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My 3” Model 65 was given to me, terribly corroded, about 13 years ago. Zero cost. It was my first handgun, having grown up with rifles and shotguns.
I spent a lot of time trying to turn it from brown back to silver and also remove the pitting. Finally got it looking pretty good, but I also wore through some of the nickel plating, so now it wants to rust even more in a few spots where the steel is exposed.
I’ve considered a Cerakote job, but it just doesn’t feel right to me. I learned about Robar Guns refinishing and am interested in their Electroless Nickel plating as well as the NP3.
The obvious problem is that I would spend $345-$410 plus shipping on a gun that would never be worth that much. I have better ones now, but I’m really attached to the gun, it shoots great, and I’d like it to look nice.
Between the two proposed finishes I like the low-friction qualities of the NP3, and the slightly greater luster of the Electroless Nickel. Anyone have experience with these? Opinions?
I know some of you will offer me a few bucks for the gun to put me out of my misery, but seriously, is it foolish to spend that much on a cheap gun?
 

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If you want it to look like stainless, go with Electroless nickel. I've done the plating for years in another life and the finish will only be as good as the prep work. Also, depending on the plating, you may throw components out of spec as a good nickel finish can be as thick as 5 mils. The NP3 adds teflon to the mix and that will also increase part thicknesses. Prior to any refinishing, get good solid pictures of any engraving such as roll marks, barrel markings and the Serial number in case they need to be re-etched into the finish. Check with the Feds in regards to remarking the serial number as I don't know the laws governing that.
 
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A 3 inch stainless model 65 would go for at least what you are looking at spending to refinish it.Well worth it if it is your baby.
 

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If it's for sentimental reasons, only you can judge if it's worth it. If you don't plan on selling it then do what your heart tells you you would enjoy most. Personally I would just create it black. A lot cheaper and it would look new again

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I like the battleworn look it has, but if you want to dress it up, go for it.
Cera cote would be much cheap, there are a lot of nice colors to choose from. I think it would cover up the pitting better.

Most guns are not worth the money some people put in to them, it's all in what the customer wants.

Life is short, enjoy it.
 

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I have better ones now, but I’m really attached to the gun, it shoots great, and I’d like it to look nice.
There's your answer. Go for it!

I really don't understand the idea of pricing limiting yourself to the cost of the gun or some other arbitrary figure. Lots of people buy plain-jane 1911s and spend more than the cost of the gun customizing them. Anyone who thinks that's fooling sees the world rather differently than I do. Heck, you can buy a Mustang, ship it off to Saleen, and spend all the money you want - double or triple the total cost of the project - to get the car that's in your head.

For defensive use, this logic is particularly silly. I like thumb safeties. Let's say I wanted a striker-fired, compact, high capacity, tupperware carry gun. I don't see how I could do better than a PT111 or PT140. Hey, look, I can get them for $250! Great! Now I decide I want tritium sights, a light, and a good holster. I have good candidates in mind, and they total $350. What's the right thing to do? Get the sights, light, and holster of course! I'm not buying this stuff to make an accountant happy, I'm buying it to defend my life. Each of those components makes the total system more effective. Choosing a cheaper light or holster because of how their prices compare to the gun would be illogical.

With any sentimental value, the decision is easy. Got the money? Does it enhance your enjoyment of the firearm? Do it. Who cares about the price comparison? Can't wait to see the refinished gun! I think I'd go with NP3.
 

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I have a few guns that are far less than perfect, and they’ll remain that way.
And I have a few that (for sentimental reasons) I wouldn’t hesitate to drop big coin to make perfect.
There’s no right or wrong answer, just answers that are better suited to you and your situation.
 

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Do it!
I don't think many of us are into guns for investment purposes. Besides, you'll have a total of $400.00 +- into the gun when everything is said and done.
How many years have you had it, 13 years? It's not going anywhere. It's your favorite. It's your first handgun.
Besides all of that, you want to get it done.
Do it!
 

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I went through this with a couple guns I got back from my dad after he passed (they were mine for a lone time but he hung onto them while I've been in the Navy). He'd really let them go and the corrosion was having its way with them. I used Duracoat since you don't have to bake it. I used a sandblaster to get them down to metal and then cleaned them up and used an airbrush to coat them. Turned out really nice. Can't say you'll get a nickel-like finish but you can get a nice matte stainless one that'll protect the gun from further damage.
 
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My 3" 66 needs bluing, but I don't worry about it. It's "experienced". :rofl: It shoot great, what really matters.
 

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My AR has optics that cost quite a bit more than the rifle itself, not to mention other goodies I plan to add purely for aesthetics. I've had rifles I paid for in stone (not literally) and put expensive scopes on. I also have a handgun that has holster wear that I have no intent to refinish as I kind of like the battle-worn look. There no right or wrong answer. Do it if that's what you want done because it'll likely be that nagging thing you wish you had done.
 
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Personally, I wouldn't do it. I'd clean it, degrease it, and apply a couple of layers of good, hard wax to it, and repeat periodically. But that's me. I would not criticize you one single bit for sinking a few bucks into refinishing it, if that's what you want. You don't have to justify it to anybody.

Scotty
 
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