's yours.

    But it still devalues it if old, and if new, like a 10 year old SIG, the refinishing process will not pay for itself. That does not mean don't do it, but consider what you are doing and why.

    As to a "restored" Colt being worth $20,000, what are you referring to?

    In any case, I was really glad when a guy polished the hilt of this Klingenthaul Cuirassier's blade (right photo beneath the bonds). It made it much cheaper for me to get. In time, the "restoration" will be gone (only the patina was removed - thank goodness he left the grip alone) and its value will return. The British 1822's were unmolested and their value was greater.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  13. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Well said, Craig C.
     
  14. Doc3402

    Doc3402 Member

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    That would depend on who your prospective buyer is. The value of anything is determined solely by what the buyer is willing to pay for it.

    Like I said in an earlier post, I just paid $250 for a model 19-4 with a 6 inch barrel. The thing is a cosmetic disaster, but it has two parts I need to complete a reproduction of a gun I once had.

    I needed a model appropriate target trigger and hammer, and they are obsolete parts. I have been unable to find them in spite of a two year search. Those two parts alone made the gun worth the money, even though the only things I wanted might have cost me $100 to $150 had they been available.

    So what am I going to do with the gun? After I swap out the parts I'm going to send it to S&W, get it refinished, and sell it. Is it a pure numbers matching gun? No, but I would be willing to bet that I won't lose a dime on it plus I have the parts I want.
     
  15. Ash

    Ash Member

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    Good luck.
     
  16. Doc3402

    Doc3402 Member

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    Thanks
     
  17. Ash

    Ash Member

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    By the way, that wasn't intended to be snarky. I have done similar, where I needed a specific part and then sold off something.
     
  18. Doc3402

    Doc3402 Member

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    I didn't take it that way. I might have had more to say if I did. <grin>
     
  19. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I never said what I was investing in. I could care not less what anybody else thinks it will be worth in dollars, although I would not lose much if any money on it. It's an investment in the quality of my life. One could say that cigars were a pitiful "investment" because they're only going to get burned. If you consider them to be one of the finer things in life to be relished and enjoyed, something that enriches your life, then it is a wise investment. Even if it does go up in smoke.

    Like I said, some people can't see past the monetary value. Which is not the only kind of value an inanimate object can have.
     
  20. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    Firstly, I love the stocks on that gun. Beautiful!

    EDIT: Never mind. I missed the '59 part. Duh. Got thrown by the later model stocks. They're still georgious tho.

    That's nice condition for a '59. If it was mine I would leave it alone. Given $$$ I might consider factory refinish but it doesn't look that bad to me. I like holster wear. Knocks a nice shooter out of the big $$$ collector bracket.;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  21. Ash

    Ash Member

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    Quality of life is also subjective, and I'm fine yours is so refined that a fine cigar and the aesthetics of your firearms defines yours. You find value beyond and in different realms than financial and that is fine - Ayn Rand approves. It doesn't change financial facts, but it does affect your outlook on an item. I certainly value my great great grandfather's Colt 1849 far greater than markets would as its worth is affected by more than finish. My Mossberg bolt action .410 is valued in a similar way, considering I would have to get 100 times what others might value it even to consider selling it.

    But many, perhaps most, of those with money who purchase older arms value original finish over glitz and glamor of a new finish. True, Miltec and Mitchells have made a mountain of money on rifles (the former admits to refinishing, the latter separates the fool and his money) sold entirely on their appearance, but a Russian capture K98k in refinished condition is considerably less valuable to the Mauser collecting community than one in worse condition but original. A splendid condition Colt 1856 revolver will bring a mint. One that is refinished/restored to that condition will bring considerably less. Ditto for swords.

    You like fine cigars and refinished arms? Fine by me. I've never said you shouldn't. I enjoy sitting in my library and decoding an indenture from King James of Scotland from the time of Henry the VIII. I don't find the need to clean the parchment of stains. My Basket-hilted broadsword lacks any material on its grip and I lose no sleep over its naked, worn appearance. My Israeli CZ-75 is really neat in original condition. Were I to refinish it to look factory new, I know that the value from what I paid would not likely go down since I got it for $330, but that that pistol will not increase its value commiserate to the price paid for refinishing. "Custom" firearms on Gunbroker rarely sell up to the break-even point. What a shame it would be for me to take the 1899 Tula M91 I have whose stock has battle damage and whose floorplate is retained by twine and "restore" it to like-new condition.
     
  22. highpower

    highpower Member

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    I knew I was going to kick over a hornets nest when I mentioned the very word "refinish". I am a great believer in leaving a guns finish alone under most circumstances. However the question I asked was not whether it was prudent to refinish, but why does a FACTORY refinish detract from the value of a firearm.

    People have been tinkering with the looks of their guns since they were invented. All sorts of things have been done from carving on the stocks to engraving the metal. Look at guns from the old west, a Hawken rifle with tacks in the stock did not come that way from the maker, but they are looked at as period user modifications and detract nothing from the value.

    In the case of my Model 29, I never said that I was going to refinish it, I merely asked, Why does a factory refinish detract from the value?

    As was mentioned, there are a great many guns that were refinished by hacks and that has certainly colored our opinion when the subject of refinishing a gun is brought up.

    I abhor the Bubbas that take a decent gun and attack it with a hacksaw and a file and have restored many military rifles back to their original configuration. I have a thread over in the rifles section on some '03 Springfields that I saved, so I am no stranger to looking at a gun and going "oh my god, what were they thinking".

    I too think like some of the posters, that the decision to change the way MY gun looks is totally up to me. If I want to engrave it with a electric engraver and then gold plate it (not that I would be so rude to a gun), it is mine to do with as I please. I am not a collector of guns that I expect to go up in value, I happy if they do, but it is not why acquire them.

    I don't really mind it if a gun has a certain amount of honest wear and I have many that do show signs of use. I also have a couple that have turned into safe queens and I don't mind that either.

    In the final analysis, it is a personal decision based on what an individual wants his firearm to look like.
     
  23. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    You can drop down to a 180 grane bullet that will cut down on recorel. I shoot a lot of 180 in my 44mag.
     
  24. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    You're putting words in my mouth. I never said "refinish everything!" and I've also said "it depends" in every post. We're also not talking about antique swords, antique texts, antique furniture or old cars. Nor am I talking about Bubba and his buffing wheel.


    Apparently you've never tried to sell a custom revolver from one of the well-known gunsmiths. Folks aren't losing any money.
     
  25. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I like professionally refinished firearms, like Fords or the factories turn out.....I still trying to where I can find them with the work already done, but priced to sell at zero finish book price.
     
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