Not too long ago I returned a Vaquero to have the cylinder replaced. The gun had been abused. The cylinder was a mess. The point is the entire handgun looked seriously much better. A dinged up cylinder draws attention from the rest of the gun.
I do have a serious warning. Taking in orphan Ruger revolvers in can get highly addictive.
Added: IIRC the charge for replacing the cylinder was $170.00. All told, the cost was probably $200.00 including my shipping. May be worth a thought if the old cylinder won't clean up. Blue over pitting looks terrible.
That may sound like serious money. Might be worth a look at what these guns are going for new and used. I have sticker shock on much of the modern world.
Added: Removed suggestion of having grip frame reblued-stainless don't blue so well. Also, ask about aftermarket parts sending handguns to Ruger. Ruger is pretty strict concerning aftermarket parts.
Slightly strange occurrence in regards to my cylinder being sent to Ruger. I just sent it to them a week or two ago. Yesterday I received a UPS tracking email that a package was in route to me from Ruger with a signature required. Ruger told me 6-8 weeks for re-bluing and that I would receive a phone call to collect payment from me. I have heard nothing from Ruger. So....is the cylinder so badly damaged that Ruger won't attempt to re-blue it and is returning it? Did Christmas come early and Ruger is sending me a new cylinder for free? Or are things really slow for them and it has been re-blued already and there is a bill in the package?
IanC- the reason I didn't send the entire pistol in for re-bluing is 1) after I cleaned it up, the remainder of the frame looks very very good. For whatever reason, the rust mainly attacked the cylinder. 2) didn't want to deal with mailing a firearm. Have done it previously and our local UPS office isn't very helpful
Well, this is a surprise. Ruger returned the cylinder to me without any work done on it. The invoice that accompanied the cylinder has no information as to why it was returned. Ruger is closed for the entire week for the holiday (I called). Very disappointed.
I sent a used abused 1964 MK pistol back for a reblue and at the time a $35.00 MO, loose barrel to frame fit. Note to Ruger about the barrel fit, several weeks later got the pistol back completely rebuilt with the MO enclosed. Work order paperwork stated warranty work, replaced worn parts and no charge!