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Posted: 8/2/2009 5:24:05 PM EST
i bought this gun for $450 including over 200 rounds of .45 ammo, and a holster (original receipt for $800,all packaging, 2 mags, and video included)

It's not the prettiest gun i have, but it functions PERFECTLY. In all i'm happy with the value i got, but i've decide to have it refinished because it has some pretty severe holster wear on the slide.

I found a professional gunsmith in my area who says he will do a MATTE nickel finish on my gun for $125, and he says he can have it back to me in 6 days. Included in that are nickel finish on slide, frame, barrel bushing, and putting a black finish on the moving parts (external safeties, sights, and slide stop). He's also replacing the faded white dots on my sights with VERY bright green ones.

Does anyone have experience with the matte nickel finish? Is that the same thing as a Satin Nickel finish? Is this a good value for the money?

If you have any guns done in this finish, please post pics, as i have no clue how my gun is going to look with the new finish

As you can see from the pics below, the wear on the gun is pretty severe...

Link Posted: 8/3/2009 4:17:03 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 4:36:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/3/2009 5:26:15 AM EST by skipsan]
My experience is limited to Colt's nickle processes. Satin nickle is nickle deposted over a copper plating which is applied to the steel frame/slide. It was used by Colt in the '70s and early '80s as a production option to the normal blued finish. It's awful in that its delicate and shows handling wear very easily. Normal gun cleaning chemicals will degrade and/or destroy the finish.
It doesn't look too bad, and the surface can be rejuvenated with bead blasting if there aren't any deep scratches into the copper.

Electrolyess nickle, on the other hand, was a premium finish offered by Colt (and others), looks a lot better in my opinion, and I believe is quire durable. This finish is applied directly to the steel frame/slide and doesn't use the copper substrate. It also is not "electro-deposited" hence the name "electroless.

The terms "brushed" nickle and "matte-nickle" don't speak to the basic nickle plating process used (I don't believe). I'd ask your smith whether the plating is electro-applied" over a copper base and if it is, I'd pass. If it's applied with an electroless process not using copper and electricity, then it might be OK depending on the capabilities of the plater. E-nickle is still offered by Colt's Custom Shop and other custom makers. Satin nickle went away a long time ago for good reason. I have a satin nickle Combat Commander, and while the finish looks OK and the gun is a good shooter, it lives in the safe because of the delicate finish.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 4:42:33 AM EST
The price seems too good to be true. I would be very skeptical. Also, I would pony up the extra cash and get a better finish.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 6:02:19 AM EST
after doing more research, it seems this guy is well known around here. i've talked to several people who've had work done by him, and they are all very happy. The finish will be electroless nickel... no copper substrate.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 8:28:48 AM EST
I'd do it if you want that style finish.

I personally only like black pistols, so I'd get the gun re-parkerized at Springfield Armory for $80. Or they can black Armory Kote the gun for $140.

On a cheap reliable 1911 like yours, parkerize.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 7:15:48 PM EST
$450 for a rusty Para LDA?
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 7:22:00 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 8:10:11 PM EST
wow that is just NICE!

If mine turns out that good, i'll be VERY happy.

Now i just need to find some thinner grips for my Para 14.45.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 10:27:50 PM EST
Electroless nickel is a pretty finish, but it is very prone to scuffing and the finish is easily marred compared to other more conventional finishes.
As somebody already mentioned, this type of finish is deposited chemically rather than plated using electric current.

My remarks are based on having owned a few Colt AR-15s with the Coltguard finish, and 1911s with the conventional (satin) nickel plating.
The electroless process may have been improved since those guns were made in the 1980s, but that finish was pretty delicate as far as its appearance, while the nickel plating held up a little better, but the satin finish was pretty easily marred - just about every satin nickel 1911 has an arc on it from the slide stop getting away during assembly.

Have you thought about Robar's NP3 finish? It's a blend of electroless nickel and teflon, which is very durable and corrosion resistant, and has self-lubricating properties. Here's a picture of a Sig done in NP3; I'm sure there are plenty of pictures of 1911s in NP3 on the web.

Link Posted: 8/3/2009 10:38:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/3/2009 10:43:12 PM EST by HuntsvilleSniper]
well, i've already started the process. I dropped my gun off on saturday afternoon. The guy that I am having do the job claims that the finish is VERY durable, and he had a gun that he showed me which he says is his daily carry gun and was refinished over 10 years ago... the gun is a tiny bit yellow, but it's still in VERY good condition.

Price was a BIG factor for me. The places around me charge over $300 for a full pistol refinish (that was for the nickel, and that was the cheapest), because they all have to mail guns off to get them refinished. There is only one person in my area who does in-house finishing, and he only offers 4 finishes... of the 4, the most durable 2 are the matte and polished nickel finishes, and i wanted a silver finish if i could get it.

If my gun ends up a flat silver color, and the finish is smooth, and at least somewhat durable, i'll be very happy... as you can see above, it won't take much to make it better.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 8:40:33 AM EST
Post pics when you are done.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 8:54:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2009 8:54:39 AM EST by 87GN]
I did this gun in electroless nickel for $125 and have enough solution left over to do about a dozen more.

Link Posted: 8/4/2009 9:00:20 AM EST
that is EXACTLY what i'm hoping my gun will look like when i get it back!

The guy who i paid to do this has a LOT of experience, and he's doing the disassembly, cleaning, stripping, and polishing for me, so it'll be a higher quality job than i could do myself. Oh, and the fact that he's re-bluing the safeties and the slide stop for free is great, and will give the gun a nice contrast.

thanks for the pics... keep em coming!
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 11:21:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By Trumpet:
The price seems too good to be true. I would be very skeptical. Also, I would pony up the extra cash and get a better finish.

I agree.

I like the Robar NP3 finish.

Link Posted: 8/4/2009 11:39:17 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 11:42:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By pazzo:
Originally Posted By Trumpet:
The price seems too good to be true. I would be very skeptical. Also, I would pony up the extra cash and get a better finish.

I agree.

I like the Robar NP3 finish.

I know of a shop with a great reputation that advertises 135.00............for the same job........

Link Posted: 8/4/2009 12:04:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By SGB:

Originally Posted By 87GN:
I did this gun in electroless nickel for $125 and have enough solution left over to do about a dozen more.


Very Nicely done.

Thank you!
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 12:58:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 2:28:51 PM EST
Yes, I did a write up in the refinishing forum. Link

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