Durability of J frame finish (Black)


June 6, 2008, 06:26 PM
Hi all,
I'm looking at getting one of the alloy J frames that come with the black finish on them and wanted some idea of the durability. Any body have pictures of a "well loved" piece?

How does the alloy underneath hold up after the black is gone?

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June 7, 2008, 05:12 PM
You're telling me nobody here has experience with J-frames? :what:

June 7, 2008, 05:16 PM
Maybe nobody has any experiance with them "after the black is gone"!

Mines the silver-gray finish, and it is still all there except for a line where the locking rod rubs on the recoil shield, so I can't help you either.


June 7, 2008, 05:34 PM
I just figured somebody was actually using one as a carry gun. I had one of the "Silver" ones for a while and it held up fine but I want to see how the black ones fare. I actually had a black one once as well but only had it a few weeks and only shot it once.

June 7, 2008, 05:38 PM
I'd contact Geminicustoms.com and see if they can plate your S&W j frame in the black T format. I've seen few gunsmiths that can. Walter Birdsong's Black T is highly rated. I would also suggest the Robar black oxide coating, but I'm not sure if they will plate an alloy type J frame. The NP3 is great. :D Stay away from Robar's Rogard black format, :uhoh:. I had an alloy framed Beretta 96D that got many nicks/marks/etc from simple carry/use. :rolleyes:

No good! :cuss:

www.geminicustoms.com www.robarguns.com

PS: You may also buzz by Accurate Plating and Weaponry's homepage, :cool:.

June 7, 2008, 05:43 PM
I had/have a Birdsong Black-T coated Benchmade knife.
It would scratch just looking at it wrong.

Finally got to looking so bad I just buffed it all off and polished the blade.


June 7, 2008, 05:48 PM
I've only ever used Metalife as a coating on guns and it's been great. I know they'll do aluminum but not sure on alloy. Just curious how much use (abuse) the factory coating takes.

June 7, 2008, 05:59 PM
I carry my black scandium guns a lot, but they look fine. The finish is durable, but even better, is easily repaired with Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black. When I get bare spots, I touch them up. Can't even tell where it's been done.

June 7, 2008, 06:03 PM
Glad to see the Aluminum black works on them, I use it on my Ruger single-actions all the time. I guess I didn't make the connection that alloy and aluminum would work the same. Thanks.

June 7, 2008, 09:37 PM
Dunno if this is helpful but my m38 has blued carbon steel barrel and cylinder and an aluminum frame that appears to have some kind of black topcoat on the aluminum. It had a few scratches with the aluminum showing through. I touched it up with Birchwood Casey Super Black touchup pen and it has held up reasonably well.


June 7, 2008, 09:46 PM
My 340pd has a black-coated alloy frame that has seen thousands of hours of pocket and holster carry over 5 years, and thousands of rounds of .38 and .357 (well, a lot more .38 than .357; but still hundreds of .357). It hasn't been scratched, so I haven't had to try to 'repair' the finish. There are a few shiny corners and edges that are indeed the results of much love, use and handling--but they are just shiny edges, and frankly give the gun a bit of character. They're still a hardcore aluminum alloy, so I don't worry about rust, and I don't expose the gun to any harsh chemicals or anything.

Really, it's a tremendously worry free, reliable, convenient carry gun. Not my favorite to shoot; but maybe the last one I'd give up.

Ala Dan
June 7, 2008, 09:46 PM
Well, lets see- are you speaking of a alloy based S&W J-frame, such as a
442; or a scandium frame weapon, such as the 340PD~? I think the black
finish on either weapon will serve you well; provided that you give these
weapons a little T-L-C, every now and then. Upkeep, of any weapon is
paramount for its function and durability. Use of products such as "Break
Free CLP" and Eezox will help prolong the life of any weapon; much like
Mobil 1 20w-50. :cool: ;) :D

June 7, 2008, 11:31 PM
Actually looking at a 432PD so not a Scandium. Finish just looks kinda like a baked on paint and I was wondering if it'd just flake off. Sounds like it's fine for normal use. Thanks guys.

June 8, 2008, 01:11 AM
I recently picked up a 442 after seeing a buddy's 442 -- he bought it used in good shape & after 18 months of IWB carry, the finish is fine. I'm not gonna worry about mine -- at least for now

June 8, 2008, 09:08 AM
I have a Smith 442. Finish is still fine after a couple years. I don't carry it every day however.

I bought the gun for a carry piece. If it gets worn or scratched, then it does. I treat it a bit differently than I do my regular blued revolvers.

June 8, 2008, 10:03 AM
I have a 340 PD.
Uncle Mike's pocket holster.
The part of the gun that sticks out of the holster,
(the black finish above the side plate screw),
where it comes in contact with the pocket,
will wear off after a while. Mine did after a year.
S & W refinished it at no charge,
but the same thing happened 6 months later.
S & W replaced it with a new 340 PD
and the same thing happened a year later.
I had to convince myself, it's a pocket gun,
not a display gun, so I live with it.
The weight makes it all worth it.

June 8, 2008, 10:12 AM
my "well loved" pieces


June 8, 2008, 04:20 PM
Mine is doing just fine after about a year and a half, and it gets carried a lot here in the Houston heat. No problems so far.


July 5, 2008, 11:22 PM
I carry a 442 as my bug on duty every day in a pocket holster in cargo pants. The only wear is from incidental banging around in my locker at work. I love it. It's one of the few weapons I wouldn't sell and will most likely wind up in the hands of my grandchildren (with some "historical value).

Doug S
July 5, 2008, 11:34 PM
My 340 M&P seemed to loose its finish from easily. It was easily nicked, and honestly a disappointment in a $800 gun.

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