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Page Handguns » Colt
Posted: 6/19/2013 12:51:55 PM EDT
Just picked up a decent looking Combat Commander in Satin Nickel. What can I use or do to the finish to clean it up some? Thanks for any info

Link Posted: 6/19/2013 5:13:35 PM EDT
Just clean it with hoppes or similar then spray it down with gun scrubber or other solvent and it will sparkle.
Link Posted: 6/19/2013 5:59:45 PM EDT
keep the Hoppes away from satin nickel...if there are any imperfections in the finish the ammonia in Hoppes will attack the copper underneath the nickel...it will cause it to flake over time...I have  Satin Nickel Colt from 1978 and simply use a soft bristle brush and CLP
Link Posted: 6/20/2013 3:59:54 AM EDT
I've heard toothpaste, don't know if there's any validity to that but that's what I've heard.
Link Posted: 6/20/2013 6:47:50 AM EDT
Thanks for the info! I will try some clp that I have then others.
Link Posted: 6/20/2013 11:23:00 AM EDT
There is no copper plating under electroless nickel.
Electroless nickel is not a electroplated finish so it needs no under coat.
In any case, many guns don't have a copper underplate.

Like all gun finishes, when Electroless Nickel gets worn or damaged there's nothing that can be done short of a total refinish.
All you can do is clean the metal thoroughly to remove any surface dirt and what you get is what it is.

To clean you can use most any solvent, like paint thinner, lacquer thinner, or just apply a coat of CLP Breakfree and let it soak a day or two to dissolve any dirt or crud.
Once you have the surface dirt off, what you see is just going to be the way it is unless you have the gun refinished.
Using metal polishes will only thin or remove the thin surface coating.  The gun may look better, but you will have done serious damage to the finish.
When it comes to scratches or just worn away finish, "That won't buff out".  If you try, you also polish away the remaining finish.

If you'd like to have it new looking, Colt will refinish it for you.
They're not taking refinish work until August, but they can make it look like a brand new gun.
Link Posted: 6/29/2013 4:20:52 PM EDT
Satin nickel is not electroless nickel--it's electro-nickel and it does have a copper sub plating.  I've also heardthat toothpaste will clean it up, but for sure, speaking from experience, a very light bead blast will take the finish back to near-new. Keep Hoppes or any other copper solvent away from the external finish.
Link Posted: 6/30/2013 2:06:12 PM EDT
I've worked on a lot of nickel Commanders over the years.  I've also used toothpaste to clean a wide range of 1911s.  Toothpaste, or anything else for that matter, won't do much for your finish.  It will clean it for sure.  However, you won't do anything to rejuvenate the finish with regards to the freckling that is evident in the photo.  The good news is that it's easy to strip and refinish.  I've used Brownells room temp nickel stripper with decent results.  It doesn't work nearly as well as advertised, and you need to have access to a blast cabinet as well.  I've stripped maybe 30 guns in the past ten years and the biggest issue is making sure you get the plating off of the hard to reach spots, like the corners of the slide and frame rails.  Or, as previously suggested, check with Colt or a professional.  Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/1/2013 5:52:32 AM EDT
If you don't care about "collector" value in 30 years, my suggestion is have the pistol hard chromed. You can virtually replicate the satin nickel factory finish and the hard chrome will last way longer than you will live. I used Bob Cogan...apwcogan.com



Bob offers different levels of finishes, you can get your pistol done with one mag for under $200....it's well worth it
Link Posted: 7/2/2013 2:35:42 PM EDT
I just checked Bob's website.....very impressive, I have a 22 year old Springfield Armory 1911 that is ready for mid-life up grade!
Link Posted: 7/3/2013 4:14:36 AM EDT
Quoted:
I just checked Bob's website.....very impressive, I have a 22 year old Springfield Armory 1911 that is ready for mid-life up grade!


I live in Alabama so I drove over to Bob's shop and hand delivered my Compact. I brought the Government because I wanted the compact finish to be exactly like the GM, which hand been hard chromed 20 years before. Bob said: " No problem, that's my work on the GM". I was taken aback because, I had sent the GM to Larry Kelly (Magnaport) for a refinish after I had wore the blue off it shooting IPSC. Come to find out it was out sourced to Bob back in the day. Small world.



Link Posted: 7/5/2013 7:03:40 PM EDT



Quoted:


Satin nickel is not electroless nickel--it's electro-nickel and it does have a copper sub plating.  I've also heardthat toothpaste will clean it up, but for sure, speaking from experience, a very light bead blast will take the finish back to near-new. Keep Hoppes or any other copper solvent away from the external finish.


Colt' s satin nickel is in fact electroless nickel.  Flitz is what you seek to clean it and brighten it up.

 
Link Posted: 7/5/2013 8:41:20 PM EDT
Quoted:

Quoted:
Satin nickel is not electroless nickel--it's electro-nickel and it does have a copper sub plating.  I've also heardthat toothpaste will clean it up, but for sure, speaking from experience, a very light bead blast will take the finish back to near-new. Keep Hoppes or any other copper solvent away from the external finish.

Colt' s satin nickel is in fact electroless nickel.  Flitz is what you seek to clean it and brighten it up.  


I believe you're mistaken.  Colt designated satin nickel finish with a "SN" on the box label.  Electroless nickel os a Custom Shop premium product and is designated "EN" on the Custom Shop box label.  Satin nickel is a dull, flat finish when new. Whether it can be "brightened up" with anything, I don't have a clue.
Link Posted: 7/5/2013 9:03:46 PM EDT



Quoted:



Quoted:




Quoted:

Satin nickel is not electroless nickel--it's electro-nickel and it does have a copper sub plating.  I've also heardthat toothpaste will clean it up, but for sure, speaking from experience, a very light bead blast will take the finish back to near-new. Keep Hoppes or any other copper solvent away from the external finish.


Colt' s satin nickel is in fact electroless nickel.  Flitz is what you seek to clean it and brighten it up.  




I believe you're mistaken.  Colt designated satin nickel finish with a "SN" on the box label.  Electroless nickel os a Custom Shop premium product and is designated "EN" on the Custom Shop box label.  Satin nickel is a dull, flat finish when new. Whether it can be "brightened up" with anything, I don't have a clue.

The satin nickel is indeed electroless nickel.  Prior to being discontinued around 1983 it was known as Coltguard.  This is not to be confused with the bright nickel finish that Colt used on Govt. models and Pythons and a few other models.  Robar Inc. can strip and then reapply the e-nickel if you want to do a complete restoration but as I said I would try a little Flitz first.  Go easy with the Flitz as it is a mild polish and will make the finish shiny if you get carried away.





 
Link Posted: 7/8/2013 3:25:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/9/2013 7:43:27 AM EDT
Thanks for all the info. I cleaned it up with some flitz and light polishing and finish is much cleaner. I am gonna just stick with it not being perfect and shoot it.
Link Posted: 7/27/2013 7:44:49 AM EDT
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