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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Smith and Wesson 38 SPL.CTG.airweight
486910
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revolver, with exposed hammer, 5 round J-framed model 37, serial number J357850. On the hinge, is number 76276 and the letter H. It has the cross-hatched wooden grips with the S & W emblem. It got wet and has some light rust and superficial pitting. It shoots well.
What is it worth? Should it be repaired and re-blued or would it be worth more left as is. What year was it manufactured? Any insight would be appreciated.
 

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Welcome to The Forum from the Wiregrass! Get some automatic transmission fluid, take the grips off and submerge the gun for 3 or 4 days in the ATF. Get a copper chore boy and go over the finish with it to remove the rust. Your best bet is just to live with what you get after that. You'll never be able to recover the cost of a refinish as the gun's value drops if it's refinished. The gun was made in 1976.

Guy
 
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Welcome to a great forum. Looks like 1976. Pretty rough looking. Cost way more to refinish than you could ever get out of it. Might be worth a couple of hundred but who's knows in todays market.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Clean it up and enjoy!
 

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Just one caution. If you buy Chore Boy pads for doing the cleanup use a magnet to make SURE they are pure copper and not copper-coated steel. Steel will do more damage to the blued finish, copper won't.
Or just go to ACE hardware and buy some medium or course bronze wool - that's what I use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It will definitely produce the bang, bang although ugly as it is.
Just one caution. If you buy Chore Boy pads for doing the cleanup use a magnet to make SURE they are pure copper and not copper-coated steel. Steel will do more damage to the blued finish, copper won't.
Or just go to ACE hardware and buy some medium or course bronze wool - that's what I use.
thank you bc3, your response is valuable.
 

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It will definitely produce the bang, bang although ugly as it is.

thank you bc3, your response is valuable.
You're welcome.
BTW I'm sure it goes without saying, but only use the bronze wool on the barrel, ejector rod, and cylinder.

DO NOT use it on the aluminum frame and grip, because that part of the gun has an anodized type coating and even the bronze wool will damage it. Of course it wouldn't have any rust anyway, being made of aluminum, but you want to be careful not to mar its finish with the abrasive bronze wool.

You also want to be VERY careful if using the bronze wool on the hammer and trigger. They are steel, but have what is called a "color case hardened" finish. That finish gives them a kind of mottled rainbow-ish blued hue. That coloration is somewhat fragile too and can be very easily removed with too much vigorous scrubbing.

BTW, a lot of people like the round-butt j-frames because they conceal a tiny bit better under clothing. Personally I really like the square-butt like yours. The grips fill the shooter's hand much better allowing for a much firmer grip on the firearm.
 
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