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Old 06-12-2018, 06:12 PM
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Default Triple lock resque-update

I'm not sure why I even did this, soft spot in my heart or my head? Just bought a old and tired triple lock on GB. It was sort of mislisted as a 1926 model in the main description. Poor old thing has seen many a hard mile. I couldn't even tell if it left the factory as a nickel finish or not. If ever I've seen a triple lock that needed a full restoration this may be it. I'll probably have it lettered before I make any decisions on how to proceed with it. Now guys don't cringe to much when you look at the pictures.

https://www.gunbroker.com/Item/773443939

Last edited by andy52; 06-16-2018 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:27 PM
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Ya, it looks like it was rode hard and put away wet. But, if it still functions ok it will probably shoot fine. I don't think it was redone, hammer, trigger and cam plate all case hardened. Led a life already, but still a triple lock and a cool gun to have if the price was right.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:30 PM
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I don't think this is too bad...depending on what you have in it. If you don't mind me asking, what do you have in it as this determined if you did well or not. Clearly buffed and renickeled, but it does have an original 5" barrel, which is uncommon. I know the barrel has not been cut as the markings on the barrel reflect a true 5" barrel and not one shortened from 6 1/2".

I would get a proper set of N frame grips with medallions that reflect the condition of this gun. Should cost you (well) under $100. I did this to one I own almost identical to yours except with an original 4" barrel and it greatly improved the appearance. Given that you cannot harm mine, and this is the case with yours, and mine has a short(er) barrel, this is my concealed carry piece.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelslaver View Post
Ya, it looks like it was rode hard and put away wet. But, if it still functions ok it will probably shoot fine. I don't think it was redone, hammer, trigger and cam plate all case hardened. Led a life already, but still a triple lock and a cool gun to have if the price was right.
Yes it's still a triple lock and best I can tell it dates to about 1911. The price was just about what I could get if I sold it for parts at just a little over 700, but really I'm thinking about bringing it back from the dead.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:34 PM
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Default Similar Triple Lock with original 4" barrel

And here is mine...for comparison.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:38 PM
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And here is mine...for comparison.
your's is just slightly better then the one I just bought, but as it has been said it's still a triple lock.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy52 View Post
The price was just about what I could get if I sold it for parts at just a little over 700...
That's a reasonable price for what yours is, and about what mine ran me a few years ago. Also, I saw a similar one sell in this range at an auction in March, but that one had a standard 6 1/2" barrel.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:57 PM
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I really like this gun as is, except Id slap some sambar stags on it I have. Id love to encounter something like that locally.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:00 PM
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Nice save. That could be a fun project gun.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:03 PM
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I wouldn't touch it; it's perfect the way it is.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark Bait View Post
Nice save. That could be a fun project gun.
This would be the soft place in my heart, if the gun letters to 1911 that would be the birth year of my grandmother, if a letter confirms that I'll send it to Fords for a full restoration and it will have a place of honor in my home. The trigger and hammer might have to go to Turnbulls because I don't think Fords does case hardening.

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Old 06-12-2018, 07:33 PM
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Andy I want you to feel very bad and guilty about outbidding me on this gun.Shame on you
Nah, just kidding. But I was the under bidder. Well done on your part. Glad it went to a good home. My grail gun remains a TL.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:30 PM
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One day at the local gun shop they were talking about this old Smith they'd gotten in in a box sale from an estate. They thought it was a Triple Lock, as soon as I saw it I took it from the gunsmith. Turned it over and realized it was a Colt. Then I realized it was in .45 Colt and then read the butt and saw it was a Model 1909 U.S.Army. Needless to say I did not let go of it. Was disappointed it was not a Triple Lock, but not by much.

By the way I'd have bought that TL too. Congrats and good luck. Let us know what the letter says.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:36 PM
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I'd give a thorough cleaning/lubrication internally, control any rust/nastiness on the finish, wax and then take it to the range before deciding on any further work. You may find you like it "as is". Enjoy!
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:05 PM
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When nickel looks bad, it really looks bad. Normally, I am against refinishing such an old revolver, but I can see why you want to. As a first step, you should replace the plastic faux stag stocks. That alone will improve its appearance a lot.

The seller did misidentify it as a Model 1926, but at least he did know it's a TL (as he clearly states in the description). So he sold it knowing (more or less) what it is. You got a good buy.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:15 PM
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I agree. Give it a good cleaning and then a coat of wax. There are safe queens and then there are guns that have been there and done that. I like the gun just the way it is and "pretty" will probably not make it shoot any better.

In my book any N frame S&W that is not a boat anchor is already worth $500 IMHO, add the fact that it's a triple lock and $755 is not a bad price. If it turns out that it was once owned by someone special then it's a bargain.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:41 PM
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It is a shame when people get an old gun like this and then try to turn it into a fishing lure. No old gun that is in unmolested condition should be refinished. JMHO.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:47 PM
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I don't think it has been refinished. A day or two of cleaning then polishing with Flitz or Mothers Mag will do wonders for that one . I would not refinish that one.

Last edited by merl67; 06-12-2018 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:04 PM
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Nice old TL.

Looking at the side plate fit, I would say it has been refinished.

andy52, look inside of the barrel shroud at the serial number. If there is a "B" prefix to the SN, it shipped from the factory with a blue finish.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:21 PM
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It is just me, but after a trip to the range and confirming that all interior was ok and not only functioning properly with good or great accuracy, this old gal would go off to Fords in Crystal River for a refinish. I love the restored to new look on these old guns, way better than leaving it "as is". I think, I am holding a gun in my hand that looked like this 100 years ago. I love the restorer look sometimes
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:22 PM
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Unlike Registered Magnums, Triple Locks seem to be available in a wide range of condition, with prices to match.

This circumstance makes a Triple Lock accessible to many, who like me, do not see a Registered Magnum in either their safe or their future.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:53 PM
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Nice save! I saw that one on GB and almost started bidding myself.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:03 PM
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If that had been original blue it would just be a brown gun. I don't think its been refinished, I'll bet when cleaned inside that sideplate will sit flush. I don't see other indications(?)
Grips are difficult to find, and expensive.
I'd think twice before sending it to Fords, what they did to a Colt once posted here would keep me from EVER sending anything to them. A righteous hand-polish and professional rust blue could make it a very nice revolver.
I don't think you got hurt too badly, and i'm normally the skeptic.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:26 PM
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That's a clear case of Stage 3 character, and I love it.

I'd clean it up and say, "Old buddy, you've come home. Let's go shooting and swap some yarns."
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:45 PM
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I think you may have misread the definition of "rode hard and put away wet". Mine is # 8221 from 1913 and shoots great. Actually 105 years old last Sunday.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:52 PM
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I had one like that once, mine was made in 1917 according to when I had it lettered. It had a bit of endshake, but it shot decently and I kept the loads mild. I had thought about having it redone, but I decided to leave it be. It was .44 Special. I hated to sell it but when the bills come due I had to part with it, and a few others I wish I still had.

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Old 06-13-2018, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy52 View Post
.....I'll send it to Fords for a full restoration and it will have a place of honor in my home. The trigger and hammer might have to go to Turnbulls because I don't think Fords does case hardening.
Ford's does a case color, of sorts, I had a trigger done by them recently. Were I you, I would defer and have it done elsewhere. You can do a very good job of it yourself with Oxpho-blue cream, a Q-Tip and some practice.
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:57 AM
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Refinished vs not?

Obviously, as others have suggested, if there's a B within the shroud, this Triple Lock was originally blued, so this would be a later renickel. If an N is present, then not so easy.

That which suggests original finish:

Middle lock insert in frame not renickeled. Often this is missed when refinishing (e.g., bluing or nickel inaccurately applied to this piece.

Most markings fairly crisp.

Side plate appears to generally fit well, although seam more evident than I would expect, but this could just be pattern of wear.

Where screws are located, no dishing beneath heads.

No obvious rounded edges.

That which suggests refinish:

Reference to side plate, perhaps not from pattern of wear but from refinish.

On side plate the word "TRADE" appears to be exceptionally weak and seems to contain nickel. Suggests buffing and renickeling.

All markings on side plate appear weaker than expected. Could be wear, an optical illusion, or evidence of refinish.

Wear pattern to nickel finish more typical of refinish and wear vs wear to original pattern. This is, by no means, foolproof. I don't know how to explain it, but, in my experience, renickeled guns wear differently from wear pattern exhibited by original nickel finish.

Left side of trigger appears to contain nickel. This would not be historically correct. Right side does not; could be just an optical illusion.

It would be much easier to determine if I had the gun in hand, but I believe that this one is not refinished as most discrepancies are likely explained By photographic technique or optical illusion.

Last edited by mrcvs; 06-13-2018 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:15 AM
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It looks to me like the side plate is not completely seated for some reason.

Refinish? Either go for the whole meal deal or leave it alone, but ditch the plastic grips. If your going to use it as a wall hanger of times gone by, clean it up well wax it, stick some better grips on it and let it talk.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:18 AM
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Default It's a keeper...just as it is

It's a nice, fully-functional early Triplelock...one that many of us would love to own and shoot. She may not be the purtiest girl at the dance, but I'll bet she'll show you a good time! As a majority of the Forum members have recommended, first give it a good cleaning and polish and see how she turns out. If you decide that you are still unhappy with it, you have a couple of choices- you could sell it to one of us, or send it out for a re-finish. It's your revolver and your decision, but I'll bet that you give it a good polishing and you'll keep it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:34 AM
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I would suggest that until you have determined without a shadow of doubt that this has already been refinished before, that you refrain from refinishing again. If previously refinished, another refinish can do no further harm. However, if this is the original finish--my opinion is that a revolver even with little original finish is ALWAYS preferable to a refinish.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
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I would suggest that until you have determined without a shadow of doubt that this has already been refinished before, that you refrain from refinishing again. If previously refinished, another refinish can do no further harm. However, if this is the original finish--my opinion is that a revolver even with little original finish is ALWAYS preferable to a refinish.
Bottom line is refinish or not is up to the owner. Only ever had one gun I thought seriously about refinishing. A Colt SAA made in 1878, it was toasted. In the end it was going to cost about $6K from Turnbull. I could not afford that so I sold it to someone who could.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:22 AM
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Here's #6971, a recent rescue of mine...
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:51 AM
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That one was on my GB watch list, really glad it was won by a Forum Member. I don't think it has been refinished, the cylinder stop stud does not look polished. Usually a dead "give away" to over polishing for a refinish. It looks as factory installed. As said, look in the barrel shroud for an N or B or no letter at all. No letter is a sign that it left the factory as nickel. I now have a number of TLs and I shoot "cowboy" loads with lead bullets in all of my old timers. Google, Georgia Arms for ammo. You will enjoy the way she shoots.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
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Andy I want you to feel very bad and guilty about outbidding me on this gun.Shame on you
Nah, just kidding. But I was the under bidder. Well done on your part. Glad it went to a good home. My grail gun remains a TL.
If you had bid above 775 I would have folded I couldn't have justified much more than that.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:35 AM
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Just as soon as I get the TL I'll give it some serious TLC and take some pictures for all to see. The grips definitely have to go so I'll start looking for some while I wait.
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  #37  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by AJ View Post
Bottom line is refinish or not is up to the owner. Only ever had one gun I thought seriously about refinishing. A Colt SAA made in 1878, it was toasted. In the end it was going to cost about $6K from Turnbull. I could not afford that so I sold it to someone who could.
There's no way I would spend 6k to have this TL restored, I might go a additional 1000 to 1200 if I even decide to do it.
If the job were done right I'd still only have 1755 or so invested
which would be acceptable.
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  #38  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:57 AM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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Get a good fitting pair of worn grips and scratch E. Keith on it and you are good to go. Seriously, it is a great gun that I hope shoots well for you.
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  #39  
Old 06-13-2018, 12:15 PM
policerevolvercollector policerevolvercollector is offline
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I was in that that auction for a minute as well until my TL got jealous & accused me of cheating on her..... I backed off to keep her happy.

Glad you got it!!! Enjoy!!

Another vote to leave it "as is" and spend the money on ammo and a LETTER!!!
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  #40  
Old 06-13-2018, 01:30 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Nice snag! If it were mine, I’d find the most hand-worn set of stags I could get and while I was waiting for them I would give the gun a real good rub down with Flitz or Mother’s Mag Polish and call it good. If the end shake were a problem, stainless shims are available from Brownell’s.

If I just absolutely couldn’t stand it in the cosmetic condition it’s in, I’d probably commit a total sacrilege and upgrade it to a target model while refinishing it, maybe a King’s Target conversion if I could find the proper parts.

Froggie
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  #41  
Old 06-13-2018, 01:45 PM
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I was also looking at that one but have over indulged lately so I let it pass. I'd give it a good cleaning, change the grips, and let it be what it is. My .02
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:52 PM
Bat Guano Bat Guano is offline
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I paid too much for a 4" TL from a well known auction site some years back. Exterior was not too bad but mechanically it was too far gone and bore was bad. "Buyer beware" is no joke...

A very talented friend of mine offered to hand polish and blue the gun as closely to original as possible and did an amazing job. So now I have a nice 4" non-shooting display TL, rescued from the scrap heap. It IS very pretty.

But I sure am snakebit when it comes to auctions! Never again.
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  #43  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:32 PM
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It's your revolver and your decision,
First World Problem
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  #44  
Old 06-16-2018, 12:51 PM
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Picked up the TL today it's extremely dirty so next it gets a good cleaning. The best I can tell it hasn't been refinished there's no B stamped on it anywhere. The roll marks are pretty clear considering it's age and condition. Here's a few pics and the last one is rather interesting. While inspecting the gun I noticed some additional stamps on the butt right below the serial number, it appears to be ODIN ALEX VA. what that means I have no idea.
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  #45  
Old 06-16-2018, 01:11 PM
delta-419 delta-419 is offline
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Could it be an import stamp? Sure looks like!
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  #46  
Old 06-16-2018, 01:41 PM
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While inspecting the gun I noticed some additional stamps on the butt right below the serial number, it appears to be ODIN ALEX VA. what that means I have no idea.
Odin was/is a firearms importer in Alexandria, VA, not unlike Interarms (also in Alexandria). I know they were there as late as the very early 80's. I worked in D.C. and stopped by both spots periodically to dig through stuff. It was usually pretty tough going - much rust and arsenal wood repair, but a gem could be found sometimes.

But now then, that implies that your TL left the U.S. at some point and imported back. You may assume that the country from which it was imported back, did not require proof, if you see no proof mark's. British, Canadian, Australian (all likely places) would have required a pass through a proof house. I would be thinking about a letter now.
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  #47  
Old 06-16-2018, 01:42 PM
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Could it be an import stamp? Sure looks like!
I think you are correct, I just did some research on Odin Alex VA. There were importers of mainly Mexican guns confiscated in the 70s gun ban down there. Now I really know I have to have this TL lettered to see where it was shipped to. I suppose it could have crossed the border back in the day or maybe some cowboy sold it for "whatever" hint, hint in a border town.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:54 PM
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I think you are correct, I just did some research on Odin Alex VA. There were importers of mainly Mexican guns confiscated in the 70s gun ban down there. Now I really know I have to have this TL lettered to see where it was shipped to. I suppose it could have crossed the border back in the day or maybe some cowboy sold it for "whatever" hint, hint in a border town.
That makes sense to me, and explains the lack of proof marks. Having lived in a boarder state for almost 30 years, I have, at times, conducted a stiff trade with Mexico myself.
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  #49  
Old 06-16-2018, 02:15 PM
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I don't think I would do a thing to that revolver except clean it. Old is old, original is original and character comes from both together. A letter could be enlightening, maybe??
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:43 PM
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I don't think I would do a thing to that revolver except clean it. Old is old, original is original and character comes from both together. A letter could be enlightening, maybe??
Agreed! I am fairly certain this one is not refinished, and it looks like the nickel should on a well used specimen. The "TRADE" as located on the sideplate appears a little weak, but all other markings, especially the barrel markings, are quite crisp. So I suggest that the "TRADE" might be a little weak compared to other examples, but not because of previous polishing and refinishing.

Clean it and apply Renaissance wax. That's it! Because this has an unusual and original 5" barrel, it should be left as is, original. Of course, this would be the case if this had a standard barrel length, but the case for maintaining originality is enhanced due to the scarcity of Triple Lock revolvers with original 5" barrels.

Please post your letter once received.
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