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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 07-24-2020, 08:28 PM
ChrisHansen23 ChrisHansen23 is offline
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Default Stainless Steel "pre" Model 10, MFG 1950

Hello. I recently purchased a "pre" Model 10 S&W Revolver with a 4 Inch Barrel in .38 SPL. (It is a five screw gun.) But here is the kicker. This gun is made of stainless steel! It is my understanding that Smith and Wesson did not regularly produce any stainless steel guns until 1965, when the Model 60 made its debut. So I am thinking this is most likely a special run. The serial number on this gun begins with a C" prefix, followed by 111XXX, which puts the date of shipment circa 1950. Can anyone tell me any more about this beautiful revolver? I cannot find any info online discussing stainless steel revolvers made during this time period. I would rate the finish of the gun at a solid 90%; the few blemishes it does have could easily be polished out. Lockup is tight with the yoke and extractor rod and there is no play with the cylinder. The only issue is that two of the chambers in the cylinder may be off timing very very slightly. This was a gun that sat a lot and was fired very little. Thank you for your help!
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:32 PM
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Hi Chris, nice gun. It looks like it was plated, maybe with hard chrome, an excellent finish.

S&W didn't make any stainless steel guns that early.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:41 PM
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As stated above. Your gun is NOT stainless. Sorry.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:50 PM
ChrisHansen23 ChrisHansen23 is offline
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Default Thanks. So best way to care for chrome?

How embarrassing, but I think you are right. What is the best way to get the blemishes out of this gun? I don't own any hard chromed firearms so little experience with the matter. Also, will Smith and Wesson be able to fix the timing issue on the cylinder for a gun this old?
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:15 PM
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Welcome! Agree it has been hard chromed, which would make it nearly identical in appearance and rust resistance compared to a stainless gun. This was a popular modification back in the '60s and '70s when stainless guns were relatively hard to find.

S & W will not work on a gun of this vintage but there are many competent gunsmiths who will. As far as finish defects about as far I would go would be a very light abrasive and light pressure.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:20 PM
GerSan69 GerSan69 is offline
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Welcome to the Forum, Chris!
I'm a big fan of hard-chromed guns, having sent several away for one version called "Armoloy" back in the 70s-80s. It really does look the same as stainless. My favorite at the time (and dammit, never should have traded off) was a 2" Model 15 with a rounded grip frame (another mod) that looked for all the world like a 2" Model 67. The looks it got were priceless.
For better or worse, any flaws might just be permanent. Hard chroming makes any polishing difficult at best. The upside, though, is they won't get worse. Enjoy shooting it and carrying if you go that route!

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Old 07-24-2020, 10:28 PM
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Don't be embarrassed Brother. I've seen many people make the same assumption on hard chromed guns.

You have a great revolver that's damn near rust proof (within reason).

Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:56 PM
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Tragic....
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHansen23 View Post
How embarrassing, but I think you are right. What is the best way to get the blemishes out of this gun? I don't own any hard chromed firearms so little experience with the matter. Also, will Smith and Wesson be able to fix the timing issue on the cylinder for a gun this old?

Don't feel bad. You aren't the first person to be fooled by an after market finish. What is sad is that occasionally a new member will come on here and then refuse to believe "the brain trust" that frequents this forum.
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Old 07-25-2020, 02:03 AM
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You can spritz up the chrome by using Brasso, lightly, or even Crest regular tooth paste can shine it up a little at a time.
Someone once said that Flitz would work well too. Just try it on a part of the pistol that's not that noticeable to test. If either of those work well, then use it on the rest of the firearm. You wouldn't believe it, but superficial scratches can be smoothed out with peanut butter.
That's a really nice looking revolver!

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Old 07-27-2020, 10:59 AM
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I had a 25-2 back in the 70s that had what the seller called "Armalloy" finish. Same thing?
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:16 AM
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Yes, Armaloy is the trade name for a hard chrome plating process.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerwnuss View Post
I had a 25-2 back in the 70s that had what the seller called "Armalloy" finish. Same thing?
Yes, Armoloy, Metalife, Robar... The were all aftermarket hard chrome finishes offered by different companies.

This early Detonics Combat Master has a hard chrome finish and you’d swear it was stainless, if you didn’t know better!

The ASP Model 39 modification...-000_1643-jpg
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:12 PM
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It's okay, we all get excited by a "maybe...could be?" kind of gun.

There are a couple discussion threads around the Interwebs about stainless "prototype" S&W 34-1s. I thought maybe I had found one, but it's just the 1970s hard chrome as described above, though really well done. I did polish it ever so slightly with Mother's, but the plating is thin so be careful.

FYI, the "prototype stainless" threads are pretty much all full of it.

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Old 07-27-2020, 06:09 PM
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Most people don't know that S&W's first stainless gun was the Model 60 and it wasn't released until 1965. It was quite a learning curve and there were issues with the triggers and hammers. S&W didn't release other stainless models until about 1970.

Industrial hard chrome looks exactly like stainless and it's no wonder so many people think they have a unicorn!
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:01 PM
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It is OK to be embarrassed here. Everybody, including the well schooled have made errors on guns. it is part of the learning process.
As far as sending it back to Smith for repairs?
I do not understand people’s fascination with sending their guns all the way back to the factory for repairs and action tunes.
There are plenty of qualified gunsmiths who can repair S&W revolvers. If you ask around in your area, chances are good you will locate one.
Also given the amount of complaints with S&W’s customer service recently, it would be the LAST place i would send one of my prized wheel guns.
Just my opinion. Others will disagree with me.
Nice gun you have. Congratulations
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:06 AM
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Default More Pics Please!

I'd like to see more pics, especially the right side with sideplate.
Somebody here recently showed a 1917 (perhaps?) that had a similar finish.
It actually had an "in the white" kinda look. The nice thing was, the markings and edge contours weren't dulled.
Originality was gone, but the look was much better than a overly buffed, heavy handed reblue.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:23 AM
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This is a 19-4 I had a Metaloy finish put on back around early 80's. Extremely tough finish. I don't have a picture of the right side, but the side plate, when viewed just right seems to be thinner plating. I think the side plate heat treat is different than the frame, and a very slight difference is possible.
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