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I really would recommend sticking with polishing by hand
 
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You would be amazed by how many guns were messed up by a cotton buffing wheel. The buffing compounds used are the most dangerous part of the equation.
Hand polishing and paying very careful attention to what is being rubbed off is the critical task at hand. The precision design, and fine details and sharp edges are what makes the S&W revolvers so popular.
If you want to do this yourself go ahead, but please heed the words of those of us that have seen it done wrong by so many others before.
All of my guns get cared for by me, and a very skilled master gunsmith. And honestly, I've seen him over polish a few handguns without realizing just how much he was buffing away.
A revolver and an exhaust system are not in the same class. Take the time, find a professional blacksmith that knows how to restore it properly, bite the bullet, and give the man the time and money necessary to do it right. Or, do it yourself and accept the way it turns out.
If you do it yourself, without any doubt the value of the gun will be diminished below what is is currently worth..
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Well I promise you guys I won’t take it to the bench!!! Ballpark, What would it run to have a professional polish it? If I were to leave it as it is after cleaning, what polish would you recommend? Some have have recommended mothers mag and aluminum... as of now it’s soaking in ATF. Greatly appreciate your advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Haha. He actually said that after I posted pictures as well. I had a feeling that was not accurate. In his defense he did say to check with you guys on here as y’all would have better idea.Either way. Mike venturino has an article in guns magazine about this particular piece, and I may have mid-interpreted the information, but he made it sound like the 2nd model with 6.5 inch nickel plated barrel chambered in 44 was not easy to find in his experience. Is there any truth to that?
 

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Some have recommended mothers mag and aluminum...
Just try it & see--nobody can predict the results. Never used this product, but suspect it's not much more abrasive than toothpaste--may not help, but should do no harm. Thing is, if results aren't satisfactory (and I kinda suspect they won't be), you can always take it to the "next level" of abrasiveness, but you can NOT go backwards to undo damage caused by too aggressive an initial approach.
 

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Careful hand polishing will get you a much better result than using machinery. It'll take longer, but you will have a much greater probability of not over-polishing anything.
The devil is in the details. You can certainly do it yourself, but go slowly and deliberately. I think you'll be amazed just how little work is needed to get a big result.
 
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Discussion Starter #50
absolutely. Do you have a preference in polishes on your own pieces? Or a preference on nickel plate in similar condition to this?
 

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Why is it that you expect unsatisfactory results?
Simply because I suspect--but don't know--that the abrasive may be too mild. Which is why I said "nobody can predict results" without testing it out. A report on its effectiveness (or lack thereof) would be of value to all.
 

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absolutely. Do you have a preference in polishes on your own pieces? Or a preference on nickel plate in similar condition to this?
Flitz, and a microfiber cloth. Since it's probably not locally available Mother's is a good substitute. As gearchecker says, it's not like you can put material back on.
Note, many a pro gun refinisher has ruined a piece by overly aggressive polishing.
 
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Discussion Starter #53
Ok so lightly polish. Is it more likely to remove material polishing than hitting it with the 0000 wool? And can I buff it as much as I want? When you guys say over polishing I’m thinking of the application and working of the polish. After I remove polish can I rub it with a clean towel as much as I want or can that also remove even more material? Sorry about all the questions. Thanks
 

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You won't remove enough polishing with a rag + compound to cause problems- hence the caution about using a power wheel. It's the polishing compound that does the work, so once that wiped off, you can hit it up with a clean towel as much as you'd like.

The bronze wool+oil is to remove the rust. It should skate over the harder nickel- don't press too hard. Polishing compound doesn't discriminate so it will wear down everything.

So multi- step process: bronze wool+oil, solvent wash, polishing compound, wipe off. Oil lightly with gun oil ( NOT WD-40) and you're done
 

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Discussion Starter #55
3F0E3BF8-4A68-4CA0-9A39-EADBB2372A9A.jpeg

Final product. Appreciate the help delcrossv and others. I am however glad I didn’t take the advice to not clean it. Difficult to tell from pictures but it looks like an entirely different piece. Difference in night and day.
 

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Lookin' good, Cole! kfjdrfirii

Now you gotta put a few down the pipe and tell us how she shoots!
 
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Discussion Starter #58
The only rounds I can find anywhere near me are Hornady 165grain ballistic tips. Will the 165g be ok? The gun was in good mechanical condition on the inside. Appreciate all of you guys advice. And thanks adirondacker. I’m very glad I didn’t have it refinished.
 

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The only rounds I can find anywhere near me are Hornady 165grain ballistic tips. Will the 165g be ok?
Most commercial .44 Spl. is loaded to very conservative pressure levels because of all the "old guns" still in circulation. An exception might be some of the specialty ammo makers like Corbon & Glazer that load high-pressure rounds for modern guns, but those are labeled to that effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Grandfather was ecstatic today when I showed him his gun. Greatly appreciate all of your advice. By some standards the piece may have lost value but to the owner and my self it truly has become priceless. He’s 92 years old and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him smile like he did today. One day soon, it’ll be my gun and I’ll never have another as valuable as this one. Thanks again fellas.
 
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