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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Can anyone give me some advice on a way to clean and remove the pitting from this revolver. I was told it left factory in 1927. Not sure what the finish is. Can I strip and blue the trigger and hammer? I don’t want to restore but I want it as good as I can get it in terms of aesthetics. Also any other information on it would be greatly appreciated.

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Only way to strip nickel without further damage to steel is by reverse-electrolysis. Don't let any incompetent hack tell you it can be done with acid; too bad I don't still have the gun that was ruined that way, or I'd show you the results.

This piece, in my opinion, is worth spending what it costs to do the job right.
 

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The "blue" on the hammer and trigger are the remains of color case hardening. You don't want to remove that.

A decent plating shop should be able to strip, polish and replate the nickel parts of the gun. You don't want to plate the hammer, trigger or ejector star.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks adirondacker, so best to have it professionally done? Do you have any more info about this particular piece? Or know where I can find it? Having trouble on internet. Also have a large dent in cylinder cheek. Can this be repaired? Will any of this decrease value of the gun? Thanks a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks delcrossv, I have already soaked trigger and hammer in hops no.9. Is this ok? Should I re-blue? Will refinishing hurt value of gun if there’s any value at all? Greatly appreciate your advice.
 

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Not a lot of collector value in that condition, so if you want to have it replated, go for it. Hopps 9 won't harm the hammer or trigger, but nickel doesn't like the ammonia in it. I'd just clean and oil the trigger and hammer.

ATF works better for removing rust. Soak, then rub with bronze (not steel) wool.


Got a picture of the ding in the cylinder?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes sir. It’s hard to see but it’s right there on the top (or outside) of the shroud.

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Thanks for your help
 

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That "dent " is normal.
It is supposed to be there and is in fact a guide for the cylinder pin to ride in when closing.
With the cylinder reinstalled you will immediately see it's purpose . It just looks funny when the cyl. is removed.
 

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A decent plating shop should be able to strip, polish and replate the nickel parts of the gun.
Yes, but where do you find one? I specifically asked the rotten SOB who ruined my gun with acid if he used reverse-electrolysis, or I'd never have sent it to him in the first place; bastard probably said "yes" because he had no idea what I was talking about. And this was a shop that advertised in the Gun List as specializing in gun work of all kinds! Don't remember the name of this SOB, but it's probably good that he was in Fl, too far away for me to get my hands on him, otherwise I might be sitting in a cell right now.

The gun is going to have to be completely polished anyway (hopefully, by someone who knows HOW), so I'd just have it blued; re-plating just introduces another level of complexity. As far as originality goes, that can't be recovered, whatever is done.
 

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I'd just clean and oil the trigger and hammer.
If it were a blued gun, that's what I'd say too; but there's nothing uglier than deteriorating nickel-plating. One thing for sure: either spend the money for a 1st class refinishing job, or leave it as is; have the work done by the neighborhood gun-butcher, & not only have you lost whatever that job cost, but you end up with a gun worth LESS than it's worth right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In getting you guys advice. I’m thinking That I’ll have it refinished. It’s an heirloom so I’m not going to risk ruining it myself try to strip and re-finish and not gonna pay someone to do a crap job. Does anyone know a reputable place that I can ship too? I’m in Charleston sc.
 

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Yes, but where do you find one? I specifically asked the rotten SOB who ruined my gun with acid if he used reverse-electrolysis, or I'd never have sent it to him in the first place; bastard probably said "yes" because he had no idea what I was talking about. And this was a shop that advertised in the Gun List as specializing in gun work of all kinds! Don't remember the name of this SOB, but it's probably good that he was in Fl, too far away for me to get my hands on him, otherwise I might be sitting in a cell right now.

The gun is going to have to be completely polished anyway (hopefully, by someone who knows HOW), so I'd just have it blued; re-plating just introduces another level of complexity. As far as originality goes, that can't be recovered, whatever is done.
If it were a blued gun, that's what I'd say too; but there's nothing uglier than deteriorating nickel-plating. One thing for sure: either spend the money for a 1st class refinishing job, or leave it as is; have the work done by the neighborhood gun-butcher, & not only have you lost whatever that job cost, but you end up with a gun worth LESS than it's worth right now.
That's the trick isn't it. If it's Fords, they've really gone down hill. They're persona non grata on the Blue forum after really screwing up some nice collector pieces.

Here's a couple that come recommended: Note, I've used neither.

T & D Metal Works | ,

Firearms Plating: Custom Metal Finishing: Reliable Electroplating: Chartley, MA

Edit: Note , what you want to hard nickel plated directly on the steel, no copper "strike coat". be sure you specify else the parts may not fit when it comes time to reassemble.
 

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If you do a serious clean job on this gun you can then give it a good polish with Mothers Mag Polish. When you clean the rust off and just have nickel and shiny steel the gun won't look near as bad. A refinish in nickel wil lower the value a bit, bluing the gun will really kill any value. I would wait until the gun is clean and working before making any decisions.
 

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From what I can glean from the two websites, it appears T&D specializes in guns, whereas the other handles guns but also industrial work, which would incline me toward T&D. Most critical to me would be the quality of polishing, preservation of sharp corners, lettering, etc. I've heard of another shop located in MA that's supposed to do outstanding rust & carbona bluing, but of course I can't remember its name.

However, as series guy said, the smartest plan is to clean it up as well as you can, then decide if you can live with its appearance. No quality restoration work is cheap.
 

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From what I can glean from the two websites, it appears T&D specializes in guns, whereas the other handles guns but also industrial work, which would incline me toward T&D. Most critical to me would be the quality of polishing, preservation of sharp corners, lettering, etc. I've heard of another shop located in MA that's supposed to do outstanding rust & carbona bluing, but of course I can't remember its name.

However, as series guy said, the smartest plan is to clean it up as well as you can, then decide if you can live with its appearance. No quality restoration work is cheap.
I put the question in to Roy whether they were electroplated or electroless (sulfide) plated. The lack of a copper flash coat makes things more interesting. If it's electroless, that may change the recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Soaking in ATF and going to just polish the hell out of it. All internals are cleaning up nicely. Do any of you guys know how to remove the barrel? I got the pin out. Don’t know what’s next. Knock it or twist it?
 

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Once nickel is in that kind of shape there is no cleaning or polishing that will make it look better. Just like a old chrome bumper, once that outer layer is gone it's gone and the corrosion occurs underneath the rest of it.

It will cost a LOT of money to restore it. That is you decision on how much you want to pay.
Only way to know is get an estimate.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I’ve taken a Brillo pad to the screws and they look great. It’s getting the tarnish off. But there’s a lot of tarnish on the frame, plate and cylinder. I got a bronze wool as on of you suggested but it’s scratching it. The Brillo pad is also a rating it. Will this polish out? Or should I try something different? Also I got the barrel out. Just like to make sure things twist off before I twist them off!
 
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