Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > General Topics > The Lounge
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-22-2012, 11:36 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 213
Likes: 14
Liked 21 Times in 15 Posts
Default Cost vs Value of reblueing

If you have a revolver that is in excellent mechanical condition but is roughly 90% cosmetically, do you think a perfect reblue (no over polish, rounding of edges and dimpling holes etc) will decrease the value of the gun or merely make the gun prettier with no increase in market value? This is pretty general and assumptions include that the revolver is not a rare collectable and so forth. I just happen to like "pretty" guns. A given is that one is unlikely to recoup the cost of bluing.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-23-2012, 12:56 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Heart of Dixie
Posts: 660
Likes: 13
Liked 272 Times in 108 Posts
Default

A perfect reblue is hard to come by. Normally there are some tell-tell signs that a gun was reblued. If you could get a perfect reblue it would pretty much keep the gun at market. To get a marked increase in value it would need something extra, like inlays or engraving.
If you are set on pretty, try some cold blue on the worn spots and save the money for later. JMHO
Larry
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #3  
Old 11-23-2012, 01:39 AM
WC145's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,558
Likes: 720
Liked 1,251 Times in 336 Posts
Default

You're unlikely to recoup the costs of most mods/improvements when you sell a gun. I say you treat it like you're going to own it forever, you'll enjoy it a lot more that way. If you like a pretty gun, have at it. Going forward with that mindset, I have yet to be disappointed when I've had a piece refinished.
__________________
Don't kiss smiling dogs!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #4  
Old 11-23-2012, 08:44 AM
dant's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,071
Likes: 13
Liked 108 Times in 63 Posts
Default

Nothing wrong with having "nice stuff" and as YOU undrsatnad and know the value offset, then by all means , yes the issue is finding one who can and will do the job "right"...mostly the ONLY times we've seen that is from the factory,sorry but I find "wrong" all too many of the so called big boys...........I do have to say that 90% may be a bit too nice to actually 'redo' my feelings are when it gets down there in the 60-70% range, its a no brainer, many folks call it 'character' I say "BS".....
just MY .02 cents
__________________
dan
NRA Benefactor,OGCA,PMA
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-23-2012, 09:31 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 417
Likes: 277
Liked 256 Times in 109 Posts
Default

In 2006 I sent a gun to S&W for refinishing. I had bought a 13-3 imported police surplus revolver with a 3 inch barrel. At the time they could be had for 290$. When I received the thing it looked terrible. Dings and scratches everywhere. The bolt stop would not drop sometimes blocking the cylinder rotation. I asked for repair and refinish. It took 3 or 4 months to get done as the polisher was retiring or on vacation or something. I was very pleased. 18$ to repair, 166$ to refinish, and 80$ shipping. Excepting the near 600$ invested in a 300$ gun. I probably will not buy a surplus revolver or have one refinished again.




I adjusted the exposure and size on this pic.
__________________
Dennis
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-23-2012, 01:25 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,394
Likes: 44
Liked 838 Times in 469 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampersand View Post
If you have a revolver that is in excellent mechanical condition but is roughly 90% cosmetically, do you think a perfect reblue (no over polish, rounding of edges and dimpling holes etc) will decrease the value of the gun or merely make the gun prettier with no increase in market value? This is pretty general and assumptions include that the revolver is not a rare collectable and so forth. I just happen to like "pretty" guns. A given is that one is unlikely to recoup the cost of bluing.

A 'perfect reblue' will be a restoration,,the same look as the original factory finish.
Any thing less is a refinish, it will be looked at as a refinish and value of a revolver that was previously 90% original will IMHO be reflected downward.

True restorations are done, but they very few and far between.
An excellent re-bluing job can make the revolver look 'prettier' to your eyes if that's all you're after. To many, their opinion will be that it will ruin the looks of an otherwise fine condition revolver.
But it is very unlikely to increase the value of a revolver that was in 90% condition to begin with, even if it is a common model. It would absolutely damage the value of a 90% condition collectable.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-23-2012, 02:07 PM
lowhog's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,298
Likes: 802
Liked 1,040 Times in 231 Posts
Default

I would not refinish a gun in any condition.You would be removing the history of the piece, and killing its value.
__________________
Ride on!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #8  
Old 11-23-2012, 02:28 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: utah
Posts: 12,755
Likes: 2,298
Liked 6,117 Times in 2,701 Posts
Default

Except for rare instances it`s a financhial loss. There may be other reasons to reblue though. Long ago I was in a terrible motorcycle accident. As I was single my best friend and his wife took me in and nursed me a few weeks. I gave bill a nice smith 1917. Sometime later we were deer hunting in the high sierras and I met another guy that I knew and we all camped together. We started talking guns and bill went to his camper and got the 1917 I had gave him to show off.
He pulled it out of a leather case that had once been a sample bag or demo kit when he had sold amway products years before. The gun was completely frosted with rust! It must have been from some chemicals that had been in the case. My friend had a ffl and was a S&W guy. He said let me send this to the factory for you. This was so long ago that I think the reblue was $16s! The gun came back with the prettiest deep ink looking blue I had seen! Of course it was far more spetacular than the original 1917 finish but bill was pleased.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-23-2012, 02:35 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 5
Liked 360 Times in 263 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowhog View Post
I would not refinish a gun in any condition.You would be removing the history of the piece, and killing its value.
But what if you have a 60% or less gun. It has no collectable value or noteworthy history most likely.

There are plenty of instances where a refinish would be fine. But I am more or less of the opinion that it would likely cost less to be patient to find a gun in the condition I want for less than it would cost to buy a beater and refinish it.

But there are lots of sub $200 guns out there that fit the cost effectiveness ratio for a refinish.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-23-2012, 03:49 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: utah
Posts: 12,755
Likes: 2,298
Liked 6,117 Times in 2,701 Posts
Default

In the rare case in my prior post the once nice smith was caught with the entire gun completly covered with very thin rust or like a froth. The blue was 100% ruined but it was caught without pits. I agreed with my buddys in that rare condition that to reblue was the only sane course. Usualy I am death on refinishing myself. It looked like a dugup relic but looked new when finished. It wasnt worn from wear and had no real history except for looking like it accidently fell into a bucket of acid!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-23-2012, 03:51 PM
LVSteve's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lost Wages, NV
Posts: 4,823
Likes: 3,204
Liked 3,043 Times in 1,404 Posts
Default

As part of the milsurp fraternity, I generally put reblueing on a level with child molestation while kicking puppies and drowning kittens. However, as Nipster points out there are probably lots of 60% or less S&Ws that have no real historical significance or provenance, so is there any real harm?

All that said, at the end of the day it is your gun. If you are prepared to accept that you will never get that money back and you like pretty guns, then go for it.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-23-2012, 04:04 PM
lowhog's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,298
Likes: 802
Liked 1,040 Times in 231 Posts
Default

Nipster,A sub 200.00 gun with 60% finish or less has its place.For me it would be a gun that I would pack in a holster, or in the glove box. Myself I would not holster a 98% or better gun.And if you spend the 250.00 or more to refinish the gun .I think it would remain a 200.00 gun.
__________________
Ride on!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-23-2012, 08:39 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 5
Liked 360 Times in 263 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowhog View Post
Nipster,A sub 200.00 gun with 60% finish or less has its place.For me it would be a gun that I would pack in a holster, or in the glove box. Myself I would not holster a 98% or better gun.And if you spend the 250.00 or more to refinish the gun .I think it would remain a 200.00 gun.
I might be worth $200 to some of you here, but it could be resold or traded to less knowledgeable people for quite a bit more.

Not everyone is a journeyman gunsmith or knows the SCSW word for word

Or... maybe some people just like nice looking shooter grade guns.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-23-2012, 09:27 PM
Tom K's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 1,083
Likes: 69
Liked 1,065 Times in 294 Posts
Default

To a collector, a 90% gun that has been reblued has 0% original finish.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-24-2012, 03:51 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Poynette, WI
Posts: 4,061
Likes: 5,900
Liked 651 Times in 419 Posts
Default

So far, I've had four firearms reblued. None of them
had any appreciable finish left. They were good mechanically,
so I figured they were good candidates. I did not question
the cost. I just wanted guns that looked like guns,(to me, anyway).
There are some that I got from Forum members, that will be
carefully handled so that a refinish won't be necessary in my
lifetime. Then, somebody else can make their own choice.
I sure do like blue steel! JMHO. TACC1
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	LEATHER & BLUE STEEL...WITH PROTECTION 002.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	103.8 KB
ID:	92051  
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-24-2012, 05:10 PM
wbraswell's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: East Texas
Posts: 4,297
Likes: 1,334
Liked 2,155 Times in 1,057 Posts
Default

The only reasons for me to refinish, is to fix a botched previous refinish, like the 1917 I have that's been cold blued, or after the gun is engraved.
__________________
Wayne
Torn & Frayed
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-24-2012, 05:31 PM
Black_Sheep's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,721
Likes: 761
Liked 527 Times in 199 Posts
Default

This 3" Model 10-8 was someone's botched project gun so the price was right. Once I got things squared away it turned out to be a nice shooter. After refinishing there is more into the gun than it will ever be worth, but I enjoy it more.

before...


after...
__________________
"Shall not be infringed"
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-24-2012, 05:43 PM
H Richard's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Central IL
Posts: 10,205
Likes: 2,184
Liked 2,171 Times in 1,224 Posts
Default

If you can buy a mechanically new one for less than half what it is worth, (say a Mod 19 snub for $200) then invest $250 in refinishing it, you will have about it's current "shooter" value,cost in the gun. I only did it once, when I bought a literally brand new 19-4 that had been in a gun rug in a fire, and it got wet and forgotten about for too long. Bad finish and some pitting, it looked horrible. Sent off for a Metaloy hard chrome finish, as it would have taken too much polishing to get a blued finish, and I didn't want a bead blast finish. Back then it cost $245 since I had disassembled it myself and they didn't have to disassembe or re-assemble it. It turned out fine, but of course will never have any collector value, just shooter value.
__________________
H Richard
SWCA1967
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-24-2012, 06:59 PM
WC145's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,558
Likes: 720
Liked 1,251 Times in 336 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowhog View Post
I would not refinish a gun in any condition.You would be removing the history of the piece, and killing its value.
Making a gun what you want or leaving it original is one of the priveleges of ownership. If you are happier with a refinished or modified gun, do it, there are plenty of others out there to satisfy the purists. I'd rather have my guns the way I want them and use them than to leave them worn and original, waiting for someone to come along and and offer me what they're "worth".

Before-

After-


Before-

After-


Before-

After-
__________________
Don't kiss smiling dogs!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #20  
Old 11-24-2012, 08:12 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 184
Likes: 2
Liked 41 Times in 26 Posts
Default

I am having great difficulty with Photobucket, so it looks like I'm going to have to do this in two posts.
This photo is my 1903 Colt before restoration. The barrel and all the mechanical parts were in great shape, so I did most of the polishing and then sent it to the late Bill Adair for restoration.


Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-24-2012, 08:18 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 184
Likes: 2
Liked 41 Times in 26 Posts
Default

Bill Adair did a little clean up of what I had already done plus re-engraved some of the numbers and the Rampant Colt. It takes a sharp eye to determine that this pistol has been reblued. Since I did most of the grunt work, my total cost for this was around $160 which I consider money well spent. I hope you all will agree. To me this vintage pistol is well worth saving.

Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #22  
Old 11-24-2012, 08:22 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Absurdistan
Posts: 1,229
Likes: 445
Liked 140 Times in 77 Posts
Default

I've only had one gun refinished and that was because there was some light pitting. S&W did a fantastic job and now I have a gun that I am proud to show off vs one that drove me crazy because of its imperfections.

If it were just bluing loss I don't think I would have done it but the pitting was the difference maker for me.

Your gun, your money, do what makes you happy. Life is too short to own things you aren't 100% happy with or to worry about what others think of your decisions.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:48 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 213
Likes: 14
Liked 21 Times in 15 Posts
Default

Thank you all for your feedback. It seems that the operative word is "shooter". If the gun is already a shooter it boils down to whether you're more concerned with looks or character. I spend more time cleaning guns than shooting them so I probably get a bit obsessed with the appearance of too many of my guns that are and always will be shooters.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:25 PM
kraigwy's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Newcastle WY
Posts: 1,122
Likes: 245
Liked 1,006 Times in 301 Posts
Default

Since I'll never sell a gun again, I don't care about the value.

I would either re-blue it or not, depending on what I want out of the gun.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:35 PM
williamlayton's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Deer Park, Texas
Posts: 2,231
Likes: 450
Liked 1,085 Times in 490 Posts
Default

A gun is a tool.
Blessings
__________________
TEXAS, by GOD
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
The Lounge Thread, Cost vs Value of reblueing in General Topics; If you have a revolver that is in excellent mechanical condition but is roughly 90% cosmetically, do you think a ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reblueing question......... tdan S&W-Smithing 2 11-23-2012 09:33 PM
reblueing GMC man Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles 5 05-14-2012 11:56 AM
reblueing a neglected .455 Parked S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 5 02-22-2011 07:40 AM
Model 52-2: What's the Problem and What's It Gonna Cost Cost to Fix this 52-2 Bullseye 2620 Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 6 09-19-2009 06:52 AM
Reblueing small parts on a Model 59 Model 59 Nickel Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 3 05-09-2009 02:01 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:41 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)