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TheOldMan 07-20-2010 10:43 AM

Manufactures gun finishes question..
Been a while since I've posted in this forum since I've been very busy doing restoration work (guns). I'm in the process now of restoring the finish on a fella's Mod. 36 S&W. This gun is the reason for this thread..

Before I got started, I noticed that the finsih seemed to be "flaking" off in one spot. The issue with this gun was that the client had been keeping the gun in the bathroom of his house so that if needed, he or his wife could get to it. Given that this was not the best of places to keep a nicely finished blued handgun, it was no surprise to see the flash pitting that had occured to this handgun.

What's got me confused is the flaking that I saw. The original finish is a high gloss blue but I'm beginning to think that it was sprayed with some sort of a laqure as part of the finishing process. The flaking appeared to be the laqure pealing away from the handguns finish.. Am I correct in my assumption?

I've basically had to remove all or most of the original finish to make the new finish match up. I'm hand polishing the gun now to a mirror finish before I reblue it. the only thing I'm not messing with is the cylinder. I'll post pictures later to show what I was talking about..

c3shooter 07-20-2010 01:09 PM

Have been carrying a S&W is some form since the mid 60s- have never seen one with a "lacquered" finish. The blued guns are given a high polish (usually rouge) and hot caustic blued, oiled, shipped.

Maybe overspray from the lady's hair spray? :)

Did once see a fellow that decided to protect his revolver from rust by giving it a coat of varnish. No, it does not work.

willshoum 07-20-2010 01:21 PM

Some times it's in the handling before the bluing process. One using bare hands and transferring oil and salts will do this to the finnish over a period of time. Iv'e heard of people that use Clear Coat to seal out Moisture. Good Luck!!

TheOldMan 07-20-2010 02:37 PM

Thanks guys... I would not have thought S&W would apply something like that to their guns but the flaking is what caused me to wonder.. Pretty much all the old finish is gone now and like I said before, I'm just working up the shine before I apply the new finish.

Pictures forthcoming..

birdzman 07-20-2010 04:57 PM

Is the fellow your doing the gun for the original owner? If not maybe the seller was trying to enhance the looks for the sale, with a nice shiny lacquer finish.


TheOldMan 07-20-2010 06:13 PM


Originally Posted by birdzman (Post 317799)
Is the fellow your doing the gun for the original owner? If not maybe the seller was trying to enhance the looks for the sale, with a nice shiny lacquer finish.


Not the original owner.. It's his wifes fathers gun originally.

TheOldMan 07-20-2010 07:42 PM

Pictures as promised of the Mod. 36
2 Attachment(s)
Two pictures showing the finish issues. Check the first image for the flaking I was talking about at teh top of the side plate near the hammer.

danf_fl 07-20-2010 08:57 PM

That almost looks like the spray on finish from GunKote. They have a high gloss blue and if the handgun was not prepped correctly, flaking can and will occur.
Were the flakes the same color on both sides?

TheOldMan 07-21-2010 12:03 AM

Yes, both sides looked the same but to a lesser degree on the other side (not shown)..

BillDeShivs 07-23-2010 01:22 AM

The gun is blued. The bluing has been damaged by some caustic substance. It's not flaking off.

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