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S&W Model 39 magazine cleanup and protection

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by hso, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    A buddy's girlfriend needed magazines for her S&W Model 39 (long story, but we couldn't find the 2 mags she remembers) so I went on the hunt for them. Shocker, they're expensive and hard to find. I ended up getting a couple factory 39 mags relatively cheap off of evilbey that the offeror honestly claimed they had some rust.

    "Some Rust" turned out the be starting pitting.

    Considering the difficulty of finding these things I decided to try to clean up the half a postage stamp area of pitting.

    Cleaned, degreased, taped and then I went to work scraping with a flattened brass 308 case, then brass brushing and finally broke out my Work Sharp with the knifemaker kit with the medium fine polishing belt to avoid the sin of putting too much power into moving metal. I got them cleaned up (I took the pitting to "wavey" so I didn't remove any more material than needed) and sprayed clean of all particles with PB Blaster. Some white is now visible, but 90% of the blue is good.

    I gave them a good dunking in Strike Hold to protect the metal and need to look into the question of protecting the surface permanently. I can get them Ceracoated, but I'm concerned about the fit in the firearm considering the thickness of Ceracoat. I can cold blue them, but that's not exactly the most protective finish. Hot blue may be the best protection with the thinnest surface change between the other two.

    Am I being too concerned about Ceracoat thickness?

    I've been told hot blue is a pain and can leave uneven surfaces very easily, but is that your experience doing hot blue?

    Am I overthinking, almost certainly, getting this done as a favor when the folks I'm helping can't even keep track of the original mags?
     
  2. LNK

    LNK Member

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    Definitely over thinking. Get that cold blue on there and oil it up. Give it a couple days to see if any wipes off. As you say, you are doing a favor for someone fairly irresponsible. As long as they wipe them down occasionally with a light oiled rag, that should be good enough.

    Besides, they are probably going to lose them before they rust.:rofl:
     
  3. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    Cold blue provides no real protection against rust. Hot blue is not a whole lote better. Oil (on the outside of the mag only!) will do more to keep it rust free.

    A dial caliper will tell you pretty darned quick. Properly applied Cerakote is not very thick at all.

    FYI, mags for a 439/539/639/3904/3906 will work just fine. Still pricey, but some of them are stainless.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
    NIGHTLORD40K likes this.
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, had I thought more about it I should have gotten stainless, but then "rust" didn't mean "pitted" to me. Live and learn.
     
  5. mrmike7189

    mrmike7189 Member

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    stainless would have been better, but even stainless will rust eventually. I had 3913 at one time and those little 8 round single stack mags cost me $40 a piece back then, today they must be ........$50 or more ?
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    more
     
  7. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    Yes, even stainless rusts under the right (or wrong as it may be) circumstances. Some folks can't/don't/won't believe it, but I've seen it numerous times. Usually under grips, particularly rubber grips.

    The 3913/3914 are my daily carry guns. I have several.
     
  8. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    99.9% sure 3913 mags will not fit a 39 due to the baseplate being recessed and 3X thicker......

    For rust prevention, I use 100% silicone spray. Spray on, allow to air dry, wipe off excess. Easy peasy, works great.
     
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  9. Col. Harrumph

    Col. Harrumph Member

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    No need to blue or Cerakote. Just wax the white bits.
     
  10. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    You are absolutely correct. That's why I posted this above.

     
  11. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Sorry, no luck on any 39 mags at the GS today......:(
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for looking. I was able to come up with a couple.
     
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