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Old August 29, 2006, 05:11 PM   #1
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Nickel vs Blue vs Stainless??

Which of these finishes on older S&W's and Colt's is most collectable and command the best resale value??
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Old August 29, 2006, 05:28 PM   #2
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Its the model vs finish not so much the finish

Value for the 3 finishes depends more on model. How many were made, how few were made and how desirable that model is. The other is how much you want the gun.
For me a NIB Blued 27 in 5 inch barrel is worth more than any other N frame built since the late 50’s.
My suggestion is to go to the following web sight and see what the asking price is for guns that you’re your looking at and go from there. This sight has thousands of Smiths and Colts
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Old August 29, 2006, 05:46 PM   #3
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Blued and Nickel are going to be the only old finishes that were available. Stainless steel didn't arrive on the scene until S&W introduced it in the Model 60, I forget when circa late 60's early 70's maybe. hpg
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Old August 29, 2006, 09:57 PM   #4
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This to me is totally subjective...

but my preferences are, in order, blued, nickle and no real revolvers were made in stainless.
To err is human, to forgive is devine. Neither happen to be my policy.
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Old August 29, 2006, 11:18 PM   #5
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Like what has been said, you have to look at the individual model and production or perceived rarity. My personal preference are BLUE revolvers with a few nickel plated ones thrown in for good measure.
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Old August 29, 2006, 11:40 PM   #6
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I'm probably wrong, but it seems nickle has fallen out of favor. Blued-steel is my favorite, with walnut grips. I have one stainless steel revolver (Smith 60) that seemed like a good idea for backpacking years ago, but I still have it and shoot it regularly. Whatever tickles your fancy is a good finish.
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Old August 30, 2006, 09:34 AM   #7
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Blue 27's are really popular right now. The one everybody seems to want is the 31/2". Nickel is popular also but it has to come from the factory that way. To a collector, a renickle or reblue is just a shooter and no real value is put on it other than a shooter.
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Old August 30, 2006, 03:52 PM   #8
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How can you tell if a nickel finish is factory or after- market??
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Old August 30, 2006, 04:49 PM   #9
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How can you tell if a nickel finish is factory or after- market??

Generally, it's confusing. Smith and Wesson has in the past used an upper case N on the grip frame, rear of the cylinder, inside the side plate, etc. to denote a part that would be plated. This, if present, is an indicator even though it was used primarily on the plant floor. Nickle parts weren't always polished as well as blued parts. You can also look for other indicators. Nickle S&W's always had case hardened hammers and triggers. The rear sights and extractor star were always blue. A factory re-plate doesn't have nearly as negative an effect on value as one done by Bubba's Bumper Shop.
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Old August 30, 2006, 05:44 PM   #10
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Nickel Factory Stamp Locations

To add to the previous response, S&W also stamped up under the extractor rod are on some with the Initial "N" when the finish is Nickel. And to even make it more confusing, some revolver's were customer ordered and may not be stamped at all as they were hand carried through the assembly Process. To me GOOD Nickel is in, as a GOOD bluing is in on revolver's. if they have sign's of Holster burn on the end of the barrel, or high spots of the revolver, Price drops considerably, and this is a direct turn off to me. Refinishing does not effect what I will pay for a gun given the refinisher did the job right. Too many refinishing shop's get carried away with the final polishing before finish is applied, and this shows in weak stamping marks on the revolver, along with rounded off edges and Oval screw hole locations on the sideplate are also common. I Like Nickel, as it polishes better than Blued, and is more forgiving if scratched to come back to it's original Lustre, as Bluing is not repairable once damage has been done short of Rebluing the revolver. Hammer It.
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Old September 9, 2006, 11:44 AM   #11
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You can touch up blue. You can polish stainless.
But if a scratch goes through the nickel layer and into the copper layer it will eventually flake.
ANd once nickel starts to flake the only thing you can do is refinish the entire piece.

Some solvents such as Hoppes #9 will eat through nickel.
The fabric (wool is especially bad) inside some gun rugs and cases will attack standard nickel.

Now don't get me wrong. Nickel is pretty. And nickel will withstand light rust better than blueing. But if you keep a blued surface clean and oiled (and waxed) it will last a long time.

All finishes will wear in time. Faster if not taken care of.
But a little TLC goes a long way.

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Old September 9, 2006, 12:13 PM   #12
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proud owner of a couple stainless Smiths and one of my Smiths is nickel plated
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Old September 10, 2006, 07:16 PM   #13
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I have a polished stainless Taurus M44. I got a great deal on it, and it has kind of grown on me.
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