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To re-finish or not to re-finish?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Rockrivr1, Oct 20, 2005.

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  1. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    I have a Pre-Model 17 K22 Masterpiece that was owned by my uncle before he passed away. From what I've been told by my family, he bought this used back in the 1960s. I'm assuming it's used as it was made before 1957 according to the serial number.

    I've attached a picture of the revolver below and as you can see the finish is in bad shape. Probably less then 50% on the NRA scale. But she shoots great. The cylinder still locks up tight and there are no functionality issues.

    I've been considering sending it back to S&W for the Restoration Package, which includes Re-Blueing the revolver. The cost is approximately $125.

    I know that this type of work can reduce it's value, but then again I'm not worried about that because I would never sell it. Plus I don't think there is a big market for these.

    I'm on the fence with this one and am not sure if I should do it or not. One side thinks the way she looks is a part of her history. The other side thinks she would look awesome with her new looks. If I do send it in I'll most likely look for some authentic grips that are in better shape.

    So what do you think? Restoration package or not?
     

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  2. Amish_Bill

    Amish_Bill Member

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    I see character in it as it sets.
     
  3. halvey

    halvey Member

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    If your really, and I mean really never going to sell it, then restore it.
     
  4. Darth Ruger

    Darth Ruger Member

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    I posted this on another thread, but I'll mention it here too. I have my grandfather's 1933 Walther PP, he passed away when I was in Desert Storm. 72 years later, it's still more accurate than my GP100 or my Glock (which is very accurate).

    The blueing is worn on some of the corners/edges and isn't as deep overall as I'm sure it once was. I'm keeping it that way. If I had bought it used myself, I might have it re-blued. But it's the way it was when my grandfather had it, and it's staying that way. Sure, having it re-finished would make it look nicer to someone else, but to me, I think it looks best the way it was when he carried it. You can't re-finish family history.
     
  5. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Honorable scars are no disgrace (I have a few myself.):p

    I lucked into a Colt New Service a few years back, and it had been refinished -- with most of the markings almost buffed away. It looked pretty but the refinishing destroyed the collector's value (which is why I got it so cheaply.) That being the case, I decided it was a shooter. I had no qualms about soldering on a new front sight -- a slab of 1/8" steel, and milling out the rear sight notch to make it shoot to point of aim.

    I would never have done that if the gun had been left in original condition -- no matter how scarred it was.
     
  6. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    I've got two of the K-22's. One 1948 and one 1953.

    Depends on what you want. It shoots good you say. You don't plan on reselling it and, frankly, I think the reduction in collector value from refinishing would place it about where it is now due to finish condition. Send it in if you want to.

    I've got a Begium Browning Sweet Sixteen that was refinished when I bought it. I would have never been able to afford a Sweet Sixteen in that condition in original finish. I'm thinking of sending my Browning Light Twelve in to get it refinished.
     
  7. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    I'd keep it as it is.

    That way, if you change your mind you can always refinish it in the future. If you refinish it and have regrets, you can't un-refinish it.
     
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Same with my Colt New Service and a few other guns I have. I won't hesitate to buy a refinished gun in good shooting condition -- but I won't refinish a collectable gun and diminish its value.
     
  9. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    My New Service is a re-blue or I wouldn't have gotten it for the steal I did.

    I don't mind putting a new finish on a gun I'm going to use. If it was a registered magnum I'd leave it alone.
     
  10. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I suppose it depends on the gun.

    I can remember years back when there was a fad (often written up in gun magazines) to take guns like M1917s, cut the barrels off to about 2", and cut away the front of the trigger guard -- thereby ruining some cheap old guns that are now collectable.

    So I try to remind myself that blueing doesn't really do anything functional -- it just makes the gun pretty.
     
  11. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I'd have it refinished. There's never been a shortage of K-22s, although K-22s aren't exactly abundant at reasonable prices.
     
  12. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    I say family passdowns should always be kept in their original condition. When you give it to your kids, you'll have a story to tell of its history and how its been with the family etc...

    Leave it as it is, there are other guns out there to refinish, this one should be left as is.
     
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    My grandfather was a Logan County (Oklahoma) Highway Patrolman. He was killed in the line of duty in 1927 -- chasing a speeder and hit another car head on.

    His revolver still bears the marks where he skidded on it along the pavement. Anyone in the family who suggested refinishing that gun would be lynched.
     
  14. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    Don't refinish the gun. There's a story behind every ding and mar. The blue being worn simply means the gun has character. It'd be more fun just handling the gun, looking at the imperfections and trying to imagine the stories behind those marks.
     
  15. Carlos

    Carlos Member

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    I'd refinish it myself.

    Use Oxpho Blue or Birchwood-Casey bluing paste. I restored the finish on my dad's ole 30.06 and the bluing paste did an excellent job, and has stood up well for last 1.5 years.

    Try it, you'll like it. I've never used the Oxpho yet, but hear it's second to none. It's available from Brownell's.
     
  16. charby

    charby Member

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    I am going to get my grand mother's K-22 1948 manufacture someday. I grew up shooting this revolver and most of the dings on it hold a story from things my grandmother did with it and my father. The stories that revolver could tell about grandma, grandpa, my father and me.

    When my father gives it to me someday all I am going to do is retire the holster that it rides in with a new one and carry it while hunting. I don't want to break the old holster (1948 vintage also) so that is why I am getting new leather for it. When I pull it out of the holster I want to see all the scuffs from holster wear and the dings that were earned in time.

    I'll never refinish it.

    Charby
     
  17. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

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    If this is purely a collector's piece, I would leave it the way it is. But any worn or torn utility firearm(to my mind that includes shooting) of mine gets refinished. It's still the same gun but better looking and less susceptible to rust.

    My father owns a Remington 11, which my grandfather bought in 1948. If it had significantly faded bluing or rust, I'd refinish it. My grandfather or father would do the same. I don't feel any sentimental value in wear and tear on objects. Maybe if it were very significant, like a scratch received in the Revolutionary war.
     
  18. kikilee

    kikilee Member

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    Refinish it. Life is to short to shoot ugly guns.
     
  19. gulogulo1970

    gulogulo1970 Member

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    Funny how very few people talk about, every ding and scratch tells a story, when it comes to their cars.

    Refinish it. If it were a car you would buff it out and repaint it. Paint and gun blue are the same thing, a finish put on to protect the metal and to make the gun/car look pretty.

    And don't feel guilty. Trust me, someone out there has a type specimen of your gun ferretted away and it is perfect. So, you can shoot alot, refinish, repeat.
     
  20. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Blueing doesn't offer any significant protection from rust.
     
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