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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
One of my son's first partners on the police force, now a sergeant heading up his own squad has been looking to sell his old ankle carry BUG; a piece he wore for many years on the job. It's beat all to heck, but I figure I can always find use for a good pocket carry, especially at the crazy low price he was asking. Younger cops probably couldn't shoot a revolver if you forced them to, so he's not had many offers. I agreed to take it, but told him to add $50 bucks to the price tag because it wouldn't have been ethical for me to take it for what he was asking; you know, the whole fellow cop's dad discount thing! Not sure when I'll actually have it, but you can see from the pictures it has not had an easy life and as I can only imagine as a young gun at the factory, it dreamed of living a comfy life in a sock drawer in some grandmother's house, what a shock real life must have been! :eek:

Anyhow, the pictures look bleak and I've never owned anything with this kind of finish, is there anything besides the thorough cleaning it will undergo to help with the many, many, ahem, blemishes? For the amount of sunlight it will actually see, it doesn't really matter to me what it ends up looking like as long as it functions, but I have lot's of time on my hands and wouldn't mind a rescue challenge! Any suggestions?

DSC_0141.jpg DSC_0144_1.jpg DSC_0145.jpg
 

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BC2, I would send it back to S&W and have them refinish it (non-warranty work), and go thru it completely. It's well worth the little bit it would cost to have them do that.
I had them refinish an old K-22 and it cam beck simply beautiful. I don't think you would ever be disappointed with the results, for the cost.
 

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I'm not sure if that is an applied finish like powdercoat or an anodized type of finish. As bad as the backstrap is I'm thinking a little 600 grit and water might make it look a bit better and give you an idea how tough the original finish is. Then you can decide to polish, paint, ceracoat or leave alone.
 

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I like Series Guy’s idea. It’s not like your gonna hurt the finish. I would do that and then move to 1000 grit and then maybe some buffing. If the metal doesn’t look like it would polish up maybe some Cerakote.
 

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It all depends on how much you want to spend on it and if it's worth it.

Send back to SW and have them do it for a price

You can spray it yourself with Brownells Aluma Hyde it

Cerakote it
https://www.cerakote.com/shop/cerakote-coating?cure=cera_air

Durabake



Or just leave it alone
Spray it with any epoxy paint like automotive caliper paint.
 

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I have seen a couple worse than that one. Read where someone tried to get one refinished under warranty, and S&W said it was cosmetic and wouldn't effect function, so no go. Have heard those are anodized, with a clear coat of something over the top of that, but don't know for sure. Yours looks like it has a titanium cylinder. Look up the manual online if he doesn't have it because I believe those have a special coating on them and require different care than regular steel/aluminum guns.. If it can be refinished I think I would go with cerakote
 

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I have not owned one. Is the original finish on the alloy frame anodizing?

In any case, the barrel, which must be a dissimilar metal like the cylinder, probably would have to be removed to do the work.

When dissimilar metals have spent years against one-another electrolysis often happens. That could end up making it not thread properly or worse.

Smart move? Leave it be and shoot it regularly after a decent cleaning.

If the frame is anodized, the oxidization will be quite thin. You can judge it from the worn areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Appreciate the responses so far, but I can tell you now I won't be sending it back to Smith and Wesson, it's not worth it. Whatever I do will be by my hand, but one thing is for certain, that rusted stock screw head is going to be 'rust free' when I'm done with it! I'm envisioning a long bath for everything except the stock rubber in some ATF, followed by a clean out/lube and then see what I might do along the line of some limited polishing experiments, then rounds at the indoor range. The only other air weight snubs I've shot really suck when it comes to recoil. I can handle it and actually maintain reasonable accuracy, but I want to see exactly what I can do now with more years under my belt, of course armed with eyesight that seems to only get worse as time goes by. It's a project I'm looking forward to! In the short term, when I'm not driving my son to knee doctors, physical therapists or shuttling his kids from Kindergarten to home, I have some heavy duty landscaping things to achieve before it gets hot. The forecast calling for 85 tomorrow, so I need to strike on the yard work while it's still cool!
 

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I have a 3 inch 317 that I carried as a snake gun on my farm a few years ago. The cylinder has a couple of spots that look like the back strap of that gun. I called S&W about it and they said there was nothing they could do about it. They didn’t even offer me the option of a refinish at my expense.
 

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This is going to be painful, but it's the only way to correctly resolve this situation.
First, wrap the gun in a $100 bill. Then for the next few weeks, wrap another bill around the gun each week.
Now this is the important part: When your hair gets long enough, go see Leo's barber for a haircut. Then go down the street to the magic assisted living gun store and hand the gun to the proprietor. The gun you get back will look like new.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is going to be painful, but it's the only way to correctly resolve this situation.
First, wrap the gun in a $100 bill. Then for the next few weeks, wrap another bill around the gun each week.
Now this is the important part: When your hair gets long enough, go see Leo's barber for a haircut. Then go down the street to the magic assisted living gun store and hand the gun to the proprietor. The gun you get back will look like new.
Scott, great advice except I haven't been to any barber, much less Leo's, since 1993! :eek: By the way, you guys might think he's pulling your leg with the haircuts, but even though he's seen many more sunrise and sunsets than me, he's blessed with a still vibrant head of hair! Now if he really does use that excuse to miraculously visit well known gun selling locations and then so often find treasures, well, good for him! I suppose I could establish an 'ear, back, nose, chest hair' saga that would always end nicely following my visit to a 'waxing' shop, but it just somehow doesn't carry the same punch if you follow me.... :D
 

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My buddy has a 642 that looks similar. He has family in florida and stays there. Its an anodize and just sweat when worn IWB did it. He has had the gun for ages. Its an ugly cuss but works fine. Those little aluminum guns sure are handy and i love mine but even new they are nothing special to look at. Yours has some honest provenance and mojo. Clean carry enjoy.
 

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Whatever you do , don't mess with the coating on the cylinder. That's a special coating to keep the titanium from burning when you fire the gun. Use nylon brushes for cleaning , and no lightweight bullets

If you want it pretty just strip the gun down and have the frame and side plate re anodized
 

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Appreciate the responses so far, but I can tell you now I won't be sending it back to Smith and Wesson, it's not worth it. Whatever I do will be by my hand, but one thing is for certain, that rusted stock screw head is going to be 'rust free' when I'm done with it! I'm envisioning a long bath for everything except the stock rubber in some ATF, followed by a clean out/lube and then see what I might do along the line of some limited polishing experiments, then rounds at the indoor range. The only other air weight snubs I've shot really suck when it comes to recoil. I can handle it and actually maintain reasonable accuracy, but I want to see exactly what I can do now with more years under my belt, of course armed with eyesight that seems to only get worse as time goes by. It's a project I'm looking forward to! In the short term, when I'm not driving my son to knee doctors, physical therapists or shuttling his kids from Kindergarten to home, I have some heavy duty landscaping things to achieve before it gets hot. The forecast calling for 85 tomorrow, so I need to strike on the yard work while it's still cool!
Those
AirLites are lighter than the Airweight revolvers due to the titanium cylinder. That's not going to help with recoil at all
 

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Appreciate the responses so far, but I can tell you now I won't be sending it back to Smith and Wesson, it's not worth it. Whatever I do will be by my hand, but one thing is for certain, that rusted stock screw head is going to be 'rust free' when I'm done with it! I'm envisioning a long bath for everything except the stock rubber in some ATF, followed by a clean out/lube and then see what I might do along the line of some limited polishing experiments, then rounds at the indoor range. The only other air weight snubs I've shot really suck when it comes to recoil. I can handle it and actually maintain reasonable accuracy, but I want to see exactly what I can do now with more years under my belt, of course armed with eyesight that seems to only get worse as time goes by. It's a project I'm looking forward to! In the short term, when I'm not driving my son to knee doctors, physical therapists or shuttling his kids from Kindergarten to home, I have some heavy duty landscaping things to achieve before it gets hot. The forecast calling for 85 tomorrow, so I need to strike on the yard work while it's still cool!

The alloy is pitting/corroded/ Soaking in ATF or anything is not going to do anything.

I like Brownells Aluma Hyde. It's inexpensive, no baking and you can do touch ups and several coats.
As with any paint or refinish it's all about the PREP. Clean with clear solvent, sand with progressively lighter wet dry clean again (brakeKleen don't touch it with bare hands), several light coats (not the cylinder,)

There are many video online

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/metal-prep-coloring/paint-finishes/air-cure-aerosol-paints/aluma-hyde-ii-prod1117.aspx
 
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