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Old 08-11-2013, 02:29 PM
larry21556 larry21556 is offline
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Default Triple Lock Resto Project

I bought this from member Quinn who unfortunately was not is a position to undertake it as a project. I am going to give it a try as I hated to see it in its present condition. The pistol is not as bad as the photos depict. Mechanically it is in great condition and shows little if any wear from firing. The exterior finish is not quite as bad as the photos depict with about 50% original blue. It retains its original 6 1/2" barrel length. The easiest way to proceed is, I think, to try to find a King's front sight base which is what appears to have been installed at some time then removed; failing that, to weld up the remaining base and cut a groove to replace the original style sight blade, then address the finish. Nothing to be done with the rear sight as that is beyond my welding/fabrication skills. I think I will retain the stag stocks as they really are very nicely proportioned to my hand.

For those who would question the costs vs. the end result, no, this is not cost effective. I will post progress photos in the future.





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Old 08-11-2013, 03:59 PM
bamabiker bamabiker is offline
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Cool project and sometimes it's not about the money.
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:48 PM
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Good luck on the project. That old classic deserves to be brought back.

Last edited by DGT; 08-12-2013 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:25 PM
rhmc24 rhmc24 is offline
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I've several times spent many $100s worth of my labor on resto jobs that were worth a fraction of that when I finished. It's the satisfaction you get when you do nice job. My heirs will be the ones to benefit.

A good job on your TL may improve its value because its such a desirable gun in the first place. Good Luck.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:57 PM
Nframecollector Nframecollector is offline
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Good luck! I had that in my hands but I let it go to buy a 27-2 that I'd been after for awhile. I'm looking forward to watching the progress on this!
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:03 PM
larry21556 larry21556 is offline
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Progress will probably be slow. I don't recall ever seeing a King's base for sale with out a gun attached to it.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:13 PM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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Nice project gun.
It shouldn't be about the money,,if it was you'd never do any projects.

Micro Sight made a front sight that required the blade to be filed off down to the base and was then pinned in place with 2 cross pins. Might be what was on there.
The matching adj rear that they sold required a single drilled and tapped hole just forward of the fixed rear sight down in the groove,, not that it matters here.

I looked for a base, I have a Kings front site base but it's for a pre-war magnum. It pins to the rib of the magnum bbl w/a small keel like the blades do do the base.

I think I'd press fit pins into the holes, trim them off and fit a new blade S&W style anyway.

Should be a fun shooter.

Last edited by 2152hq; 08-11-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:20 PM
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Larry,

Congrats and I applaud your desire to bring this old war horse back to shooting condition. Hope you don't mind some opinions and thoughts, they won't cost anything and worth about the same. I love the period service style stag grips.

Your idea of milling the front sight base, welding up the two holes, go to a single factory style pin with rounded ends and installing a blade would be a great authentic touch. It will need to be wider to be compatible with the Micro-click post war sight. But if factory shaped, would fit very well with the vintage of the gun. You'll have a wonderfully accurate and practical shooting triple lock. Picture below for a pattern. The King sight it probably had is no loss to me, they are ugly and klunky looking in my opinion. Ok with a King rear sight or rib treatment but an eyesore by themselves.

I would also remove the grooves on the back of the sight and in the rear sight tang, finish it flush with the topstrap and blend the front tip of the rear sight tang into the taper like the beautiful pre war sight. And re-blue the sight.

With the 50% + original finish showing only honest wear and no real abuse, I would not refinish the gun. I can understand your desire to have a nice new shiny blue looking gun, but I would just carefully polish it with Flitz or Mothers mag wheel polish and retain its old world panache.

Is the cylinder hold open detent functioning? Those are usually crudy or even rusted but a very useful feature and a great old piece of Smith craftsmanship we'll never see again.

Hope that is useful and if not, that's OK too, it's your triple lock.

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Last edited by Hondo44; 08-11-2013 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:43 PM
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Looks like a cool project. Take your time if doing it yourself. Should come out great. Keep us posted, Larry
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:04 PM
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Heck yes! This nonsense about refinishing being a waste is just that, nonsense! Go for it. Good luck. Lots of pictures please.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:36 PM
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I know what you mean about spending many hours on an otherwise common old beat up gun. A friend showed me a 1955 vintage M&P 38 snub. It was given him by his aunt who's husband passed away and she didn't even know the gun existed. It had evidently been in a dresser drawer (in a humid climate) for many many years, and it has horrible surface rust over most of it. It had been stored in a holster and the leather actually protected the barrel and cylinder fair. The grip frame and trigger guard were badly crusted up and pitted. But on inspection it didn't appear to have been shot since the factory testing. The action was sluggish but moveable as he had put gun oil in everywhere he could get some. I took pity and took it home and soaked it in Kroil for a couple days and fully disassembled it (after breaking two screwdriver tips in a side plate screw) more Kroil. Then I took my extreme rust tool ( a piece of pure copper pipe with 1" flattened out like a scraper) and with Kroil and the scraper spent 4 hours working on the rust. The inside cleaned up pretty good, and just a little stoning on the rebound slide and a few drops of good oil inside, got it all back together. It wasn't pretty, but I got all the actual rust off, unfortunately there was some pretty severe pitting. The action is smooth and solid, and will make a great tackle box gun.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:32 PM
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Interesting find, Larry. Is the rear target sight the same kind as used from 1950 (S&W micometer click adjustable)? Is the rear sight fully functional? And does that front sight base have a lengthwise groove, or is it just a solid block with the two crosswise pin holes?

The impression I get is that yr TL was originally a fixed-sight service revolver and that sometime after it left the factory it received target-style sights. I don't know if you'd want to spend $50 for a factory letter to learn when it was shipped; in some cases it might be better to spend the money on the gun rather than on a piece of paper!

Some ideas:

If a groove could be milled into that front sight base (and you have the equipment or can afford to pay someone to do the work), it would be possible to carve a front sight blade with a "keel" that could be pinned in position on the existing base. (That's the way the S&W front sights were applied to the target models from 1950, if not earlier.) It wouldn't be exactly original, but you are not trying to fake anything either--you want to make it work as a shooter, correct?

Refinishing costs money and to do it right costs more money. You don't want any markings removed, edges kept sharp, etc. My thinking is similar to Hondo's above: As a shooter, does the gun really need it? Maybe you could spend some time rubbing it down with bronze wool or pure copper scrapers, remove as many surface rust flakes as possible to bring out as much of the remaining original blue as you can, then just keep it oiled.

A possible alternative, if you think you must tinker with the finish, would be to use blue remover liquid to get the gun down to bare steel, but do not do any polishing with a power wheel or abrasive paper--just get the metal CLEAN. Then apply an even coating of cold blue (or dip it in hot blue if you have such equipment). That would perhaps give you a better-looking gun but would not risk damaging markings or edges. Like Hondo wrote, it's yr gun so plan ahead & decide what you want to do with it.

Getting poorly-treated guns back into working order is a fun part of this hobby & I respect people who want to do this sort of thing. I wish you the best of luck with yr project & please keep us informed of yr progress.

Last edited by jw mathews; 08-13-2013 at 05:42 AM. Reason: correct spelling/typo errors
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:01 PM
larry21556 larry21556 is offline
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The rear sight is a 50's and up micrometer sight. You can see from the depth of the cut for the nut that it had an earlier smaller adjustable sight installed at one time, probably a King's adjustable.

The remaining front is just the remnants of the original fixed sight with the classic King's pin pattern drilled into it.

Still considering options on the refinish.

First step is a detailed strip and clean.

Thanks to all for the thoughts
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:07 PM
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Larry, I'm glad you've undertaken this project. I look forward to seeing your progress...
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:22 PM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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Original N frame adj rear sights are tough to find but K frame pre-wars are out there. They are the same sight but the tang is shorter.

If the revolver has had the tang slot milled out larger anyway, an available K adj sight could me fitted with a new entire tang portion to make up for not only the Nframe length which it would need, but any over size width from the post war sight mod.

It'll make the addition of the front sight blade somewhat smaller (not as tall) too. With the post war adj sight on it, the front sight blade is going to be quite high. Part of that overly tall 'look' is a the absence of a bbl rib of course.
Just another suggestion.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:52 PM
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Since it already has a modern rear sight, what about putting a ramp and front sight from the modern era on it to match?
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:53 PM
Nframecollector Nframecollector is offline
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I would refinish it! Just my .02!
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:02 PM
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I am with you. Spent more than I paid redeeming a model 10 snubby in hard chrome. the finished product is a beauty to behold and she shoots like a target pistol. Cost effective...no. A happy project that made me smile.... worth every cent.

go for it and keep the progress pictures coming!

One wise man on this forum said refinishing a gun was like a boob job. Not the real thing but wonderful to behold! If you like it pay the money and enjoy!
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:38 AM
rhmc24 rhmc24 is offline
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Horrible pitting can sometimes be reclaimed. I bought this as a parts gun & found it almost perfect inside. Took me probably 20 hours filing the pitting flat and polishing. Sent it to Turnbulls & got markings and blue replaced.

I did a revolver lightly pitted & it took a lot more time to prepare due to all the nooks and crannies, different curves, etc. Automatics are a lot easier because all flat sides and same curvatures around the edges.

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Old 08-13-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
Original N frame adj rear sights are tough to find but K frame pre-wars are out there. They are the same sight but the tang is shorter.

If the revolver has had the tang slot milled out larger anyway, an available K adj sight could be fitted with a new entire tang portion to make up for not only the Nframe length which it would need, but any over size width from the post war sight mod.

It'll make the addition of the front sight blade somewhat smaller (not as tall) too. With the post war adj sight on it, the front sight blade is going to be quite high. Part of that overly tall 'look' is a the absence of a bbl rib of course.
Just another suggestion.
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Larry,

2152's above suggestion for a pre war rear sight is a good one if you want to go that far. Plus SixgunStrumpet has an extra K frame pre war sight he may sell & doesn't need any longer for his RM 'resto' project:
http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-han...ost-there.html
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:44 PM
larry21556 larry21556 is offline
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There is a show this week in Reno that has a couple of iron sight specialists I will see what I can find then maybe get on my knees to Sixgun, maybe he needs something I have.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:27 PM
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Good luck on the project!


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