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Old 06-13-2018, 11:47 PM
M_conrad_0311 M_conrad_0311 is offline
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Well there have been several posts recently about "what should I do with this" revolver? I am usually of the mind that one should leave as original as possible, but in the case that there has already been significant irreversible changes, then do what you want. I now have two "project guns" going as I now post. The first is a 3.5" RM that Phil Quigley is engraving due to a poor refinish in hard chrome by a PO and now this transitional 38/44 SN 69311.
A previous owner parkerized this little gal, probably due to some corrosion. I have entrusted my local gunsmith to a restoration of sorts. Function is good in all areas with it being a little loose in lock up, but this too will be remedied. This girl is going to be bright blue with some fancy stocks and new hammer and trigger thanks to cgt4570 (Chris).
One reason that I am having it refinished, is to see what kind of work my smith can do in this area. I have seen his personal M29 that he claims to have refinished and it is outstanding. The other is that I think it looks pretty hideous as it is.
I am currently into this 38/44 for less than $500 and will probably never see my investment back, but who knows? I let the SN help talk me into the purchase as I have a special place in my heart for the # 0311 (Military Occupational Specialty), otherwise, I would have let this one pass me by.
So, to allow for input, lashings, and support, what are your opinions on my decision? What would your choice for stocks be?

I am sorry for only the auction photos. It seems that I have erased or lost the photos that I took before it went into the shop.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:13 AM
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It could go to Fords for a restration, but that would be costly. I'd prlbably cut to 4" and refinish as you are plannlng.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:24 AM
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Have at it. I say work it until you love it more then shoot it. Why not go one step further and make it a 44 spl?

A set of nice target stocks for sure though to be period correct we’re talking those pricey aftermarket types that don’t come up for sale much unless you buy a new set from KB.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:31 AM
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Have you checked to see if your 38/44 has a RM checkered barrel that a small number were produced with? Judging by your serial number there is good chance it does. Here's a picture of the preceding serial numbered 38/44 to yours,S 69310
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:53 AM
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I had discussed modifications with my smith and he was quick to let me know it could be 6 months- never before he was able to provide with that extreme work right now, as he has a proposal up for review by the pentagon that could change all machining capabilities at his facilities. I would love to make it a .44 special 4"-6.5" variant as it would "sorta" fill a hole in my .44 special collection. I may still see if he will do it now that he has accepted the project. He loves old S&W revolvers and is doing this out of personal desire to be done at home away from the daily job.

Bill, that is pretty neat to find a consecutively numbered revolver by chance. I remember looking at a ribbed 6.5" barrel, but I may have to double check when I drop off the trigger and hammer. That is an interesting little bit of information. What is your barrel length?
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:01 AM
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Barrel length is 6.5
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:24 PM
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I agree with you--the parkerized finish really is unfortunate, to put it tactfully.

Plumb ugly, it what it is.

I'll look forward to seeing how the gun looks cleaned up and dressed to go out.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:28 AM
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I am not in favor of refinishing a gun due to age and/or poor storage. I do not however, have that same feeling about a gun that has already been "bubba'd" by some previous owner.

Removing a hard chrome or parkerized finish that never came on the gun is an act of kindness IMHO. Not sure that I would cut the barrel or change the caliber but restoring a gun like this to original configuration is definitely something that I can live with.

FWIW, I own S 69847 which is a 6 1/2" Outdoorsmen and S67706 that is a 5" HD that both shipped in August of 1946.

Whatever you do, we need photos. I would either ask the gunsmith to take some before photos or go there and get some before the restoration begins.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:26 AM
M_conrad_0311 M_conrad_0311 is offline
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I had taken a few at his shop before I left it with him. They have disappeared. I have to swing by today and drop of the hammer/trigger set. I will get some more if he has not taken it home already.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:09 PM
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Here are a few photos. The sun and clouds were not very cooperative, so I do apologize for the quality of the pictures

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Old 06-15-2018, 07:30 PM
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Originality is gone, so I see nothing worth retaining with regards to it's current finish. Won't hurt the gun in that respect. Then the question is: How good will the finished product look? And will it be worth the money?

Some folks have had incredible refinishes done on their old Smiths. On the other hand, I have on old Highway Patrolman that received a refinish from someone long ago - it made the gun more presentable, but did nothing to address the pitting underneath. If there is moderate or more pitting, I would opt to not have the gun refinished, not at great cost anyway. (I consider the pitting that will be hidden by the grips on your gun to be more or less a non-issue.) But no, you aren't wrecking a cool old gun. Hopefully the work turns out great! Best wishes.

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Old 06-15-2018, 08:32 PM
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Getting it polished and ready for a bright blue job is going to take some serious stock removal.

The roll marks should be restored, or at least the caliber roll mark.

I can't tell from your photos if it's been bead blasted or what.

Let us know how she winds up, when you get er all dolled up.



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Old 06-15-2018, 08:38 PM
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I saved an ol 38/44 OD several years ago....

Installed a 5" 44 Spl Barrel and new cylinder. Had it finished in brushed nickel.




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Old 06-18-2018, 09:36 PM
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The picture seems to reveal the cross hatched bbl of a RM.....
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:44 PM
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The picture in post #4 has the RM cross hatch, the one I have does not. Attached is a magnification of the subject 38/44.

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Old 06-19-2018, 09:47 AM
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Thanks, much better magnification than I could get with my iPad .
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:05 AM
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I would take the grips off your hands
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:12 AM
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PM me your address, I will grab them next time I run by there

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Old 07-19-2018, 07:10 PM
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Well, I ran by my gunsmith's shop to grab 29aholics new old stocks to ship and lo and behold, my 38/44 OD is refinished. I was pretty surprised.

I went back into the vault and there it was with a new coat of blue. The new trigger and hammer set had not been replaced. I was feeling a little upset. The finish was not up to what I had in my head.

Now I know why people tell you not to try and restore your old S&W. how does the old saying go, you can chrome plate feces, but it is still...? Not that this 38/44 OD is feces, but it's cosmetic condition was very bad and feces-like. My smith explained that there was significantly more pitting and blemish problems under the Parkerization than he had expected. He felt it better to save the new components for a better deserving gun. He saved me some money and did a shooter quality restoration.

I do not have to worry about taking this one out. I am not in it as much as I thought I would be, and if I want to have it done to a higher level, there are still other options. He did not over buff or sand it too much. It still has quite a bit of the roll marks.

While looking it over, I noticed there was a stamp on the butt that resembled one that I had read about in Andy52's thread about his TL. Looks to be ODIN ALEX VA. This must be another Mexican Import.

Though it is not done to level that I had intended it be done, it is a much more presentable shooter than when I bought it.


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Old 07-19-2018, 07:22 PM
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That gun looks good enough to shoot...........
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:22 PM
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I agree that it's not a museum quality heirloom restoration, but it looks to be a vast improvement over what you had. I was watching that auction and bid against you for a bit.....I'm glad you got it.

Now it looks like a great shooter. Let's have a range report!
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:59 PM
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It looks A-Okay for the shape she was it.....Good job,

Now go shoot it, carry it and enjoy.


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