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Old January 11, 2019, 02:53 PM   #1
mellow_c
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how to clean the S&W medallion?

I'm looking at buying some original old wood stocks for a smith of mine that unfortunately had one of the original slabs damaged during shipping.

The new matching set I'm looking at are pristine and original. . . The only problem is that one of the medallions looks nice and clean and silver, while the other has a slight goldish tint and some dark green around the edges.

Is there a silver plating over these with brass underneath? That would make sense as to why one looks perfect and the other looks tarnished. Is there any hope that I could clean the greenish one up enough to match the perfect one on the other side or will they always look different?

These stocks would be an online purchase so I'm just asking questions before I buy.
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Old January 11, 2019, 03:26 PM   #2
lamarw
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A lot depends on the material used in the medallions. Some are akin to plastic and some are metal. Check it with a magnet. I generally use a qtip and some soapy water. If it is metal, then some mild cleaning compound applied gently and wiped off with a different qtip.

You have a good question, and I await advise from others that might help both of us.
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Old January 11, 2019, 03:33 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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Highly unlikely to be silver. Most likely chromed. I suspect it'd cost more in time, mostly, to clean any of 'em.
Dark green may be copper oxide. Literally the copper coming out of the brass alloy.
"...always look different..." A very decided maybe. You can always clean both sides, but it'll depend on what's on the thing to start. I think the tarnished side may have gotten wet in storage.
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Old January 11, 2019, 05:24 PM   #4
OneFreeTexan
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How can you see both sides at the same time?
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Old January 11, 2019, 06:58 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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S&W grip medallions are made of nickel plated brass. A magnet won't tell you anything about non ferrous metals or plastic.

If one is yellow, it's because the nickel plating has worn off.
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Old January 12, 2019, 07:27 AM   #6
arquebus357
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Get a junk S&W grip set off ebay for say $10, $15. Grind the medallion tail piece from the aluminum washer, remove medallion and replace the green one. Be aware though, collectors would find that green medallion an example of patina. I'm kind of a medallion maven. I even detail mine with a sharpie causing collectors to vomit

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Old January 12, 2019, 12:38 PM   #7
lamarw
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Bill, there are S&W grips made out of several materials. Some of the older K38's medallions were made of steel which a magnet will stick to.
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Old January 12, 2019, 03:06 PM   #8
Bill DeShivs
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I have never seen steel medallions. Why would they make them from steel?
K-38 medallion WASHERS were steel. Perhaps this is what your magnet was attracted to.

I'm not saying they couldn't be made of steel-just that there is no reason to. Stamping them out of steel would certainly wear out the dies more quickly.
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Old January 12, 2019, 07:29 PM   #9
lamarw
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Understand Bill, I am simply saying there are S&W stock medallions made from a metal that will attract and hold a small magnet. I have a set of stocks with them on my K-38 (Pre-Model 15). It has been discussed on the S&W Forum on several occasions.

To my knowledge a vast majority are made from brass or a form of metal not drawn to a magnet. Then there are the later years of plastic medallions.
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Old January 13, 2019, 06:45 AM   #10
Cosmodragoon
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arquebus357, whatever the "real collectors" have to say about it, I think that looks wonderfully sharp against the white of the grips.
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Old January 13, 2019, 08:12 AM   #11
lamarw
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A little silver leaf rub 'n buff will help for discolored medallions. Just take care and not get it on the wood stocks. It is a temporary fix.
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Old January 13, 2019, 09:40 AM   #12
Buckeye!
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White vinegar.. soft tooth brush
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Old January 13, 2019, 03:15 PM   #13
laytonj1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarw View Post
Understand Bill, I am simply saying there are S&W stock medallions made from a metal that will attract and hold a small magnet. I have a set of stocks with them on my K-38 (Pre-Model 15). It has been discussed on the S&W Forum on several occasions.

To my knowledge a vast majority are made from brass or a form of metal not drawn to a magnet. Then there are the later years of plastic medallions.
Per the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, in 1950 S&W went from its normal plated brass medallions to plastic for the Korean War effort. In 1952 they went to steel medallions and a year later resumed back to plated brass again.
So, early 50’s guns could have plastic or steel medallions.

Jim
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Old January 13, 2019, 03:56 PM   #14
Bill DeShivs
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That would explain why I have seen neither.
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