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Orlando: Your PPK's "writing" is etched on the slide. It's a process where a template is used to allow acid to "etch" the steel in the form of the writing for a short period of time. This "etches" the information onto the gun.

The process of "roll engraving" is where a metal wheel is "rolled" over the slide with pressure to "roll engrave" the writing there.

"Stamping" is where a metal "stamp" of the writing is pressed onto the slide with high pressure to leave the writing.

All have little faults occasionally. Sometimes etching misses spots. Sometimes roll engraving loses pressure at the beginning or end of the "roll" and the writing appears lighter. Sometimes stamping is crooked or light or too heavy.

Here's a close up of a 1966 PPK with etched lettering:



Here's a pic of the gun with it's original dark brown grips:





Most of the time, guns are more valuable worn than they are reblued or restored. But it depends on what you want the gun for and how much money you want to spend.

A 1st Generation Colt Single Action Army .45 revolver in very worn condition is worth much more in this worn condition that it would ever be re-blued/restored. They are very collectible and quite rare.

Here is a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless I was given for free. It was horrible with an un-shootable rusty bore and Colt made 1.1 million of them so they're not rare. In mint condition they are valuable but this one was junk:



So I bought a new barrel for it ($79) and it fired well. So I had it reblued/restored ($100) and I put a set of bonded ivory Colt medallion grips on it (they were my dad's) and this is how it looked:



The restoration was first rate, but it doesn't make a $179 gun into a $1000 collector's piece. I just wanted it for a shooter and I felt good about bringing a junker back from the dead.

But then I paid $300 for Michael Gouse ( www.mtart.com ) to engrave it with 75% American Scroll coverage (see reply post-I can't post more than 4 pics in a single post):


I'm very happy with my $479 gun. I could probably sell it for more (but I would never and should never advertise it as anything but a restored and modern engraved gun).

So, back to your PPK....

You could get proper grips for it somewhere or put a set of new black ones on. You could leave it as is or you could have it reblued/restored by a really good professional who wouldn't lose the etched writing on the slide. Or, you could have it satin nickel plated or hard chromed or even satin black hard chromed (would look pretty cool with black grips) if the gun is so far gone that blueing it would look lousy. Plating of any kind can cover up metal discoloration but imperfections in the metal (nicks, dings, rust pitting) will still be obvious.

So then there is engraving to consider. A good engraver could polish the gun to get rid of most nicks and dings. Then deeper marks could be incorporated into the engraving to cover them up.

Here is what Gouse did with my stainless Interarms PPK (circa 1988) for $300...75% coverage American Scroll (see reply post):


I think we'd all like to see a picture of your PPK!
 

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Orlando: OUCH! That poor little PPK makes me want to cry.

Okay, first things first...even if you paid Doug Turnbull restoration $2000 to bring that gun back to original (which I doubt could be brought back that good, to where it looked perfect again), there wouldn't be much point in it. It will never again have the value of one in 100% original condition.

Yes, you can buy dark brown plastic bottomed magazines. They're going to be expensive though!

If the gun was mine, I would make it a cool looking shooter/carry/self protection gun with total disregard for future monetary value.

I would search the internet for a custom gunsmith who could polish it, heliarc weld a beavertail grip tang onto it, dovetail custom Novak style low profile front and rear sights, slick up the trigger action (since the fire, the springs should all be replaced anyway due to heat exposure) and then have the whole thing satin nickel plated. You'd have a carry gun to be proud of and it would gain back some monetary value that way.

Check out Cylinder & Slide's custom PPK. They could do it for you:
http://images.google.com/imgres?img...pk&start=20&gbv=2&ndsp=20&svnum=10&hl=en&sa=N
 

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Orlando, since you have so little in the gun (a great way to start on a custom deal), you could spend $400-$500 and have a super custom gun with options that appeal to you. And if it's done right, no one will know how the gun started out. I would think you could re-sell it years later and get your money back or even make a profit. I'm not saying you should lie about the gun's history, just that if done correctly, it wouldn't be a big deal.

I wouldn't worry about the fire affecting the gun either, other than the springs. Plastic grips melt at a very low temperature. The springs could be affected too, but the frame, barrel, slide, etc will be fine.

As to why satin electroless nickel plating, 20 years ago my department switched to Sigs. The P220 was offered in satin electroless nickel but if we ordered any, it would hold up our entire department order. So the Chief decided we couldn't get any. The blue/parkerized Sigs rusted immediately in our humid locker room and in everyone's holsters out in the elements.

I called Sig and asked about having my gun electroless nickel plated. They said all factory Sig's in nickel were done by Klein Plating of Erie, PA. I called them and (this was in 1989) it cost $60 to have the whole gun plated with a total of three magazines. I sent two of mine off as did several others co-workers.

I've carried that P220 every day I've worked since then with no rust or wear at all.

I'm not saying to have the gun polished and then put a bright nickel finish put on.

But satin electroless nickel is extremely durable and costs quite a bit less than many other finishes available today. I think your PPK would look great with a set of black plastic grips, Novak sights and a finish like my Sig P220:

 

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A guy I worked with came home from work with his blued Walther TPH in his waistband. He found his wife had a bunch of her friends over. He quickly stashed the gun in the oven so as not to freak out is wife's friends. He went to shower and change clothes and then he finally came back into the living room. He smelled something burning. His wife had put some appetizers in the broiler (directly under the oven). His TPH's grips were a pile of goo. The gun was scorched.

He eventually scraped the melted remaining plastic grip material off the gun and replaces all the springs. He brought it to a gunsmith who tested the metal for hardness and brittleness. It was pronouced sound. He carried and qualified with it for years afterwards. But it sure looked (literally) like hell!
 
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