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Refinishing my dads old truck gun!

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by terrylf72, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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    Im looking for help in the best, safe and maybe easy way to refinish my late dad's "throw it in the truck and go" gun.

    The pistol is a Ruger Police Service-Six .357 mag. I'm looking for the best method to restore the bright finish I remember it had when I was growing up. Couple of questions, Can the barrels and cylinders be replace on older Rugers? Yes the front sight is broke, and will be replaced once the finish is restored.

    I'm looking for insight, methods, and knowledge (i.e. HELP) on how to do this. For it will be my first restoration job.

    Thanks
    Terrylf72
    View attachment 4556 View attachment 4554 View attachment 4553 View attachment 4555 View attachment 4552
     
  2. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I am not seeing anything too difficult here but without seeing it in person it is hard to tell. It would require an entire body sanding (320 and 600 grit emory cloth) and probably a bit of bead blasting. The biggest issue with a Ruger is that they do not come apart as easily as a Smith and therefore it is harder to get all the grit removed from the insides after sandblasting. It also appears that the barrel has been shortened.
     
  3. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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    Yes, at one point it was a 6" barrel. All I remember was coming home from 4th grade and dad was cutting it off. I dad had taken some Gun smithing correspondence course and worked a little with the one in town a little. This was the only weapon that he worked on that he kept..
     
  4. SJS46

    SJS46 yamhill county Active Member

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    What kind of finish are you looking to end up with? Duracoat may be the answer for this gun, it looks like there maybe a little pitting Durafill can take care of that and then paint it with possibly Matte Black or there are alot of other colors.
     
  5. fromotoc

    fromotoc Downtown Portland, OR Member

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    Sand it lightly and then blast it with some sort of media. I wouldn't duracoat a stainless or nickel gun if I were you, unless you want it to look like there is no pitting. But sanding, blasting then maybe some polishing/buffing will definitely bring the shine back.
     
  6. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Dremel, felt pad and jeweler's rouge.
    Only use sandpaper or emery on the gouges or scratches you want to mimimize.
     
  7. spider

    spider Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I agree, Dremel, Felt Pad, Flintz Polish compound, its green and runny, works perfect but will take time, maybe 3 days, or get the whole thing nickel plated at southridge arms, their link is in the sponsor pool up top.
     
  8. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I will actually have to be the lone voice of dissent on the dremel. It is way to easy to really screw the surface up with a dremel. It is too easy to guoge the surface or remove too much which leave flat spots. It also is a good way to mess up the texture of the finish and end up with that wavey look.
     
  9. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Not if you stay with the felt pad and jeweler's rouge. The shaft spins out of the pad if you lean on it too hard, and the rouge isn't that abrasive. It is strictly a surface finisher. even on something as soft as aluminum.
    I have used them for years and they work really well if you don't have a bench mounted polisher.

    I would agree with staying away from the drum sanders and grinder wheels though.
     
  10. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Still going to disagree. I will stand by my refinishing experience and the small high speed wheels in unison with any polishing compound can mar a finish and cause damage to the surface texture. Just because you or I are proficient with them does not mean they are not a potential disaster in the wrong hands.
     
  11. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Do your work by hand. Power tools take a pro's touch. It takes longer to irreversibly screw something up when doing things by hand. Dremels can dish flat surfaces, and they can also break sharp corners and warp screw holes. Flat blocks, hand sanding pads, and sandpaper. I would start with 320 or so, then move on to 400, 600, and then cheesecloth and flitz metal polish if you really want a mirror. It will take time, so be patient. If you doubt your abilities at all, take it to a gunsmith who can polish it for you quicker and easier.
     
  12. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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    Well after a few hours of working on the pistol with some 400 grit equivilent scotch brite and 600 grit wet/dry sand paper. I have gotten most of the discoloration and the blemishes off. Was'nt as bad as I thought. The hardest areas (around the barrel where is meets the frame, cylinder stop grooves and around the front and rear sights.(really tight areas)).

    Thanks to you all for the information. Keep it coming.

    Thanks
     
  13. OregonJohn

    OregonJohn Sutherlin, Or Bronze Life Member #1 Lifetime Supporter

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    Terry: If you ever get down this way, I can get your gun up to speed. I have been doing a bit of glass bead blasting on stainless rifles and pistols and the results are remarkable. I am using a precision blaster, that is made to etch glass. The pattern can be adjusted to most any level. You can use it to blend pitting and remove most surface defects. Any defect that you think you could have sanded out, can be removed with this blaster. The trick is a uniform blasting pattern. No waves, valleys, or high spots. Afterwards, any damage you may do to the gun, can be cleaned up again, with a quick re-blast. A blasted gun will hold oil better too. As you have learned, stainless steel will rust. Thanks, John
     
  14. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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    Hmm, I use to have a friend that lived in Sutherlin.. Im sure his parents are still there. But anyway, I bought a bead blasting kit with glass and plastic beads.. Have been practicing before I move on to the gun.. Thanks for the offer though.
     
  15. aflineman

    aflineman Both South of Eugene and East of Portland. Active Member

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    One thing that works well to plug the barrel is the yellow foam ear plugs. Helps keep the media out of places that you don't want it, but is easy to remove.
     
  16. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    +1
    If you want a polished finish you well need to sand some of the carters and canons out of it first. A 3hp 10" grinder with a good cotton wheel to finish the job. It's a fairly easy job with the correct tools.
    This was the nastiest stainless guns I have ever seen when I got it. I screwed up when I didn't get before photos. I didn't think I could save the side plate, but it looks pretty good, still a few very tiny pits if you look very close. If you hold it just right you can see it's wavie on the side plate. That Ruger looks 98% compared to this Smith when I got my hands on it.
    68631.jpg
     
  17. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Nice looking gun. :)

    I always do that too. When I get home with a project I end up starting it right away and forgetting to get some before pics. :(
     
  18. Redstick

    Redstick WA Member

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    One option no one has mentioned is that you could send it off to Ruger and have them do it. Their fees are minimal and sometimes they don't even charge! So unless you really WANT to do it yourself, just for experience or whatever, you could let Ruger fix it all back up for you.
     
  19. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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    hmm, I can not send it to Ruger. I had called them to find out info about doing such and when I was asked about the condition of the pistol. I told them that the barrle had been cut down and a new rear sight was put in.. I was promptly told that "I would be better off to keep it as a keep sake, cause they couldnt responsably work on it and send it back if they were to find anyplace on the frame where heat damage might have happened".. And of course back near the rear sight down near the hammer channle is a little heat discoloration. so I desided to not risk losing it and doing the work myself.
     
  20. gunluvver

    gunluvver Hillsboro, OR Member

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    This is a stainless Ruger Police Service 6 .357 I resurrected. I did a complete teardown and glass bead blast.

    Ruger004.jpg

    Here's the finished product. It was too far gone to even attempt any major smoothing, I concentrated on corrosion removal and preserving any remaining structural integrity.

    Ruger007.jpg


    Ruger008.jpg

    It now resides in SOCAL with my son. He only shoots .38 Special out of it to be safe.