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Old 12-04-2010, 08:30 AM
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blujax01 blujax01 is offline
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Default Side Plate Engraving

I have a modern M64 that in no way is a collectable and was thinking of having my name engraved in the side plate. Further, I was thinking of taking the side plate off the gun, and to the mall and having it done by a place called "Things Remembered" who sell and engrave all sorts of gee gaw for weddings, retirement, and the like: silver plates, whiskey flasks, Zippo lighters, etc. It'd cost like $20 and done while-you-wait.

Good idea? Bad idea? Any thoughts? Thanks!

Last edited by blujax01; 12-04-2010 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:39 PM
smitholdtimer smitholdtimer is offline
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Default Engraving your sideplate

For some reason this is not something appreciated by any one else but the person who's name is engraved. If you some day decide you may wish to trade it or sell it, it will depreciate the value unless you are a notorious or famous person. Personal opinion only but worth what you have invested.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:25 PM
zeiglerr zeiglerr is offline
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I can relate some experience based on antique pocket watches which may or may not apply. Good, engraving that was done by hand with varying line width and an artistic design has a neutral effect on the long term value. Mechanical engraving in the "Things Remembered" style would reduce the value to a parts watch (not collectible and minimal value). I know you said your gun is a common non-collectible model, but if you ever plan to sell it or trade it in, $20 engraving will negatively impact the value. You might consider getting a replacement side plate (if that's possible for your model) and have the engraving done on that. Then store the original side plate away in case you ever want to return it to stock.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:38 PM
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It is entirely up to you if you want to do this. However, it doesn't really do anything to identify the gun to others that the serial number doesn't already do. I suppose if you wanted to pass it on to somebody it might add some sentimental value for them. For me it would be in the same category as putting a Social Security number on with an electric pencil type engraver.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:48 PM
dfariswheel dfariswheel is offline
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As a retired Master watchmaker/gunsmith, I had to do a LOT of engraving on watches and jewelery, especially around Christmas.

The "engraving" is done with a pantograph device using a diamond or possibly carbide tip.
This literally scratches the design into the metal.
This is just deep enough to be easily visible on stainless, but too deep to remove if you ever want it off.

The key "watch out" is that the person doing the engraving isn't going to know anything at all about guns, so there's a good chance the engraving is NOT going to be properly aligned with the barrel and frame.
In other words, when you get it on the gun the engraving isn't going to be straight.
There's also going to be a good chance the edges of the side plate will be "dinked up" by the force needed to clamp the side plate in the machine.
Since the holding jig on these machines is set up for watches, bracelets, pens, and medallions there will likely be a problem with holding the odd-shaped side plate firmly or straight.
If the plate slips in the jig, the job will be botched, and there's no "fixing it".

My advice: Send the plate in to S&W's Performance Center and have them laser engrave it. They do laser engraving for very reasonable prices and it'll look a LOT better than the thin scratching as done by a jeweler's pantograph machine.
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:43 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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Apologies for resurrecting this old thread - but does S&W still do laser engraving on side plates? My 2-inch Model 10 has a plain side plate and I would like to dress it up with a large S&W logo.

A few months back, I remember someone mentioning there was a shop here in northern Virginia that was also equipped to do the same kind of engraving ...
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