Old and/or used a lot doesn't have to equate with worn.
The pair of High Standard Sport Kings shown are both guns that date back to 1979. The top gun has several thousand rounds through it and has spent many hours in the field & at the range. It's serial number is XXXXX05.
The bottom gun ibelonged to my late father in law. He liked the looks of mine so much, he bought one just like it. It's serial number is XXXXX09. It's never been fired. He bought it and put it in his safe and it only came out of the safe a couple of years ago when my mother in law was getting rid of his old belongings. It now belongs to my wife.
You have to carefully look at them to tell the difference.I can only tell the difference by looking at the front sight to see if it's been filed down or not.
They're nickle finish, not stainless by the way.
The second pair of Ruger .22/45's are about 5 years apart in age. The top one I bought in the late 1990's. I shot that gun heavily for about three years, averaging about 600 rounds per week or more.
I estimate it has over 100,000 rounds through it.
The bottom gun I bought in 2005 or 2006. I estimate it only has a couple of hundred rounds through it, if that.
Other than a very slight mark near the muzzle and slight discoloration of the chamber, you can't tell them apart.
Other than normal routine cleaning, the top gun hasn't had an special treatment.
It's never been in a holster either which would probably account for the lack of wear.
The third pair of S&W Model 17's date back to the 1970's and early 1980.
I've owned them since about 2000.
I bought them used.
They haven't been shot in that time more than - maybe- 200 rounds each. I have no idea how many rounds in total they've been fired. Possibly ony the couple hundred rounds I put through them, possibly more.
There's only a very faint drag line on the cylinders so I don't believe they were used that much.
Whenever I shoot or take the guns out for any reason, and this applies to all of them, I always wipe them off with a silicone cloth after I'm done with them.
If I've been to the range, I wipe them down and wrap them in an old t-shirt and stick them in a carry bag.
I give them a good cleaning ASAP after they've been fired.
Bottom line is if you take care of the gun and don't holster it, excessive wear to the bluing isn't something to worry about. You should only get some drag marks on the cylinder.
If you holster the gun and carry it around - say carry it as a hiking gun or walking around gun - then some additional wear is bound to happen.
Blue or stainless is fine in either regard.
Stainless will be more forgiving though and depending on how close to ocean you are, it would be better for salt.