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Old 01-24-2018, 09:47 PM
TatsPap TatsPap is offline
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Default Back Home but needs Help

I had 2 handguns stolen from my home back in December 2011. In October of 2017 I received a call from my local police telling me to call Philadelphia police. I called and they told me they had recovered my 357. This was the gun I really wanted back because it was given to me when my father passed away back in 1988. We drove the 4 hour trip to Philadelphia yesterday to retrieve the gun. Needless to say the gun was never taken care of in the 6 years it had been missing, I was able to remove a lot of rust with hoppes#9 but it looks pitted in some places and the tip of the barrel looks chipped down to the metal. Is there something I can do or have done to make it look good again or should I just be happy to have it back and just live with it? I will try to attach pictures.

In a later post on this thread I posted that I had decided to have the M19 finished with cerakote. I called Ford today and changed my mind. For about the same money I can have it restored as close to original as possible. Then it will look much like the K-22 (I added a few pics below). The M19 was in the same shape as the K-22 when it was stolen
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Last edited by TatsPap; 01-26-2018 at 07:41 PM. Reason: I added pics of the other gun my father passed on to me
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:00 PM
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That is very sad. In some cases, I might suggest a factory refinish. In this case, I would suggest leaving well enough alone and looking for a replacement. I would be worried about whose blood had caused that corrosion. Is that a Model 19? They can be had.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:06 PM
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Refinish this gun was your fathers gun treat it as such.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:07 PM
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Well, sir, if it were mine I would refinish it. A lot of guys donít approve of refinishing, but looks to me like your dadís gun could use a little TLC after that abuse.

Maybe consider hard chrome? Looks like brushed stainless and is very durable. If necessary, recut the lettering and logo. Done right, it will look new. Heck, maybe even have a gunsmith tune the action for ya, too.

If ya really want to get into it, have it engraved. But before doing so, do your research. Engraving is a very broad, very deep, craft, indeed art.

Good luck whatever you decide. Glad you got it back.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:08 PM
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I'm glad you got that back as the odds were steep against it. I had a 1970 Ruger Standard stolen from me 5 years ago. Like you, it was given me by my father.

I wish I had it back, working or not.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:23 PM
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Default Back Home but needs Help

Fords Refinishing will make that poor girl look better than a NIB Colt Python.


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Old 01-24-2018, 10:23 PM
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I see just character marks. It has the "been there and forgotten where you left it", look about it. I do not like rust pits per say but I admire guns with honest wear. My most treasured gun are not the mint example. They are guns that have little to no bluing with the stocks looking worse. These type of guns have a cool factor about them. If you left it as is it would be quite the conversation piece.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:38 PM
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If it were my dad's gun and had lost it an then got it back I would be so happy and thankful to recapture all those memories. I would refinish it and then shoot the heck out of it and make memories with my son or daughter.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:42 PM
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Because of the sentimental attachment I believe I'd have it refinished to look as new and as factory fresh as possible; regardless of cost.

If S&W doesn't tackle these, I'd make a call to Bobby Tyler. I know he does Ruger work and would trust him with any of my guns, regardless of brand.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:32 PM
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It's heartbreaking to see the condition of that gun now. But as it's been said, every cloud has a silver lining. The silver lining here is that you got your dad's gun back.

Sorry to say, those aren't "character markings" on that gun...it's damage, pure and simple, from abuse and neglect.

I don't often recommend refinishing, but in this case I believe it's warranted. And justified. I don't believe I could stomach looking at the damage done to my dad's gun by whatever lowlife stole it and by however many other lowlifes handled the gun.

From what I've heard from members here and on other forums, I believe Ford's might be my choice of firms to do the refinishing. I understand they can even recut the rollmarks and logos. I think Ford's went through a bad spell a few years back, but are back on track now. Wouldn't hurt to give them a call and talk about it.

I'm glad you got your dad's gun back. Keep us posted on your course of action.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:44 PM
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Like others have said, I'm generally against refinishing, but in this case I think it is worthy of consideration.. I'm betting your Dad would never let it look like that and won't rest easy until it's back to where he had it.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:46 AM
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Thank you all for you quick replies. Yes it is a model 19-5 with 6 inch barrel. I always kept it clean and oiled just like my father did before me. It looked like new when it was stolen. I cannot bring myself to leave it in the shape it is in now. I never heard of Fords but I will be looking into them first thing tomorrow morning. As for it maybe having blood on it or being used in a crime I will never know. I do know that the guy who was carrying it is in jail. I am just very glad to have it back. I cannot wait to shoot it again and I agree with most of you, If i can get it refinished that is what I will do.
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:58 AM
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Check or have it checked for function.
No telling who monkeyed around while it was in other hands.
Hope you get a deal on the refinish.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:08 AM
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I'm with the group for refinishing. Those low lifes should be horse whipped! I hate a thief.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:22 AM
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+1 for refinishing here. Assuming you can afford it, do what you need to do to love the gun again. Otherwise, instead of seeing a fond reminder of Dad, your likely to focus on the guns ugly flaws caused by the losers who had it. Fate has returned it to you, make it right.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watchdog View Post
Sorry to say, those aren't "character markings" on that gun...it's damage, pure and simple, from abuse and neglect.
They're only character marks if the owner put 'em there . . .
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:47 AM
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I'm with the refinish crowd.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:20 PM
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Have it refinished so when you look at it you remember your Dad, Not that it was stolen and abused


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Old 01-25-2018, 06:35 PM
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Definitely have it refinished - then proceed to create your own "character" on the gun.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:11 PM
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Ok I took the gun to my local gunsmith today, I left it with him after we talked a while. I didn't get a picture but there is damage to the crown of the gun. He said he would add metal and then would have to hand file the crown to make it right again. Now this is where I am second guessing my decision. The gunsmith recommended a cerakote semi gloss finish. So to fix the barrel and then cerakote will cost about $300. Would I be making a mistake doing cerakote instead of bluing? It will never sell it so I am not worried about a resale value. I would only be using it for home defense and take it to the range from time to time.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:20 PM
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My story on having a family heirloom revolver refinished is unimportant here but through no fault of my own I did have to do it. While I wouldn't normally recommend Cerakote for an S&W this could be the time. A good re-finisher can do lot's of things with filling in the pitting and your case the crown/barrel issue, then coat the gun where the damage is not viable even when you know where the faults were. It's not the optimum solution but a less expensive one that might work for you. I would still try to obtain an estimate from a company like Fords but don't be surprised by the amount. My point being it's your gun and your money, do what is right for you. Deepest condolences of the bad things that happened to your dads gun and congratulations on getting it back. hardcase60
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:48 PM
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I for one dont care for the look of cerakote or any of the other modern coatings, none of them look like a quality, old school firearm, and look particularly bad on true old school quality firearms. They look spray painted to me.

If the barrel is bad, Id look for a replacement barrel before id spend energy and money trying to fix a damaged muzzle crown. Barrels turn up, here, or gunbroker, sometimes in the $75 price range. If the bore is otherwise good, then having it cut to 5" may be worth doing, if the smith can make it look factory. As with cerakote or modern coatings, a poorly done barrel cut and front sight replacement can make or break the gun.

Id opt for a factory refinish if possible. If you find a replacement barrel, the factory may do the barrel replacement work also. Not sure about that though. You could call and ask. The barrels ive swapped didnt require much work. It shouldnt cost an arm and leg to get a barrel swapped.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:55 AM
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In the mid 80's, I picked up a 1917 Brazilian Contract model. I had "white" scratches all over it from shipping. Just letting it naturally age in the safe allowed the scratches to develop a patina. It now looks like a Military N-frame that saw honest service.

The pitting at the muzzle end will never fade away. To be rid of them it would need a re-barrel or cut down. Which brings us to; This is you chance to make a belly gun. A factory short barrel is always an option. But you can have any length, sight, porting or combo you like.

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Old 01-26-2018, 08:05 AM
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First of all, your gun, so do whatever you want with it. The goal is to make you happy with it.

Having said that, my opinion is that you are rushing things. You just got the gun back, it’s been abused, and you’ve rushed to the nearest place that can fix the abuse. Kinda like an emergency room run. But, unlike people, guns last a long, long time, regardless of condition.

You have time to think it through, collect information, discuss with different folks about their ideas as to what to do.

What a wonderful thing to have your father’s M19! Right there, you are blessed!

My opinion, my advice, is take it slow, do your research on various finishes and various refinishers. Many people can do the work, but, as withn anything else, some people are very good at it, some competent, and others so-so.

Thing is, no kidding, you can make that gun look like whatever you want it to. Say it takes you a year to figure out what you want done and who you want to do it. (And it may be several people. I think the idea of giving it a tune up a good one, and that will in most cases not be the refinisher.) A year is pretty short, really, speaking as a guy who has spent several years on several custom gun projects.

Of course, your budget matters, and as with most things, most projects, the sky is the limit. So you will need to figure out the financials, too. But again, it is all about what you want. What is important to you.

Good luck!

Last edited by Onomea; 01-26-2018 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:24 PM
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Default Ford Refinish nailed it

Ok My friends I took your advise and had My Fathers gun refinished. I sent it to Fords for restoration. I just got it back today and it is beautiful. I can't wait to take it to the range. A big thank you to all the guys that pointed me in the direction of Ford refinishing.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:28 PM
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It looks great and I'm happy for you.
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:16 AM
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That's some outstanding craftsmanship.

You chose wisely.
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:57 AM
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I was considering having my Target Masterpiece nickel'd by Ford's (it's got some neglect and wear from...well, I wasn't even born yet). If they can get that result out of your gun, I feel a lot more comfortable sending them mine.
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:03 AM
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You made the right decision...now add some really nice grips that add your touch to the gun.....
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:27 PM
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That really came out nice. Congrats.
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:55 PM
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Ford's really did a nice job bringing back your gun man! It looks great now and it's deserving a nice pair of wood grips to go with the gorgeous finish.
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:14 PM
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It looks wonderful, and I'm so pleased for you. You made the right decision.

Now...and I truly mean no offense by this...get those Pachmayrs off of it and find some proper vintage factory stocks for it. Don't settle for aftermarket stocks, get the real thing. They're out there for sale.

The reason I say that is because I'm convinced, rightly or wrongly, that rubber grips attract and hold moisture under them, which will eventually attack the finish on your beautifully restored gun. If you think it looks great now (and it does), imagine what it'll look like with some S&W wood on it.
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:31 PM
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Looks fantastic! Now you can fully enjoy owning it and think of your Dad, rather than be reminded of the theft.
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:16 AM
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I found the original grips in the Pachmayr box that my dad had put in the bottom of his gun cleaning box. I have never seen them on it. I will change them and take some pictures.
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:28 AM
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A fine looking job. Congrats on getting her back and looking great. I'd heard a couple bad reviews on Ford's but I'm glad they did the great job on yours. We're they able to get out all of the damage?
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:43 AM
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Outstanding,,,,Looks like they really did a beautiful job! What a great looking handgun!
Now get it out to the range and enjoy it!
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:44 AM
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Very well done. Cerakote finishing and S&W revolvers do not belong together. You made the right choice!
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Old 09-09-2018, 01:51 PM
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Fords did a great job on the gun. Any after pics of the area of bbl with the pots?.? What was the time period that it took to get done?? If you donít mind me asking, what did they charge. I also have a gun with some rust and not sure if I should restore it and the price should be close to yours. Larry
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:27 PM
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Fords did a great job on the gun. Any after pics of the area of bbl with the pots?.? What was the time period that it took to get done?? If you donít mind me asking, what did they charge. I also have a gun with some rust and not sure if I should restore it and the price should be close to yours. Larry
I just got my 14-1 back from them this past Tuesday(Sept 3) and originally sent it in during the second week of April, so about 22 weeks. I had the Master Blue level done (for $375), so it may have taken a little longer than normal. I wouldnít hesitate to use them again, and am already planning on what to send next. You really canít worry about the length of time it takes. My apologies to Fordís for the poor quality of my pictures of their exquisite craftsmanship.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:47 PM
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Mine took about 6 months and cost me 500. There was a lot of damage on the barrel. They had to fill the places at the tip of the barrel with weld then hand file back into shape and do some relettering. I tried to show before and after as best I could.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:56 PM
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What a happy ending!! The odds of getting the stolen gun back were pretty steep. Now it is beautiful again...we are all happy for you, and anxious for that first range report!!

Best Regards. Les
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:09 PM
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Mine took about 6 months and cost me 500. There was a lot of damage on the barrel. They had to fill the places at the tip of the barrel with weld then hand file back into shape and do some relettering. I tried to show before and after as best I could.
For that kind of work, I think it was quite reasonable.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:13 PM
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Well it has been a long time since I shot the old girl. It sure felt good. It has been so long I was happy that I even hit the target.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:43 PM
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They did an excellent job with the deep pits on the gun. You paid a reasonable price to get the gun restored. The 14-1 looks great also. I found a pre-16 with 2 rust areas and not sure I want to restore it yet. Even at 500.00, I wouldnít be buried in it the Gun too deep. Larry
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