December 3, 2012
Restorative Powers of the Performance Center
Editor's Note: This piece appeared in our companion service, The Tactical Wire, July 10, 2012
It was about three years ago that a security director was telling me about a revolver he used to "rent" out to employees who couldn't afford to buy a guy for their job duties. He'd rented this thing out and, when the employee left the job, it was quite a chore to get it back according to the story. It was eventually returned in ugly condition; he thought it'd been in a fire. The former co-worker said he'd stored it in automatic transmission fluid to minimize the chance it'd rust. In any event, the result was a scarred, gray mess. The former employee was afraid to return it until he was made to fear failing to return it more. I told him I'd look at it, but if it'd been in a fire I held out little hope.
He told me he didn't want to mess with it. I threw him an offer, which he took. I figured I could turn it into an article someday. Fast-forward to the present.
I arrived at the S&W Booth at SHOT 2012 and immediately ran into Tony Miele, boss of the Performance Center and the S&W Pro Series guns. He was anxious to show me something - the Classic Series has added the Model 586 Distinguished Combat Magnum to the line.
I told Tony about the 586-1 I'd received in NRA-Very Sad Condition. "Send it to me," he said. "We'll make it brand new."
That'll be the day, I thought. Wait'll he gets a load of this!
I'd taken the gun out and fired it. The action was a little stiff, but there was no problem with accuracy and the springs still had their full snap. I filled out the paperwork, let Tony know it was coming and shipped it out. I sent the tracking number along to him. I knew he'd want to watch the restoration.
Well, the gun's back. Wrapped in S&W oil paper, the deep blue steel had not a mark on it. The original rollmarks were still there. The end of the underlug has an ever-so-slight taper - was the scarring so bad there, they had to do some surgery? The chamber mouths are lightly chamfered - what else do you expect from the PC?
No, I haven't fired it yet. But I look into that deep pool of blue black and see the work of craftsmen. This thing is a work of art. Can anyone else make an original S&W revolver from the 1980s?
Have you got a Smith and Wesson that needs restoration? The Performance Center is one option. From the looks of this example, it's a classy option indeed.
For more information, look to http://www.smith-wesson.com .
Photos courtesy of Smith and Wesson Performance Center.