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I would get another set of grips to shoot with to save those. Pachmayers or whatever. You might spring for a letter. Then I would ask here and/or other gun sites if any one knows what type filler if possible that you can use to fill that chip in the grips.
Clean it using the suggestions here, keep it, shoot it and pass it on to your heirs.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Thats for all the advice and comments everyone. I live in Washington state and the gunsmith is closed due to the coronavirus. Once he opens up again I will take my gun in to him to get the latch fixed and see if there is anything he recommends to get it all in top notch shape.
 

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I just took some rust an antique Italian pocket auto with that “big45 metal cleaner” it’s like a Brillo pad but made to clean metal. Will not hurt the finish. Go check it out.. cheap too
 

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Thats for all the advice and comments everyone. I live in Washington state and the gunsmith is closed due to the coronavirus. Once he opens up again I will take my gun in to him to get the latch fixed and see if there is anything he recommends to get it all in top notch shape.
Be careful he doesn't recommend that they do their "This Week $199 REBLUE SPECIAL!" Many gun shops don't know collectibles...they know black plastic. I've even had pretty good gunshop "smiths" jimmy up a screw on the hammer of my Trapdoor Springfield, another "polished up" an nicely patina's piece of 1860s brass. Be careful, that gun is worth a couple grand at least. Many a $5,000 gun has been reduced to a $2500 gun in 10 minutes of unknowledgeable cleaning. Even by "gunsmiths". Personally, I wouldn't let a local one touch that gun. Unless you know they are good.
 

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As long as we are in the 'save that revolver' mode, I can offer another $0.02 worth.
If your guy has a ultrasonic cleaner, it will get at all the solidified gruk, crud, and rust.
If you ever feel a little froggy, and have an irresistible urge to get after any little remaining rust spots, don't jump with anything any harder than 100% copper.
The ultrasonis treatment should take care of everything.
Be sure it gets a proper lube job, function test and test firing.

There has been a lot of discussion on this general topic, and you will find good information all over the place here.
 

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Your gun is pretty desirable, Shooting Masters were Colt’s top of the line, and the guns chambered in .357 aren’t as common as the .38 Specials. Several people here have given you good advice and you should make it a priority to take care of the current rust and prevent any more from occurring. Most importantly, be careful of the gunsmith if he offers to buy it. He’ll likely know what you have and want it so if he in any way sends up any red flags, pay attention to your gut.
 

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Great Model, great stocks, great caliber -- you've hit the trifecta!

From 1932 - 1939, the list price of this Colt was $52.50, in 1940 - 1941 it went to $52.75. From 1932 - 1936, the Shooting Master was the most expensive double action revolver that Colt made. From 1937 - 1941, the Shooting Master and the New Service Target were priced the same and were tied for the most expensive pre-war double action revolver that Colt made.

A very special gun indeed.

Sam
 

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Bran357. Your Grandfathers gun is one of about 500 that were made in that caliber. Colt produced about 3500 Shooting Masters and most, about 2500, were made in .38 Special. While the condition is not the best it is still a desirable gun. The Shooting Master was made in two different frame types, the round butt and the square butt. Your gun has the square butt which was like the Colt New Service that the Shooting Master evolved from. If I had to guess I would say that the pearl stocks appear to be from an earlier model New Service revolver. I hope this information helps.

Square butt on the left, round butt on the right:
 

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Bran357 - that is a valuable and rare Colt. Find an experienced Colt gunsmith (or maybe send to Colt?? I don't know Colt's situation these days). I suggest you also consider purchasing a Colt factory letter ($75.00?).

Getting out into the "weeds" a bit:

I purchased a factory letter on a Colt 1903 in 32acp; the pistol was a WWII bring-back from the Pacific Theatre. The Colt letter stated the pistol was sent to the Dutch East Indies National Police Force in May 1941. When the Japanese over-ran the West Indies (now Indonesia) a Japanese office took possession (officers were allowed to have other-than-Japanese side arms). A GI stationed in the Pacific brought the gun back with him (I have a copy of the US transfer paperwork).

Point being: a Colt factory letter on your gramp's Shooting Master 357 would be interesting + add value IMHO.
 

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Bran357 - that is a valuable and rare Colt. Find an experienced Colt gunsmith (or maybe send to Colt?? I don't know Colt's situation these days). I suggest you also consider purchasing a Colt factory letter ($75.00?).

Getting out into the "weeds" a bit:

I purchased a factory letter on a Colt 1903 in 32acp; the pistol was a WWII bring-back from the Pacific Theatre. The Colt letter stated the pistol was sent to the Dutch East Indies National Police Force in May 1941. When the Japanese over-ran the West Indies (now Indonesia) a Japanese office took possession (officers were allowed to have other-than-Japanese side arms). A GI stationed in the Pacific brought the gun back with him (I have a copy of the US transfer paperwork).

Point being: a Colt factory letter on your gramp's Shooting Master 357 would be interesting + add value IMHO.
DO NOT SEND IT TO COLT!! It will be returned. They have not worked on those guns in well over 30 years.
 

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Thanks for correcting me BusaDave. I wasn't sure about Colt's situation (hence the ?? in my post). Best Regards.
 

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Sir, your Grandfather had exceptional taste in firearms. If this is one example of the kind of guns he had, we would love to see the rest of his collection. The grips are very fragile, and desirable to collectors, removing and replacing them with wood would be ideal. The acetone, atf bath may loosen up the cylinder latch mechanism as it's probably frozen by congealed oil. Good Luck, a really fine looking gun.
 
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