Restore or not? 1953 Ruger Standard Model

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Coup d'etat

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Pahrump
I have an early Ruger Standard Model that I've had for years. Mechanically it is in excellent condition, but the bluing is thin and has turned to a brown patina in most places. The grips were badly worn so I replaced those with some originals in better shape.
I was thinking about having it refinished (re-blued).
Should I leave it be or restore it? Serial number places it to 1953 i believe.

Cheers, Coup
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20230118_193108.jpg
    IMG_20230118_193108.jpg
    3.8 MB · Views: 81
  • IMG_20230118_193053.jpg
    IMG_20230118_193053.jpg
    3.6 MB · Views: 80

arcticruger

Red Eagle
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
592
Location
Northland
If it’s a keeper and you regularly use it, then I’d have it reblued or have some custom exterior finish work done on it that makes it unique to you (engraving, inlay, case coloring, etc). Make a project of it.

On the other hand if you are wanting to sell it, it’s probably best to leave it as it is. Although I can’t tell by the pictures, but if its like you describe it, I don’t think having it reblued would drop its value too much if any. you just won’t be able to call it “original” anymore.

Ultimately it’s your pistol, and whatever you decide will be good. ;)
 

the_leper_colony

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
456
Location
the Great State of Wide-open (WY)
I'd leave it as is and enjoy it...Plenty of higher grade examples out there. Some of my favorite vintage firearms have that "used but not abused" appearance, and I often wish that they could tell me the tales of their former adventures.

Amen to that! I've got a handgun that was made right around the end of World War 2 - I joke with friends that "It's my '45" (year not caliber ;-). It's not super collectible, and had seen enough 'real world' use that some previous owner had actually spray painted it black. I cleaned off the paint, and got lucky: there was 'old school' bluing underneath in most places, along with a few areas that had worn down to bare metal, but no rust. I thought about cold bluing it, but the wear is part of the story!

Bought some new mesquite wood grip panels for it, from a nice gent down in Texas, and picked up a few extra factory mags at gun shows. It got a brand new recoil spring (rest of the springs were good); feeding, extraction and ejection are reliable, the trigger works for me, and (most important) it's fun to shoot! To me, it's pretty as a picture - form follows function! It's the only firearm that caliber that I own, but I enjoy loading for it, and actually back the loads off a bit, so it will probably outlast me by a couple hundred years (nothing wrong with a traditional, all-steal firearm). I've got a period flap holster it rides in when we're out in the national forest.

Nothing wrong at all with "used but not abused"!
:)
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
8,122
Location
Ohio , U.S.A.
bottom line it is YOUR gun and nothing wrong with having something that is "nice", as noted above the "patina" is only the start of things to come. the BIG difference is in just what you have done to it, a reblue? if it LOOKS "reblued" then it is, but if a proper "restoration" done right, it will look like NEW and how it was when it was made, and if its done RIGHT,,, it will NOT look "reblued".....ask me how I know someday:cool::rolleyes:;)
 

CHEVYINLINE6

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Messages
93
Location
Vancouver Washington
Very nice piece of history there. I have a 1954 Standard model thay has maybe 5% of it's original finish left, but no rust. The grips are very worn and the grip screws show wear from a improper screwdriver having been used in the past. The reciever is a little loose on the frame, but the gun works just fine and I will probably leave it as is at least for now. I have all the NOS parts if I wanted to restore it. It still goes out with us and still gets shot. I have others that are so nice they never are shot. I have one 6 inch Standard that appears to have never been fired and will remain that way. It's your gun, do what makes you enjoy it.

INLINECHEVY6.
 

CHEVYINLINE6

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Messages
93
Location
Vancouver Washington
Korean war era money saving method done by Ruger to save steel for the war effort. look at the rear of the bolt. You should be able to see a parting line where the two parts were joined. There is a flat spot to properly index the two parts together. The flat spot can be on the top or bottom. I have read the flat being on the top is more rare than on the bottom. Mine is on the top. Do a search on the forum and you should be able to find more information and pictures. Ruger did this two piece design later with stainless bolts, but had problems.

INLINECHEVY6.
 

CHEVYINLINE6

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Messages
93
Location
Vancouver Washington
Just wanted to say the 1954 gun I mentioned above does not have the tapered bolt. I just happened to find the bolt only at a gunshow and bought it. I collect parts also.

INLINECHEVY6.
 

arcticruger

Red Eagle
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
592
Location
Northland
Korean war era money saving method done by Ruger to save steel for the war effort. look at the rear of the bolt. You should be able to see a parting line where the two parts were joined. There is a flat spot to properly index the two parts together. The flat spot can be on the top or bottom. I have read the flat being on the top is more rare than on the bottom. Mine is on the top. Do a search on the forum and you should be able to find more information and pictures. Ruger did this two piece design later with stainless bolts, but had problems.

INLINECHEVY6.
This ‘53 has the flat at the top.

std53backrt640.jpg


648C5C45-5BF1-4A4A-AD7F-868068DE76B5.jpeg
 

CHEVYINLINE6

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Messages
93
Location
Vancouver Washington
Nice pistol and with box and papers. In the past, I have seen some early boxes sell for big money. I am going out later today and try and find a Ruger MK 4 with this barrel / frame style, but so far I am only finding MK 4 / 22/45 models with 5-1/2 bull barrels.

INLINECHEVY6.
 

BarkeyVA

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
90
Location
Williamsburg, Va
I have a standard RST-4 made in 1953 with tapered bolt ears and the flat on the bottom. I also have a Mark I, T-678 made in 1953 with tapered bolt ears and the flat on the top.

I have seen more Korean War-era guns with the flat on top listed for sale than with the flat on the bottom.

Interestingly, Ruger told me that the serial number of my 1953 Mark I is listed as a standard RST-4 in their hand-written record books After I sent them photos, they acknowledged that my gun “appears to be a Mark I,” but they were not going to change their records.
 
Top