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Old September 19, 2012, 11:14 AM   #1
aarondhgraham
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Quote for a re-blue and tune-up from S&W,,,

I recently purchased a 3" Model 36 at the Evil Pawn Shop,,,
It has some cosmetic flaws that only affect the aesthetics of the gun.

I e-mailed S&W and asked for a quote to re-blue the gun,,,
I also asked for a tune-up because, well,,, why not.

Here is what he wrote to me:

Quote:
That being said, I couldn’t give you an accurate quote without seeing the gun, but ballpark full re-blue and tune up would be something around $220, and of course the work is guaranteed. If you are not satisfied with the price quote, we can ship the gun back to you at no charge.
I thought you gentlemen would like to know what S&W is charging for their services.

I may or may not send it in for the work,,,
But it's nice to know they will cover the return shipping in any event.

Aarond

.
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Old September 19, 2012, 11:21 AM   #2
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I'd recommend sending it to Smith & Wesson. Their prices seem lower the normal gunsmiths charge for such services plus you get the S&W blue.

I have a set of hot tanks and do all my bluing, except my S&W revolvers. I would send them to S&W, even though if I did them it wouldnt cost anything.
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Old September 19, 2012, 11:41 AM   #3
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As you stated, "It has some cosmetic flaws that only affect the aesthetics of the gun." From that I understand then that the function of the gun is acceptable. That being the case, you might want to consider how much spending $200 will depreciate the value of the then re-blued gun. Unless it is a total wreck, most often re-blued guns are worth much less than if it was left alone with normal wear.
If you're not concerned with the possibility of decreasing it's value, and just want it "pretty", then S&W service sounds like the way to go.
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Old September 19, 2012, 11:55 AM   #4
aarondhgraham
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Hiya Cheapshooter,,,

Quote:
If you're not concerned with the possibility of decreasing it's value, and just want it "pretty",
Yep, I know re-blueing it will affect it's potential resale value,,,
But since I usually buy guns just for my pleasure,,,
It doesn't really matter very much to me.

I hear where you are coming from though,,,
I have a Colt Trooper MK-III that has heavy surface wear on it,,,
I've been tempted to have it re-blued but it's collector value might increase dramatically in a few short years.

It's always a swap out on decisions like this,,,
In the case of this little S&W I'm leaning towards her being pretty again.

Aarond

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Old September 19, 2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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If you paid less than $300 for it and really like this particular gun, then go for it. However, if you paid more than $300, sell it, get your money out of it and buy a pristine one for about $550.

I have no fundamental problem with re-bluing a decent gun. But, my decision is going to be based on the total amount I will have into that gun. For example, I bought a great functioning but ugly 1957 Python for a little less than $1,000. I let Colt refinish it for about $350. So, I've got about $1,350 into the gun, and it's probably worth that or just a tad more. Colt did a beautiful job and to me it was worth it. At a gun show, I could probably get $1,500+ for it easily because it shows so nicely, and you won't see any nice looking Pythons at gun shows for less than $2,000 where I am.

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Old September 19, 2012, 01:19 PM   #6
aarondhgraham
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Skans, you are psychic,,,

Quote:
If you paid less than $300 for it and really like this particular gun, then go for it. However, if you paid more than $300, sell it, get your money out of it and buy a pristine one for about $550.
I bought the gun on Friday for exactly $300.00 out the door.

Sunday I went to a small gun show where I saw two very nice specimens for $525.00 and $575.00.

I really do like the little pistol,,,
I just don't know if I like it $220.00 much.

Aarond

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Old September 19, 2012, 01:44 PM   #7
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If you are going to refinish, why not refinish with a finish that is better than bluing? Hard chrome, nickel, nitriding are very durable. A reblue will wear quickly, and offers little protection to the gun.
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Old September 19, 2012, 01:53 PM   #8
C5rider
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It's easy to spend someone else's money, but....

I've seen your gun Aarond. She's a nice one and the perceived dip in value that it would take with a nice shade of blue applied doesn't make me like it any less. I've got a DW 22 that I'm thinking of doing the same with. It's a good shooter and if it had a little touch up, it'd make it a GREAT shooter for me.

I've been into cars for decades and all too often, I see owners simply preserving a car for the next owner. There's something about trying to keep things nice, but denying yourself to make the next POTENTIAL buyer happy just doesn't sound right to me.

Your mileage may vary, not valid in all states of mind and does not include tax, tags and title!
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Old September 19, 2012, 01:57 PM   #9
aarondhgraham
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Hello Bill DeShivs,,,

Quote:
...why not refinish with a finish that is better than bluing?
That's a good question,,,
The answer is probably because,,,
I'm not familiar with anything other than nickel.

My mind just automatically goes to blue.

What would be a ballpark guess-timate to nickel plate a 3" Model 36?

Aarond

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Old September 19, 2012, 03:24 PM   #10
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The 3 inch model 36 is one of my very,very favorite J-frames. Why not just keep it as is for a good knock around gun. Throw in the tackle box for fishing or in a tool box when camping. That way you won't worry about dinging it up. I'm sure you'll want another one so just go find a nickel plated for around $375 to $425.

The 3 inch 36's are like a Lays potato chip, you can't have just one.
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Old September 19, 2012, 05:16 PM   #11
Bill DeShivs
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Hard chrome is probably the most durable finish. Mahovsky's Metalife, Armoloy, and Metaloy are good things to search. Ford's plating does excellent nickel work. As a matter of fact, S&W will probably nickel your gun for just a few dollars more than blue.
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Old September 19, 2012, 07:03 PM   #12
aarondhgraham
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Thanks Bill,,,

You've given me something to think about.

Aarond

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Old September 19, 2012, 07:46 PM   #13
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Aaron, in my opinion the first buy, the $300 was a good deal. You got a quality arm there and its in the not often seen configuration. I'd say right now, its worth more than what you paid.

I don't think S&W rebluing it would kill the collector value. Thats debatable. They would surely do a good job. However, is it even worth the $220? Of course their work is, but really you gotta add it all together which makes for an investment of $520. $220 sounds pretty good for their work, but the cheapest option would be IMO to keep it as is, and wait for a better one, more to your standards. Then you could always sell yours to someone else. They would buy it for the same reason as you. I say this all because the model 36 is fairly common, and I imagine you will find a really nice one for a really fair price at some point.

I know you aren't the selling type, but you never know what the future holds. At $520 in, and its re-done, I don't see you breaking even. Of course some don't care about that, but there are tons of guns for sale due to the economy. Tons of deals to be found. If you have to have a 3 in sq butt like you have, that would take some degree of patience BUT I think its the wiser move to wait for another. You just don't know what the future holds...

In the end, the right answer is what makes you happy. I like to get that 'bang' for my buck is all. To some, that doesn't matter and thats fine. Good luck in whatever choice(s) you make.
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Old September 19, 2012, 09:36 PM   #14
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Wouldn't the fact that the gun had been reblued by the original manufacturer be a better investment than a regular gunsmith reblue?
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Old September 20, 2012, 10:04 AM   #15
aarondhgraham
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The money dynamic is strange,,,

I paid $300.00,,,
If I paid $220.00 for a re-blue,,,
Plus $25.00 to ship it to the S&W Facility,,,
I would have a total investment of $545.00 in the gun.

I did see two of the exact same guns at a small gun show last Sunday,,,
The asking price for them was $525.00 and $575.00,,,
Both were in very nice shape with little wear.

I'm not sure if I would have paid those table prices for either handgun,,,
But since I have already paid off the $300.00 purchase price,,,
The $245.00 for re-blue and shipping doesn't seem bad.

It's like splitting the cost into two amounts,,,
Somehow makes it seem like less money.

It's kind of like reversing the old saw,,,
"The whole is greater than the sum of the parts".

I am going to wait a month or so before I make my decision,,,
I'll keep mulling it over in my mind for a good long while,,,
Let's see if it's as important in a month as it now seems.

For the time being I'll just concentrate on new leather for Libby,,,
I'll worry about a face-lift in a month or so.

Thanks for all the replies and thoughtful input,,,
You gentlemen have given me lots of food for thought.

Aarond

.
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Old September 20, 2012, 10:06 AM   #16
aarondhgraham
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Hello rightside,,,

Quote:
Wouldn't the fact that the gun had been reblued by the original manufacturer be a better investment than a regular gunsmith reblue?
I truly don't know if it would matter or not,,,
But if I were selling it after a S&W factory re-blue job,,,
You can bet your bottom dollar I would be using that as a selling point.

Aarond

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Old September 20, 2012, 05:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Wouldn't the fact that the gun had been reblued by the original manufacturer be a better investment than a regular gunsmith reblue?
I think the question is a little more in depth than that. Both forms of reblue are an added expense, that may not increase their cost to the gun. Bubba might do a reblue for $80, and then make his $350+ current S&W 36 a $250 gun. The S&W job would IMO make it more like a $400 gun UNLESS you were to forget to pass it along that the gun was refinished. I don't think Aaron would do that however. For me, professional reblue, or amateur, the end result is bad math.

Quote:
I paid $300.00,,,
If I paid $220.00 for a re-blue,,,
Plus $25.00 to ship it to the S&W Facility,,,
I would have a total investment of $545.00 in the gun.

I did see two of the exact same guns at a small gun show last Sunday,,,
The asking price for them was $525.00 and $575.00,,,
Both were in very nice shape with little wear.
Two considerations here: those were worth more than a reblued one, even a S&W reblued example AND, I bet they didn't sell.

Quote:
I am going to wait a month or so before I make my decision,,,
I'll keep mulling it over in my mind for a good long while,,,
Let's see if it's as important in a month as it now seems.
Nothing wrong with that. All of the absolutes will remain the same. Its a decision that warrants careful thought IMO. For $545, you would have nearly 2 of these S&W 36s for $300 each out the door. Too bad there was only one, but who knows next time around...

The "evil pawnshop guy" works like my friend Joe's FFL shop. He has about 5 guys on speed dial and can quickly move most of the good used guns that come into his shop. Instead of calling him "evil" I thank him, because his prices are fair, and I like getting new guns. I feel like he's doing me a favor, and then I help him make a quick sale. The yin and yang.

Quote:
I'm not sure if I would have paid those table prices for either handgun,,,
But since I have already paid off the $300.00 purchase price,,,
The $245.00 for re-blue and shipping doesn't seem bad.
That's true, like making two payments towards what would be a beautiful little revolver. You could however flip the situation over, and realize that if you sold your current model 36 for $350 (I think that's a fair price), you would only need $100 more to look for a really nice S&W 36. For $500, with patience, you should be able to find a clean boxed gun. Of course, I would look on the net, but I'm not sure if you do that or not. Overall, I've won more than I lost on the net. If you look at the guns as a hobby, which you do, you could recycle that so-so condition gun that you bought right, into treasure - say a boxed gun from the 60s or maybe a baby chief!!! You never know what will come next.
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Old September 20, 2012, 09:48 PM   #18
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Unless things have changed radically, a reblue by S&W will be almost impossible to tell from the original factory finish (which is why S&W puts a special mark on the guns they refinish). The price quoted for refinish and "tuneup" (which in S&W terms probably means a complete rebuild) seems reasonable and not out of line with gunsmith charges for the same work.

If you feel it is too much to spend on that particular gun, that is a value judgement. But if you want the work done, IMHO you will probably be better having it done by S&W than by a local gunsmith.

(I don't like to knock local shops, I worked in several. But in one place, the guy they had doing the polishing could make a $50 gun out of a $1000 gun very quickly. He never left a hole undished or a marking intact, and every corner was "melted" even before folks did it deliberately. I once tried to get him to polish the sideplate and frame together to elimnate the "trench" and was told off by the boss, who liked "mirror" finishes. Oh, well.)

Jim
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Old September 20, 2012, 09:57 PM   #19
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I would send it to Robar and have it np3 I've always wanted to send my Ruger security six to them. I've seen a couple of 6guns np3 and they look great. They charge about 100 bucks more than smith but that includes np3ing all internal parts.

http://robarguns.com/np3.htm
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Old September 20, 2012, 10:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Unless things have changed radically, a reblue by S&W will be almost impossible to tell from the original factory finish (which is why S&W puts a special mark on the guns they refinish). The price quoted for refinish and "tuneup" (which in S&W terms probably means a complete rebuild) seems reasonable and not out of line with gunsmith charges for the same work.
Hertz - not exactly. They started bluing using a different bluing process/chemical because of cyanide (IIRC) aka worker safety and or legality issues. This is per S&W. So now, the bluing has a different shade because it has a different chemical makeup. S&W told me that you can definitely tell them apart side by side. The rep said to me that the modern bluing has more of a black look whereas the old blue is more of a dark blue in color.

Also, per S&W, they no longer mark the frames in anyway. I asked them that too. Unless they put some little mark somewhere not noticeable or unless the info given was wrong. I didn't notice any new marks when I had them refinish my 27-2, BUT I took their word for it that it would not be marked.
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Old September 20, 2012, 11:28 PM   #21
Bill DeShivs
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This is just my personal opinion:
I would never have a gun reblued, unless it was a true restoration of a valuable classic that was in "relic" condition.
If I was going to refinish a gun, it would be to customize or upgrade the finish. Refinishing devalues guns, so why not upgrade the finish to something more durable than bluing? Bluing offers darned little in the way of rust protection. Other than for aesthetics, bluing is a terrible finish-surpassed by several other applications mentioned earlier.
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Old September 21, 2012, 02:26 AM   #22
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Libby

Hey Aarond, I would just think of "Libby's" finish as what would have been natural as she aged. A little rough around the edges, but still has the "Moxie".
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Old September 21, 2012, 06:24 AM   #23
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I agree with vostracker that a little wear is just a natural part of the aging process. I am reminded of this each time I shave in the morning! As far as spending the money for a factory tuneup and re-blue, whether or not it is justified by re-sale value really would not matter to me. It is a fine old revolver that when refinished by S&W (if you choose to) will be like new. If having the old girl in good-as-new condition makes you happy then $545 seems reasonable to me. Spending your money is kind of fun...
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Old September 21, 2012, 07:57 AM   #24
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Quote:
a little wear is just a natural part of the aging process. I am reminded of this each time I shave in the morning!
Yeah, but if i could spend $240 to make myself look like I did 20 some odd years ago, I'd spend it in a heartbeat!
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Old September 21, 2012, 11:36 AM   #25
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Thanks for the info Aarond and for your seconding Kraig....I've been considering refinishing my long-time carry piece...a 3" M36 with that old flat black finish, S&W used 25 yrs ago. I scratched the hell out of mine when weed-wacking one afternoon...and I've been remorseful ever since. Mind you, I'm not a fan of pristine guns, mine are all carry qualified, and honest wear from holster or pocket is OK, but those scratches scream neglect...and bear witness to one of the few times I've been guilty of that personality disorder with my guns.

As to the devaluation issue after a factory refinish...those scratches would negate that, I'd think...and too, that gun's a carry piece and will be for my sons and grand-daughters. As Bob Wright opined in another thread, "life's too short to tote an ugly gun to a SD gunfight!"

Rod
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