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Posted: 10/3/2004 10:50:45 AM EST
Some manufacturers such as S&W offer their Model 29 in Stainless and in Nickel. One is more of a mirror finish but what are the differences as far as care is concerned?
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 10:52:12 AM EST
The spelling is different too.
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 10:57:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By ARDOC:
The spelling is different too.

HOLY CRAP!!! I DIDNT NOTICE THAT!!!!! GREAT EYE ARDOC!!! GREAT EYE!
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 10:59:12 AM EST
"Nickel" is their plated finsh, on carbon steel. Stainless steel is an alloy that gets its corrosion resistance from relatively high chromium content. Nickel plating gives high bling factor in the hood, but also an alternate method of corrsosion protection and imporving the lubricity of the surfaces.
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 11:13:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By AeroE:
"Nickel" is their plated finsh, on carbon steel. Stainless steel is an alloy that gets its corrosion resistance from relatively high chromium content. Nickel plating gives high bling factor in the hood, but also an alternate method of corrsosion protection and imporving the lubricity of the surfaces.



Got ya. thanks... Now is Nickel as rust resistant as Stainless?? I have seen blued firearms rust, I have never seen Nickel or Stainless rust. I have seen Stainless 'pit' but not rust.
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 11:21:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By DrFrige:

Originally Posted By AeroE:
"Nickel" is their plated finsh, on carbon steel. Stainless steel is an alloy that gets its corrosion resistance from relatively high chromium content. Nickel plating gives high bling factor in the hood, but also an alternate method of corrsosion protection and imporving the lubricity of the surfaces.



Got ya. thanks... Now is Nickel as rust resistant as Stainless?? I have seen blued firearms rust, I have never seen Nickel or Stainless rust. I have seen Stainless 'pit' but not rust.


I have . A lot of people think stainless means just that . You still need to take care of it . Granted not as much a s good royal blue gun . But anything is going to look like crap if kept on a boat with out maintanace .
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 11:21:39 AM EST
Nickle will corrode after a long time, some guns I have seen that are stainless are not true to the name. I had a stainless s&w that would rust.
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 11:23:46 AM EST
Hard chrome is hard to rust, titanium is impossible to rust.
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 11:23:53 AM EST
SPECIAL FINISHES FOR FIREARMS

At AP&W we offer a greater variety of finishes than any other company in the world. We pride ourselves on doing top quality work and offer our finishes only after they have been thoroughly tested. Let’s start by categorizing the different types of finishes.

Plated Finishes

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Plated finishes of any kind offer the greatest wear resistance and a very high degree of corrosion resistance.
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Most plated finishes have hardness ratings greater than the base metal they are applied to. And offer superb corrosion resistance in the 100 salt test level.
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Personally, after 26 years of applying and testing these finishes, Hard Chrome offers the best all-around properties of any finish available for firearms that exists today. If there is something out there I don't know about please let me know. (sic) Sooner or later someone will come out with a compound containing corn flakes and ground moon rock dusted, sprayed superheated in an reactor and applied by gnomes who vaporize after your weapon is finished and make claims that sliced bread has been replaced...

Plated Finishes- Points of Light
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Hard Chrome, when applied to a steel, or stainless steel surface that has been properly prepared, will not chip or peel.
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The hardness rating averages 65 R.C., or about 1000 on the Vickers scale.
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Its friction co-efficient is .1 ( point one) when working with all surfaces chromed. Polishing the surface decreases the friction co-efficient even further.
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Salt spray ratings average around 100 plus hours.
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Matte hard Chrome Finishes are a light grey and completely non-reflective.
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Brushed Hard Chrome Finishes are the easiest to clean and have a very low reflectivity.
Note: I personally hunt with Hard Chromed firearms with both Matte and Brushed finishes, or combinations of them and I cannot document one instance where the finish has spooked the game I was hunting.

I have had deer come to within ten feet of my position on the ground with a Matte Chrome firearm in my hands. I wear full camo's and they have not even noticed as long as I am downwind. Talk about a rush.

Most areas of the country I hunt, the fall-winter weather conditions give the landscape a "grey" look. In snow, this Brushed Matte combo finish is like camo. If you have to leave your rifle to bring out your game, you better tie surveyors tape to your Matte Hard Chromed firearm especially if it has a black, or camo stock. That's if if you expect to find it when you go back to get it.


Plating STAINLESS Firearms.
The most common question is: "Why would you want to Chrome Plate your STAINLESS firearm"?

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Point One: The stainless alloys they manufacture firearms from have a high level of Chrome-Moly Steel in them. These are used so that they can be adequately hardened after machining. If you don’t believe me, put a magnet near your firearm, it will jump on it.

While gun stainless is far more corrosion resistant than any Blue Steel Chrome-Moly firearm construction, it is not as corrosion resistant as the stainless used in hardware or, surgical instruments.

Also, when stainless firearms rust, they usually pit deeply where the Chrome Moly part of the alloy is concentrated.
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Point Two: All stainless alloys have an inherent tendency to gall or bind when working surfaces are in the same alloy family. Gun manufacturers try to limit this problem by varying the hardness of the parts that work against each other and increasing the tolerances between the parts. For the most part, they are successful using these methods. However, you pay a price in accuracy potential and having a tight, smoothly functioning firearm with these methods.

Note: S&W, until recently, hard chromed all their hammers and triggers on their revolvers and auto loaders because of an adverse safety problem encountered with their original production of firearms when these parts were all un-plated stainless steel.
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Point Three: Many firearm owners think stainless guns are harder then Blue Steel firearms. This may be true of certain moving parts due to the mentioned galling problems, but, is not true of the overall construction of the firearm. Consequently, stainless firearms will scuff, or scratch at about the same level as Blued firearms. Any flaws on a stainless firearm are much more noticeable than on Black Finished firearms.

Summary of Hard Chrome

So what does chrome do to help these inherent stainless faults.

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It imparts to the surface an additional coating that has to be attacked and penetrated before it can attack the base metal.
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Due to the type of bonding chrome plating has with a base metal the overall corrosion resistance increases more than the rating for each metal. This may be the best combination of the two elements involved when corrosion resistance is a major concern.
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Hard chrome with its inherently low friction co-efficiency allows for smoother operation of the matted stainless parts with tighter tolerances and decreases the possibility of galling. You now can have a tighter, smoother, more dependable operating firearm. Third, due to the hardness of chrome, wear and tear is less noticeable and takes longer to happen. You have a better looking firearm with less maintenance.

Black Chrome Facts

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Black Chrome is the second hardest black finish available for firearms and the hardest finish available at a reasonable price. It is the premier finish when concealment is the first priority.
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Black Chrome has many of the same properties as regular chrome. However, in changing the plated deposit from a Light Grey color to Jet Black, we diminish two major properties of regular chrome, hardness and abrasion resistance.
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Black Chrome is slightly harder than Nickel. It was never intended to be a highly wear resistant finish, like Hard Chrome. It has much greater wear resistance than any form of Bluing (Black Oxide) and due to the presence of Nickel, or Chrome, as a base coat, a greater corrosion resistance than a single coating of Chrome, or Nickel the to the base metal.

Some of our clients are adamant about Black Finishes. This is the best bang for your dollar, if you are stuck on Black. For technical reasons we only offer this finish in a Matte surface texture and suggest the use of a wax impregnated oil on the exposed surface. Brownells offers a water soluble oil “Pro-Sheen” that is wax impregnated and works well on Black Chrome at two parts oil to one part water.

Nickel Plating

Nickel Plating, has been extensively used in the firearm’s industry for close to 100 years. Nickel finishes have a slight yellow cast to them and this coloring gives Nickel a softer appearance when applied to firearms.

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The only time we recommend Nickel over a Chrome Finish is to do restoration on older firearms, or when a firearm is so heavily pitted from neglect that full flaw removal would create a dangerous firearm.
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Matte Nickel Finishes do not show flaws like Chrome does because of softer coloring. Also, Nickel Plating solutions have chemicals in them that enhances the ability of the plating to fill in and fully cover the flaws that cannot be removed.
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Note: Bright Nickel solutions, due to their chemical make, create a more brittle and less ductile deposit on the base metal. This can cause the deposit to actually blow off, or crack where high pressure gas from the cartridge igniting come into direct contact with the plating. This problem mainly occurs with magnum handgun cartridges. AP&W uses a Semi-Bright Nickel solution that can be maintained with low levels of brighteners. This allows for a much less brittle and highly ductile deposit. We have used our tank to base coat magnum high power rifles and have not experienced any separation at the muzzles.
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Nickel Plated Finishes, in general, run about a 45 R.C. This is as hard as most of the parts in firearms manufacturing, but way off of the standard Hard Chrome at 65 R.C.
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Also, Nickel can tarnish, or stain like silver. Even some cleaning solvents can damage Nickel Finishes. Chrome, on the other hand, will not change its appearance unless attached by certain strong acids, or bases. Also, Nickel is more prone to show wear due to the lower hardness of the deposit, similar to Stainless Steel Firearms. Nickel and Chrome Finishes cost the same at AP&W. So unless there is special reason to choose Nickel, Chrome would be the better choice. Salt spray ratings are about the same…100+ hours.
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 11:33:16 AM EST
Excellent post hapjack

ALL metals can corrode. Even titanium can be made to corrode. Remember, galvanic corrsion is real.

Stainless steel isn't rust-proof. It is more correctly known as corrosion resistant (CRES). Stainless steel contains both nicel and chromium and sometimes vanadium, in addition to the iron and carbon. These elements contribute to the corrosion resistance.

Plated layers on top of metal can peel, chip. Peeling is usually caused by corrosion under the plated surface but can come from other causes, too. This is especially true when the hardness of the platings and the substrate differ by a lot.

Personally, I'd trust a stainless steel over nickel or chromium plating any day of the week. Yes, your stainless firearm needs maintenance. I work with plated parts too much. I have seen too many things go wrong with platings. As a result, I hate platings.
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 12:36:38 PM EST
There are lots of stainless steel alloys. Some are tough, some are brittle, some are soft, you name it. Do a search on "stainless steel alloys" on a search engine and you will find tens of different alloys such as

Type 302 Stainless Type 304 Stainless Type 304L Stainless Type 316 Stainless Type 316L Stainless Type 321 Stainless Type 347 Stainless Type 405 Stainless Type 410 Stainless Type 430 Stainless
Type 410 Stainless Type 414 Stainless Type 416 Stainless Type 416BQ Stainless Type 420 Stainless
Type 420F Stainless Type 431 Stainless Type 440A Stainless Type 440B Stainless Type 440C Stainless
440-XH™ AlloyTypes 440F or 440F-Se Stainless
Type 201 Stainless Type 304HN Stainless 15-15LC® Modified Stainless 18Cr-2Ni-12Mn Stainless
21Cr-6Ni-9Mn Stainless 22Cr-13Ni-5Mn Stainless 7-Mo Plus® Stainless Gall-Tough® Stainless
Gall-Tough Plus™ Stainless SCF 23™ (Sea-Fast™) Stainless

Just saying stainless steel, doesn't narrow it down enough. Like they said, nickel is a plating or part of an alloy, never used pure for guns, it's too brittle.
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