View Full Version : Restoring an original BBQ gun ???

Magnum Wheel Man
December 19, 2009, 10:33 AM
I have found an original BBQ gun, an old nickel plated & engraved revolver not particularly worth a bunch of money, probably belonged to some sheriff or police chief at some time in the distant past... the nickel is in pretty good shape, but has a few flakes around the barrel cylinder gap, the engraving is very light, & tastefull... I really like it as is, but have been thinking, if there was a way to freshen the nickel, without damaging the original light engraving, I might consider doing this... AFAIK, don't most refinishers bead blast the gun prior to re-nickeling, or polishing, that may remove some depth of the original engraving???

awhile back my buddys & I were talking about BBQ guns for wearing to the couple barn dances that one of us holds a couple times a year, & this old girl would certainly be a stand out as she is, but with a fresh coat of nail polish ( nickel ) she would be the belle of the ball...

any suggestions ( including leave the old girl in her dignity ) ???

BTW... it's an old Safety Police 32 S&W top break, so it's not particularly valuable or collectable

Bill DeShivs
December 19, 2009, 02:01 PM
The nickel can be stripped by chemical or electrolytic means.
If the underlying metal is not pitted, only a small amount of hand polishing will be necessary before replating.
Contact a real plater for this work-someone like Ford's.

December 20, 2009, 11:24 AM
As you said - permit the old gun the dignity of remaining unmolested in its old age.

I love the appearance of old guns (and old everything, actually), and have never understood the powerful urge that some people have to "improve" (read: ruin) fascinating pieces of history. Doesn't have to be an important or valuable piece of history - it's the connection to the past that matters to people like me.

That's not to say that the gun's a valuable collectible - from what you've said, it likely isn't. But that's no reason to disturb its well-earned retirement by peeling its skin off. (By the way, what exactly is this revolver - maker, caliber, etc.?).

Magnum Wheel Man
December 20, 2009, 01:23 PM
(By the way, what exactly is this revolver - maker, caliber, etc.?).

from my 1st post... "BTW... it's an old Safety Police 32 S&W top break" Hopkins & Allen... just picked it up on G.B.


Bill DeShivs
December 20, 2009, 02:22 PM
I would not refinish that gun.

December 20, 2009, 02:27 PM
I would not refinish that one either. A very nice piece of history, and just a bit mellowed with age. Classic.

December 20, 2009, 07:16 PM
Magnum, I should have read your post more carefully. :o

By the way, I hope I didn't sound too confrontational about the refinishing issue - it's just that I really love old guns and I guess I'm always trying to proselytize others into the same mindset.

Still, after seeing the picture, my opinion is only reinforced - I hope you enjoy it just as it is.

December 20, 2009, 07:33 PM
She's beautiful as is, just keep her clean and enjoy!

December 20, 2009, 07:36 PM
That's purty as is.. I agree don't do anything to it.

James K
December 20, 2009, 10:16 PM
Take a good look at the action of that H&A and I think you will be interested in the way they solved the "hit the hammer" problem without a hammer block or a transfer bar.

And I agree with not trying to refinish that gun. It looks fine as it is.


Magnum Wheel Man
December 21, 2009, 09:27 AM
Thanks guys... I think she's a purdy old gal myself... ( with or without fresh "nail polish" )