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Old August 7, 2013, 11:01 AM   #1
redlevel42
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Why would I want to do that?

SaxonPig's thread on low-cost handguns helped me solve a dilemma, and helped me ease my mind. I responded to his post with some pictures of handguns I have purchased over the last few years at prices ranging from "pretty good bargain," to "a dang good deal!"

I have one of them detail stripped now for cleaning. I discovered there is a refinishing service within 25 miles of me that does extensive work, including Parkerizing. I have long toyed with the idea of taking one, or some, of my old bargain handguns and getting them refinished. But you know what? By the time I paid for the refinish, even if I could get them Parked for $125, they ain't bargains no more.

Why would I want to do that?

Here is one I didn't show in the SaxonPig thread. It is a (I think) 1953 vintage K22. It is freckled pretty badly, and I got it for what I thought was a bargain at $300. (I had just sold a pristine example, with box etc., for $700). If I paid $150-$250 depending on the type of refinish, I would be back in the ballpark of what I could buy a fairly decent, non-finish challenged example.

Naw Suh. I'll just keep rubbing those freckles out every chance I get, and shoot it till I run out of .22 ammo.
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Old August 7, 2013, 12:04 PM   #2
aarondhgraham
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I've been severly tempted as well,,,

I recently purchased a 3" Model 36 square butt,,,
I paid $300.00 for it "out the door".

It is cosmetically challenged,,,
I considered having S&W do a re-blue,,,
The price of that was estimated at about $265.00.

After shipping and everything,,,
It would have doubled the cost of the gun,,,
So I just keep using steel wool and oil to smooth the finish.

People have derided me for applying a bit of cold blue,,,
But the gun is now approaching "pretty" status,,,
All for the cost of a bottle of Birchwood Casey.

I doubt I will ever have a gun re-blued,,,
No matter how tempted I might be.

Aarond

.
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Old August 9, 2013, 04:15 PM   #3
jad0110
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There is something to be said for owning guns that you don't have to fret so much over. And I own both varieties (pristine and well worn) and I love them all for different reasons. In the end, I prefer well worn guns because IMHO the wear tells a story. And as stated, I don't worry if they get bumped or a bit more worn.

Sort of like buying a brand new pickup truck. I know a guy with a $60k 3/4 GMC. He doesn't even haul potting soil with it because he doesn't want to hurt it!

OTH, I could care less if my near 20 year old dented up Yukon gets smacked by a 2x4 or has a bag of cow pooh spill in the back.

A couple of my favorite, well worn guns with loads of character:





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Old August 9, 2013, 08:07 PM   #4
Sevens
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Quote:
There is something to be said for owning guns that you don't have to fret so much over.
I couldn't agree more.

However:
Quote:
I prefer well worn guns because IMHO the wear tells a story.
Problem I have with that is that if I didn't put all the wear on there, or the person who did never shared the tales with me, it's not telling me a story. It's showing me there is a story to be told, but it cannot tell me the story. I can only guess at what the story is. And I just hope the story isn't "I sat under a pair of boxer shorts for 40 years in the top drawer of a dresser in a dank room"

I prefer well-worn guns when I am shopping for guns, because I would so much rather pay less and get more, because like most of you -- what I truly want is to shoot them.

And a worn gun is terrific because I don't have to worry a bit about adding more wear to it. I posted in a very recent thread about the circa 1917 Fourth Change I just found that is four years older than my Grandfather's revolver, and I jumped all over it 3 weeks ago because I so very much wanted a gun I could shoot...so I don't have to shoot my Grandfather's gun.

I have shot my Grandfather's gun. I enjoy it so much more to have, to own, to look at and dwell on -- and I don't have any desire to chip away (more) at the already chipping nickel plating. So this one I just bought that I have no (otherwise) attachment to is going to get shot a lot. I'm loving it already.

As to the very interesting topic here -- I can truly see it both ways. I picked up a '28 Woodsman at a shop one year ago. Functionally, it's 100% and I love that dang thing. But it doesn't have much finish left. If it had a lot of finish, I wouldn't have been able to justify the price tag. Because it's so worn, it was a fine price.

The wear on the Woodsman must have some story, but I have no clue who put the wear on it. The story could be anything. Hell, I'd pay money to hear the story. But I don't think it would be nutty or irrational to have it refinished. It would look like a prince if done right!

But I did buy it to shoot and I tend to direct my funds toward shooting, so I likely won't have such work done. But if someone snuck it off and did it for me as a gift, I would cherish it.
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Old August 9, 2013, 08:27 PM   #5
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Jad, I had a boss who bought a truck like that and kept it so spit-shined that he wouldn't even get into it until he wiped his shoes. A co-worker called it "a show-and-tell pickup truck."

Ultimately, a gun is a tool. And finish has little to do with how it works as a tool. Sure, I like a nice finish, too, because I know it will make the gun more valuable when/if I sell it. But for a using gun, a few nicks or a bit of speckle matter not at all.

Jim
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Old August 9, 2013, 08:55 PM   #6
jad0110
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Quote:
Problem I have with that is that if I didn't put all the wear on there, or the person who did never shared the tales with me, it's not telling me a story. It's showing me there is a story to be told, but it cannot tell me the story.
Well, yeah. I suppose I could have worded it a bit differently. For example, when I hold that DWM P.08, my M1, circa 1945 S&W M&P, etc, and I look at the pitting, holster wear (on the handguns of course), nicks, scratches ... I wonder about their history. Who possessed it, where its been, what it was used for, etc. The mystery of that story is fascinating to me; I definitely have a nostalgic side. I do love 99%+ guns too, I just find the ones that show some use and age more interesting.

I wouldn't refinish a gun either unless there was absolutely no finish left and was therefore rust or corrosion prone. But even then, as you said, shooting them is more fun .

Quote:
Jad, I had a boss who bought a truck like that and kept it so spit-shined that he wouldn't even get into it until he wiped his shoes. A co-worker called it "a show-and-tell pickup truck."
There are lots of show-and-tell trucks out there (well, probably more when gas was cheaper). Heck, I admit to owning a shiny, near flawless truck 10+ years ago, though I at least put it so some light use. Don't get me wrong, I like the pretty new ones, but my first choice in a truck if I didn't own my Yukon would be something like a '95 or older mechnically sound F-150 300 cube inline six stick shift. Good workhorses.

Back to the OP.

That is a really nice 5 screw K-22. $300 for a 100% functional K-22, even if it is worn, is a very good price these days. I own a '59 4 screw K-22. They really do live up to their "Masterpiece" name, don't they?

I think it is a nice looking gun the way it is.

Last edited by jad0110; August 9, 2013 at 09:04 PM.
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Old August 9, 2013, 09:59 PM   #7
Sevens
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Ultimately, a gun is a tool. And finish has little to do with how it works as a tool.
I can agree with this, but only to a point. My Glock 29 is pretty much EXACTLY that. This "tenifer" finish has impressed the heck out of me as it just doesn't want to wear. Over 4k through it, an my EDC, it doesn't seem to want to show exterior wear. That's fine, but it's a bit of a bummer. It is my "working" gun. I do own a couple guns that I can look at and call them "tools."

Most of them aren't tools. To me, they are my "sports car." A guy buys a fast, sharp car, he spends half his time waxing it and polishing the wheels. It's kind of part of the experience. Yeah, he'll do a burnout or "run" another guy on a Friday night. Doesn't have to be a trailer queen, but he'll still wipe it down with a diaper.

I don't own fancy cars. I don't see any in my future. But I have a riot with my handguns and my three most favorite things about them are the way they shoot, the way they look and the strict round count that I keep track of. (the higher, the better) And not necessarily in that order.

My GSG 1911-22 looks all a mess. The finish is cheeeep and I run it wet and rarely clean it. The pistol makes me grin wide...constantly. It's nearing 5k, and if not for the rimfire drought, it would have been closer to 10 by now.
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Old August 9, 2013, 10:17 PM   #8
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Both my HI Power and my M29 have a bunch of finish wear. I kind of like it as I can put them in a holster and not worry about deteriorating the bluing.




Then of course, there is my 1911
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Old August 9, 2013, 10:41 PM   #9
Dragline45
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Quote:
I doubt I will ever have a gun re-blued,,,
No matter how tempted I might be.
Same here. For the price of getting a gun refinished nowadays, it could cost you around half the price of the gun itself. I would rather fork out the other half and buy a brand new gun to keep as a safe queen so I don't really care what happens to the finish on the other.
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Old August 10, 2013, 01:25 AM   #10
radom
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Spend how much $$$ and the gun does not work any better. Kind of like buying a 300 buck pair of boots for a gal you really like to have sex with. May look nice but dont change the end result.
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Old August 10, 2013, 01:56 AM   #11
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I don't like refinishing. It hides the life the firearm has lived.
(Yea, I anthropomorphize a bit.)

When I got my Super Blackhawk back from Ruger with a full refinish done to it, I wasn't sure how to feel - happy that it was 'like new' again, or sad that it no longer showed how much it had been loved.


Behind every rust pit, scratch, ding, dent, and spot of bluing wear... there's a story.
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Old August 10, 2013, 02:56 AM   #12
Bill DeShivs
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You buy BOOTS to have sex???
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Old August 10, 2013, 08:05 AM   #13
SaxonPig
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My philosophy is if you want a pretty gun then buy a pretty gun. Spending money to renew a worn gun is rarely wise from an economics standpoint. I buy guns I can live with as is and enjoy them. Once in a while a pristine gun falls into my hands but I don't look for them and I won't pay a premium for them as they are destined to got work. I would refinish a gun only in an extreme case where the gun is being damaged (like by corrosion) if not refinished.

Last December I bought a 4" Model 29-2 made in 1976. It was in the wooden box and was brand new, never having been fired. It made it 36 years in unfired condition and that lasted 2 days after I got a hold of it.

Serious collectors should thank me for all the pristine guns I have ruined. It makes the ones in their collections that much more valuable.

Oh, here's the 29...


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Old August 10, 2013, 08:27 AM   #14
jad0110
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highpower,

Those are some cool guns! But dang, that 1911, it looks like someone smeared butter and brown sugar all over it and left it in an "easy bake" oven for a few days !
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Old August 10, 2013, 09:47 AM   #15
highpower3006
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Quote:
highpower,

Those are some cool guns! But dang, that 1911, it looks like someone smeared butter and brown sugar all over it and left it in an "easy bake" oven for a few days !
That gun was caught while fishing in a lake in 1961. Who knows how long it had been sleeping with the fishes. When I saw it for sale I just had to have it. Oh, and by the way it shoots pretty good.
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Old August 10, 2013, 09:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
That gun was caught while fishing in a lake in 1961. Who knows how long it had been sleeping with the fishes. When I saw it for sale I just had to have it. Oh, and by the way it shoots pretty good.
I was going to say it looked like it had been in a fire.
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Old August 11, 2013, 01:07 PM   #17
richardcorey
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Many years back I knew an older man who used what had to be the first S&W Model 15 ever sold. The bluing was barely a memory, it had more than a few dings and freckling, the grips were worn almost smooth, and he carried it in sloppy fitting IWB holster that didn't help either. But that pistol had about the best trigger ever, both SA and DA, and made the center ring of a target disappear right now. The old man's comment was "Hell, I don't need pretty." Nuff Said.
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