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  #1  
Old 01-22-2019, 5:49 PM
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Default HELP. water soaked revolver

I have a Smith&Wesson .38 snub wrapped in socks I was keeping in a floor safe in the garage. I had not been into for atleast 3 years. found out today it some how got water in it. The trigger gaurd is almost gone along with almost all of the blueing. The wooden grips are swollen. What should i do? Can it be saved, or is it a lost cause? (I allready know, not a good idea to store a firearm in a floor safe.) Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by KRAZYTRAIN; 01-22-2019 at 6:28 PM.. Reason: Pictures added
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2019, 5:52 PM
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Well, you cannot bring back what has rusted away.

Post a photo.
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Old 01-22-2019, 6:00 PM
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Might be salvageable. Depends how much of the metal is compromised.
Might be a “fun” refinishing project. Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2019, 6:04 PM
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Need photos with grips off.

(Paging Ajax 22)
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Old 01-22-2019, 6:32 PM
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I added some pics and here's a few more.
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Old 01-22-2019, 6:46 PM
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If the rest of the gun is sound you could convert it to a Fitz special.

Seriously though, I'd turn it in at a gun buy back.
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Old 01-22-2019, 6:54 PM
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It can be cleaned up and repaired. Just depends on how much you wanna put into it. It's a project for sure, still to good for a buyback. You could always buy something like this https://www.gunbroker.com/item/796633906 and cut and weld.
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Old 01-22-2019, 7:01 PM
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Im betting the barrel is shot. Gun buyback.
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Old 01-22-2019, 7:01 PM
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Inquiring minds want to know where the moisture came from. Good luck OP.
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Old 01-22-2019, 7:02 PM
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Thanx for the pics.
It's not looking too good, although the lock work may be OK since it looks like it was above the water line so to speak.
You would have to remove the side plate to see inside to check those parts.
The part of the frame that holds the cylinder appears intact.
Cylinder and barrel look like surface rust only (?).
Grip frame could survive with some dressing and wrap-around grips.
Trigger guard, well, that's a goner for sure.
You could make a new one and weld it on, but that's being pretty determined to keep it going.
It sure won't be pretty ever again.

Then again, maybe it's the right time to buy a new one.
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Old 01-22-2019, 7:12 PM
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Have it sandblasted, parkerized, and replace all the springs. Perfect 'I dont give a S" gun to have around.
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Old 01-22-2019, 7:18 PM
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"Barbarosa" you beat me to it ! Lose the trigger guard
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Old 01-22-2019, 7:22 PM
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The good news... Smith & Wesson short barreled revolvers / J frames have come down in price, so you could get a replacement or even an "airweight" / lighter alloy frame for not too much money. They also are sometimes found as Used bargains because people move on from them to semi-autos.


The bad news... even if it is salvageable and could be fired again...
it'll never be worth anything more than around $100 approx (and that would be from a gun buyback) due to the obvious trigger guard water damage.

But if you want to restore it because it means something sentimental to you I think it might be possible but you're going to put more time and or money into it than it might be worth, even in sentimental value.

The photo I would like to see is of the barrels interior.

You put a white piece of paper or aluminum foil reflecting light up through the open frame and you take a picture with your camera down the barrel.

Knowing if the inside of the barrel is corroded will tell you how much more you might have to spend to get it back to usable condition.
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Old 01-22-2019, 7:31 PM
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Also does it function as it should even if it might be a little gritty (until you get in and clean all the internals out)... is it functioning the way it was designed to in both double and single action?
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Old 01-22-2019, 8:03 PM
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I would send those pictures to Smith and Wesson Customer Service and see what they say.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:45 PM
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Save it for a police buy back, at least you'll get some $ out of it.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:49 PM
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How much do you wanna put in it? Yes I can salvage it. Check pm. Where are you located?
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Old 01-23-2019, 2:26 AM
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I am curious, did you lose anything else?
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Old 01-23-2019, 8:42 AM
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Let me start with, I'm new to Calguns and am still learning how to navigate the site.
I just wanna say Thank you all for your help and suggestions. This was my first hand gun I ever owned, and have had for over 25 years. Let's just say it was my gateway to my collection I now have. Lol
I removed the side plate and very little surface rust on the internals. Every thing functioned as intended, double and single action. After cleaning and lots of oil it doesn't look to bad. Barrel and cylinder look very good. I already have a few ideas for my new custom revolver build. As for how the water got in is unknown. First time in 19 years. I had 2 bank bags one with cash for a rainy day and a $2 dollar bill collection. Each bill soaked to the point of mush and covered in mold. I spent hours in a bowl of vinegar and dish soap separating them. I also had an ammo can standing on end with valuables from my late parents. Thank god the rubber seal was in good condition, not a drop of water inside.
Thank you all again. Glad to be part of this group.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:46 AM
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Wow that trigger guard though

Does look better already though OP. I'd strip it, clean up that trigger guard or maybe have someone do some welding on it, cold blue it or rust blue it, and call it good. Get some new grips on ebay, J-Frame square butt.
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Last edited by SkyHawk; 01-23-2019 at 2:36 PM..
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:10 AM
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Congratulations, you saved it!

I would be cautious of putting those wood grips back on IF they are retaining any moisture at all, because you might get rust or staining all over again.

A new set of replacement wood grips, rubber grips (with or without a built-in laser) or even imitation ivory might just be the ticket now that you've brought it back from Beyond.

You're fortunate the barrel, cylinder and internals were all in good shape.

Some wild ideas for "fixing" the trigger guard on the cheap...

Making it a Fitz special , as someone mentioned above by removing part of the trigger guard. You can do an image search for Fitz Special revolver or Wikipedia to get an idea.

Or maybe wrapping it in the leather, like you see on lever action rifle lever loops and butt pads?
At least that would keep those sharp edges from scratching you or other items in your safe.

Or how about wrapping it in paracord and/or fishing line and keeping the revolver as a post-apocalypse / zombie / emergency fishing bug-out gun?




The most important question is how could you have a collection of guns and not know about calguns.net?



In any case...


Welcome aboard, glad to have you here!

Last edited by sealocan; 01-23-2019 at 11:14 AM..
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:14 AM
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What is your location??? I'd give you $50.00 and turn it into wall art.
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Old 01-23-2019, 2:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sealocan View Post
Some wild ideas for "fixing" the trigger guard on the cheap...

Or maybe wrapping it in the leather, like you see on lever action rifle lever loops and butt pads?

Great idea on the leather wrap!! Use a baseball stitch on it. It would have to be pretty thin to keep the trigger from dragging on it though. I'd still clean up the sharp edges beforehand, cold blue and be sure to oil the guard before applying the wrap.

It would look like this OP:

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Old 01-23-2019, 6:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRAZYTRAIN View Post
I have a Smith&Wesson .38 snub wrapped in socks I was keeping in a floor safe in the garage. I had not been into for atleast 3 years. found out today it some how got water in it. The trigger gaurd is almost gone along with almost all of the blueing. The wooden grips are swollen. What should i do? Can it be saved, or is it a lost cause? (I allready know, not a good idea to store a firearm in a floor safe.) Thanks in advance.
Since you said the internals are in good shape, chase down one of the cut-up Smith frames of the same size and cut the triggerguard off of it.
https://everygunpart.com/handgun-kit...lued-8033.html
That parts kit will also have a decent barrel and cylinder that could be used if yours are rusted.
Then I would section out the bad parts of your triggerguard and graft in the good triggerguard from the cut up frame.

There are less expensive parts kits if you can find another type of revolver where the triggerguard is similar enough:
https://everygunpart.com/handgun-kit...00&order=price

When the welding is all cleaned up, blast and parkerize the whole gun and call it a working gun.
That's what I have done with some of Ajax22's rust revival pieces.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:11 PM
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Do you know of someone that can tig weld .

Hand file and grind a new trigger guard to shape and cut away the old trigger guard and tig weld a new piece in.

I had a gun smith friend that would make special winter guns with over size trigger guards for alaskian trappers that way.
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Old 01-31-2019, 3:47 PM
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Contact S&W customer service. I sent in a beat up Model 19 and they did a great job / matte finish that was superb. Re: the guard, I too think that a Fitz special would be novel, but would also need careful handling!
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Old 02-07-2019, 3:51 PM
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There are lots of options. The cutaway trigger guard was just featured in last months Guns and Ammo magazine.
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Old 02-07-2019, 3:55 PM
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The bills can be replaced by treasury if identifiable. Contact them. They will trade dollar for dollar.
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