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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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Old 01-02-2021, 01:58 PM
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I have a Model 28-2 4 inch that was poorly chrome plated.I want to have it put back to it's original type finish. The S&W letter I got with it says it was shipped on 06/06/1980. I plan on sending to Fords for stripping and refinishing.What finish is correct that they offer for this gun? Thanks in advance and Happy New year to Y'all.
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:41 PM
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It was available only in satin blue. At the time, S&W stated it would not change the finish on a Highway Patrolman. So, satin blue is the only option if you want it returned to its original appearance.
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Old 01-02-2021, 03:51 PM
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Would that be a Matte Blue or a brushed blue?
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Old 01-02-2021, 03:53 PM
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Brushed Blue
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Old 01-02-2021, 03:56 PM
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Matte Blue
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:15 PM
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Well, there was only one finish that came on the M-28, 4 & 6 " bbls, but you could order target triggers and hammers, along with target stocks. S&W made this to be a working man's gun, and would not alter it to look like a flagship M27. I have several of them. They are my favorites along with M15's.

I do swear though that they occasionally used M27 parts. I have a couple that have pretty highly polished cylinders.

If it were me, I would sell the gun. It has to be worth 500 or so, and then put the 300( guess) that you are going to pay to strip it and refinish it together, and for 800, you can get something nice and original. Just a thought.

I have no idea if this gun has sentiment, but if not, I would not refinish it, and if you did refinish it, I would not put a M27 type highly polished finish on it. I would stay with the original satin finish
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:19 PM
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I bought a new 28-2 4" with Target Stocks in 1980 for $250. It was a better gun than the gun that I eventually I traded it for. That 28-2's only fault of note was that .44s and .45s sunk aluminum beverage cans faster.

The finish on the frame's sides, barrel and cylinder looked like it was done with fine sand paper. It was not as smooth as the sides of the slide on your 1911. The top strap, top of the barrel rib, rear sight leaf spring, front and rear grip strap, trigger guard and bottom and front of the cylinder frame looked like they were bead blasted. Worded differently the top, bottom, rear and front of the frame looked bead blasted. That generally described all 28s except commemorative 28s and rare unicorns. However, 28s were finish 'em fast and get them out the door revolvers so the smoothness of their sides and cylinders varied quite a bit. Locally the state patrol used them. Rumor has it that 28s with finish blemishes were shipped along with big orders to government departments instead of to stores that had to display them on a shelf to get them sold.

I hope that helps envision what original condition looked like. 28s were great guns but, frankly, paying Fords big bucks to duplicate the original low cost finish is foolish. After it is done it would be worth less than a very good condition 28 with original finish. Ford's price will buy a shooter grade 28 with original finish that will be worth just as much as one they've refinished.

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Old 01-02-2021, 05:06 PM
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My Model 28-2 is a 1975 shipment to a police supply in Maryland.

Per the Letter of Authentication the finish was called "brush blue".

Attached are some pics that show the original finish under different lights, taken with different cameras.

Hope this helps.
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1980 28-2??-model-28-b1-jpg   1980 28-2??-model-28-c1-jpg   1980 28-2??-model-28-e-jpg   1980 28-2??-model-28-g-jpg   1980 28-2??-m28-2-loa-posting-pdf  

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Old 01-03-2021, 12:30 AM
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I've owned several M28s. The finishes have varied from a brush blue to a satin blue to one that was almost up to M27 standards.
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Old 01-03-2021, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majer View Post
I have a Model 28-2 4 inch that was poorly chrome plated.
Has Ford's quoted you a price on this job? Because before they can re-blue it, they will have to remove the chrome. That is a process. Just curious what they would charge to do that.
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Old 01-03-2021, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Narragansett View Post
I have no idea if this gun has sentiment, but if not, I would not refinish it,
I am in this camp. The appreciation in value will not likely equal the money you put into refinishing it. Plus, it won't shoot any different after you refinish it. I get it though. I have a hard chromed 25-5 that I didn't like the looks of at all. I have grown to appreciate it now. I don't have to be overly careful with it at the range and it shoots just fine.

Having said that, you do you. You acquired a great gun. I answered a question you never asked so take my thoughts for what they are worth.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:53 AM
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You can spend a lot of money having the chrome stripped and a factory style blueing applied, but that Model 28 will never have the same value as one with its original finish. It would be more economical to sell the chromed Model 28 and buy one that has its original finish.
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Old 01-03-2021, 01:07 PM
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I note that the OP is upstate NY. The hassle of selling this revolver and replacing it on his serial # specific permit changes the calculation a bit.
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Old 01-03-2021, 05:34 PM
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It would be a costly mistake, especially if you're expecting it to result in collector value. Sell it and buy one that's right. There are plenty of them out there.
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Old 01-03-2021, 06:58 PM
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Majer, it’s your gun, do what you think best and enjoy it.
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Old 01-03-2021, 07:31 PM
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Majer, its your gun, do what you think best and enjoy it.
That's the best answer I've seen yet!
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:35 PM
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This is what the finish on a perfect Highway Patrolman looks like - it's polished silver and satin blue, with the silver from holstering and unholstering it thousands of time...





I'm not sure there are any refinishers out there that would/could refinish your revolver to this condition...
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:34 PM
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This is what the finish on a perfect Highway Patrolman looks like - it's polished silver and satin blue, with the silver from holstering and unholstering it thousands of time...











I'm not sure there are any refinishers out there that would/could refinish your revolver to this condition...

Spot on. Beautiful!
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:08 PM
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Let's see a picture of that bad boy, OP. I'm in the camp of just keep it like it is, or sell it and buy one with a factory finish. M28-2's were made for over 20 years, so there's lots of them out there. FWIW, another picture of the finish, in fluorescent light:
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
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I note that the OP is upstate NY. The hassle of selling this revolver and replacing it on his serial # specific permit changes the calculation a bit.
I live in New York State too. It costs $3.00 in my County to amend a pistol permit. So, three bucks when you sell one and have it removed from your permit, another three bucks to add a new firearm to your permit. You can do both transactions with one trip to the Permit Office at the Sheriff's Dept. No big deal.
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Old 01-04-2021, 12:54 AM
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OP, would you mind posting some photos? I'm wondering what sort of chrome finish you have. There is more than one, and it's going to make a difference when it comes to whether or not a refinish could even be done in the first place.
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Old 01-04-2021, 04:06 PM
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I own a pre-model number 28 (SN 116XXX - late 1954 according to the mothership) and after reading this post, it makes me believe that someone at some point had it polished and re-blued. It has a fairly high polish on it, including both the trigger and the hammer. Here's the only picture I have available at the moment, but it will give some indication of what I'm talking about. Also, these are the non-original stocks that came on it when I purchased it. It is brighter than the picture would have you believe...
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Old 01-04-2021, 07:57 PM
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MikeMagnum,

In both blued and nickel plated revolvers hammers and triggers were color case hardened, never blued or nickel plated. While blued hammers and triggers are obvious signs of a reblue it looks like yours are bare steel. They could have been polished only to remove rust but your 28 does look too smoothly polished. That's not the end of the world. Some of us enjoy target shooting with our reblued S&W revolvers. I even live in a repainted house.

By the way, show us a picture of the left side of its grip frame so we can look for stamps S&W imprinted in the revolvers that they reblued for customers. If S&W reblued your 28 the knock down in value is about half of what it would be if anyone else reblued it.

Welcome to the forum.

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Old 01-05-2021, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
This is what the finish on a perfect Highway Patrolman looks like - it's polished silver and satin blue, with the silver from holstering and unholstering it thousands of time...





I'm not sure there are any refinishers out there that would/could refinish your revolver to this condition...
I love this gun! Richard, as usual, no disappointment. As to the OPs issue, Id like to see a picture of it. Like as not, it was over polished when it was plated and if so it will not look a whole lot better with the brush blue.
Ralph
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Old 01-06-2021, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
MikeMagnum,

In both blued and nickel plated revolvers hammers and triggers were color case hardened, never blued or nickel plated. While blued hammers and triggers are obvious signs of a reblue it looks like yours are bare steel. They could have been polished only to remove rust but your 28 does look too smoothly polished. That's not the end of the world. Some of us enjoy target shooting with our reblued S&W revolvers. I even live in a repainted house.

By the way, show us a picture of the left side of its grip frame so we can look for stamps S&W imprinted in the revolvers that they reblued for customers. If S&W reblued your 28 the knock down in value is about half of what it would be if anyone else reblued it.

Welcome to the forum.
Thank you for the welcome. I've added some additional pictures and the trigger and hammer are definitely blued/polished. I changed out the stocks to Hogues, but I didn't take a picture of the frame. I will get that for you however. I didn't buy this as an investment, and as such its' monetary value doesn't matter - I shoot all of my guns regardless. It's seen usage, but hasn't been abused and has a certain "mojo". In fact I like it better than my 27-2!
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1980 28-2??-20210105_195018-jpg   1980 28-2??-20210105_195259-jpg   1980 28-2??-20210105_195400-jpg   1980 28-2??-20210105_200237-jpg   1980 28-2??-20210105_200348-jpg  


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Old 01-06-2021, 01:50 PM
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MikeMagnum,

Thank-you for the better pictures. That's definitely a non-factory reblue. None the less it should be a great shooter and that is what 28s are best at. I have a couple of 28s that would not excite the collectors here myself. At least yours is a five screw.
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Old 01-06-2021, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
This is what the finish on a perfect Highway Patrolman looks like - it's polished silver and satin blue, with the silver from holstering and unholstering it thousands of time...





I'm not sure there are any refinishers out there that would/could refinish your revolver to this condition...
Exactly how mine looks
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:18 PM
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Thank you for the replies.This gun looks like it was chromed in a bumper shop, it's peeling and looks like ****. I'm not having it re-blued to increase the value, I just don't like the look of it as is.I prefer Blue guns.I got this in a trade and am only into it for maybe $300.00. When I got it the hammer and trigger were gold plated,I swapped those parts out for the correct color case parts.This is a gun I'll be using and would like it to look better than what it does now.I'll try to take some pictures and post them in a day or so.
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Old 01-09-2021, 09:58 AM
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If it is peeling, then it is not likely hard chrome unless the underlying metal was not properly prepared. Hard chrome bonds to the steel, it is unlikely to come off. Decorative chrome may have been used and it generally does not bond well to steel. It is also possible that the finish is nickel plating, either decorative nickel, which does not bond well, or nickel over copper plating. Nickel over copper works well until ammonia bearing solvents find a little break in the nickel, then begin to dissolve the copper.

A good bumper chrome is actually triple plated, copper over the steel, then nickle, then chrome. This gives bumper chrome durability. Given the revelation that your Model 28 also has gold plated trigger and hammer, I'm thinking that all the plating was for decoration and not really suitable for a useful firearm.

Best method to remove the remaining chrome would be to take it or send it somewhere that can chemically remove the chrome, then you can have it blued. Bead blasted and satin blue is often less expensive than polished blue. It takes more time and skill to properly polish metal for bright blueing.
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
I've owned several M28s. The finishes have varied from a brush blue to a satin blue to one that was almost up to M27 standards.
I believe this to be true. I've only owned a few Model 28s but I've examined many. In fact I once owned one, purchased from Jovino's in 1983, that came from a lot sold by the New York State Police. Along with red ramp and white outline sights, its finish was clearly way ahead of a typical M28. Not M27, but almost. Wish I still had it.
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Old 01-09-2021, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
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[...] It is also possible that the finish is nickel plating, either decorative nickel, which does not bond well, or nickel over copper plating. [...]
Considering S&W has not under plated with copper since at least 1910 that would make all of S&W's nickel decorative nickel that is not bonded well. Really? Did I give one poorly worded sentence too much importance?
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
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Considering S&W has not under plated with copper since at least 1910 that would make all of S&W's nickel decorative nickel that is not bonded well. Really? Did I give one poorly worded sentence too much importance?
Well, a good nickel plating over steel works great, but if a shop is just doing cheap, decorative plating, I would not rely upon it properly bonding to steel. Metal preparation is so important and can consume time. Time equals money and if plating is done cheaply, how much time was invested in metal prep? I should have made that more clear in my previous post.
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