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Polishing and gun values


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On 5/5/2022 at 6:47 AM, Rilo said:

Hi all,


if I wanted to polish some of my stainless guns to a high finish almost nickel how much does this truly hurt the value? I was reading online you completely remove the value and collectibility?




Nonsense, whoever wrote that is an idiot IMO.  Also, you can always return the bright finish back to a duller satin finish with minimal unpolishing.

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On 5/5/2022 at 9:08 AM, Rmac702 said:


Nonsense, whoever wrote that is an idiot IMO.  Also, you can always return the bright finish back to a duller satin finish with minimal unpolishing.

Its well noted by many and its in the bluebook as a devaluation. Not going to say someone is an idiot I was merely asking a question before I do something I regret on value.

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If it is a collectible firearm, it's value lies in it's original and pristine condition. A Nazi made Browning High Power stripped, polished and beautifully re-blued to pre-war or post-war standards would have little historical value. Unless you are a known gunsmith improving on the original design and it's finish, adding beauty to a pistol may limit it's desirability.


I have an unfired Springfield SA-35. I kinda want to have all the stupid sharp edges removed and the entire pistol polished and have it rust blued. It would be cool, but just for me. I don't think it adds any value. And unless some future owner thought it was cool, a one of a kind thing, it may lower the value. But it's just something i want to do, if possible.


Likewise with a moderately beat up FEG that shows a patina of age and use it probably has not earned. I kind of want to have it case color hardened. This would certainly lower it's value while costing a fair amount. It would be a functioning pistol with a different look. Just for me and whomever gets it when I'm gone...


If you are "making art" for yourself... go for it.


These days, with the Internet, I do not think the Blue Book value is reliable. People are paying far too much.

Edited by soundguy
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Usually the mistake people make is thinking that custom work on a gun increases the value. It doesn't. No one cares about your custom trigger job or finish.


But the OP question is essentially how much custom work decreases the value of a gun. As noted above, if it's a historically significant gun, it could hurt the value a lot. Otherwise I'd say it depends on how reversible the work is.


In practice, your gun is your gun. Make it work the way you like. Make it look the way you like. When you die, it's no longer your problem what someone else thinks your gun is worth.

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Sticking strictly with the OPs question, you would devalue most historical firearms if you did anything to them besides repair them. The repair parts would have to be original or recognized amongst the 2A community as original spec replacement parts and having the factory broken parts is a plus. As far as modern firearms, embellishment is a positive for many potential customers...

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If its collectable and you intend to sell it...leave it as is.....

Let the buyer determine if they want to alter/change the finish...


I had a collectable.



I decided I wanted to clean it up....


I scrubbed..polished..scrubbed...






Took it apart...


Cleaned and cleaned some more...


The result? (see pic)

I damaged it beyond repair...nobody would buy it...

Dont look at it if you can't stand disappointment...








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