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Old 12-26-2020, 08:00 PM
Seamus O'Caiside Seamus O'Caiside is offline
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Default Rusty fingers and a Highway Patrolman

I bought a new S&W Mod 28-2 6" Highway Patrolman .357 blued somewhere around 50 years ago, and I have always loved that gun, but never shot it much. I doubt I have ever put more than 300 shots through it. For about 25 years I was a shotgunner and never touched the HP. Slowly worked my way up to NSCA Master Class. Now I am 78 years old and blind in the right (dominant) eye, so I think my shotgunning days are over. But I am naturally left-handed and I can shoot handguns left-handed and left-eyed!!!!

From my shotgun experience, I learned that I have "rusty fingers". That is some corrosive chemical in the skin that causes corrosion of several kinds of metals. In my 25 years of experience, I found that blued shotgun receivers will rust and wear, and even nickel will tarnish and be very hard to keep clean. I had to get my shotguns re-done in brushed chrome.

In the least couple of years I have bought 3 stainless S&Ws and I like them all, including the newest which is another .357. But I still like that old HP! It is still in good shape because I haven't used it much, but it has had a little light rust that wiped off without leaving much damage.

So, why don't I get the HP plated with brushed chrome? I think it will look good and last the rest of my life (I'm not 21 now, I am 78 and realistic). It will probably cost $300 +- and I can sell the stainless .357 for more than that - the way things are now I might even break even! I think I would use Cogan APW because they did a good job on one of my shotguns.

I value the opinions of you guys, so what do you think of the idea? I would welcome suggestions, cautions, things to look out for, and general comments.

Oh, BTW, I don't care about the effect on value of the HP, because I will never sell it, and my heirs will be OK.
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:10 PM
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Well it is your to do as you wish. I have a 28-2 that someone nickel plated before I got it. If it was mine I would just wipe it down good with a oiled rag when I finished shooting it and it should not rust while it is waiting another turn at the range.
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:25 PM
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I have the same problem as you, any time I would go to the local gun shop the guy behind the counter had a silicone gun cloth to wipe down whatever I was handling. While you can do as you choose why spend the money on a plated finish(you can buy a lot of ammo for $300) When I clean my guns I wear nitrile gloves to block the solvent from my hands which also will keep my caustic fingers off the metal.
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:31 PM
Big Cholla Big Cholla is offline
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I have never had that problem of "Rusty Fingers", but my first wife did. I solved the problem back then with Renaissance Wax after every range session and mandatory shooting gloves. We found a pair of Lady's golf gloves in left and right for her to use as shooting gloves. Works like a charm. Golf Gloves can usually be found as 'loss leaders' during the spring Golf Shop sales.
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:56 PM
Hapworth Hapworth is offline
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You've had that Model 28 for 50 years? You like it? You intend to keep it forever?

Then do whatever you want with it that makes it right for you. Hard chrome's a good finish for your purposes and APW Cogan's one of the best outfits for the task.

That said, I do love the Highway Patrolman in its factory matte blue and were I you I'd just make sure to give it a good wipe down with Breakfree CLP (which is great for stored corrosion protection) after each use and otherwise admire the patina that time and use (and even my sweaty hands) were putting on that old workhorse.

Save the cash and put it toward ammo when the prices are reasonable again.
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:32 PM
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Strip it well with acetone of brake cleaner (the gun, NOT the stocks - remove them prior to starting). You can apply Johnson's paste wax (a cheaper version than Renaissance Wax) and it will protect the gun & save you the $300 and year wait.

Good luck!
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:09 AM
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The reason you like the HP has a lot to do with it's blue finish and walnut grips. You may just spoil your appeal for it by refinishing it.

I agree with get some gloves and wipe down after use.
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:59 AM
.38SuperMan .38SuperMan is offline
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About thirty years ago I had a custom 1911 built and finished in brushed chrome. Over many years of competition shooting and drawing from a holster it still looks as good as the day it was done. I also had an acidity issue and would tarnish and mark some metals if if touched them. Fortunately over time my chemistry has changed and I no longer do that.

I also have a 28-2 4” I bought new in 77. While I no longer rust metals, if I did and it was a concern I’d certainly not hesitate to have it hard chromed. I’ve actually considered having a couple of my guns hard chromed just because I like the look. I seem to remember the person who built my 1911 used Checkmate but I’m not sure they’re in business anymore.

If you have it chromed then you don’t have to mess with waxing and worrying about it. Also as you know a chromed gun is a breeze to clean.
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:19 AM
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My suggestion: Either wax it well to prevent corrosion or sell it and look for a Model 627, either the current, 8-shot version, or an older, 6-shot version. S&W stopped making Model 28's a long time ago and those without alterations are now rapidly increasing in value.
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:35 AM
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Go see a doctor and change your diet. You will last longer.

Leave the 28 alone.




Pretty please.
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Last edited by Kurusu; 12-27-2020 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:41 AM
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Try cleaning the gun with Ballistol. It has a PH that will neutralize the acids on your skin. It has worked well for me for many years.
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:43 AM
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I have a blued Witness I’ve been thinking about having done.
You might consider Ron Mahovsky’s Metalife. Lots of pics on his site and pretty reasonable.
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Old 12-27-2020, 11:12 AM
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get a can of RIG, Rust Inhibiting Grease,and wipe it down with that. It will never rust again
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Old 12-27-2020, 11:27 AM
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I had a blue marlin guide gun refinished in matt hardchrome after the first use in Alaska. It had a “ rust worm” or two starting after that one trip.
I used an outfit in Tampa, Fl. but I can’t remember the name.
I have no regrets doing it. Came out great looking and it’s a breeze to clean and not a spot of rust in over 20 years now.
So, in short, hard chroming works well for rust prevention.
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Old 12-27-2020, 02:03 PM
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Default METALIFE

Firearm Plating -Mahovsky's Metalife

Metalife is the best of the gun finishes. It's been around since the 1970's and Rockwell's at 71, so it doesn't scratch and wears forever. Ken Kelly at Mag-Na-Port uses it as did his father Larry.

Check it out if you decide to do the finish, you won't be sorry.

Just a thought! HAPPY NEW YEAR

By the way, it's $155.00 for a handgun!

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Old 12-27-2020, 09:19 PM
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Metalife hard chrome is the way to go. Did my Python back in 1985. Still looks new.


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