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Old 01-01-2013, 09:55 PM
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Default Lower cost alternitives to blueing mod-15?

I have an old 15-3 that I picked up a few years back mainly because it has the 3T's and the sweetest action on the planet. Being a cops gun, it was carried for 20+ years and has allot of finish wear. Given it was a $200 find, I hate to drop another $400 into rust bluing but would like to do something to it. So can anybody tell me what hard Chrome or nickle plating costs? Any other ideas?
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:29 PM
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If there is not a great deal of metal damage, a factory standard blue at $220 (plus shipping) is one alternative:

Precision Gunsmithing - Smith & Wesson

A decent nickel or hard chrome finish will be at least that amount. You'll probably receive some replies along the lines of "why not leave it alone", but since you don't have a lot in the gun and you want it to look nicer, I'd say why not refinish it?
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:24 PM
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Why do you think you'd need to rust blue it? You might mean hot salts blue, which is what S&W blued revolvers are; rust bluing is a different, generally more expensive process.

Is $400 more than you'd like to spend all in, or just for the process itself? You have to factor cost of shipping into these, which can run upwards of $100 total.

Otherwise, murphydog's right -- standard factory reblue for $220, or heck, throw in an extra $55 for high polish (what I'd do).

For something less expensive, especially if you can find it done locally, parkerizing would work.

For very cheap, you could get a do-it-yourself spray on material like duracoat (hate to suggest that for a wheel gun, but that's just me -- to each their own).

Or just enjoy the history it has accumulated.

But quality finishes tend to cost, and you tend to get what you pay for.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:39 AM
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You can rust blue it yourself if your the slightest bit handy and follow the process faithfully.
A handgun & small parts can be done on the stovetop burner in nothing more than a breadpan for a water boiling tank. The smallest bottle of slow rust blue soln , some 0000 steel wool to buy, but $25 should take care of that. Some wire hooks to grab ahold of the parts,,needle nose pliers, ect.
Patience & cleanliness above all else..

I'd suggest pulling the bbl to make sure old oil doesn't seep out to spoil the finish as you build it up, but many jobs are done w/o doing that.
A simple 'polishing' job for a working mans rust blue can be accomplished with nothing more than a wire wheel on the oiled surface of the steel parts.
The rust blue will matte the surface some and blend in well with that prep.

If you count your time,,it's probably not worth it, especially if you've never done things like this before.
But if you like the idea of a classic rust blue and something you can do yourself,,why not..

Hot salt bluing is what the factorys use now and is difficult & expensive for someone to do at home, especially for one project.

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Old 01-03-2013, 01:09 PM
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Check out Blue Wonder bluing kits. About $50 should do it for you.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:25 PM
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I had a Colt Cobra refinished in TR Gunkote by George Roghaar. It has proven to be a very durable finish and many color options are available. Cost is $175. Check out: gunblue.homestead.com
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:44 PM
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Thanks Gents, good discussion.
Fisrt, I didn't think S&W had a $220 blue job. If i can get the shipping reasonable, that may be an option. I'll give them a call. Does anybody know if they will send me a pre-paid shipping box or would i need to send through an FFL?
Additionally, I didn't think I could get a decent home blue finish. My experience has been with various cold blues that give mixed, but never VG results. I might check into this further. I'm handy enough and know my way around S&W revolver disassemble. Might be a fun winter project.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee Hooker View Post
Thanks Gents, good discussion.
Fisrt, I didn't think S&W had a $220 blue job. If i can get the shipping reasonable, that may be an option. I'll give them a call. Does anybody know if they will send me a pre-paid shipping box or would i need to send through an FFL?
I doubt S&W will pay for shipping on non-warranty service. You don't have to go through an FFL since you are shipping to the manufacturer, but you will have to use, I believe, overnight or next day FedEx or UPS; can't use the post office for handguns.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee Hooker View Post
I'll give them a call. Does anybody know if they will send me a pre-paid shipping box or would I need to send through an FFL?Dave

Dave, S&W will not send a prepaid label unless the job is one of a limited number of specials they do on new (or almost so) guns.
So, shipping will be on your dime. As a private party you may legally ship the gun directly to S&W. The catch is that you MUST ship overnight with FEDEX or (maybe) UPS. That will be $65 and up. Law prohibits you from mailing a handgun.

Here's where it pays to have a good relationship with a local FFL.
They CAN ship a handgun with USPS Priority Mail. I have sent in several with the USPS flat rate boxes (about $16 insured).
I run the prepaid ship label online with the LGS as the return address. Pack the gun up and then just drop it off at his store and he includes it with his other outgoing shipments.
S&W will, however, only ship the gun back to the FFL, not to you.
Not sure about your state, but guns returned from service do not need to go through the background check, etc.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hapworth View Post
I doubt S&W will pay for shipping on non-warranty service. You don't have to go through an FFL since you are shipping to the manufacturer, but you will have to use, I believe, overnight or next day FedEx or UPS; can't use the post office for handguns.
Thanks, I wasn't looking for hem to eat it , just make it easy. i.e. arrange shipping at their rate and bill me for the whole thing at once. Guess not. to be honest, $90 to ship a tiny package round trip for a $220 service just sits wrong with me. Guess I could drive it up the 3 hrs but that's a PITA too.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:40 PM
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I asked S&W CS specifically about this.
Their answer was: "no".
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:39 PM
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Thanks again, LGS buddy says he'll ship for me so I'll likely give S&W CS a call this week and work out the details.
The slow rust blue looks interesting but i don't trust myself with the prep/polishing. I may try it with a lesser gun though.
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