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I've been putting this off for a long time but I figured maybe I could get some good guidance here. My 2 3/4" Speed Six .38 has seen some heavy usage (25,000+ rounds) over the years since being bought by my brother in 1983, who has since passed on, unfortunately. It actually became my carry gun once ownership was transferred to me, hence the finish wear. With that in mind, it's a cherished family heirloom that I would never consider letting go of but my brother and I still enjoy shooting.

It clearly needs a total refinishing after being stripped down to bare metal. I'm actually thinking something unique but not flashy, definitely not a standard bluing.

Any ideas/suggestions?
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It honestly depends on what you are doing after the work. It's a working revolver so it's not and never will be a museum piece. I would think about getting it parkerized. Relatively tough. It you want REALLY tough, cerakote it. A wide variety of colors.
 

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It honestly depends on what you are doing after the work. It's a working revolver so it's not and never will be a museum piece. I would think about getting it parkerized. Relatively tough. It you want REALLY tough, cerakote it. A wide variety of colors.
No, it's working days are long past so it would just be a nice shooter at the range that also is a point of conversation for old revolver fans. I was thinking about Cerakote but don't know much about the process.
 

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It's very thin durable ceramic paint that gets airbrushed on and then baked hard. Though they do make an air dry version, but not as durable.
 

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Here are a couple of revolvers I did in Cerakote. Both are stainless steel but carbon steel is the same process. Cerakote has hundreds of colors so you're only limited by your imagination.
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If it was mine and given the family history I would be tempted to have a first rate refinishing by Ford's in their Master Blue finish. Not cheap and the wait is usually 6 months but the results are spectacular. With some nice wood grips it would certainly turn heads at the range. Just for an example of what Ford's can do here is an old K-22 I rescued and had Ford's restore.

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Discussion Starter #9
Here are a couple of revolvers I did in Cerakote. Both are stainless steel but carbon steel is the same process. Cerakote has hundreds of colors so you're only limited by your imagination.
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If it was mine and given the family history I would be tempted to have a first rate refinishing by Ford's in their Master Blue finish. Not cheap and the wait is usually 6 months but the results are spectacular. With some nice wood grips it would certainly turn heads at the range. Just for an example of what Ford's can do here is an old K-22 I rescued and had Ford's restore.

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What kind of cost, turnaround time for both options, actually?
 

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Ford's reputation for refinishing has slipped badly in the past several years. I would hesitate to send them anything for refinishing these days. Bobby Tyler (Tyler's Gun Works) does excellent bluing; Mahovsky's Metalife does excellent hard chrome (and nickel plating). And of course, Doug Turnbull does absolutely outstanding restorations, bluing, and color case hardening. Turnbull won't be 'cheap,' but it will be done right.
 

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What kind of cost, turnaround time for both options, actually?
I did the Cerakote myself so I can't say what it would cost if done commercially. If you go to Cerakote's website you can find applicators in your area and then make a few phone calls to get an idea on cost. Anytime you can find a local option you like you'll save money on the shipping back and forth.

Ford's charges around $375 as I recall for their Master Blue. I had a couple of guns done by Gary Reeder and his price was about the same and his turn around was similar too - 5 months or so. Other names mentioned in the thread are also good options as well.
 

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To be honest, I know you aren't looking for bluing but I would also if price is an issue, I might just have it bead blasted then either try duracoat or bluing yourself.


 

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I've been putting this off for a long time but I figured maybe I could get some good guidance here. My 2 3/4" Speed Six .38 has seen some heavy usage (25,000+ rounds) over the years since being bought by my brother in 1983, who has since passed on, unfortunately. It actually became my carry gun once ownership was transferred to me, hence the finish wear. With that in mind, it's a cherished family heirloom that I would never consider letting go of but my brother and I still enjoy shooting.

It clearly needs a total refinishing after being stripped down to bare metal. I'm actually thinking something unique but not flashy, definitely not a standard bluing.

Any ideas/suggestions? View attachment 143473 View attachment 143474 View attachment 143475 View attachment 143476
There are some really beautiful refinish jobs show in response to your inquiry. I would choose one and go for it. That pistol is worth whatever you put into it. The Speed Six and Security Six were, Are, two of the best designs Ruger ever put on the market. 25,000 rounds is not going to wear that gun out with decent care.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There are some really beautiful refinish jobs show in response to your inquiry. I would choose one and go for it. That pistol is worth whatever you put into it. The Speed Six and Security Six were, Are, two of the best designs Ruger ever put on the market. 25,000 rounds is not going to wear that gun out with decent care.
Thanks for the input and I 100% agree. There's not a chance in hell that I would ever give up that Speed Six. Obvious sentimental value but it's always worked great. Very accurate and clearly durable as any firearm I've ever seen. Back in the day, my brothers and I put both +P+ "Treasury" loads through it regularly and there's never been an issue.

Refinishing will take away any true collector value in terms of a gun auction style appraisal but I don't care. I'm definitely leaning towards a nice, baked on Cerakote finish. Depending on the color and what I can find as far as grips to replace the very aged Pachmayrs that are almost worn smooth, I can see this being a proud point of conversation at the range.
 

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If you plan to shoot it much, think carefully about color. I've noticed that the lighter Cerakote colors seem to pick up grime pretty badly. Seen some nasty looking Wranglers with only store handling.
 

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If you plan to shoot it much, think carefully about color. I've noticed that the lighter Cerakote colors seem to pick up grime pretty badly. Seen some nasty looking Wranglers with only store handling.
Thanks for the heads up! Everyone on this forum has offered some much appreciated advice.

I actually was kind of concerned about how well a lighter colored Cerakote finish would stay true to color so your confirmation kind of solidifies things. Once back to work, I'm thinking a darker, baked on Cerakote finish. Probably a dark blue or matte black. With some new grips and, perhaps, some sort of luminescent inset into a new front site blade, I think my old family heirloom will be quite a conversation piece.
 
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