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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this forum so I would first like to say hello to ya'll.

I'm having my first custom carry 1911 built by George Smith at EGW.I picked George because I've met him several times and hes from my home town back in Pa.And ofcourse he makes quality pistols.I'm having my gun built on a Caspian Officers frame and Commanders slide.I've been thinking a stainless steel frame with a blued slide that will eventually makes its(slide) way to Mr.Birdsong in Florence, Miss..I am also considering a hard chrome finish.Problem is I dont know to much about the stuff.Do all the parts besides the frame and slide need to be plated?Or could just the frame and slide be plated leaving all other parts stainless?I like the look of a matte stainless gun.Can chrome be made to look this way.I may be interested in a mirror finish on the flats.Havent decided yet.I want this gun to look as nice as I think stainless looks.I live in south Louisiana so humidity and sweat is a problem.Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.Maybe some of you have some pictures of chromed pistols you could share by posting here.Thankyou.
 

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You can make hard chrome satin or polished based on the treatment of what you are plating (bead blasted, etc.). It will look different from stainless but not that different depending on who does it. Hard chrome isn't the *most* corrosion-resistant finish out there but it has good corrosion resistance and is definitely as tough as they come. The picture below is matte hard chrome on stainless (a BCP Grey Ghost).



Nickel finishes are more corrsion resistant but not as hard and are more prone to discoloration from oils & solvents.
 

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Hydra-Shokz,
I think you are wise to consider a top coat over the stainless. I've built a couple of stainless guns for one of my customers in humid south Georgia. He carries constantly in an inside pants leather holster and does not wipe it off daily, so his gun stays exposed to perspiration. The finish that has worked best for him is Black-T and Bear Coat. His preference is a black gun and he accepts that no finish will last forever, the way he carries. If he wanted a silver colored finish, I would recommend brushed hard chrome or electroless nickel. Matte hard chrome is more prone to rust than brushed due to the rougher texture of the metal. I think you'll find that there will be slight difference in the shade of silver between hard chromed stainless and unplated stainless. Not a lot, but discernable. Please post a pic of your gun, when it is finished. George does really nice work & I'd love to see more of it posted here.
Regards,
John
 

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Matte hard chrome is more prone to rust than brushed due to the rougher texture of the metal.
John has good advice and he sees a lot of guns that get abused in the humity of the SE.

A comment worth talking about IMO is the fact that hard chrome done correctly, IE putting enough chrome on the gun and wiring it up to get full coverage during plating is the problem. There are several platers out their working that don't doe either. That is why you get chrome that rusts, improper application.

Nickle, because of the way it plates, is much easier to get total coverage and will in fact give better protection in a humid environment from rust but not wear.

Best bet for wear and tear is hard chrome done correctly.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thankyou to all who replied.Another concern of mine,besides corrosion resistance,is cosmetic.I've seen some chromed guns that all most look painted.They look as though the sharp edges are covered with some sort of paint.I dont know,maybe its me.The lines just dont look as crisp as a stainless gun.Sorta looks like some of the detail work is lost.I really was thinking of going with a all stainless gun because I like the looks and already have plenty of blued/black pistols.I considered the possability of galling and talked it over with George.I've come to the conclussion that a stainless reciever and a carbon steel slide would probably be the best way to go.I do like the duo-tone look but if a all stainless gun could be made without any chance of galling I would probably go all stainless.I dont need a super tight gun but I dont want it to rattle either.The galling issue seems to concern me.Maybe I'm overly concerned?This gun will be used as my full time carry gun.75% of the time it will be concealed IWB.The other 25% will be open carry.One thing I am religous about is wiping my gun down every evening.Kinda like taking off my boots.Neglect is'nt an issue.I have Glocks for that :smile:.I'm just searching for the best all-around finish for my dream gun.Any further opinions would be most appreciated.Also my question about all the parts needing to be chromed went unanswered.Does the grip-safety,slidestop,thumbsafety etc. also need to be chromed if I choose this application?Thanks.

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~Friends dont let friends carry mouseguns~

SHOKz

<font size=-3>[ This Message was edited by: Hydra-shokz on 2001-06-23 02:53 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hydra-shokz on 2001-06-23 02:54 ]</font>
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I too am very interested in various hardchrome finishes as I purchase most of my guns second hand I do not often know who did the plating, I have read numerous bits and pieces on this board of hardchrome and what to look for, can some of you smiths post a "tutorial" of sorts?
 

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"Also my question about all the parts needing to be chromed went unanswered.Does the grip-safety,slidestop,thumbsafety etc. also need to be chromed if I choose this application?"

"I think you'll find that there will be slight difference in the shade of silver between hard chromed stainless and unplated stainless. Not a lot, but discernable."

Sorry I wasn't more specific when I made the above comment. The parts color matching the frame color issue is what I was refering to. If it were my gun and I was doing a two tone, I'd have all parts mounted on the frame plated (except the ejector) and all parts mounted on the slide blued or T'd. When the gun is together, IMO it looks better if the ejector is the same color as the slide.

Dane has a valid point about the quality of the plating allowing rust to form and he builds a lot of good lookin' hard chrome heaters, so he would know. I was basing my opinion from seeing hard chromed guns with matte rounds and brushed flats having rusted only on the matte rounds. I was assuming that the more "porous" matte surface allowed moisture to collect and stay more readily in the rougher texture than the smoother surface. I also think that the bulk of what I've seen were match guns that got put away for a month without a wipe down.

If I'm remembering correctly,(the great unknown here) :grin: I'm thinking that hard chrome is more prone to edge and corner build up (when done incorrectly) than electroless nickel. I may be confused with some other finish and I'll do some reading in that area & try to clarify this point.

BTW Dane,
Where can I find instructions for making selective qoutes? I keep trying but I haven't figured out how to qoute just one sentence. I keep getting the whole post.
Thanks,
John

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Harrison on 2001-06-25 12:36 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Harrison on 2001-06-25 12:40 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-06-25 13:14, Peter Loron wrote:
You can edit the quoted material in your post by simply removing the text you don't want as you type the new message. The quoted material will be inside the quote markers.
I'm sorry Peter, I needed a much more complicated solution than that :wink: You know, one with all kinds of key strokes, mouse manuvers and preferably a magic incantation that you chant at midnight during a full moon, while swinging a freshly killed chicken over your head. Are you sure that's all I need to do? :wink:
Thanks a bunch :grin: :grin:
John
 

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I have another question about hard chrome.
Is it easy to take care of (cleaning and maintenance)?
I have a stainless S&W 686, and it's a pain to get rid of carbon buildup in certain places. I have to use a lead removal wipe sometimes.
Is hard chrome anything like this?
 

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On 2001-06-26 14:53, Peter Loron wrote:
Chicken! Chicken!

Animal sacrifice has a long and honorable tradition in the IT world as a problem solving tool. I keep chickens and goats handy at all times. :grin:
Even better than "PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE" ?

I knew I was running with a rowdy crowd :wink:
John
 
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