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To Refinish, or Not...Colt Detective.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by hemicharger08, Mar 1, 2011.

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  1. hemicharger08

    hemicharger08 Member

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    Nicke Plated Colt Detective .38s

    It looks like it was sent to hell and back. Not planning on selling it, but under emergency situation, what would be the cost of the restoration and the value of the gun once restored and before restoration


    I paid 375 BTW
     

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  2. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    In most cases refinishing a gun doesn't really add to the value and often reduces the value.

    In cases where the gun has very little original finish left, a refinish can make the gun more practical to use, but won't really add to the selling price.

    I bet that if you refinished the gun you'd still wind up selling it for about what you paid for it and not earn back the cost of refinishing. (Or, maybe you'll bring it a little more than the original price, but still won"t cover ther refinish costs).
     
  3. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you overpaid in that condition. Refinishing won't de-value it, not in that shape.
     
  4. hemicharger08

    hemicharger08 Member

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    Comes with a 30 Day warranty. I'm in week 1. Was it really that bad of a purchase? I missed out on a SW M-60 when I went to look at them
     
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Looks too me as if someone badly abused that little Colt~! :scrutiny: :eek:
     
  6. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    You're looking at spending equal the purchased amount for a Colt refinish. If you opt for the refinish and then you need to sell the gun, you'll lose money on the deal in my opinion.

    Also, as someone else has already pointed out, you overpaid by about $150. Nobody likes to hear that, but hopefully it will keep you for repeating the decision in the future.

    My opinion, shoot the gun like it is or find a reputable local gunsmith who does rebluing and have it done there for probably half of the cost from Colt. But to answer your questions: Value before refinish, as is, $200 to $275. Value after refinish, probably looking at $450 to $525.
     
  7. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    A refinish from Colt is gonna cost you about 300 bucks. Your gun refinished would bring 500 or so pretty easy. As Olympus pointed out, you paid 150 or so too much.....I'd take it back.
     
  8. waidmann

    waidmann Member

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    Take it back, go stainless.
     
  9. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    hemicharger08

    The value of the gun, as it is right now is probably between $250 and $275. If it were my gun I would have it hard chrome plated by Ron Mahovsky. He offers a finish called SS Chromium M, or Metalife, that costs about $150 for a revolver. It has the appearance of stainless steel and will not crack, chip, flake, or peel away; it is also highly rust and wear resistant. I have a gun that was done nearly 30 years ago and it still looks as good as the day I got it back from being refinished.

    To refinish the gun again in bright nickel will probably run you about $400 to $450. First the gun will have to be deplated, then polished, and finally replated. The value at that point would most likely be slightly more than what you paid to have it nickel plated.
     
  10. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    By gum, he took...ah say...he took the words right out of mah mouth! I also can heartily recommend Mr. Mahovsky. He did a bang up job on my Beretta 70S. Not only that, when I called to find out how much I owed him, he actually complimented my Beretta. He's the best guy at the best price out there.

    [​IMG]

    .
     
  11. rklessdriver

    rklessdriver Member

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    I don't think I've seen a 3rd Series COLT DS in ANY condition sell for as little as $250-$275... not in the last 15yrs anyway.... I own 4 Colt D frames (DS and Cobra's) and am always looking for them. Anytime I see one is priced less than $400, it sells FAST.

    I do think you paid too much, but unfortunatly that's usually the story with any COLT revolver these days. I don't think you got hurt all that bad thou. If you really wanted a DS for a carry gun and if the gun is mech good, then the finish isn't all that important, unless you want it to be.

    Rob is right. Refinishing it won't hurt the value, becasue it's already ruined for any collector.

    Do give Ron Mahovsky a call or email. Metal Life would be the perfect fix for your little COLT's finish.
    Will
     
  12. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    The cost for Colt to re-blue a gun is $165 for matte blue, $200 for standard blue, and $275 for Royal blue. The cost for nickel is $325. These prices are from the 2010 Custom Shop. IMO, if you can't afford to refinish a classic Colt DA correctly, don't do it. Sure, springing for the nickel will cost you more than some other guy's finish, but factory refinish receipt from Colt will add more value to the gun than a receipt from most other outside sources.
     
  13. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    For what it's worth, my FIL picked up the exact same gun in blue from a guy walking around a gun show last month for $375 in 98% condition, no box. Prices tend to vary from different parts of the country, but 3rd Gen Detective Specials are plentiful in my area and they don't usually go over $550 for 99% with the original box.

    If it were me, I would keep the gun like it is and enjoy shooting it. Save some pennies and in a couple years you'll have enough to send it back to Colt for a proper refinish. Odds are that you'll have invested more in the gun that what you could probably sell it for. But if you plan on keeping it, you'll forget that you're upside on it and all you will see is the beautifully refinished piece of art. And all the compliments you get after the refinish will help to ease your mind as well.
     
  14. PRM

    PRM Member

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    All comes down to what you want. One of my first guns was a 2nd Generation Detective Special. I was a lot younger then and it had to go when money got tight.

    My wife got me a replacement a few years back. I sent it to Colt and had a timing issue repaired, everything put back to factory specs and a complete re-blue (Royal finish) for $250. Their work was exceptional ~ you couldn't tell it was not a new gun when I got it back. Edges were still sharp, lettering crisp. Very, very professional refinish.


    Current Prices on a Detective Special Refinish at Colt are:

    $200 for standard blue and $275 for the Royal blue.

    Considering your initial cost ~you could probably find one in mint condition for what you would have in it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  15. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    Do you plan on carrying it? If so, it would be a worry-free yet very good carry gun. What's some more wear or another blemish?

    But, if it must look good, I'd go for some hard chrome, myself.
     
  16. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Personally I am not a fan of nickel guns so I am admittedly a little biased.

    If you are a nickel fan I would suggest that you just accept the fact that you will be hosed financially and refinish the old girl.

    This is based on the fact that I find less than perfect nickel guns look really bad to me. YMMV
     
  17. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    Have you tried to polish with Flitz? I only ask, because years ago when I lived in MS at Cook's Gunshop in Biloxi there was a Colt in similar condition. It may have been a Lawman? Not sure. It was frosty and rough looking, maybe from the humid climate? Well they took it and some Flitz, worked it over, and it looked like a totally different gun! Give it a shot. I personally had a Model 10 Smith that was nickle. It was a 5 inch Detroit PD gun and it was tight and clean. The nickle was rough looking though. Frosty and dull. Well the gang at Cook's told me about Flitz (actually let me borrow their tube) and it looked like a new gun when I was done! I have done several nickle guns the same way since then and they all look a whole lot better when done.
     
  18. Remllez

    Remllez Member

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    Personally I agree with woad yurt..it's been road hard and put up wet. Carry it and don't worry about it,hopefully the insides are in good working order. It will never be worth what you put into it so enjoy it for what it is.

    There will be more guns in your future don't worry about that...lol if you like that particular model keep your eyes open,they do come along every now and again in collectable shape with box. Or exercise your return option and start over.

    Enjoy Your Gun Son!!
     
  19. pete950

    pete950 Member

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    I can't tell from the pic is the finish gone or very tarnished and is it nickel.
    Humer me and try using some "Flitz" and see if it polishes up.

    I bought a Cobra in nickel that looked like that from guy for $100.00 cleaned out the inside took a dremal with a polishing wheel and compound and the gun look like it just came out of the box.

    Good luck
     
  20. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    The nickel on it just looks hazy to me....If you can't find Flitz or Simichrome, you can use Mother's mag wheel polish....As a matter of fact, I just finished polishing a Colt Trooper this morning. A little rubbing with Mother's and then a couple of coats of Johnson's paste wax really made her 35 year old finish "pop".
     
  21. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Gotta decide what your really want with the gun. Back in the day when S&W Chiefs and Dick Specials were competitors, the Smith was widely held to be more durable and compact, tho' giving away one round to the Colt. If a good carry revolver is your desire, better look for a stainless Centennial, a Chief with a humpback frame covering the hammer. Easier to draw, better ergonomics and lower bore axis, and you can shoot it thru' your coat pocket in an emergency.
    OTOH, if a classic Colt revolver is your desire, I personally prefer the older Dicks with the bag grip and the unshrouded ejector rod; they have a real Raymond Chandler look. A bottle of bad whiskey, a half-pack of Luckies, and a snap-brim fedora ought to come with it.
    If you aren't sure, take it back. Stainless Centennials aren't hard to come by,new or used, as are other good carry guns.
    Now if you are determined to keep it to carry, either leave it alone or send it to Metalife; Mahovsky does do wonderful work.
    If you want a perfect example of the newer Dick, then send it back to Colt and have them pretty it up.
    But you gotta decide what it is you really want.
    Moon
     
  22. pete950

    pete950 Member

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    Oh and as ColtPythonElite said the Johnsons paste wax at the end really brings out the shine and add a protective coat to the finsh
     
  23. USMC8541

    USMC8541 Member

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    I don't think he paid to much I just paid 435 for my Blue Colt DS, Colts are hard to find in any condition and they fly off the shelf.
     
  24. pete950

    pete950 Member

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    I bought a Cobra like that 2 years ago for $150.oo I did the Flitz thing and it looks like new. If you have access to a buffing wheel that will work better. giv it a try before you pay to have it refinished.
     
  25. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Using a buffing wheel on a nickel or blue gun is the fastest way possible to thin, remove, or otherwise damage the finish.
     
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