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Weapons and Gear => C&R => Topic started by: Oldsarge on August 03, 2016, 06:42:37 pm

Title: Brownish patina on old S&W .38 M&P, how do restore finish?
Post by: Oldsarge on August 03, 2016, 06:42:37 pm
Inherited a .38 special S&W from my grandfather, who kept it on a nail by the back door for decades.  It's color is brownish, rather than blued steel or any other finish I'd expect.

I've no idea how to remove this and restore it to the original finish.  I'd appreciate any help from y'all!
Title: Re: Brownish patina on old S&W .38 M&P, how do restore finish?
Post by: Grant on August 03, 2016, 07:50:03 pm
  Hey there.   This the Oldsarge from falfiles/akfiles?

   I don't know what to advise you other than.....I think it looks cool the way it is, genuine.
Title: Re: Brownish patina on old S&W .38 M&P, how do restore finish?
Post by: Oldsarge on August 03, 2016, 08:25:02 pm
  Hey there.   This the Oldsarge from falfiles/akfiles?

   I don't know what to advise you other than.....I think it looks cool the way it is, genuine.

Sorry Grant.  Never posted on that/those sites.

Appreciate  your comment.  Sometimes showing your age is a good thing!
Title: Re: Brownish patina on old S&W .38 M&P, how do restore finish?
Post by: MTK20 on August 03, 2016, 08:30:54 pm
My premodel 10 looked just like that. All I did was cold blue it. It gave it a deeper colour, but still the finish was rough.
Title: Re: Brownish patina on old S&W .38 M&P, how do restore finish?
Post by: coelacanth on August 05, 2016, 02:15:40 am
Well, it shows a good bit of honest wear and finish loss but if the corrosion isn't too deep it can be brought back a bit closer to its original condition.  Probably the first place to start is with a good detail cleaning to assess the situation.  That will give you a better idea of what you are working with and what is possible. 

How well versed are you in the assembly/disassembly of S&W revolvers?  Do you have the tools necessary to do the job?  You can clean up the outside by removing the grips and using fine steel wool ( # 0000 ) and a detail brush like an old tooth brush.  Any decent penetrating oil will remove a fair amount of the surface rust and general crud when applied with the steel wool and brush but these are methods primarily for the outside of the gun.  To clean the barrel and the chambers you will need properly sized gun cleaning tools.  If you don't already have them I would suggest picking up some if you intend to do this job properly.   Barring that, I have used Q-Tips, old 100% cotton rags and things as mundane as chopsticks from carry out Chinese food in a pinch.  Not ideal but effective enough if used with patience. 

If the gun is to be restored to full function it will probably need to make a trip to a revolver smith at some point to have the internal parts checked out and cleaned or replaced as necessary.   At that point it will have the sear engagement and the timing checked for safe operation and probably an assessment of whether it is feasible to do a complete restoration.   

Hope this was helpful as a place to start.   :hmm   
Title: Re: Brownish patina on old S&W .38 M&P, how do restore finish?
Post by: Oldsarge on August 05, 2016, 06:53:12 pm

If the gun is to be restored to full function it will probably need to make a trip to a revolver smith at some point to have the internal parts checked out and cleaned or replaced as necessary.   At that point it will have the sear engagement and the timing checked for safe operation and probably an assessment of whether it is feasible to do a complete restoration.   

Hope this was helpful as a place to start.   :hmm

Thanks for the suggestions Coelacanth!  I also posted on the S&W forum for some help on date of manufacture.  Between 1919 and 1920. 
Most of the folks there said just clean it well and don't do anything to the finish.  It shows the "history" of the firearm.  Proudly aged, basically.

I cleaned it as well as I could and since everything seemed functional we shot it today.  Worked like a champ! (Should have seen your post and followed your advice on a trip to a gunsmith.  But thankfully all went well.  I will take it to one before we fire it again, to ensure all truly is well mechanically.  Very sage advice that I'd not thought of.  Thank you for that!)

 I'm giving it to my daughter.  She fell in love with it and my son is getting all the other weapons as his inheritance.

I really appreciate everyone's advice and support!
Title: Re: Brownish patina on old S&W .38 M&P, how do restore finish?
Post by: MTK20 on August 05, 2016, 07:37:23 pm
Not a problem at all, old sarge. We're happy to have you aboard. I think a K frame is a perfect choice for any of the women in our lives, whose safety we care about. They fit small hands well and the ballistics out of a 4 inch barreled .38 special are quite impressive  :thumbup1.