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I have had this very nice DS 3" 1964 Nickel for awhile, and since I am on a grip clean up kick, I just got around to these.

First as advice, pull your grips once in awhile, as I had a big surprise underneath mine. It looks like the previous owner left hoppes under the grips for too long.

On the butt there are 3 markings. One is an "N" is this for Nickel? There is a small "S", is this an inspector stamp? There is a large "INS" which I have not seen before on other revolvers. Does the INS just mean it has been inspected or was this a agency issued weapon?

All in all, the DS cleaned up real nice, if you have some advice on cleaning the mess under the grips let me know. I did not want to damage the butt any further so I soaked it in oil and lightly removed some of the mess.

TIA
 

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Elliot, FWIW, I always pull the stocks off my handguns when subjecting them to any clean/lubrication/protectant procedure as it's so very easy for seepage underneath the stocks to occur.
 

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Elliot, FWIW, I always pull the stocks off my handguns when subjecting them to any clean/lubrication/protectant procedure as it's so very easy for seepage underneath the stocks to occur.
I really think this is a Nickel thing. Attached is a picture of a 93 year old M1911 that was refurbed in WWII. There was a ton of gunk under the grips but it cleaned up perfect. I think they knew what they were doing when they parkerized these things. :)
 

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"N" is often found stamped on the grip frame of nickel Colt's.
You'll find other letters or numbers on the grip frame, these are factory inspector's stamps.
You tend to find a lot fewer inspection stamps on Colt's then S&W.

On all my pistols, especially guns with rubber grips I apply a coat of Johnson's Paste Wax to the area of the frame covered by the grips to prevent rust or corrosion. I also apply wax to the inside of wood grips but not Pachmayr rubber. Don't apply wax to Pachmayr grips themselves since they're actually real rubber and wax isn't good for rubber.
I apply a medium thick coat and allow it to dry for 30 minutes to harden up before installing the grips.

Wood grips typically absorb some moisture so they don't tend to allow rust as easily as non-absorbing rubber.
The wax coating prevents moisture from attacking the metal.

Don't use car wax, use Johnson's or Renaissance hard Carnuba wax.
 

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I really think this is a Nickel thing.
To be blunt: No it is not. As Kid stated "INS" was short for INSPECTED. This was a typical stamping put on the lower left portion of the grip frame during this period in Colt double action revolver production. You will see "INS" stamped on blued and nickel finished I, E, and D-frames throughout this period in production. Colt did stamp an "N" to designate "Nickel" in this same area on the frame but it was later in production and after the "INS" stamp was no longer applied.
 

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Thank you Gunpoor. When I stated "this is a Nickel thing" I was referring to the use of ammonia based cleaners getting under the grips on nickel finishes.

However, I am really thankful for the learning experience on the markings under the grips.
 
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