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Old 05-30-2014, 11:29 AM
highpower3006 highpower3006 is offline
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Default The Worst M15

I stumbled into this poor M15-2 the other day. I have seen my share of well used guns and I have a certain affinity for those that are finish worn due to their use as a duty or hunting arm.

Every once in a while however, I run into those that are just flat out neglected or abused. Usually I stay away from them if they are beyond repairing. This M15-2 looks like it was poorly stored on a boat. While the interior of the barrel and cylinders looks OK, the exterior finish is mostly gone. Partly due to some previous owner using sand paper to remove the rust that had grown on the surface.

Serial number puts the likely production date at 1967 and once I got the petrified grease out of the lockwork, it turns out to have a butter like double action and a very light and crisp single action. No push off on the hammer and virtually no end shake.

I couldn't help myself, I just HAD to rescue it. Normally I am in the "don't refinish a older Smith" group. But this guns looks are not the result of honest use, they are the result of abuse. It is not worth sending out for a professional refinish as I would surely have way more in it than it is worth. So I am kind of on the fence on this one.

Right now I think I am going to leave it as a truck gun and maybe have it hard chromed in the future, or Cerrocoated, or maybe not anything and just leave it alone. I have a set of Hogue rubber grips for a K frame laying around and will probably install them to save the magnas from any further abuse.


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Old 05-30-2014, 11:40 AM
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Those old grey ghosts have a special place in my heart, as well. It looks pretty good to me.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:56 AM
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I friend bought a real rust bucket rescue M10 and the pitting was bad enough he tried to hide it with Gun-Kote. Now the only pitting visible is in one spot on the barrel. It's really held up to use well. The front of the cylinder is blasted clean but it's sticking everyhere else. This is from when I got it from him:



This gun quickly became one of my favorite range shooters for .38's. I think if I ever find another rust bucket rescue then I will try for the same thing.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:00 PM
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Good on you for picking it up and giving it a good home. I would find it irresistible, too. I have rehabilitated some dogs...even though they're inanimate things, sometimes I feel impelled to compensate for prior abuse. I have a 19-3 in to Ford's for a reblue now. It makes zero sense financially, but I feel good about it.

Of course, none of the foregoing applies to Glocks.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highpower3006 View Post
I stumbled into this poor M15-2 the other day. I have seen my share of well used guns and I have a certain affinity for those that are finish worn due to their use as a duty or hunting arm. Every once in a while however, I run into those that are just flat out neglected or abused. I couldn't help myself, I just HAD to rescue it.
You did the right thing, and got a great old revolver in the bargain. Maybe it has finally found its real home with you.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:06 PM
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I have one of the same vintage that someone tried to save by over polishing the side plate,leaving the worst pits and then nickel plating everything.It hurts my eyes,but it is a great shooter.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:08 PM
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Lots of character on your 15-2, if only it could talk. I like it and would let it be and enjoy shooting it. I rescued a 15-3 a couple of years ago in about the same condition from my favorite pawn shop.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
I friend bought a real rust bucket rescue M10 and the pitting was bad enough he tried to hide it with Gun-Kote. Now the only pitting visible is in one spot on the barrel. It's really held up to use well. The front of the cylinder is blasted clean but it's sticking everyhere else. This is from when I got it from him:



This gun quickly became one of my favorite range shooters for .38's. I think if I ever find another rust bucket rescue then I will try for the same thing.
That is kind of what I am thinking of doing to this poor girl. I live in the desert, so no real humidity issues to deal with. It probably won't really rust more due to the climate, but I would like to do something with the finish. I'll have to think about it for a while.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:34 PM
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Bright polish and leave it in the white? Naw, that could be a maintenance issue......have the old girl engraved, then get her nickeled. A set of carved MOP grips would be good, too. She could be a heckuva BBQ gun!
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:06 PM
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I think with a couple coats of Renaissance wax that old boat gun will be fine.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:28 PM
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Have it Dura-Koted in your favorite team colors.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:05 PM
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Nice gun! I would have rescued it too if the price was right.

I joined the Army in 1984 and the M9 had not kicked all the M1911's, Model 10's and Model 15's out yet.

I saw a few Model 15's that had been parkerized. I bet your revolver would turn out great parkerized. It would be a great shooter with that military look.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:35 PM
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With the pitting on it, I would look at either getting it Cerakoted or Parkerized.

If it were just honest wear, I would leave it alone.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:41 PM
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I bet it could tell a few stories. I say have it parkerized and keep it going for many more years.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:54 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with that revolver.

At the right price, it's a keeper!

I'd shoot it.

I'll bet it's just fine for its intended purpose.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:57 PM
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If it was mine, I'd polish up as best I could and give it a coat of cold blue or maybe Blue Wonder. Then I'd just shoot the dickens out of it.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:02 PM
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Maybe Truck Bed Liner? It may blend in the pitting with the texture? No idea if it will work or has ever been done before.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:11 PM
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You did a good thing!!

The finish on a gun has never ,to my recollection, changed the way it shoots one bit. Enjoy!!!!


P.S.,

I have seen and owned FAR worse than that one.....
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:59 PM
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There is no such thing as a bad Model 15. Period.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:07 AM
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+1 shoulda! ^^^^
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:18 AM
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If it were mine I'd get it bead blasted and then parkerized. Should look way better than what you have now. Frank
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:50 AM
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CCR has a sale on right now for refinishing......20% off for any gun until June 20.... Whole gun finish is $159 IIRC....! That might be the ticket for this old gal....!
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:49 AM
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Nice ol 15, my kind of gun, good and used, what they were intended for. A couple of weeks ago I found a model 14 6", about like yours, sent it to have it bead blasted and cerakoted. It shoots very good and will now look much better, good luck with your 15.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:22 AM
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Default Take a closer look!

Look carefully at the grip panels. You'll notice that the left grip panel shows good detail while the right grip panel shows considerable wear at it's lower end. This tells me that it was once a duty gun that an officer carried while often wearing a waist-length jacket, they type that troopers and motorcycle cops wear. It was the constant rubbing of the jacket that caused the uneven wear on the grips.

While it may have been stored on a boat, I'm more inclined to think that this old baby saw lots of holster time. It's a good find and certainly worth a restoration. Many guns are carried a lot and shot a little. I'm willing to bet that this gun is mechanically tight.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:22 AM
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I always fall for the ones with rust pits and bluing wear. Here is a model 15 with pits on the cylinder from improper storage. It looks o k except for the pits. It was priced right.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by federali View Post
Look carefully at the grip panels. You'll notice that the left grip panel shows good detail while the right grip panel shows considerable wear at it's lower end. This tells me that it was once a duty gun that an officer carried while often wearing a waist-length jacket, they type that troopers and motorcycle cops wear. It was the constant rubbing of the jacket that caused the uneven wear on the grips.

While it may have been stored on a boat, I'm more inclined to think that this old baby saw lots of holster time. It's a good find and certainly worth a restoration. Many guns are carried a lot and shot a little. I'm willing to bet that this gun is mechanically tight.
True. This was also carried by a right handed person. 20-25 years of resting your hand on your holstered gun will cause this wear too!
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:44 AM
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I have a 15 with a little wear on it and it just looks fine. Now yours, that isn't wear, that's character! It looks like it's ready for use somewhere, like when you step out your door and the dog beats you to the woods to hunt. I really would probably leave it as it is, it took a long time to get that way. Somehow, it just seems to have class.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:16 AM
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Default It all depends...

They can fix almost anything...

My "lost dog"...


After...



You just have to decide how much time and money you want to spend on it. Fords Master Blue.

Sorry for the gigantic pictures, I thought you may want to see the detail.

Last edited by jglsprings; 05-31-2014 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:21 AM
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My truck gun
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aircrewman View Post
CCR has a sale on right now for refinishing......20% off for any gun until June 20.... Whole gun finish is $159 IIRC....! That might be the ticket for this old gal....!
Aircrewman: Who, or what is CCR? I'm old, so for me, CCR = Credence Clearwater Revival. i just "rescued" a poor old C*** Detective Special that needs refinishing.

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double-O-Dave View Post
Aircrewman: Who, or what is CCR? I'm old, so for me, CCR = Credence Clearwater Revival. i just "rescued" a poor old C*** Detective Special that needs refinishing.

Thanks,

Dave
Me too. I was wondering when John Fogerty took up gun refinishing.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:13 PM
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Lol! He performs gun refinishing with a moly application in a variety of colors...look in the classifieds on the SigTalk forum...
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:42 PM
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Accurate Plating can do miracles! Have used them for over 20 years and still happy.
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:46 PM
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link to CCR

Cummings Custom Refinishing
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shouldazagged View Post
There is no such thing as a bad Model 15. Period.
+2

I think I would spend the money to reblue it. Although it makes little sense money wise, that old soldier deserves to be dressed up again.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:39 PM
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I have a 36 no dash that would make that gun look pristine.I cleaned and cold blued and replace the grips. shoots like a champ.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double-O-Dave View Post
Aircrewman: Who, or what is CCR? I'm old, so for me, CCR = Credence Clearwater Revival. i just "rescued" a poor old C*** Detective Special that needs refinishing.

Thanks,

Dave
I had CCR refinish a 28-2 for me in their CPII finish. Here's the thread on it.

28-2 Refinish...What do you think?

They do great work. They took a little longer than expected because of the bad weather earlier this year but their finishes are great.





Sorry no before pics.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:50 PM
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I'd be proud to call that Model 15 mine. I'd leave it like it is and try my best to wear it out.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
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Thank you, RusselID.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rettxpo View Post
I had CCR refinish a 28-2 for me in their CPII finish. Here's the thread on it.

28-2 Refinish...What do you think?

They do great work. They took a little longer than expected because of the bad weather earlier this year but their finishes are great.





Sorry no before pics.

Thank you, Rettxpo. That's a beautiful Model 28 you own.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:22 PM
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I would do like some others have posted and have it Parkerized. Most of the range (CATM) guns I fired in the Air Force were Parkerized by the time I got to them ('80-'89). Put a mismatched set of magna grips on it and it will look just like those old warhorses.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:03 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I am torn between my "leave it alone" voice in one ear and the "for Gods sake do something with the finish" voice in my other ear. After I cleaned all the gunk out of the action, it has such a nice trigger, I am starting to lean towards giving the old girl a makeover.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:31 AM
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I've done some Cold Bluing and if you do the preparation carefully the results can look pretty good.

Preparation starts with wet sanding down to 1500 grit or finer followed up by a full polish. BTW, rub it down with motor oil between work sessions to provide a rust barrier. Then after the full polish you need to get the surface PERFECTLY clean of any trace of oil just before applying the bluing solution. Start with mineral spirits, then a bath in Dawn or Joy dish soap water, follow that with a bath in denatured alcohol, then air dry using a hair blower. Once dry apply the cold bluing and lightly rub the solution on the finish using gauze soaked with it. Once you see the solution starting to get milky and the finish not changing it's time for a good rinsing in distilled water. BTW, any water you use at all stages should be distilled. After the rinse then dry it off with some paper towels. Finally you then need to apply some plain old additive free oil such as Air Tool Oil or Hydraulic Oil. Don't miss any nooks or cranny's so a full dip isn't a bad idea. They you can wipe it all down with paper towels until it appears dry. After that you can then wax it with the wax of your choice, personally being a car nut I use Mothers Carnuba.

Granted, this won't match what can be done with the various hot bluing processes but if you are really careful about cleanliness and perfect preparation you will have a finish that looks pretty darned good. Note, you can purchase Latex or Vinyl gloves at any pharmacy so that will keep skin oils and crud off the finish. Also you really want a polish as near a mirror finish as you can achieve and you want it even as possible. This means a lot of hours (about 30) hand polishing with something like 3M Finnesite (about 50 bucks per quart but worth it).

Final note, Cold Bluing solution is the same as Black Oxide solution from an an industrial supply shop and the Black Oxide solution comes in larger bottles.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:23 PM
tacotime tacotime is offline
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It is perfect just as you have it now.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:34 PM
jw mathews jw mathews is offline
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Interesting thread & I appreciate the pix of various "rescues." I too understand the concept of "feeling sorry" for a gun that's been abused or worn. Some years back I purchased a 1950 Model 44 Target that needed some TLC, which it eventualy received. Someday I may post some pix on the appropriate section of the Forum.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:25 PM
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Ohsheepdog Ohsheepdog is offline
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Thought I'd revive an old thread with a better pic of my CM... Any updates from the OP?
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:52 PM
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I hate it when I discover I've been giving likes on an ancient thread.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:57 PM
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Nothing compliments your safe queens better than a nicely worn revolver.
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:12 PM
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Great project gun,
If ever you had an inclimantion to try out some either refinishing or smithing... you got the project. Even if you are not satisfied with your results, its not a loss. I'd say, research a shop nearby that would bead blast or allow you to beadblast (some DYI mechanics shops?) buy some reblue, and give it a whirl. Worst case is you don't like it and you get it professionally reblued which is what ya intend to do anyways....win win.

Buy some inexpensive stones from Brownelss/midway, and do alittle polishing in the innerds.
*once you reblue or get reblued, the grips are going to not look rightr due to "worn" look.

Last edited by buckyjames1; 05-14-2017 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:40 PM
ABPOS ABPOS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A10 View Post
Bright polish and leave it in the white? Naw, that could be a maintenance issue......have the old girl engraved, then get her nickeled. A set of carved MOP grips would be good, too. She could be a heckuva BBQ gun!
Yeah, that would be my vote. I'm not really into engraving. I've seen a few I liked. But I do like Nickel .
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