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Old 12-28-2015, 12:41 PM
Eagle223usa Eagle223usa is offline
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Default What to do with an ugly M29-2?

I have the opportunity to buy an M29-2 ser# N796XXX, Pinned barrel and recessed case heads. The revolver has water damaged bluing but no real pitting. The bore and cylinders are good. It shoots jacketed bullets fairly well. It doesn't like my cast loads so far. It has an 8 3/8 inch barrel and the normal wood target grips. I can get it at a good price. I know refinishing will degrade its collectability but it is just too ugly to leave alone.
I was thinking of a good re-blue but if I do that I won't put it into a holster and carry it for hunting, it would be too pretty. I also am considering a Metalife hard chromium finish, very durable and hunting capable. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:02 PM
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Wow! You weren't kidding -- that gun is in pain it's so ugly. Do the chrome if that's what it takes to make it a gun you can hunt with and use. Might make it look really cool as well.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:12 PM
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If it were me ,I would send it to Fords refinishing for a Master Blue treatment.Very similar to the 1950's Smith & Wesson Carbona bluing.You can always get another one for the field.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:16 PM
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I'll take it off your hands so you don't have to trouble yourself. . .
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:20 PM
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I would do what it was designed to do.....SHOOT! Alot!

It's a great candidate for a beater. No need to worry if you get a scratch
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:23 PM
Eagle223usa Eagle223usa is offline
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Ashlander, I know! I never wanted a 29, I always thought they would be big and clunky. But this one feels great in the hand, IF you hold it with both eyes closed!
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:24 PM
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Default What to do with an ugly M29-2?

If you buy, slug the bore & throat to make sure the latter isn't too tight, that may explain the bad performance with cast. Those can always be opened up. If it's due to a rough bore, you can fire lap to smooth it out. Check out Lead Bullet Technologies fire lap compound.

I've never had a gun refinished but for hunting I'd want something durable & non-reflective.

Last edited by jtcarm; 12-28-2015 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:25 PM
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I disagree that a refinish would reduce it's collectability. At the moment it is not old enough to be collectible in that condition, a collector wanting a blue 8 3/8 is going to look elsewhere.

A refinish would only increase it's for sale value right now.

As to which would be more valuable to collectors 25 or 50 years from now, do you really care about a few hundred dollars one way or the other at that point?

Since part of the goal is to end up with a hunting gun, I would have it finished in bright nickel.

While not as durable as hard chrome, it has much better resistance to the environment than blue and it was a factory offered finish.

Carry the revolver in a high quality lined holster and finish wear should not be too big of a deal.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:29 PM
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I'm a hunter .....I'd hunt with it as is.

At some point in the future you decide to not use it anymore for hunting
you could then refinish
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:35 PM
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For a gun you will use, I would simply
cold blue the bright spots and
enjoy! No worries about scratches etc.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:38 PM
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I would send it back to the factory for a factory refinish. The factory will do a routine check of the gun and be able to make any necessary repair or replacement of parts that need to be done. They can then put a beautiful blue back on it or a nickel finish or a very functional flat matte finish which is very business-like and still allows the revolver to look very good.
I had a model 28 and a model 19 redone at the factory many years ago with the matte finish and they are still very nice and look very good. And the factory prices are very competitive. I think that you will be very pleased with the factory's work. AND, it will be "factory" for the future....
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laketime View Post
If it were me ,I would send it to Fords refinishing for a Master Blue treatment.Very similar to the 1950's Smith & Wesson Carbona bluing.You can always get another one for the field.

Why refinish a beater and buy another one to shoot?

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Originally Posted by weatherby View Post
I'm a hunter .....I'd hunt with it as is.


Bingo! Just keep it wax coated.

If you really want it reblued, I don't think a quality job will hurt its value. Neither will hunting afterwards as long as you take care of it. Just wax it to protect from corrosion, and I would put new grips on to save wear on the originals.

I have several guns that have gone many miles holstered in the field. While none could be described as safe queens, all but one if call VG condition. None are ugly.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:43 PM
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The funny thing is when you stop looking at the gun and shoot it you don't think about it's looks.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:44 PM
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Lakeside, I have read great things about Ford's services. But if I spent that kind of money, and a years wait, I would probably never use it.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:02 PM
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Many moons ago I sent off a gun to Magna-port to have it done up in their hard chrome finish... I later learned that it was actually Metalife.

That was 35 years ago, and it is still going strong. It was my field gun until I ended up with a 629-4 DX Classic 5 or 6 years ago.

It looks like a brushed satin stainless gun, if the frame had been bead blasted with a fine media, instead of the wire wheel buffing to give it the matte finish, it would look like the current style matte stainless guns.

There is zero consideration you need to pay to the gun regarding collector value, it has none. There are more than enough M29-2's in the condition collectors want to ensure that your gun is out of the running.

My vote is to do the Metalife and you'll end up with a utility gun that you won't have to think twice about in looks or maintenance over the long haul.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geronimo Jim View Post
For a gun you will use, I would simply
cold blue the bright spots and
enjoy! No worries about scratches etc.
Geronimo, that would be like touching up my Corvette with a can of Krylon....
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:15 PM
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That's a tough one. I like a gun that is pleasing to the eye, but at the same time I don't see a point in spending a lot of money chasing a perfect finish to then toss the gun in a holster and tromp through the woods with it. No matter how careful you are, invariably you will get the dreaded " first scratch ". Hard chrome is a good, durable finish, and would be good for hunting. But it's a personal choice as some don't care for that look. I would try some cold blue and see how close you can get it, or go with the hard chrome if it was me. Only my range guns are blued. Anything I've bought to carry or planned on hunting with is stainless.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geronimo Jim View Post
For a gun you will use, I would simply
cold blue the bright spots and
enjoy! No worries about scratches etc.
That would be the route I would go as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle223usa View Post
Geronimo, that would be like touching up my Corvette with a can of Krylon....
This would only be an accurate analogy if your corvette already had big patches of gelcoat peeling off the fiberglass to the point that it couldn't be restored to any kind of a collectible. Even a factory refinish of this one isn't going to restore this 29-2 to collectible status - whereas a repair of the gelcoat and a repaint of your corvette in factory original paint WOULD restore it to being a collectible. So I really don't see it as being the same at all.

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Old 12-28-2015, 02:32 PM
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Send it to S&W for a change of finish to nickel. You will be happy with the result.

Bill
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:34 PM
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It's a good candidate for a custom gun or just use it for the tool it is.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aircrewman View Post
I would send it back to the factory for a factory refinish. The factory will do a routine check of the gun and be able to make any necessary repair or replacement of parts that need to be done. They can then put a beautiful blue back on it or a nickel finish or a very functional flat matte finish which is very business-like and still allows the revolver to look very good.
I had a model 28 and a model 19 redone at the factory many years ago with the matte finish and they are still very nice and look very good. And the factory prices are very competitive. I think that you will be very pleased with the factory's work. AND, it will be "factory" for the future....
AC, The revolver is in new mechanical condition, It was fired 12 times and the owner thought it was too much gun, it was then put in a doskicile foam case in a damp basement for years. He only looked at it after a flood, and found it in this condition. It was thrown into a dumpster for scrap, case and all. Insurance paid him for it, he did not care. It was rescued by one of his friends, also a friend of mine who brought it to me to see if it could be fixed. When the owner was advised that it was safe to shoot and salvageable, he told me he didn't really want it anyways. And a very good deal was struck, a bit more than the scrap value of the piece. It is tight and crispy new feeling besides the finish issues. Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:47 PM
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That would be the route I would go as well.



This would only be an accurate analogy if your corvette already had big patches of gelcoat peeling off the fiberglass to the point that it couldn't be restored to any kind of a collectible. Even a factory refinish of this one isn't going to restore this 29-2 to collectible status - whereas a repair of the gelcoat and a repaint of your corvette in factory original paint WOULD restore it to being a collectible. So I really don't see it as being the same at all.
Point taken, But it is a Smith and Wesson, if it was a Taurus I wouldn't be having this conversation.

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Old 12-28-2015, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
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Point taken, But it is a Smith and Wesson, if it was a Taurus I wouldn't be having this conversation.
Gotcha. If it were a well-used example that you'd paid a regular shooter price, say $300-$400 for, then spending the money for a factory reblue would be a case of spending more than the end result would be worth.

Now that you've revealed the rest of the story - that it is otherwise almost new and that you just about got it for free - the idea of a refinish makes a lot more sense. Under those circumstances even I might be willing to spring for a $200-$300 professional reblue or hard chrome job.

Personally, for a non-collectible, working-type gun that will be carried around in a holster, I'd go the hard-chromed route.
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtcarm View Post
Why refinish a beater and buy another one to shoot?



Bingo! Just keep it wax coated.

If you really want it reblued, I don't think a quality job will hurt its value. Neither will hunting afterwards as long as you take care of it. Just wax it to protect from corrosion, and I would put new grips on to save wear on the originals.

I have several guns that have gone many miles holstered in the field. While none could be described as safe queens, all but one if call VG condition. None are ugly.
I think a badly worn ( finished ) gun can become the opportunity have have a special one of a kind.I would never condone sending a gun off to Fords ,unless it was in bad shape.The results will be spectacular,and give the OP something to marval at.He can pick up a 629 series for field use anywhere.
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:16 PM
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I did the very same thing that Gunhacker did, my gun was sent to Magna-port for the Metalife finish. the barrel was cut to 5 inches with the factory sight installed back on the hammer and trigger was jeweled and all the internals were cleaned polished and tuned. The Metalife finish looks fantastic and is very durable looks just like brushed stainless. trust me you will love it. magna-port does great work!.........................M*
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:22 PM
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Its your gun and your money. Im not telling you what to do. Just consider the following. Clean and wax the old girl up a bit. If it gets wet deer hunting, clean and wax. Look, Im ugly and some people love me.
At best, I can get presentable. Enjoy the love affair. Best
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:53 PM
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I did the very same thing that Gunhacker did, my gun was sent to Magna-port for the Metalife finish. the barrel was cut to 5 inches with the factory sight installed back on the hammer and trigger was jeweled and all the internals were cleaned polished and tuned. The Metalife finish looks fantastic and is very durable looks just like brushed stainless. trust me you will love it. magna-port does great work!.........................M*
Yeah, for a nearly free, mechanically nearly new 29-2, I think I'd be on board with this idea too. The porting would be optional, but I'd have it shortened to a nice carry length - 4"-5", then have it chromed (or similar). It would make a great woods gun.
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gmborkovic View Post
Its your gun and your money. Im not telling you what to do. Just consider the following. Clean and wax the old girl up a bit. If it gets wet deer hunting, clean and wax. Look, Im ugly and some people love me.
At best, I can get presentable. Enjoy the love affair. Best
Bingo! It really is up to you. Figure out how you want to use it and go from there. If it were me, I would do the clean and wax route, then hunt, shoot, and love the old beauty, just as it is. If you change your mind in the future, and decide to have it refinished, you aren't out much at all.
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:13 PM
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Wax that ol girl up and use her as is! You won't worry about her as much if she isn't perfect.
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:02 PM
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Interesting how the opinions run from just wax and use it, to pull out the stops and doll it up.

Given the price paid and internal condition... it's not really a slam dunk really don't need to give a hoot "as-is" shooter.

I myself, if in the same situation, would look upon it as a cheap, blank canvas, and a opportunity to be able do something that I've always thought about or wanted to do, but not willing to sacrifice one of my better (more expensive) guns as a "donor" for the project.

If you have the bucks to devote to it, and an interest in it other than just a vehicle to send lead down range... why not turn this sow's ear into a silk purse... or at least a denim one.

Given the price you paid due to it's storied history, that includes a rescue from summarily being thrown in a dumpster ??!!! The playing field on what to do with it is wide open...
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:04 PM
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Gotcha. If it were a well-used example that you'd paid a regular shooter price, say $300-$400

Please share where you can find shooter-grade M-29s at that that price. I'd buy 3 or 4.
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:07 PM
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Please share where you can find shooter-grade M-29s at that that price. I'd buy 3 or 4.
OK, so $500 or $600 or $700 - whatever. A higher number just makes my point more relevant.

I was just throwing out a number as an example.

EDIT: Here's one for $450. Not a common price but not as impossible as you implied either.
Smith & Wesson 29-2 .44Magnum Revolver : Revolvers at GunBroker.com

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Old 12-28-2015, 06:19 PM
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Before investing any money in it, I would want to make sure that it shoots whatever loads you plan on shooting through it. Check the throats, 29s routinely had .432 throats, so you might have to work up some loads for it, or shoot jacketed bullets.
If I were refinishing a working gun, I would go with the industrial hard chrome finish. I might even finish the internal parts for corrosion resistance.
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:57 PM
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I'd shoot it. Let it wear it's scars with pride. Just keep it oiled/waxed up good. New stuff is purdy. Old beat has character.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:13 PM
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OK, so $500 or $600 or $700 - whatever. A higher number just makes my point more relevant.

I was just throwing out a number as an example.

EDIT: Here's one for $450. Not a common price but not as impossible as you implied either.
Smith & Wesson 29-2 .44Magnum Revolver : Revolvers at GunBroker.com

Holy cow. Guess I should spend a little more time looking at M-Frames.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:28 PM
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Your guys must hate my favorite guns. Above guns are used every
week-end from March through November. Pistol have been used
since 2001 and can't count the number of rounds. About half the finish
is gone. But, they are my favorite because I shoot them!
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:46 PM
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It is what it is.

Can't turn a pig 's ear into a silk purse.

Insert your own trite words of wisdom.

If you want to spend an additional $500.00 on a $500.00 gun to create a $ 600.00 gun, enjoy!

It won't work any better than it works now.

Sound like you have a perfectly functional revolver. I'd enjoy it and shoot the. **** out of it.
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:13 PM
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Holy cow. Guess I should spend a little more time looking at M-Frames.
I think you meant N-Frames?
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:18 PM
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I did the very same thing that Gunhacker did, my gun was sent to Magna-port for the Metalife finish. the barrel was cut to 5 inches with the factory sight installed back on the hammer and trigger was jeweled and all the internals were cleaned polished and tuned. The Metalife finish looks fantastic and is very durable looks just like brushed stainless. trust me you will love it. magna-port does great work!.........................M*
I was thinking that also, the front sight is actually milled out of the barrel. That would cost to get the barrel shortened I bet...I'm just dreaming, trying to get a nice 29 for under $400 bucks. I'm a civil servant living on a fixed income...
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:03 PM
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If you buy, slug the bore & throat to make sure the latter isn't too tight, that may explain the bad performance with cast. Those can always be opened up. If it's due to a rough bore, you can fire lap to smooth it out. Check out Lead Bullet Technologies fire lap compound.

I've never had a gun refinished but for hunting I'd want something durable & non-reflective.
Copy that, the handloaded cast 255 Lyman was engineered for my Ruger Super Blackhawk.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:08 PM
Eagle223usa Eagle223usa is offline
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Your guys must hate my favorite guns. Above guns are used every
week-end from March through November. Pistol have been used
since 2001 and can't count the number of rounds. About half the finish
is gone. But, they are my favorite because I shoot them!
No way, used not abused is OK by me. This revolver just looks neglected, and I can't stand it without a dang good story to go with it. My Colt SAA looks alot like yours but still has the black rubber type grips.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:10 PM
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It is what it is.

Can't turn a pig 's ear into a silk purse.

Insert your own trite words of wisdom.

If you want to spend an additional $500.00 on a $500.00 gun to create a $ 600.00 gun, enjoy!

It won't work any better than it works now.

Sound like you have a perfectly functional revolver. I'd enjoy it and shoot the. **** out of it.
I understand, but if I can have a funtional good looking M29 for under $400 I think it is a good deal. And if I refinish it, it does not matter what it is worth because it will not be for sale!
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:12 PM
Eagle223usa Eagle223usa is offline
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I think you meant N-Frames?
HMmm, maybe it is an ultra rare M frame huh?
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:15 PM
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I understand, but if I can have a funtional good looking M29 for under $400 I think it is a good deal. And if I refinish it, it does not matter what it is worth because it will not be for sale!
Yeah, I'd take am M29 shooter for under $400 - and if I could have a decent looking one - even refinished - all the better.

Now if I can just find someone to befriend who has one to throw out in the trash...
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:25 PM
Eagle223usa Eagle223usa is offline
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Originally Posted by Gunhacker View Post
Interesting how the opinions run from just wax and use it, to pull out the stops and doll it up.

Given the price paid and internal condition... it's not really a slam dunk really don't need to give a hoot "as-is" shooter.

I myself, if in the same situation, would look upon it as a cheap, blank canvas, and a opportunity to be able do something that I've always thought about or wanted to do, but not willing to sacrifice one of my better (more expensive) guns as a "donor" for the project.

If you have the bucks to devote to it, and an interest in it other than just a vehicle to send lead down range... why not turn this sow's ear into a silk purse... or at least a denim one.

Given the price you paid due to it's storied history, that includes a rescue from summarily being thrown in a dumpster ??!!! The playing field on what to do with it is wide open...
Exactly, Its a M29 regardless, I would never spend the money on a new, perfect or old collectable. This one just kind of fell into my lap, I never knew I wanted or needed one until it did! It just seems wrong to leave it ugly, I know it will shoot the same but I would like it to be presentable. I have until tax return time to mull it over. I love the S&W polished blue look, but also the durability of the Metalife finish also. I can't go wrong either way I guess! I'm glad nobody has cried "Heresy!" yet. Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:27 PM
Eagle223usa Eagle223usa is offline
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Yeah, I'd take am M29 shooter for under $400 - and if I could have a decent looking one - even refinished - all the better.

Now if I can just find someone to befriend who has one to throw out in the trash...
BC, there is a first time for everything...
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:37 AM
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I think you meant N-Frames?
Lol, no, that's the new one between L and N:-)
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:55 AM
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Guns with honest wear don't bother me, but I have no love for guns that have been abused. If it were me, I would go with a hard chrome finish, but in satin black. Excellent wear resistances, and non-reflective finish for hunting. A good cross draw or chest holster will make for comfortable carry with that long tom. Agree with measuring the throats to get the best accuracy / least leading with cast slugs.

Larry
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:50 AM
Eagle223usa Eagle223usa is offline
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Guns with honest wear don't bother me, but I have no love for guns that have been abused. If it were me, I would go with a hard chrome finish, but in satin black. Excellent wear resistances, and non-reflective finish for hunting. A good cross draw or chest holster will make for comfortable carry with that long tom. Agree with measuring the throats to get the best accuracy / least leading with cast slugs.

Larry
Hey Larry, who does hard chrome in satin black? Thanks!
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:22 PM
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Short Answer; Shoot It As-Is.

I have come to realize that guns with condition problems are the perfect guns to shoot and enjoy. I can take out this late S prefix 29-2 and not worry one bit about scratching it, getting caught in the rain, etc. At some point in its life someone must have done some shooting/hunting and was caught in a light drizzle and left in a holster for a day or two afterwards. It has small, smooth specks of missing blue ALL over it! Looks good from 10 feet but not so hot up close. But guess what, I love this revolver! It now sports a set of John Hurst target stocks instead of the rubber.

Accurate and Ugly is a pretty good combo for a hunting/range revolver.....





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