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  #1  
Old 11-02-2017, 4:35 PM
rpanicus rpanicus is offline
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Default Beretta S3

My uncle passed and I am inheriting two guns they both have some rust and haven’t been fired in my lifetime. One of the guns is a Beretta that my uncle bought while he was in Italy around the late 50s-early 60s. I can tell under the dust and rusting on the barrel that it’s a really beautiful gun and it has a lot of intricate engraving. Is there anybody that does really good restoration work on this type of gun in the Los Angeles area?

Last edited by rpanicus; 11-16-2017 at 2:48 PM..
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2017, 5:43 PM
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Call Pacific Sporting Arms, out around Azuza. They will probably suggest sending it the Cole's in Maine or Midwest in Missouri. Cole's is the place for high end Berettas.
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Old 11-02-2017, 6:16 PM
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Thanks, I just sent Cole's an email, will also call Pacific Sporting. I'll post some photos when I pick it up next weekend.
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Old 11-02-2017, 8:38 PM
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I believe that Bolsa is the west coast Beretta factory repair facility. You might try there along with Ducky's most excellent suggestions.
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Old 11-03-2017, 9:21 AM
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I think a full restoration of a Beretta S3 would be outside Bolsa's scope of services. They would probably outsource the job.
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Old 11-03-2017, 9:51 AM
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Always sad to see an abused higher end gun. That said, a bit of rust doesn't preclude it from being a shooter.

Hopefully it can be salvaged, but one-off repair of engraved surfaces can be quite costly.
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Old 11-03-2017, 1:18 PM
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There was also a Winchester 63 but I am going to focus on the Beretta first. Hoping this restore can be done for under 2k.
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Old 11-11-2017, 1:13 PM
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Picked them up today the Beretta isn't as bad as I thought the rust on it is like a very thin patina that I can hardly feel. Most of the inside looks shiney and new.

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Old 11-11-2017, 1:27 PM
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Geta pre 1982 penny and some oil and start rubbing. Did this to a swedish mauser and it came out beautiful
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Old 11-12-2017, 2:15 PM
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Took an old sock and some oil and a lot of the rust came off, every part outside of the barrels is engraved. Found the date code its older than I thought 1949.

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Last edited by rpanicus; 11-12-2017 at 2:43 PM..
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Old 11-16-2017, 3:02 PM
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Cleaned it up some more doesn't look nearly as bad as when I got it, rubbed the barrel with fine copper wool now it looks a 100x better, but I can still feel tiny pin size spots.

If I did send it out to be restored would it impact its value and would it be worth spending about $2.5k on getting it done?

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Old 11-16-2017, 4:53 PM
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From what I can see, that gun does not need to be restored. It probably needs to have the barrels and maybe a few small parts polished and properly blued, and then the rest of the metal cleaned and oiled. If you have a competent gunsmith completely strip the gun down to its components, he may recommend an ultrasonic cleaning on everything that does not need to be reblued. The engraved parts look like they may have been case hardened and colored, but it was probably a coin finish. If there is case color under the crud, the metal can be lacquered to protect remaining color after a thorough cleaning. A wood guy could clean up the checkering (if needed) and re-oil the wood. The buttstock is probably a different color under that lace-on pad, so that area will need to be blended anyway. I am not suggesting that you refinish the wood, just refresh it. That gun is special, so don't screw it up.
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Old 11-16-2017, 5:23 PM
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The quote I got was from Cole's in Maine from a ton of photos I sent him. Figure they work on a lot of these guns, he said restore would include the wood would be refinished and checkers recut. In this case with doing so much isn't it getting restored, does 2.5k sound right? I'l post some more pics.

I just want to bring it back to looking really nice but don't want to negatively effect its value.
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Old 11-16-2017, 5:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpanicus View Post
The quote I got was from Cole's in Maine from a ton of photos I sent him. Figure they work on a lot of these guns, he said restore would include the wood would be refinished and checkers recut. In this case with doing so much isn't it getting restored, does 2.5k sound right? I'l post some more pics.

I just want to bring it back to looking really nice but don't want to negatively effect its value.
Pics

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Old 11-16-2017, 5:32 PM
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Pics

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Old 11-16-2017, 5:49 PM
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Shame it got improperly stored. Looks like it was carried more than fired (hunting gun). The jeweling on the block is barely worn.

I'd certainly polish and reblue the barrels. They prolly have some tricks for cleaning up the engraving cuts too. The highs loo pretty good as is. Wood deserves a refinish.

Value? A collector would spot any reblue and discount accordingly, but it wouldn't be worth less reblued than it is currently with it's mottling/pitting if done right. Would value increase by $2500? Prolly not. Would your satisfaction to own increase by $2500? most likely.

If $2500 isn't a burden, I think you'll be happy with Cole's work. Heck, he can sell you woodsets for $2500.
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Last edited by JagerDog; 11-16-2017 at 5:56 PM..
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Old 11-16-2017, 6:26 PM
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Looking down the barrels it looked like it was never fired at least to me. Family were all were hunters and had a lot of guns, think this was just for my uncle show off.

When I look up prices for it they seem all over the place.

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Old 11-16-2017, 7:24 PM
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Those closeups show a fair amount of damage to the wood, including some dings that will steam out and some that won't. Checkering definitely needs to be recut in a number of areas, so that means they will recut it all. Too bad about that whiteline pad, but those things were ubiquitous in the 60s and 70s, kind of the shotgun equivalent of a leisure suit. What's the length of pull from the the middle of the front trigger to the end of the wood, not counting the pad or spacer? Looks like the stock was cut to square it up when they installed the pad. Be sure the LOP will be long enough for you with a proper pad replacement. That gun is definitely worth $2500 of refreshing, and I would listen to Cole's before I'd listen to me. Don't forget to figure in the cost of shipping and insurance.
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Old 11-16-2017, 7:48 PM
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What should I insure it for, when I ship it? HAHA my wife just asked "did you sell it yet", she hasn't figured out that I'm probably keeping it. To be honest I don't even know what LOP is but my uncle was about the same build as me. I held it and it felt good
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Old 11-17-2017, 9:15 AM
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Spent an hour just rubbing it down with oil, and got the leather strap off the barrel. Its starting to look pretty good outside of the wood. I can still tell a huge difference on the barrel from where it had rust vs the part that looks new under the forestock.


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Old 11-17-2017, 9:23 AM
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Actual market values will depend somewhat on barrel length, chokes, and LOP. If it were mine, I'd insure for at least $5K outbound and more than that coming back. There are lots of threads on various sites about the best ways to pack guns for shipping, and lots of stories of UPS and FedEx gorillas breaking guns that were well packed. Do some research on packing, but best is probably a breakdown hard case, locked and duct taped, inside another heavy carton, with no outside indication that the package contains a gun. Put all of your contact info on the outside and inside of the locked case, as a backup if the outer carton is damaged. Whatever you do, DO NOT ship the gun in its assembled form. Leverage on the barrels during transit can easily crack the stock at the wrist. Happens all the time. Everybody has heard horror stories about UPS and FedEx package handling and insurance delays in case of a claim. Some guys swear by USPS because of their tracking systems. Air is usually better than ground because there is less exposure to damage or theft.
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Old 11-17-2017, 9:29 AM
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LOP is 14 1/2, barrel lenth is 28 1/2. If I hold it with my finger on the trigger its the extract length of my forearm.

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Old 11-17-2017, 10:36 AM
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14-1/2 over that pad is probably 13-3/4 over the wood, so it will need a pad for most shooters. Beretta used to sell checkered walnut butt plates that would look good on that gun, but I don't know if they are still available, and don't remember the thickness. Cole should have the right pad for that gun. 28-1/2" barrels are metric, and are the perfect length for a field gun. Stock length, barrel length, straight grip and double triggers make that a very nice combination. Only downside is that wood is pretty plain for a high grade gun, but that's typical of Beretta. Some of their wood looks like it came from shipping pallets. If you do decide to sell it, you shouldn't have much trouble.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky's Dad View Post
14-1/2 over that pad is probably 13-3/4 over the wood, so it will need a pad for most shooters. Beretta used to sell checkered walnut butt plates that would look good on that gun, but I don't know if they are still available, and don't remember the thickness. Cole should have the right pad for that gun. 28-1/2" barrels are metric, and are the perfect length for a field gun. Stock length, barrel length, straight grip and double triggers make that a very nice combination. Only downside is that wood is pretty plain for a high grade gun, but that's typical of Beretta. Some of their wood looks like it came from shipping pallets. If you do decide to sell it, you shouldn't have much trouble.
is this the butt plates you are talking about, they have them in multiple sizes?

http://www.berettausa.com/en-us/pad-...-gloss/c55342/
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky's Dad View Post
14-1/2 over that pad is probably 13-3/4 over the wood, so it will need a pad for most shooters. Beretta used to sell checkered walnut butt plates that would look good on that gun, but I don't know if they are still available, and don't remember the thickness. Cole should have the right pad for that gun. 28-1/2" barrels are metric, and are the perfect length for a field gun. Stock length, barrel length, straight grip and double triggers make that a very nice combination. Only downside is that wood is pretty plain for a high grade gun, but that's typical of Beretta. Some of their wood looks like it came from shipping pallets. If you do decide to sell it, you shouldn't have much trouble.
is this the butt plates you are talking about, they have them in multiple sizes?

http://www.berettausa.com/en-us/pad-...-gloss/c55342/
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:39 AM
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That looks like the ones I remember, but I think the ones I bought years ago were unfinished. Still have a couple stashed somewhere. Those would be a nice touch if they give you enough LOP.
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Old 11-20-2017, 4:10 PM
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The damage is a shame. These are one of the Best Buy's in a sidelock overunder in the market today. You are going to lose engraving detail when it is cleaned up. That patern is not as detailed as fine English scroll, so I feel it is well worth the effort. I shoot a higher grade of this gun with different engraving and hand detachable locks, a S3EELL, but mechanically, it is the same gun. The quoted price from Cole is very fair for what the gun needs. If the locks are OK inside I would go for it. Here is a picture of mine.
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Old 12-07-2017, 2:24 PM
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Thats a beautiful gun, I hope mine looks about that nice when its done.

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