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Discussion Starter #1
I have an old S&W pistol I just bought. Its got about an inch or rusted rifling in the bore near the cylinder. Does the value go down if I have it relined? I sent away for the factory letter today so I won't if the letter reveals something important. I will also be getting some of the lettering deepened, as well as the original finish applied since someone thought it would be smart to coat it matte black. What do you guys think?
 

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I think it will have a more negative impact than firelapping the bore to clear out the rust would. If the rust is all at the breech it may be due to having been improperly cleaned after firing corrosive primers long ago. In general, for lead bullets, a slight taper from breech to muzzle of a half thousandth or thereabouts can be good. Only the reverse is bad, so unless the rust is really deep, this may be your best solution.

If it were my gun, I would operate as follows: Paint the crown and end of the barrel with nail polish to protect whatever is left of the finish from drips of rust remover. Plug the muzzle tightly with a Neoprene stopper. Clamp the gun muzzle-down. Use an eyedropper to fill the barrel with Evaporust or Rust Release without letting any get on the outside finish. Do not get any on any bluing. This will need about 15 minutes to remove the rust. As the end of the time draws near, set some distilled water to boiling in a kettle. When it reaches a boil, hold the gun over a drain and pull the cork, followed immediately by flooding the barrel from the breech end with the hot water and pouring it over the muzzle, too. That will remove the rust remover and dry off fast without rusting anything. Then hose the gun with WD-40 to displace any water trace, then wipe that off and apply gun oil (WD-40 will make the gun sticky if you don't wipe it off the outside, but you can leave it in the bore.

You'll find the metal a little rough where the rust was. Firing polishing loads will fix that. If you reload, take some cast bullets and use a toothpick to remove the lubricant in the lube grooves and put some JB Bore Compound in its place. Load a bunch up with about 1 grain or 2 of Bullseye or make a similar cat sneeze load. Fire a couple dozen of them to polish the bore up some.

If you don't reload, Flitz on a patch on a cleaning rod can do some of that for you, too.
 

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I have been collecting antique firearms for 45 years so have some knowledge of them. In a one word answer to your question YES, ANY alteration from original greatly reduces value of any gun. However there is an old saying that goes like this "there is a lid for every pot" meaning while most collectors including myself would not touch it, there are plenty of uneducated or less discrimnating buyers out there that dont care if it isnt original. However there are far fewer of this last group that will pay extra for an altered gun.
 

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Me, I don't collect guns to look at, I collect guns to shoot them, but I can spot things that aren't orginal. So the value of the gun would go down if you relined it, but it's shootability would go up.

Just my 3 1/2 cents worth,

Jerry
 

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I'm not a collector either. Remember that!
I'd take the furniture off and submerge the firearm in kerosine mixed with oil while I concidered my long-term options.

Won't increase the value, but will stop advancment of rust.

Cheezywan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well it looks like im going with option #1. I reload so ill do just as you said, I would like it keep it original and it sounds like fire lapping is the best course. Im intereseted to see what model it is since i havent been able to positivly ID it, all I know is its a DA .44 Russian and could be one of three models i looked at but i did find a smith that will deepen the lettering and freshen up the logo in conjunction with a high polish blue which is what i believe to be the original finish. The gun cost me a whopping $375.00 so i think i have some wiggle room if i ever decide to sell. I will be out of town turkey hunting till saturday night so i apoligize in advance for the late response. Thanks for all your guys help!
 
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