You are Unregistered, please register to use all of the features of!    
Firearm & Gun Forum - > Gunsmithing & Do-It-Yourself Projects > Engraving & Refinishing >

To restore or not to restore????

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-28-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Default To restore or not to restore????

I've always been confused by this so give me some insight. Since I've gotten into this gun hobby I've been told that condition is king as far as value goes.. That being said I've heard of people refinishing guns and completely killing their value. So when is patina a good thing and when is it worth putting the money down to restore????
esb32 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Join Today - It's Free!

Are you a firearms enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Firearms Talk is owned and operated by fellow firearms enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join Today! - Click Here

Old 02-28-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Jpyle's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sewell,NJ
Posts: 4,844
Liked 784 Times on 453 Posts
Likes Given: 499


Generally speaking it is unwise to do anything to alter the appearance of an antique or a gun you believe to be an antique without the consult of an expert. Even then a complete restoration is far different than simply refinishing the metal. Not sure what you have but if you think they have some value it might be worth having them appraised both before and after any planned restoration so that you know all the facts upfront.
"The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals.... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of." (Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789)

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington
Jpyle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 12:06 AM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8

That makes sense... So as far as an antique goes. when do things start getting collectible. I know cars start being classics at 25 years. What's the rule of thumb for guns?
esb32 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 12:25 AM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
hiwall's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Cleator,AZ
Posts: 4,227
Liked 1303 Times on 841 Posts
Likes Given: 316


There is no real rule as to when or what makes a collector gun. Age, quantity produced, quality of gun produced all play a role. The biggest thing is the whim of the collectors. Is it a desirable gun? Look at the a WWll m-1 rifle. They made millions and they are not that old but are collectable. The only rule is that there is no rule. No one can predict what gun made today will be the hot collectable of tomorrow. The only thing I would say is that it must be a gun of high quality to start with. A JC Higgins or Noble shotgun is not a collector gun. Neither is an Iver Johnson revolver.
Just walking on the edge of of my grave.
hiwall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 12:29 AM   #5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
JonM's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Rochester WI,Rochester WI
Posts: 20,127
Liked 7680 Times on 4097 Posts
Likes Given: 625


Originally Posted by esb32 View Post
That makes sense... So as far as an antique goes. when do things start getting collectible. I know cars start being classics at 25 years. What's the rule of thumb for guns?
the batfe kinda made it easy for us. anything that was made 50 years ago or longer is generally a curio or relic. they have an actual list. some guns are collectable due to popularity and rarity. some old guns arent worth much if anything. it just depends.

right now due to the obama factor the economy is soft on collectables. difficult to sell hard to find at a good price unless someone is desperate.

a good example of recent rares is the colt python. only been out of production a decade but the demand is high so prices are higher for great condition used ones than they were new. while they arent hard to find in the least the demand for them makes them valuable. the main reason there is a demand is simply that the python is the finest mass production revolver ever made.

the mosin nagant is an old collectable but they arent worth much because there are so damn many of them.

the m1 carbine is a pricey collector item mainly because the people that have them arent selling. there are literally millions of them in american gun owner's hands. because people are not trading them or selling them the price is very high.

then there is the 1911. still in production by everyone under the sun but the old ww2 version of which millions were produced and dumped on the US civilian market after ww2 for next to nothing now command huge prices. reason being that millions of the millions dumped by the us govt were bubba'd to death. only a relative few survived today in unmolested form in good condition.

so while there IS an official list it doesnt mean much. individual gun types and individual examples have to be taken on a case by case basis for value and worth.
"Gun control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound." L. Neil Smith

The problem with being stupid is you cannot simply decide to stop doing dumb things...

"I crapped my pants to avoid the draft!!" -Ted Nugent

Last edited by JonM; 02-29-2012 at 12:32 AM.
JonM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
danf_fl's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: LA (Lower Alabama),FL
Posts: 12,349
Liked 4838 Times on 2690 Posts
Likes Given: 2367


IMO (which isn't worth much), to refinish any firearm is a current owner's decision.

If someone wants to have a Hi-Point painted pink, their choice.

If I feel that a firearm should not be refinished, I will make a suggestion to the owner. I have that now with a 1917 Savage .32ACP. It belonged to a the guy's father. I am putting a lot of elbow grease in it to keep it original and get rid of the rust. Is it worth the hours? No, but the results look better than painting pink.
Amendment II:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Life Member NRA
Life Member NAHC
Former President of the ECPT (Eifel Combat Pistol Team)
danf_fl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
The_Kid's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 564
Liked 16 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 94


To me, a gun needs the ability to withstand the elements, so if the finish is lacking then it gets attended to.

Like with the stock of my US Model of 1917, Eddystone.
It isn't worth much to me if I can't use it in the rain or whatnot without causing damage.
...nuff said.
The_Kid is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,014
Liked 37 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 9


If the question is rather to restore or not restore, I'd point you to someone who's considered the best in the business in firearm restorations, Doug Turnbull. It's been said and proven at auction that a Turnbull restored firearm is worth more than it's unrestored counter part.

There are two camps when it comes to restoration: The purist camp which believes leaving the firearm completely as is and the restorer camp (which I belong to) which believes that "done correctly" a firearm deserves to be brought back to it's former glory.
TheOldMan is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Firearms Forum Replies Last Post
Restore elk in missouri LONGHAIR Hunting Forum 7 07-09-2011 11:22 PM
Virginia To Restore Elk LONGHAIR Hunting Forum 11 11-25-2010 11:54 AM
to restore or not to restore dcm General Rifle Discussion 8 10-21-2010 04:20 AM
How do I restore a 1938 .22? catch17 .22 Rifle/Rimfire Discussion 2 06-13-2008 09:17 PM