Nickel Finish Question


June 4, 2006, 11:38 AM
I recently received, as a gift from my nephew (now my favorite nephew :D ), a S&W 29-2 .44mag revolver with an 8" barrel. It's in great condition except for the nickel finish. The fellow he bought it from had stored it in a fleece-lined gun rug and it is covered in corrosion spots. First, can I clean this finish up myself and how? Second, if not, I see on S&W's website that they can refinish the gun for $150+. Are they the best ones to send it to or are there other, commercial refinishers who I should consider? Thanks!

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Ala Dan
June 4, 2006, 12:14 PM
Probably the best bet would be too send it back to S&W for a refinish job.
However, there are much better finishes on the current US market. The
first one that comes too mind, is the hard chroming process. Not nearly
as pretty as a factory fresh nickel finish; but much more durable~!:D

BTW, if the nickel is only discolored you might try either Flitz Metal
Polish or Simichrome; before you decide too send it off.

June 4, 2006, 06:20 PM
Thanks, Ala Dan! I wasn't sure if they could strip off the nickel and replace it with another finish or not. I would prefer a hard chrome finish. Is S&W the best place for that? The "corrosion" looks like black markings on several places. I'll give the Flitz a try before sending it off.

Ala Dan
June 4, 2006, 06:28 PM
Our source for all hard chrome finishes is Checkmate; located in Florida,
but I forget exactly what city or zip code?

June 4, 2006, 06:34 PM
Thanks, again! I believe that I recently saw an advertisement for Checkmate in a gun magazine. I'll see if I can dig it out or do a Google search on the Net.

CSA 357
June 4, 2006, 07:13 PM
try the flitzand asoft cloth i have had great results on a few guns, i got a 29 nickel one time that was brass colored, it cleaned up real good it will take some time and you may have to do it 3 or 4 times, good luck*csa*:D

June 4, 2006, 08:22 PM
Thanks, CSA. I'll work on it and see what happens!

Jim K
June 4, 2006, 08:32 PM
Just don't use Hoppe's No. 9 or any other ammonia cleaner; it will attack the copper undercoat and the nickel will flake off.

If you want the nickel replaced, I would definitely recommend S&W for the job. At the factory, revolvers to be nickel plated were made with slightly different dimensions to allow for the plating. This means that removing the nickel and replacing it with another finish can result in a sloppy fit in some areas.


June 4, 2006, 08:36 PM
Thank you, Jim. I thought that I had read somewhere that nickel plating was different in some way from the other finishes. I'll definitely send it to them if I have to go that route. Also, I'm sure glad that you mentioned the harmful effects of Hoppe's #9 as that's the bore cleaner I always use! :what:

June 4, 2006, 08:45 PM
There are actually two types of nickel .Electrolytic often has copper underneath .This type is the polished type. Electroless , as the name implies no electricity is used but it is actually nickel with some phosphorous which gives it a grey color and is a harder finish.Some BHPs had the electroless type. Nickel is very similar to copper chemically so both can be attacked with ammonia compounds.

June 4, 2006, 10:15 PM
I've got a 6" 25-5 nickel I bought not long ago. There is some rust pitting on the left side, as if the gun sat on that side for a long time on who knows what. I was able to use Blue Wonder on a cotton cloth followed by some low speed dremel polishing with no polishing compound on the Dremel wheel. It's appearance is now acceptable, but an irratation because the other side looks perfect.

Two weeks ago I bought a nickel 49 with smooth wood factory grips numbered to the gun. It was made in '83 and finish and grips look new. So I take the grips off and there's a circle R stamped on it. That means the gun was factory refinished. I would send it to S&W if you want it re-nickeled. You cannot tell this 49 was refinished.

June 5, 2006, 08:21 AM
Hello prof
See my response in this thread.. I wouldnt consider anyone else after using this OLD SCHOOL Refinisher.. Hope this Helps, Hammerdown

June 5, 2006, 09:38 AM
Wow, Hammerdown, that is absolutely beautiful! What type of grips are those?

June 5, 2006, 09:59 AM
Hello Prof
Those are factory Smooth Presentation Target grips. Most are made of the more popular wood Ganacalo-Alves. These however are made of the harder to find more desireable Rosewood. Regards, Hammerdown

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