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  #1  
Old 03-28-2021, 12:12 AM
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What to do with a "shooter" 3904?? What to do with a "shooter" 3904?? What to do with a "shooter" 3904?? What to do with a "shooter" 3904?? What to do with a "shooter" 3904??  
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Default What to do with a "shooter" 3904??

I've got a 3904 that's the best feeling pistol I own (and I have a few). But the slide is in the white (how I got it and it bothers me not in the least).

I'd like to put a couple of bucks into it (say $200ish) and am wondering what folks would do if it were their gun.

Trigger goes bang DA at about 11 pounds and 6 pounds SA (I'd like to get that down to 4ish).

A fiber optic front sight might be nice. I kinda like the "wings" on the aft sights.

I could send it to BMCM but he's got two of mine now and was thinking of doing some work myself or it it's just sights using my local smith.

So what should I do to stimulate my 3904 with $200 of my stimulus check?? Reblue? Ceracote? Sights? Trigger work? Other?
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Old 03-28-2021, 02:53 AM
DMcBB DMcBB is offline
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Redcoat, you said the slide is in the white, but the pics look like blued steel. Am I taking crazy pills again?
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Old 03-28-2021, 04:27 AM
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I had a 6904 in similar condition a couple of years back. I paid (a local gun dealer that also does light gunsmithing) about $50 bucks to have just the slide ceracoated in a satin black. Turned out great, and was wearing well.

Then somebody whipped out the cash when I priced it at what I thought was a "too high" price. I went and bought a stainless version (6906) and was able to purchase 6 more magazines (15 rounders) and some magazine adapters with the cash.

I won't be making that mistake again, but I'm really happy with the 6906. The ceracote seemed really durable against holster wear & such. I kinda miss that pistol.

Good luck whichever way you go, and please post up some "after" pictures. I can't seem to find mine on this phone. :-(
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Old 03-28-2021, 07:48 AM
Heymatt Heymatt is offline
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If it’s a” shooter” they don’t need to be pretty. Get the trigger to where you’re happy and enjoy it. The guy I use has some touch up stuff for the bluing he used on my 5904. I know where he touched up and I can’t tell the difference.
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Old 03-28-2021, 09:15 AM
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I'd spend the money on a trigger job.
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Old 03-28-2021, 09:29 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is online now
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I would counsel starting with a trigger job... that’s the one thing you must have to make your “shooter” what it should be. As for the slide, if it’s not having rusting problems or something similar, and if you like the ‘57 Chevy tail fins on your rear sight, I’d just keep it oiled and leave it alone. If you decide on optical sights of some other such “upgrade, then would be the time to have it reblued or treated with Ceracoat while it’s already disassembled. Of course that will blow by your $200 budget, but if you just have the trigger job done, you might be able to afford a box of ammo or some components to load for more shooting!

Last edited by Green Frog; 03-31-2021 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 03-28-2021, 10:39 AM
VictorLouis VictorLouis is offline
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I'd just prep the **** out of that slide and cold-blue to give it a richer, black coloring. THEN, if you wanted to spend $ on a smith to work your trigger, so be it.
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Old 03-28-2021, 11:45 AM
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If Bill is busy , and it sounds like he is , shoot quizztaco a pm . He's working on a 457 for me now that if I was in Texas would be a barbecue gun . I traded a 5903 , an Atlanta PD pistol , for the work , so he's familiar with the 39-5900 series . He's posted about some of his other builds and they are something to see .
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Old 03-28-2021, 05:35 PM
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Watch the YouTube video series on "Gunsmithing S&W 3rd Generation Pistol". IIRC, the third video in the 4 video series shows how to do some action work yourself.

I asked the gunsmith at my LGS, a Glock guy, to view the videos and tell me if he thought he could do the job with his selection of stones for a reasonable price on my 5906. He could and did. The results were great and the price was right.
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Old 03-28-2021, 07:06 PM
rincar rincar is online now
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Buy $200.00 worth of ammo and shoot the snot out of it. The trigger might improve. you can always paint the slide black. Like the British did with their WW2 weapons. Don't remember the name of the paint. Good luck and have fun with your gun.
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Old 03-28-2021, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rincar View Post
Buy $200.00 worth of ammo and shoot the snot out of it. The trigger might improve. you can always paint the slide black. Like the British did with their WW2 weapons. Don't remember the name of the paint. Good luck and have fun with your gun.
If ya want the slide an inexpensive "shooter grade" black, here's what I have done in the past to several Israeli ( IDF) surplus Hi Powers. Bath the slide in white vinegar for a few days which will remove the finish and get the slide truly to white. Remove any trace of impurities and oils with an aerosol degreaser. Go to your favorite auto parts store and buy a couple spray cans of engine block paint. Follow the instructions. Give it several light coats, letting it dry thoroughly between coats. You'll be pleasantly surprised how nice the slide turns out.
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Last edited by OLDSTER; 03-29-2021 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 03-29-2021, 09:52 AM
VASCAR2 VASCAR2 is offline
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I bought a used S&W 439 and the finish was in poor condition. I wanted a pistol I could shoot and tinker with so I added black anodizing to the bare spots on the frame. I cleaned the exterior with alcohol prior to using anodizing or cold blue. I used a hair drier to warm the metal of the slide and followed the directions on the Birchwood Casey cold blue.

The heat really helps the blueing and my pistol looks much better.

I can’t remember there being any rust on my 439 but a good remedy for removing rust on blued guns is to use a copper penny and oil. I usually use Breakfree CLP on the penny. I rub the rusty area slowly and have an old soft cotton T shirt to rub the wet surface dry. I’ve had good results with this method on rust. If the blue is gone after the rust is removed I use the cold blue with heat. I had an issued blued 870 shotgun get wet and rust from a leaking trunk in a police car. I fixed it in this manner and you couldn’t see the couple of spots after I finished.

Last edited by VASCAR2; 03-29-2021 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 03-29-2021, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcoat3340 View Post
I've got a 3904 that's the best feeling pistol I own (and I have a few). But the slide is in the white (how I got it and it bothers me not in the least).

I'd like to put a couple of bucks into it (say $200ish) and am wondering what folks would do if it were their gun.

Trigger goes bang DA at about 11 pounds and 6 pounds SA (I'd like to get that down to 4ish).

A fiber optic front sight might be nice. I kinda like the "wings" on the aft sights.

I could send it to BMCM but he's got two of mine now and was thinking of doing some work myself or it it's just sights using my local smith.

So what should I do to stimulate my 3904 with $200 of my stimulus check?? Reblue? Ceracote? Sights? Trigger work? Other?
go shoot it!!!

Randy
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Old 03-30-2021, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
I would counsel starting with a trigger job... that’s the one thing you must have to make your “shooter” what it should be. As for the slide, if it’s not having rusting problems or something similar, and if you like the ‘55 Chevy tail fins on your rear sight, I’d just keep it oiled and leave it alone. If you decide on optical sights of some other such “upgrade, then would be the time to have it reblued or treated with Ceracoat while it’s already disassembled. Of course that will blow by your $200 budget, but if you just have the trigger job done, you might be able to afford a box of ammo or some components to load for more shooting!
Maybe you meant '57?
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Old 03-30-2021, 10:29 PM
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What to do with it?
It's a "shooter"...
...so SHOOT it!
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:07 AM
PJO1425 PJO1425 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VASCAR2 View Post
I bought a used S&W 439 and the finish was in poor condition. I wanted a pistol I could shoot and tinker with so I added black anodizing to the bare spots on the frame. I cleaned the exterior with alcohol prior to using anodizing or cold blue. I used a hair drier to warm the metal of the slide and followed the directions on the Birchwood Casey cold blue.

The heat really helps the blueing and my pistol looks much better.

I can’t remember there being any rust on my 439 but a good remedy for removing rust on blued guns is to use a copper penny and oil. I usually use Breakfree CLP on the penny. I rub the rusty area slowly and have an old soft cotton T shirt to rub the wet surface dry. I’ve had good results with this method on rust. If the blue is gone after the rust is removed I use the cold blue with heat. I had an issued blued 870 shotgun get wet and rust from a leaking trunk in a police car. I fixed it in this manner and you couldn’t see the couple of spots after I finished.
Was the leaking squad car (trunk) an '88 Caprice? I had the same thing happen to me, shotgun was an IL state police issue S&W 3000, it also rusted.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:18 AM
VASCAR2 VASCAR2 is offline
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It was a Chevrolet Caprice utility car and I can’t remember if it was a 1991 or a 1995. It was a new Remington 870 I was issued to replace an old S&W 3000. When I transferred from D-15 to D-19 I got whatever equipment they could find. I had all new equipment I had to leave when I transferred off the Tollway. I know I carried the S&W 3000 for several years.
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Old 03-31-2021, 02:41 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhump1961 View Post
Maybe you meant '57?
Yep! Fixed it.
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Old 03-31-2021, 06:21 PM
PJO1425 PJO1425 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VASCAR2 View Post
It was a Chevrolet Caprice utility car and I can’t remember if it was a 1991 or a 1995. It was a new Remington 870 I was issued to replace an old S&W 3000. When I transferred from D-15 to D-19 I got whatever equipment they could find. I had all new equipment I had to leave when I transferred off the Tollway. I know I carried the S&W 3000 for several years.
I was in D-15 (Elgin to Belvidere, or Belvidere to Wisconsin line), 1969-72. I had VASCAR (when it was working) in D-17 (LaSalle) in the late '70s & early '80s.
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