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I wouldn't call it a "sad, sad" state unless there's pitting that doesn't show up in your photo. A top-quality refinish is going to be pretty expensive, but a budget refinish done by your neighborhood gun-butcher will be money thrown away--the gun will be worth LESS after that kind of job.

Question is, what do you want to do with it? If you're just interested in shooting it, nothing needs to be done.
 

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The cost of re-blueing will about equal the value of the gun. If it's ok mechanically I'd just keep it for a shooter. If you give us the serial # (x out last 2 digits for security) & caliber we can come up w/ an estimate of when it left the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
yes there is some bad pitting on it i accidentally took the photo on the good side there is pitting all over the out side of the cylinder all over the trade mark and along the barrel
 

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We are going to need a bit more information from you. What cartridge does it chamber? Usually printed on the right side of the barrel, 38 Smith & Wesson Special, 38 S&W, or others? How many chambers in the cylinder? Barrel length? Serial number from the bottom of the grip frame?

All that will help us help you.

Kevin

Damn, I type SLOW! When i started typing, no responses. Now, all y questions are answered!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We are going to need a bit more information from you. What cartridge does it chamber? Usually printed on the right side of the barrel, 38 Smith & Wesson Special, 38 S&W, or others? How many chambers in the cylinder? Barrel length? Serial number from the bottom of the grip frame?

All that will help us help you.

Kevin

Damn, I type SLOW! When i started typing, no responses. Now, all y questions are answered!!!
i appreciate your effort the barrel says 38 s and w special it has 6 chambers and has i think a 5 in barrel and the serial number is 526xx iv been told not to give the last two digits for security
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, some information you can use. K frame 38 Specials did not have heat treated cylinder until serial number 316648. If you plan on shooting it, stick to standard pressure loads, no +P stuff.

Kevin
thank you i dont have any +p but have been thinking about getting some for my other 38 specials
 

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Being excellent shooters and great old guns I would try either cold bluing, which the kit has a rust remover and does a great job. Or could do a Cerakote job on it and that will also give some rust preventative. I do not have a picture of the cold blue on the Marlin 60 for my brother but he was very pleased. This is the little Colt I had cerakoted and before it looked a mess. Just get someone that is really good at it.
Before and was Nickel Plated
before 2.jpg
After
After1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Being excellent shooters and great old guns I would try either cold bluing, which the kit has a rust remover and does a great job. Or could do a Cerakote job on it and that will also give some rust preventative. I do not have a picture of the cold blue on the Marlin 60 for my brother but he was very pleased. This is the little Colt I had cerakoted and before it looked a mess. Just get someone that is really good at it.
Before and was Nickel Plated
View attachment 459851
After
View attachment 459853
thank you i have been doing research and it looks like cold bluing would be much less of a hassle and i know some people who have done it and are considering helping me with it
 

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but over all spending money on it wont hurt the value ether so i can just get it cleaned and looking nice (as possible) and not hurt its historical integrity
It is what it is, & there's a lot to be said for a utilitarian gun that doesn't have to be babied & handled like a precious object. Not talking about handling it like a boat anchor, but not worrying about never laying it down except on a clean, padded surface, or worrying about leaving a rub mark on the cylinder when closing it, as I do with my high condition guns. (I never close the cylinders on mine without carefully aligning the bolt with a notch, though I can do it so quickly through long practice that no one watching me would notice.) However, I wouldn't mind at all having some guns (good ones, not junk) I didn't feel I had to be quite so fastidious about handling.
 

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welcome01 to the forums from the Wiregrass! I need to correct the ID on that gun. It is a Model 1902, .38 Military & Police, made in 1903-4. The action parts on the 1902s are long obsolete (since 1905) and very hard to find replacements for. The trigger return spring is particularly susceptible to breakage. Also, there are no readily available schematics on these models that I can find. There are some good photographs but you have to do a thorough search to find them. They are repairable but you better be a good machinist or be a good friend of one if you plan on shooting it often. While not rare, this model M&P is somewhat scarce and brings more at sale than a comparable square butt model 1905...if not refinished. I'd be inclined to soak it for a few days in auto transmission fluid, scrub the rust off and leave it alone.

BTW, it may just be the angle of your picture, but the bottom of the trigger guard appears to be flattened. Like someone hit something hard with it. If so, that needs to be dealt with or the trigger may drag or hang on the guard. The grips on it are hard rubber and somewhat delicate if you pry them off. There are pins on the butt that guide the panels into the right position and keep them from turning on the frame. We often see the bottoms of the grip panels broken off because someone pried them from the top. There are two good ways to remove them.

1. Loosen the grips screw completely but don't remove it. Push on the head of the screw to pop off the right panel. Then, the left panel can be pushed off through the frame.

2. Remove the grip screw completely. Hold the gun by the barrel and cylinder in your off hand. Take a wooden or plastic handled tool and sharply rap the grip frame with the tool's handle behind the hammer at the knuckle until the panels loosen up or fall off. Make sure you do this over something soft so the panel doesn't get broken if it falls off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
welcome01 to the forums from the Wiregrass! I need to correct the ID on that gun. It is a Model 1902, .38 Military & Police, made in 1903-4. The action parts on the 1902s are long obsolete (since 1905) and very hard to find replacements for. The trigger return spring is particularly susceptible to breakage. Also, there are no readily available schematics on these models that I can find. There are some good photographs but you have to do a thorough search to find them. They are repairable but you better be a good machinist or be a good friend of one if you plan on shooting it often. While not rare, this model M&P is somewhat scarce and brings more at sale than a comparable square butt model 1905...if not refinished. I'd be inclined to soak it for a few days in auto transmission fluid, scrub the rust off and leave it alone.

BTW, it may just be the angle of your picture, but the bottom of the trigger guard appears to be flattened. Like someone hit something hard with it. If so, that needs to be dealt with or the trigger may drag or hang on the guard. The grips on it are hard rubber and somewhat delicate if you pry them off. There are pins on the butt that guide the panels into the right position and keep them from turning on the frame. We often see the bottoms of the grip panels broken off because someone pried them from the top. There are two good ways to remove them.

1. Loosen the grips screw completely but don't remove it. Push on the head of the screw to pop off the right panel. Then, the left panel can be pushed off through the frame.

2. Remove the grip screw completely. Hold the gun by the barrel and cylinder in your off hand. Take a wooden or plastic handled tool and sharply rap the grip frame with the tool's handle behind the hammer at the knuckle until the panels loosen up or fall off. Make sure you do this over something soft so the panel doesn't get broken if it falls off.
as far as the trigger guard yea it is flattend but it looks like it got "fixed" at some point it is in very bad shape but seems mechanically sound(i have not fired it yet) for taking off the rust should i use a wire brush a scotch bright or some fine sand paper
 

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A wire brush, sandpaper or steel wool will scratch the metal. Best to use brass or bronze wool or a fully copper Chore Boy scrub pad. If you soak it for a few days, most of the rust will wipe off since the ATF will get under it and loosen its attachment to the steel. I find that spraying the metal with carb/parts/brake cleaner or acetone gets most of the loosened rust out of the scratches and crevices. If you do that, make sure to wipe the bare metal with an oily rag or put Strike Hold on it.
 
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