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Old 12-19-2019, 08:53 AM
KWIndy KWIndy is offline
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For the sake of a value conversation, if you had a NIB 3913 that you don't plan to shoot. Would you clean it?
It has all the original packing paper wrap and box with, what appears to be, the original grease/oil on it.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:12 AM
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I would clean it and then add the lubricant/preservative of my choice.
It is amazing how much crud comes out of a newly manufactured firearm.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:42 AM
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Default "NIB 3913 that you don't plan to shoot"

"if you had a NIB 3913 that you don't plan to shoot." …..What? ……….Why???...…… I don't understand!!!

,
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:46 PM
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If it is truly NIB, never fired outside of the factory, I would think that maximum collector value would come from leaving it truly NIB, including GSR from the test fire and factory lube, as-is. Once it has been cleaned and re-lubed, who is to say it was not taken to the range and fired? Just my thoughts.


How much collector value is in a Model 3913? It seems to me that the greater value is in the eyes of those who wish they had one to use as a CCW pistol.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:15 PM
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I’d shoot that and enjoy it. But to address your question; I’d clean it and make sure its properly lubricated all over. They weren’t lubed and packaged to be stored for 20 or 30 years.

Shooting it will have zero impact from most collectors, as long as you take care of it, as they understand it’s already been fired.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KWIndy View Post
For the sake of a value conversation, if you had a NIB 3913 that you don't plan to shoot. Would you clean it?
It has all the original packing paper wrap and box with, what appears to be, the original grease/oil on it.
Nope, I'd leave it just as it is now. I unwrapped my #4mk1 SMLE and degraded the value by 40% according to SMLE collectors.

Now I did take the #4mk1 along on many range trips and shot hundreds of rounds. When I sold it I got what I had originally paid for it 12 years previous.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:32 PM
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The old owner's manuals always suggested a good cleaning first thing. S&W lube, whatever it is/was, never impressed me as being anything beyond a substance that got it to its new owner.
If this was a 1917, or something, I may say don't mess with it, but a 3913, I don't think I'd treat it as a vintage collectible..... Now, that's just me, YMMV. I'm not setting relatively new stuff away to let it appreciate for decades at my age lol. I will admit that ANIB stuff that's 50 or more years old commands a premium. But I'm not going to be around then. My thinking these days is somewhat more short-term. Time may be on your side, and if you have patience, all the better.
I retired my 3913 from carry about two years ago. It sat in pasture for a while in the safe, then went to the great gun shop consignment beyond and was turned into something I wanted more.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for the feedback.
So lets assume, in it's current "fresh from factory" condition, it is at it's maximum potential value. I wonder how much cleaning it would devalue it?
Shooting it?
Would you rather buy a NIB in this condition or one that has been cleaned up and fresh lube?

I understand that it's just a 3913 and not an old collector revolver or something rare and very valuable and in the big picture we aren't talking about a lot of money here. While this is a real situation for me, I thought it may also make a good conversation.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:31 PM
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Yeah might as well shoot and enjoy it. Probably pushing up daisies by the time it is worth $2000 anyway.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:45 PM
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Shoot it and enjoy it . As long as you don't mistreat it and scratch it , when you go to sell it , you can label it as LNIB . My 457S was labeled as such , and it looked new .
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Old 12-19-2019, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KWIndy View Post
I wonder how much cleaning it would devalue it?
None, unless you damaged it. There would be no way to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KWIndy View Post
Shooting it?
It has been shot….period. There is no way to tell when or where that was. Unless you shoot it so much you can tell it in the barrel.

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Originally Posted by KWIndy View Post
Would you rather buy a NIB in this condition or one that has been cleaned up and fresh lube?
Again…as long as its not damaged, either from shooting, cleaning, or sitting a box new and uncleaned for 20 years or more; it would not matter.

I would no more pay extra for a gun that claims to have never been fired, than I would for a Corvette that claims to have never been driven in the rain. The difference being we know with absolute certainty the gun has been fired, but its possible the Corvette has never been driven in the rain.

Of course, its all really moot; because its getting shot when I get it.

Last edited by Dave686; 12-19-2019 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 12-19-2019, 06:33 PM
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I never touch my 5903 SSV. NIB with everything - but, once it comes out of storage, if the box was ruined by water in the safe after last year's fire, then I'm just gonna sell it as is. No more safe queens!
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Old 12-19-2019, 07:18 PM
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I can’t believe how many folks miss the question and miss the point and simply default to their own “vision” for the this particular model “should” mean, what the only true fate that any/every/all 3913’s should live.

He never asked if he should shoot it or if you would shoot it.

He asked if cleaning it might affect value or if someone knew it had been cleaned, would that remove it’s “NIB” status.
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Old 12-19-2019, 07:25 PM
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To that I say, no. Maybe, probably, perhaps?

I believe that over all, in modern guns over the last 50-60 years (since corrosive ammo went away) that more guns have been damaged by BAD and over-zealous cleaning than by neglect.

I believe that if you are ham-fisted and you are the type that scrubs and picks and scrapes and god forbid, if you use Flitz as a compound for cleaning... then yes, don’t touch it at all.

Me? I would absolutely field strip it, wipe down everything with a pinch of Hoppe’s#9, wipe off excess and lightly lube frame rails and lock-up points.

Especially on any alloy frame 1-2-3rd Gen such as a 3913, where the alloy frame very quickly shows wear from the movement of a steel slide across it.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:18 PM
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And that's what makes a good conversation, different opinions. We are all over the board on this one and I agree with Sevens, my specific question was do I clean it or leave it alone.
I am a clean freak and NOT cleaning it and getting fresh lube on it tweaks my OCD out..

So I would like to do a gentle clean and lube, I have some Collector series oil to use on it. I'd like to have something to shoot so I am considering selling it and letting a "collector type" enjoy it.

Last edited by KWIndy; 12-19-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:53 PM
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The market, (the real market where guns get bought and sold, not the opinions of hardcore S&W pistol enthusiasts) has a notable and obvious preference reflected in the price for out of production but NIB, unfired, “time capsule” guns that were shipped and sold and owned and swapped and sold but not shot.

Absolutely, some less than others. But for however many S&W made of any particular model, there’s only a small slice in existence that are new old stock, still NIB/unfired. Yes, folks will pay a premium for those.

All of us have our own ideas and these ideas are 100% correct but ONLY for us.

Pick any 1-2-3rd Gen, any one of them, doesn’t matter. Hand me a NIB one and tell me that I own it. To me, it makes more sense (it makes a LOT more sense) for me to set out on a chase for a used one if I feel like I want to shoot it, than it is ever going to make for me to take a new old stock unfired one and start shooting it. You can’t unring a bell.

A great example would be a 5906. These are great pistols. If I came across a stupidly low priced one that was NIB, sure I’d buy it. And no possible way would I ever shoot it. Hell, I have two in the safe to shoot and if I didn’t, I could snag one for maybe under $400 to shoot one. They are easy to find.

A NIB unfired 5906, not so easy to find.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:13 PM
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All good stuff.
Are there any indicators that I can look for that would confirm this has only been fired at the mothership?
I looked at the mag followers under a magnifying loupe and can't see ANY indication of a round being across them. The barrel has a dark dry type lube in it as well as in the frame.
Cosmetically I cannot find a blemish anywhere, even the grips are perfect. Even the box is in great condition.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:23 PM
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If I come across ANY collectable gun NIB that is as packed from factory.

First I have to say I shoot all my guns, so it would go up for sale AS IS. Touch nothing.

Last edited by bigggbbruce; 12-19-2019 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:40 PM
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Best way to look for evidence of shooting on a S&W 1-2-3rd Gen is to look closely to where the hammer smacks the top of the pistol’s frame each time the slide reciprocates. It doesn’t smack the **** out of the frame when you rack the slide, but it dings it solidly under live fire.

Also, close to that location is the area at the most rear of the slide, where folks who aren’t well versed in the 1-2-3rd Gen (or the careless or ham-fisted) will routinely smack the tip of the ejector on the rear of the frame when attempting to reassemble the pistol. That will be to the left of the firing pin and marks from the two smaller levers will leave marks to the right side of the firing pin at the rear of the slide.
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:29 AM
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If I’m understanding correctly, your real question might be, “How many dollars will (might) I lose by cleaning this gun?”. I’ve been fortunate enough to accumulate several 3913 and 14’s including the slightly less common TSW, DAO, LS and NL variations.

I took a look at what I paid for two 3913’s. Consider the price was as much dependent on luck, timing, motivation of the seller, desperation of the buyer, distance (face-to-face in cash versus an auction that included shipping, an FFL fee and maybe a credit card surcharge) as on anything else. So, two virtually identical guns could always have cost me significantly different amounts.

My first 3913 was in a pawn shop half the country away from me. A kind forum member tipped me off as he knew I was desperate for one. I bought it sight unseen (not even photos) and the pawn shop had to take it to a “normal” LGS for shipping to my local FFL. It was a “shooter” in very good condition with one magazine and no box. My all-in cost included the gun (that might have included something paid by the pawn shop to the neighboring LGS for their trouble), shipping to my FFL and a small transfer fee on my end (my guy is fond of me).

My second 3913 was bought from a local gentleman who purchased it for his wife at an estate sale. She fired 100 rounds and then wanted something else. It appeared “like” NIB and was complete as originally sold. There was an invoice in the box that helped me understand my seller was at least the third owner of that gun even though it appeared brand new.

Considering my total cost for the two guns, there is only a $30 difference between the two while there is a world of difference in their apparent values. Obviously, I’d have never bought the shooter had I known I’d later be able to buy a virtually new one for so few dollars more.

My point is that, in my humble opinion, whether you clean your gun or not will make absolutely no difference in what it might be worth if/when you decide to sell it. How much you’ll get for it will depend mostly on factors you’ll probably not be able to control.

Just one man’s opinion.

Last edited by Jeppo; 12-20-2019 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 12-20-2019, 08:21 AM
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Do you guys know if there is supposed to be a cleaning kit in the box with this from the factory?
I have a lot of paperwork but no cleaning kit.
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Old 12-20-2019, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
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If I’m understanding correctly, your real question might be, “How many dollars will (might) I lose by cleaning this gun?”.
Yes and no. Of course I am wanting to maintain it's value but I also want to be a good steward of ownership while it is in my possession.
I'm also into old cars. Some guys like to tear into them and modify them to their taste and others go crazy finding an untouched "barn find" and leave it and enjoy it exactly how they found it. Some will sell or pass on a very original nice car because they can't bring themselves to start modifying and hot rodding it. They look for something already changed from stock.

Things are only original once and, as said above, "you can't unring a bell".

So in car terms I look at this as kind of a "barn find".
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Old 12-20-2019, 01:35 PM
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Are there any indicators that I can look for that would confirm this has only been fired at the mothership?
No. And neither can anyone else.

You said in the OP “what appears to be, the original grease/oil on it”. that means you didn’t get this new and that would be the only way anyone would have of knowing. And that would be if they took your word for it.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that although it’s not NIB, it is LNIB, and can be sold as “appears to be unfired”. Unless you bought that gun new and know its never been fired other than the factory; its not right for you to claim that.
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Old 12-20-2019, 02:25 PM
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Another (likely) indicator (but obviously extremely easy to fake) is that S&W magazines since the 1980’s all have plastic followers, often in bright or light colors and they tend to show at least trace evidence of having been loaded and used for live fire by dirt or trace filth on the follower. NIB 3rd Gens have magazines that appear as if no round of ammo has ever been loaded in to one.

Come to think of it, NIB 3rd Gens also had small round white or colored stickers right on the pistol itself with a number of a packer or inspector, these fell off easily but the presence of one also kind of sets the scene.
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:49 AM
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No. And neither can anyone else.

You said in the OP “what appears to be, the original grease/oil on it”. that means you didn’t get this new and that would be the only way anyone would have of knowing. And that would be if they took your word for it.
My reason for asking about signs of it being fired is for my own knowledge, curiosity really.

[/QUOTE]That’s the bad news. The good news is that although it’s not NIB, it is LNIB, and can be sold as “appears to be unfired”. Unless you bought that gun new and know its never been fired other than the factory; its not right for you to claim that.
[/QUOTE]
Bad news? There is no bad news, I have what appears to be a brand new 3913
I agree, I would never want to claim it as unfired.

So I took this thing apart last night and looked closely for signs of use and compared it to a couple of my other 3rd Gens.
There is no visible wear on the hammer where it rides on the slide.
The barrel hood and lugs show no signs of wear.
The rails have a dirty looking lube on them that is dried out, so they would need to be cleaned to see signs of wear but look good from what I can tell.
There are absolutely no marks on the back of the slide where the levers would hit during a careless reassembly.
I looked at the mag followers under a magnifying glass and I don't see any marks at all, they appear never used.

Cosmetically, I can't find a mark on this thing. I wonder if it was ever field stripped or even out of the box?!
I took a bunch of pics and carefully put it back together but I think the best thing to do is give it a careful cleaning, lube it up, and decide if I want to shoot it or not.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:02 AM
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Bottom line for me would be to find someone that wanted to pay a premium for a LNIB piece and sell it..... If I was younger with disposable income, I may put it in the safe for a decade and take a chance it will increase in value - but would it beat inflation? There are likely better 'investments'. If the inspector sticker is on it I would not touch it. If not, I'd clean and lube it. I like this model. I have had them and carried them. But, I have not become part of the cult that worships them. They are not scarce unless you are looking for one with an immediate need to satisfy. The several I have had presented themselves to me and I took them in at good prices simply because I really like Smith & Wesson branded products.
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Old 12-21-2019, 01:20 PM
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Another spot to look at when judging whether or not one of these S&W metal receiver pistols have been fired is to look at the receiver where the hammer shank contacts it during recoil. Pistols that have been fired will show a mark where the hammer shank bounces on the receiver. The larger and deeper the mark, the more the pistol has been fired.
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Old 12-21-2019, 04:30 PM
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The 39xx guns are a niche gun.

There are quit a few of us here who love it as a concealed carry weapon. I bought a couple over the years in the "real world" where most folks would trade them in for a Glock 19 or 26 because they have more bullets and was in the last action movie they've seen.

Collectible ???? Value????....... to paraphrase John Wayne in "She wore a yellow ribbon".... "maybe in forty or fifty years."

So my advice is clean it up, shoot it and carry it with a nice set of Hogue checkered wood grips.
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:15 PM
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I bought a NIB Shorty40 once. It was definitely new in box because when I took it out the first time, after 4 rounds it locked up completely. The bushing was too tight to the barrel and as soon as it warmed it swelled and locked up. Sent it back to S&W who were confused as to how I had a 15yo gun brand new. They still warrantied it but were hesitant.

Moral of the story, if it hasn’t been shot it might not even work. How much is a NIB gun that might not work worth?


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Old 12-21-2019, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
Another spot to look at when judging whether or not one of these S&W metal receiver pistols have been fired is to look at the receiver where the hammer shank contacts it during recoil.
Haha this is what I attempted to say above but I wrote slide where I had meant to write frame. You described it better than I did.
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  #31  
Old 01-06-2020, 02:14 PM
KWIndy KWIndy is offline
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So I lightly cleaned it, oiled it, and put it back in the original box. I was even careful not to rack the slide more than necessary as to not mark anything up.
Watching one on the big action site that is in the same condition as mine (actually, mine may be "nicer" because the grips on that one have a mark) and it is over $700 with 6 days to go!
I don't think I have seen one go that high....crazy.
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  #32  
Old 01-06-2020, 02:51 PM
1775usmarine 1775usmarine is offline
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Ive noticed on the auction site a decrease in 3rd gens being offered up compared to years past. I see a 4506 at last checking was at 605.
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  #33  
Old 01-06-2020, 03:36 PM
SWCZSIG-Vinny SWCZSIG-Vinny is offline
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I liken this to classic car collecting.
Some think of them as investments, keeping them locked away in the hopes they'll gain significantly in value.
And some like to spend their time polishing and buffing their beauties and trailer hauling them about to car shows.
And then there's those that prefer to focus on keeping them in tip-top shape mechanically; and driving them for enjoyment; perhaps occasionally driving to a car event or track day for the camaraderie and shared 'car talk'.

I guess there's merit to each; but I like driving 'em!

After being asked why he collects cars; one man responded " It's like having a mistress; then finding out she's independently wealthy"

Each to their own.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:03 PM
1775usmarine 1775usmarine is offline
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Originally Posted by SWCZSIG-Vinny View Post
I liken this to classic car collecting.
Some think of them as investments, keeping them locked away in the hopes they'll gain significantly in value.
And some like to spend their time polishing and buffing their beauties and trailer hauling them about to car shows.
And then there's those that prefer to focus on keeping them in tip-top shape mechanically; and driving them for enjoyment; perhaps occasionally driving to a car event or track day for the camaraderie and shared 'car talk'.

I guess there's merit to each; but I like driving 'em!

After being asked why he collects cars; one man responded " It's like having a mistress; then finding out she's independently wealthy"

Each to their own.
Then there's some who beat the snot out of them and still try to get top dollar.
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