I kind of rescued a grail gun

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Riomouse911, Nov 7, 2021.

  1. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    7,211
    Location:
    Ca.
    Since the 1980’s, I have wanted a 4” S&W Model 57 or even a 657. They’re not common, especially here in Ca where finding older Smiths can be like finding a unicorn and a .41 is a two horned one, no matter where I asked no LGS or pawn shop had ever seen one much less had one for sale. They’re also big $$$ on gun broker in good shape, and many times I saw where a seller wasn’t willing to ship to Ca even if I wanted to bid. This has gone on for years, and it seemed like I just never had the bucks, or if I did have the money the luck, to actually land one.

    I finally saw a 57 no-dash on GB that had an ugly patch of bare metal and pitting on the left side above the trigger and a set of chewed up Pachmayr grips, but otherwise looked to be in pretty good shape. I put in a really lowball bid and won, had it sent to my receiving FFL and waited as it sat in the regulatory penalty box for ten days.

    The damage on the side and under the grip was really obvious and pretty deep, so draw filing or other major metal removal to eliminate any visible pitting would’ve left a large divot in the side of the gun and would’ve been really, really tough to blend at the edge of the frame by the trigger. Not wanting to sink a bunch more $$ into what will become a woods carry shooter, I asked my FFL to smooth it out a bit and blue the bare metal to arrest the rusting and match the finish as well as possible. The rest of the gun’s bluing is really nice, a turn line showed it was shot some but the rest of the frame, barrel, cylinder faces and muzzle show almost no wear. The colors on the hammer and trigger are still bright as well. :)

    After the touch-up bluing was done I went through the innards, which had old, yellowy dried out oil and rusty spots all through it. I smoothed the rebound slide and other parts that had old oil on them, replaced the rebound spring and mainspring, lightly greased where it was needed and put it back together.

    The bore and chambers were dirty. A good bore and chamber soaking/scrubbing with a bronze brush and Hoppes, followed by a bunch of tight patches, removed some lead that was in the grooves and cleaned the bore/chambers nicely. I put on some aftermarket walnut grips and realized it actually doesn’t look all that bad. The best part is the cylinder gap is small and straight all around the dial and the cylinder locks up tight on all chambers with zero side to side play or endshake.

    It came with the .500” hammer spur and grooved trigger which makes for an interesting feel to me as my two other N frames have the narrower sets. I think I’ll probably be used to it after I have shot it a few times. Sights are the Baughmann red-ramp front and white outline rear so the sight picture is familiar.

    40CF3FEB-CD07-4FF9-954A-277EC4A332F4.jpeg 3C076969-C9AC-4E6A-9CA8-66F2CB165EA1.jpeg D557632F-6D28-4292-9330-07CFD1A8CCE9.jpeg 4D62AECE-F6D8-47DA-A926-947CE276CD37.jpeg 2CD8BEBD-E9D2-4EF7-ABBC-FF3065B4F125.jpeg 8B077A45-ECD8-4BEA-8FD1-A43388C30957.jpeg B61DA1E7-A205-413A-A6A4-793FAF826B4A.jpeg CFFD8FB4-D2C6-4337-912E-E4544C6BF77A.jpeg

    All in all I’m happy to finally be able to add the final .41 revolver to the group, especially since this is one I’ve wanted for roughly the past 35 years. The others I own are long-barreled Rugers (6.5” Blackhawk and a 7.5” Redhawk) that aren’t easy to pack in the wilderness back-up role I intend this gun to fill.

    I may get a chance to shoot it this week, if I do I’ll post how it does for me. I did load up a bunch of mid-range loads a couple of weeks back so I have some different rounds to put through it.

    In all honesty, if I had to spend $1,300-$1,500 or more for a collectible, pristine specimen (auction price for the gun, cc fees, shipping, tax, FFL receiving fee, DOJ registration fee, etc.), I seriously might hesitate to take it out to shoot anywhere other than at the local indoor range. Since it has no real collector value, and some scars already on it, I won’t have any hesitation to holster up the gun out on hikes in the mountains, in the RZR or while fishing/hunting as predator medicine. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
  2. Lo-Profile

    Lo-Profile Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2020
    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Sparks, NV
    Sweet looking gun despite the pitting.
     
  3. ontarget

    ontarget Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,298
    Location:
    Michigan (Gods country)
    I bet you could cover that pitting with some sort of engraving. Something busy with lots of lines.
    Or just leave it as is, it's part of that guns story.
     
  4. BWS

    BWS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Messages:
    851
    Interesting story,thanks for sharing. Should be a great "companion" gun in the field.

    I have a first year 4" 629 that has it's share of "love" marks. When you look at what that model safe queen is worth,it's staggering but,I wouldn't trade all the (dead) deer,groundhogs,and miles of adventures for any $$$.
     
  5. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Messages:
    8,421
    Location:
    Nostramo (in absentia), Segmentum Ultima
    Very nice as is!

    You might contact Tincan Bandit, he could probably clean that up to the point you'd never know it was there.....

    But, as you say, theres nothing wrong with a good "shooter-grade" either. Heck, Ive got some guns that I wont put in a holster, let alone carry into the woods! :confused::D
     
  6. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    4,490
    Location:
    Piedmont/Triad, NC
    That pitting wouldn't bother me as long as the rest of the gun is in good shootable condition.
    I agree with you, that pitting frees you up to use is the way it was meant to be used.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    69,727
    Location:
    Alabama
    Someone neglected that revolver, and not by shooting either, should be in great shape mechanically.
     
  8. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,469
    Location:
    Southern California
    I was thinking the same thing only I was thinking that maybe the pitting could be part of the engraving design. Sort of like creative stippling I have seen on polymer framed guns.

    @Riomouse911
    Very nice find. I look at it this way, the pitting gives you the excuse to carry and use it and not be so conscientious of the finish of the gun.

    It is a very odd cluster of pitting though. It appears as if was a drawer gun that someone spilled something on and just left it.

    Regardless, very nice woods gun. :thumbup:
     
  9. ColdSpring

    ColdSpring Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    Messages:
    68
    Agree with @Pat Riot on all counts. It's still a beautiful revolver!

    Think of it as a supermodel with a scar on her hip... scar or not, she's still a supermodel!!
     
  10. film495

    film495 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    1,630
    looks like that pitting was already treated to stop the corrosion. just a character mark to me, as I'm not a wealthy collector, the character marks of age and a bit of a story just add to the appeal to me. for a shooter - it kind of takes the worry out of handling it and making any new wear marks. certainly a shooter, shoot it for sure - the rest of it looks really clean to me. give it a health check on function, and can't see why it won't be a really good shooter for a long long time. wish I had one just like that honestly.
     
  11. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,747
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    It's nice to get a grail gun you don't have to worry about in the field. I did so with my Sauer 16 ga. :

    Sauer.jpg

    J P Sauer.jpg

    Not afraid to take this one out in the rain.
     
  12. ECVMatt
    • Contributing Member

    ECVMatt Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,186
    That looks great to me! I once had the chance to buy a mint Smith and Wesson Model 58 that came into the gun store where I worked during college. I remember being intrigued by the balance and power, but was afraid of the fixed sights. At the time I was more interested in things with magazines and moving parts so I passed. I have regretted it to this day. That would have made a great field gun. I did sell it to a great gentleman who lived in the mountains above Los Angeles and I know that he used and appreciated the revolver. That looks like a great find to me and I am sure you will put it good use. Of course we will need a range report to follow up.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and Riomouse911 like this.
  13. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,330
    What was the "all in" cost by the time ya were done? congrats on a great gun find! I was bidding on a model 58 in decent shape but it passed me by a few days back on a local enough online only auction... my pretty pristine 29-2 4" and pristine 6" 57 will have to do for now
     
    Riomouse911 likes this.
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,854
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    That deep and local pitting looks like "blood rust." I can imagine a southpaw with a gashed trigger finger.
     
  15. bdickens

    bdickens Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,048
    Location:
    Hockley , TX
    Yeah, I think I could manage to overlook that pitting.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and Riomouse911 like this.
  16. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    7,211
    Location:
    Ca.
    That’s exactly what I thought it was, especially with how the original rust spots looked and how the edges of the rubber grips being sort of chewed up by whatever caused it. Then I thought maybe rodents’ urine, but it’s just on this one big spot and not little spots all over it.

    When I found little rust spots on the inside of the action I’m now kind of thinking it got drenched and was wiped off well on the outside. But, the inside still had some moisture in it and the wood grips were wet. Water leached onto that side as it lay in a drawer for a long time, ruining the grips and leaving this pitted area. <shrug>

    (I genuinely have no real idea, just hazarding guesses ;).)

    Stay safe.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  17. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    7,211
    Location:
    Ca.
    Roughly $950 for the gun, bluing touch up, grips, FFL fee etc. It’s still a lot of $$, but it came out to be at least five-six hundred $$ less than I was expecting to spend on a pinned-recessed 57.

    Stay safe.
     
  18. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,587
    The pitting kinda lets you off the hook! Great shooter, it has character!
     
  19. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2021
    Messages:
    848
    Great find
    I would have been all over it, too.

    One time, I had the money in hand and found a M58. Passed because of the fixed sights.

    M57 IS the Holy Grail. Maybe one day.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  20. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    24,298
    Riomouse911

    Fantastic find and rescue! Might want to consider getting it hard chrome plated at eventually, as the hard chrome can sort of fill-in some of the scarred area when it's applied. It will also make for a much more rust resistant finish for when you take it along in the woods.
     
  21. ColdSpring

    ColdSpring Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    Messages:
    68
    Blood was the first thought I had too, maybe a scrape or small cut the owner didn't realize was leaving some on the gun. Wouldn't take much, especially if put away without addressing the blood.

    All day every day!

    At least the days I have $950 that isn't earmarked. Which are unfortunately seldom, and even less likely to last all day :).
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and Riomouse911 like this.
  22. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,522
    Location:
    Delaware home of tax free shopping
    Left in a drawer on top of a battery that leaked...
    Great shooter. Now go load up some ammo and shoot it.
     
    Riomouse911 likes this.
  23. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2021
    Messages:
    1,737
    Location:
    Shamokin/Coal twp Pa.
    Congrats on the SW find. Hope she shoots true for you.
     
    Riomouse911 likes this.
  24. dh1633pm
    • Contributing Member

    dh1633pm Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    3,538
    Location:
    Central New York
    Like bringing home a stray. :) Working on mine. Had an Italian CZ clone in the 90’s. Sold it when I moved back to NY. Got my eyes on a CZ75 SP01. Or even a B.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and Riomouse911 like this.
  25. Lnf Crzr

    Lnf Crzr member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2021
    Messages:
    1,115
    Had a 57 I used to take a Doe many years back, didn’t reload them. Sold it land of course regret that. I have a nice 29-2 now so I don’t feel to bad.
    Still have the grips and they are on my 29.
    The 41 sure is sufficient at doing many things. Nice gun, Bet it’s accurate!
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and Riomouse911 like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice