Home Plating a Pair of Remington Pocket Pistols


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ElvinWarrior
March 27, 2011, 10:36 PM
Some of you may not be aware of the profussion of inexpensive, and very high quality, home plating kits and suppliers out in the world today, and so, therefore, I decided to publish this article about how to home plate, one of your own guns, cheaply, and easily, with Excellant Results!!!

Unbeknownst to most persons who have never plated at home, the HIGH GRADE finish achieved by professional plating shops is NOT a result of EXPENSIVE plating tanks at all. The High Grade, Mirror Finish results, are due to multiple buffing and polishing steps, inbetween the various plating layers as a person builds up the electro-plating on the plated surface. And as any home crafstman knows, buffing machines at hardware distributors are probably the second cheapest machine to set up your home shop with, next to an inexpensive hand held, chord powered 1/4" electric drill. I was down at Home Depot the other day, picking up some stuff, and I saw a 4" two ended Ryobi grinding wheel machine, with the angle rests, two grinding wheels, and one each of a wire brush, and a spiral cotton buffing wheel, WITH an integral goose-neck lamp built in, for, $44.95 !!!... And, you could buy it's big brother, a 6" dual wheel machine, for a whopping $66.95 !!! Cheap, cheap, CHEAP !!! They also had a wide selection of various grades of buffing and polishing compounds, in stick form, all for around 3 bux a stick.... I almost picked up the little 4" Ryobi just to have as a spare in case my existing one ever burt out on me in the middle of a project !!!

A little 4 or 6" bufing/grinding machine is all a home gunsmith would ever need to buff out any metal part on any gun in their collection, INCLUDING the barrel of a Brown Besse flintlock, or a Revolutionary war French Military Musket, barrels that are extroidinarily LONG.

Well.... on with the PROJECT !!!

I have this pair of 1863 Remington 31 Caliber (5-Shot) Pocket Pistols, made by the F. LLI. Pietta Company of Italy, and purchased recently from Dixie Gun Works (DGW) of Tennessee. Stock from the factory box, the pistols have a solid brass (Actually, it's not brass anymore, the old originals were brass, modern reproduction guns are made with a new bronze alloy that looks just like brass, but is bronze, and is considerably stronger and more durable that the original brass pieces were. So, all the chatter on the internet, about, "I think I may have WARPED my brass framed gun !!!" ... Well... if its a newly made reproduction from a major manufacturer... Nope, NOT HAPPENING !!!)

The frame, backstrap, and trigger gaurd, are in the brass finish. The barrel, loading lever, cylinder pin, and cylinder, are blued steel, and the trigger and hammer, case hardened steel. They are handsome pistols from the factory, to be sure, but... but... even handsome can be made BETTER right?

I had this vision in my head, of Gold plating the brass finish parts, and Nickel Plating EVERYTHING else, including the hammer and trigger... The more I closed my eyes and imagined it... The more I wanted to re-finish the the matched pair of pocket pistols, and... AND... I wanted to to the whole job MYSELF !!!

I came across a company on the internet, Caswell Plating, out of Long Island New York, and they had a really big selection of hobbist plating kits, from very small and modest home set-ups, to larger tank systems for smaller sized specialty plating shops geared towards small items with very high quality finishes, such as watches, jewelery, detailed models, and.... GUNS !!! (clap... clap... CLAP !!!)

So... I bought some of their stuff... and BOY, am I IMPRESSED !!!

They have developed a very nifty, inexpensive, and very EFFECTIVE patented electro-plating system that does NOT REQUIRE expensive plating tanks or gallons and gallons of expensive plating solutions. They instead, utilize a "Plating wand", that is dipped into a plating solution concentrate, and brushed over a small piece, electro-plating the piece in a matter of a few minutes, using only a small, 4.5v or 1.7v pocket sized dc power supply/transformer as the electrical source for the electro plating process. That's it, that's the WHOLE ENCHILLADA... One plating wand, one little pocket sized power converter/transformer, and one bottle of plating solution... thats the ENTIRE SYSTEM !!!, No 20 gallon tanks, no gallons and gallons of plating solution, no titanium 2000w tank heaters, no circulating filter pumps, no bars of pure plating metal, no titanium plating racks, and NO 25 amp or greater EXPENSIVE power rectifiers... NONE of that AT ALL !!!

Of course, if any of you have read any of my "how to" articles in the past, you know what a purist I am... and yes... I am drooling over the tanks... I want a Tank Plating system too !!! But, for now, it will have to wait, until I buy my next two or three rifles... I want them MORE than a plating tank at the moment !!! And... there is no real need for a tank systems such as plating a large rifle, it can all be done, in TOP QUALITY, with the little, inexpensive, "Plug N Plate" wand plating kits just fine !!!

The process, for plating by this method, does require ONE tanking step, that of degreassing and cleaning the parts to be plated, with something called an "SP" cleaning solution. This needs to be done before each plating step, and with high quality plating projects, there are several plating steps, it's not just a simple matter of dumping one plating coat onto the item, nope, not at all. The cleaning solution, needs to be in a tank, as it is heated to about 140 degrees farenheight, which means, you will need a cleaning tank heater, and a heater thermostat, but don't panic, those items are all inexpensive, not a major layout of bucks at all. With plating, any grease or oil at all, will have a DISASTEROUS effect on the plated piece, touching the metal, one time, even with just washed hands, will require re-cleaning and degreasing of the part before proceeding onto the actual plating step.

The basic overall steps are, buff off any unwanted finish on the piece, clean/degrease the piece, copper plate the first copper layer. buff and polish the piece, fill in any scratches or pits with a soft filler compound, which is also available from Caswell Plating (Again, very cheap stuff). Lightly sand the filled areas, buff the piece again. Clean and degrease the piece, then, apply the second layer of copper plating. buff and polish the second layer of copper plating, clean and degrease the piece again. (You WILL get your money's worth out of the cleaning/degreasing tank/heater set-up). Now, you are ready for your first finish platng layer, if this is to be a two metal plating finish, as with Nickel or Gold plating, if you wish to go onto a chrome plated piece, that would be a three metal plating job. (Ahhh... you say... That's WHY Chrome Plating costs so MUCH !!! As chrome plating on steel is generally done by first copper plating and buffing then nickel plating and buffing, and finally chrome plating a polishing.) Now, if Nickel Plating the piece, after cleaning and degreasing yet again, Nickel plate the first layer. Remove and rinse, buff and polish, clean and degrease, and Nickel plate the piece a SECOND time... For a truely PRO JOB, repeat this process a THIRD time, for a three layered Nickel plating final finish... Your Nickel plating is now DONE. As I pointed out in the begining... It's all the darned buffing and polishing that makes the end result a PRO JOB, not the tanks !!!

The following composite photo set, shows the basic steps using the casewell Plug N Plate wand plating system. (Minus all the buffing and polihsing and cleaning/degreasing steps in the heated cleaning/degreasing tank.) As performed against a metal watch, the process is exactly the same on gun parts I assure you.

http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x330/ElvinWarrior/pnp1-tile.jpg

Step One...

Strip the part of any unwanted existing finish. In the case of a blued gun piece, this would be with a soft metal wire brush, (Such as aluminum or copper/brass, mounted on your electricgrinding/buffing machine.)After removing the existing finish, buff the surface, with a spiral cotton buffing wheel, and a buffing compound, to a medium finish raw steel buff.

Step Two...

Clean and degrease the piece in the heated cleaning tank filled with the SP cleaning solution. allow to stand for a minimum of 5 minutes in the 140 degree tank. Carefully remove the cleaned/degreased piece, from the tank, with tongs, rinse with cool clear water, pat dry the piece with a towel... DO NOT TOUCH the piece with your hands, if you do, you MUST clean and degrease the piece again !!! Use a paper towel, or a tissue, to handle the piece after pat drying.

Step Three...

First layer of copper plating, base layer, for either Gold, Nickel, Silver or Chrome final finish plating. Attach the aligator clip to the piece to be plated, soak the electro plating wand in the electro plating solution, let the wand stand at least two minutes in the solution before you begin to wand the piece. Gently, brush the piece, with the plating wand, in gentle motions, switching back and forth between circular and linear motions. Just be patient, in about 45 seconds to a minute, you will begin to see the effects of the electro plating, the piece will begin to change color, and once the plating begins, it will plate faster, and faster, as you keep proceeding. Thoroughly brush all sides of the plated piece until you are nearly satisfied with the plating layer, move the aligator clip, on the work, to another location, and wand the area where the clip used to be attached, continuing to wand the rest of the piece as well. When nearly done with this layer, move the aligator clip one more time, and touch up the part where the aligator clip hand been attached. Unplug the plating power supply, place the wand back into the solution. remove the aligator clip, and rinse the piece with cool clear water, pat dry the piece, you may now handle the piece, as the next step is to buff the first layer of the copper plating.

Step Four...

Using metalic filler paste, fill in any areas of the buffed piece that may have scratches or pits on it, allow the filler to drya few minutes, sand the filler with fine grit sandpaper, and buff and polish the piece again. Rinse the piece with clear cool water, and de-grease and clean the piece in the cleaning tank again.

Step Five...

Copper plate the piece with the wand plating brush, as performed before. rinse the piece with clear water, and buff the piece again. De-grease and clean the piece in the heated cleaning tank.

Step Six...

Now, if this is a two metal plating job, proceed on with the finish plating at this time. If Nickel, plate with the Nickle plating solution, if Gold, then Gold. When the first layer of plating is completed. Rinse with clear water, buff and polish, and clean and de-grease in the heated cleaning tank.

Step Seven...

Plate, rinse, buff and degrease a second finish plating layer

Step Eight...

Plate, rinse, buff and degrease a third finish plating layer...

If you are going to go for the gold, and go for a Crome finish... perfom three more plating sequences, only now, layering Chrome plating on top of the Nickel Plating.

Clean, dry, and set aside your piece, it is finished... Repeat these steps for all the pieces to be plated on your project.

The following sequence of photos starts out with the stock, standard, brass and blued steel pocket pistol, and ends up with the finished plated pistol pair, in their display case.

http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x330/ElvinWarrior/PocketPlating001.jpg

http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x330/ElvinWarrior/PocketPlating002.jpg
http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x330/ElvinWarrior/PocketPlating003.jpg
http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x330/ElvinWarrior/PocketPlating004.jpg
http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x330/ElvinWarrior/PocketPlating005.jpg

Well guys, there you have it... Naturally, in order to plate the barrel, the barrel had to be removed from the frame, and of course, the entire gun, all parts, had to be disasembled, all pieces sanded, cleaned, buffed, plated, over and over in the same step sequences, until, finally, all parts, all pieces, were completed, and the pistols could be re-assembled. But I think, the final photograph says it all... a very nice plating job, done for LESS MONEY than a plating shop would have charged you, and in the end, you now have all the stuff to plate another project, you just need to pick up some more plating solution, which isn't all that expensive, for most metals, except for Gold, which is a bit pricey. 11.95 for an 8oz bottle of copper or Nickel, and... about 69.95 for a 4 oz bottle of Gold... but, you have all the other stuff, the heated cleaning tank, the cleaning solutions, the wands and the power supplies, so, any further plating projects drops the cost of plating down to something less than the cost of ammunition for an afternoon at the range.... CHEAP !!! DIRT CHEAP !!!

In case any of you are wondering... Here is a breakdown with some of the costs involved with plating using this method.

Plug N Plate Copper/Nickel Kit, includes plating wand, power supply, and two plating solutions, Copper and Nickel............. 46.99
Plug N Plate Gold kit, includes plating wand, power supply and 24Kt Gold plating solution.............................................. 67.99
2lbs of SP cleaning/degreasing Crystals, enough for 4 gallons, you only need two for small jobs..................................... 21.29
2 Gallon white plastic cleaning/degreasing tank with lid.......................................................................................... 7.10
300 Watt Titanium small tank heater (For the Heated Cleaning/Degreasing Tank)........................................................ 17.99
Heater Thermostat.......................................................................................................................................... 17.74
Agitating Filter pump (For Cleaning/Degreasing Tank, keeps solution clean so it lasts for many, many jobs)...................... 22.95
Soft metal filler for scratch/pit filling and finishing.................................................................................................. 5.95
All of these supplies are available from http://www.caswellplating.com

And... an FYI... I am going to replace the standard walnut grips with plastic ivory ones, I have them on special order from F. LLI. Pietta, but they take a while to get them. F. LLI. Pietta typically takes 30, 60 or sometimes even 90 days to fill special orders... But I am in no hurry to get them.

Have fun with it guys !!!

Sincerely,

Elvin Warrior... aka... David

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kbbailey
March 28, 2011, 11:46 PM
thanks for the informative post. It sounds like something may be interested in dabbling with. Next winter after the farm machinery is all cleaned up and put away, and I have a nice fire in the shop woodstove, I have a couple of refinish projects to catch up on.

ElvinWarrior
March 29, 2011, 01:33 AM
kbbaily,

Keep in mind that the wand method of plating does REQUIRE a great deal of patience and care to complete properly. I spent 45 minutes plating at each layer step, for a total of 5 layers. Two (2) of the layers were the Copper base layers, the remaining Three (3) plating layers were of the finish metals, either Gold, or Nickel, depending on the finish of that piece. Each of these layering steps were, rinsed, buffed and polished, cleaned, and degreased, CAREFULLY, before the next plating step. Layering the plating, using this method, will result in a plating job just as good, just as durable, as a very expensive pro shop tank plating job. BUT, what you aren't paying for in bux, you are paying for in time and effort, as we home craftsman all know, your gunna pay either way, but by using these kinds of methodes and techniques you can end up with a VERY NICE and DURABLE plating job, at a fraction of the costs of a pro tank job !!!

And I found your statement about your personal lifestyle, that of being a farmer, concerned with the yearly seasonal nature of your work, along with that mental image of your workshop, this old wooden workshop, with a potbellied stove piping away, and probably a window or two overlooking a snow covered country farm scape... Very heartwarming... It took me back, way, way back, to a time long ago, and a place very far away, where I too was a farm lad in the Ohio countryside working away in a small farm work shop exactly like what you described. What a fond memory that is to me, in my modern, hustle and bustle life as a production entrepenuer in the big city, far away from that happy boyhood of long ago.

Sincerely,

ElvinWarrior... aka... David

Jaymo
March 29, 2011, 10:21 PM
Hmmm. Makes me think. I have some old safety razors that need plating/replating.

Pancho
March 29, 2011, 11:40 PM
Your scratching an itch I've had for quite awhile. One question, did you have any fitment problems after adding 5 layers of plating? I realize that each layer is only microns thick but times 5 can be significant.

ElvinWarrior
March 30, 2011, 02:26 AM
Pancho,

No, I didn't have any clearance problems at all, and I was expecting to, especially with the close fitting loading levers. But nary a stick or a catch, everything fits properly and smoothly. In fact, I think I may have IMPROVED the fit of everything just a tad, especially the hammer, which stock from the factory was a bit sloppy.

Sincerely,

ElvinWarrior... aka... David

Oyeboten
March 30, 2011, 02:49 AM
Hi ElvinWarrior,


May one Plate Nickle directly on to Steel with this 'Wand' method? Without using intermediary layers of Copper?


And, if differently, have you investigated the Electroless Nickel methods?

Jaymo
March 30, 2011, 08:41 PM
My problem is I need one each of all of their kits.

Busyhands94
March 31, 2011, 02:16 PM
that is really nice work! such pretty guns!

Busyhands94
April 24, 2011, 02:51 AM
by the way should you plug the cylinder chambers and barrels to keep them the same consistent diameter?

ElvinWarrior
April 24, 2011, 05:23 AM
Oyboten,

You only lay down the copper layer as the first step, then you buff the copper layer, fill any nicks and scratches with the liquid filling compound, lightly sand and polish the piece, then copper plate a second time to seal in, and cover up, the filler. Buffing and polishing, inbetween each plating layer, builds up a sucessively smoother, and smoother finish on the top layer, until, at the very top finish layer, you have a piece which is mirror smooth and daylight bright. There are some metals which you can nickle or chrome plate directly without an intermeadiate layer of copper. But it is not advisable to Nickle Plate onto steel without first laying down a layer of copper. What can happen, when steel is directly nickle or chrome plated, is that the finish can peel and flake off, peeling away from the work. I am sure you have seen, cheaply plated pieces in the past where this has happened. Notice, you never see this flaking occuring on high quality plating jobs, like automotive bumpers, which are exposed to the fury of the elements, winters, road salts, et all !!! Caswell Plating Company, and several other suppliers, have tons of charts, lists, instruction videos, et all, all freely available.

I personally, don't have alot of faith in the electroless plating methodes out there. Electroplating, bonds the metals together through a process of mechanical bonding by atomic capillary attraction. Chemical bonding, actually does a type of oxidation process to bind the metals. I am sure there are examples of very nice chemical plating jobs out there, but, it is just my preferance, to use the electroplating methode.

Jaymo,

Well, what's wrong with that? One each of every plating kit sounds like the start of a very nice collection !!!

LOL !!!

BusyHands,

Thank you for the compliments !!! Those are reproductions of 1863 Remington .31 Caliber, 5-Shot Pocket Pistols, offered by F. LLI Pietta of Italy. They are my "Twins" !!! They aren't very expensive, On or about $200.00 each, and I beleive Dixie has them on a modest discount of $199.00 this month.

If you were doing a tank plating of revolvers, I would plug the cylinders and barrels if I were doing the job. I wouldn't want to alter the internal chamber diameters of either the cylinders, or the barrels. But with the wand methode, you are only plating where the wand actually touches, if you don't stuff the wand down the cylinders, or the barrel, then it won't be plated.

Sincerely,

ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"

Dudemeister
April 24, 2011, 12:23 PM
The finish looks good, and the guns look nice in that box, but I wouldn't handle them too much.

I also have a Caswell plating system, and I used the gold and the black chrome on occasion to plate some guitar parts, but I won't even try it on a gun. The problems is that the very fine layers of chrome you deposit using the wand system are just that, too fine. Once you start handling the plated parts, the finish will wear off very quickly.

On my guitars the areas where my hand rests on the bridge, or brushes constantly against some of the pickups, or tuning machines are back down to the nickel plate underneath, and even down to the bare metal.

The only way to get around that, is to use a dipping tank system, and do multiple layers, and a good polish on the next to the last layer. Never use any abrasive polishes like Brasso, that's almost guaranteed to take off the plating you just put on.

Achieving a thick, long lasting nickel plate (or gold, or whatever) on a gun, I think is best left to a professional gunsmith.

ElvinWarrior
April 24, 2011, 02:32 PM
Dudemeister,

Plating, works in the following way. The longer you plate, the more metal is deposited, period. I took my time, on each step. Each layer, on each piece was plated for at least 1/2 hour. According to the experts at Caswell, and they do have a support forum there, plating for that length of time would result in the same thickness and quality as tank plating.

Sorry to disagree, but I did my research before I took on the plating project.

And I suppose, in a perfect world, where everyone makes $80,000.00/year, and everyone has job security and peace, justice, and the American Way are the models by which the rest of the world emulates us... In that kind of a world, ya, sure, I would hire professionals to wash my car, I would hire professionals to trim my bushes, I would hire professionals to walk my dog...

But wait.... I am on a budget...

Shux... I guess I have to do all those "professional" things MYSELF...

Sincerely,

ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"

Busyhands94
April 24, 2011, 08:49 PM
from what i have heard the Remmy pocket is a gun with point and shoot card table accuracy. the bore of these guns is .32 when the cylinder bores are .31 caliber. now i am thinking about getting one for rabbit, rat, coon, squirrel, and snake hunting and as a tacklebox gun with some modifications to improve accuracy for a clean kill. is there an accurate load for these that will enable me to get good groupings around 25 yards or so? has anybody measured the bore and cylinder to see if they match up? i suppose if the cylinder is smaller than the bore i could bore it out to .32 so they would match up, and i think that if i am going to spend the money and buy one i might as well make a nice billet aluminum mold for it so ammo can be remelted! this could make a pretty decent trail gun with some modifications! i might even be able to fire bird shot from it so i could hunt birds at close range if i get the opportunity.

Dudemeister
April 24, 2011, 09:22 PM
I'm not sure which instructions you're using, but the Plug'n'Plate kit manual states:

The duration of plating time. This will depend on which plating kit you are
using. Gold should only be plated until the color is right. Copper should be
plated until the thickness is adequate, especially if you are using it to build up an
area. Nickel and Copy Chrome should be plated for at least 5 minutes. Silver,
being a soft metal, should be treated somewhat like gold, but make sure you
have enough plating on the part to enable it to withstand polishing etc.

So 1/2 hour seems extreme for the small Plug'n'Plate kits. The 1/2 hour plating baths are for the large electroless or electric nickel plating tanks. When it comes to gold, even the expensive plating tank kits require only 30-60 seconds of plating time, then they suggest you apply a coat of lacquer or wax for longer wear protection, as the gold layer is only for decorative purposes.

I also found that when you plate gold, the longer you leave the piece in the solution or the more you brush it, after a while the gold turns real dark and burned brown, and that won't come off by polishing, you have to start over. Also the longer you keep the piece in the tank, the more you deplete the plating metal in the solution, and after a while the solution becomes ineffective. There just isn't that much gold in a 4oz solution bottle.

Going back to original point I was making, if Caswell's expensive 1 gallon Gold Tank kit provides basically "decorative" coverage, why would the simpler and substantially less expensive brush-on Plug'nPlate provide a better and more durable (read: thicker) coverage.

As I said you should be careful how much handling you subject these guns to.

Pancho
April 24, 2011, 11:45 PM
Busyhands, I don't want to come off as a pessimist but I am a realist. Plated or not a bp 31 cal. pocket pistol is not realistically expected to be deadly or very accurate at 75 feet. They were originally designed for close in defense be it a snake or a rabid raccoon. They were not intended for bringing in the meat let alone stopping a man at 75 feet. The sights are too crude the barrel is too short to give consistent 75 foot shots. Your enthusiasm must be commended but reality persists.

ElvinWarrior
April 25, 2011, 01:23 AM
Dudemeister,

Instructions are one thing, speaking with the experts directly is quite another. I discussed my project, and my concerns, over the phone, directly with Mr. Caswells son, who works for his dad's company. He is quite expert in things regaurding plating. Your tank plating solutions, should never "go bad" if they are properly cared for and kept clean. There are filtering pumps with charcoal filters that will filter out all the "crud" that forms in these solutions during the plating processes. There are also additive solutions and crystals to prevent the "brownish" plating you described by replacing the chemicals lost because of the "crud" formation.

When you consider, that the metalic plating compounds, are priced, according to the value of the metal contained in the solutions, you realize that there is indeed an "adequate" supply of gold in the electro plating solutions. An 8oz bottle of copper plating solution costs $11.95 at Caswells, and a 4oz bottle of gold plating solution costs $57.95. The significant jump in the cost of the solutions is due to the fact that the gold solution does in fact contain, real gold, which is expensive. I assure you, there is more gold in that solution than you think there is.

And, finally, you seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth at the same time. On one hand, you say that plating with the wand plating systems, for 5 minutes, gives adequate plating coverage, but, it is too thin to stand up to repeated handling. Then, on the other hand, you say, plating for 30 minutes is "excessive". But, if my goal is to insure a good heavy plating layer, to avoid the problems of a thinly plated piece, then 30 minutes would be an appropriate plating time.

If you don't personally like, or disapprove of the wand plating methode for some reason, that's fine, but you can't deny basic physics, the longer you plate, the thicker the deposit, period. That was my only statement, and calling it "excessive" is within your right, however, it is not excessive if you want a thicker plating layer at all.

This group, this forum, is composed of die hard do-it-yourself enthusiasts, who almost never take anyones instructions as gospel, they always find better, cheaper ways of doing the same things the manufacturers and "pros" want you to spend excessive amounts of money to perform. Waving a magic wand, and muttering magic spells over a plating tank does not make the plating any better.

If you want to spend your hard earned money on being overcharged by a "pro" to do something you could have done yourself for 1/4 the price, that is your choice, be my guest. That is my definition of "excessive".

Sincerely,

ElvinWarrior... aka.. David, "EW"

ElvinWarrior
April 25, 2011, 01:33 AM
BusyHands,

The cylinder chambers of the .31 Caliber Remington Pocket pistol can't hold much more than about 12 grains of powder, if loaded with a lubricated wad, and a ball. If you cast a .31 Caliber conical, (.321 diameter, mold available at Dixie) and use that, with the lubrication grooves, and no wad, I have found that I can pack in about 14 grains of BP. The conicals, seem to be more accurate, and pack a bigger punch, (they do weigh more), I have found them to be fine at 25 yards or less.

You seem to have this fascination with loading shot loads into small caliber pistols, which is fine, to each their own. But personally, I don't load shot, or buck N ball loads in anything less than a 58 caliber, preferably, a 61 to 71 caliber smoothbore. In my oppinion, anything smaller than that is not laying out enough of a layer of shot to have an effective concentration of shot at any distance out beyond 20 yards or so. The shot scatters, rapidly, in an expanding cone once it leaves the muzzle. The really small calibers, such as 22 and 31, would be okay, up close, within a few paces, but trying to nail a duck in the middle of the pond, running across the water, taking off, at about 20 yards... well... you might have better luck with your slingshot I think.

Sincerely,

ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"

Busyhands94
April 25, 2011, 02:51 AM
i think conicals with a hollow base could work fantastically due to them gripping the rifling with the expanding skirt. i would definitely try making conicals when i save up and get that pistol and mold someday! right now i am trying to save up to buy an in-line muzzleloading rifle, i need a rifle to hunt deer with but i can't afford a cartridge rifle nor do i want one more than a muzzleloader. i am thinking about a CVA wolf, 50 cal. i need to be able to mold my own ammo, but i am not sure if i could use old fashion conicals or even patched balls in a modern muzzleloader.
ever since i found out how to fire bird shot from my Remington rider pistol i have found them to be fascinating and kinda fun to tinker with. the shot do well at around 5 feet or so, but it is a .17 cal, what can you expect. you can't really bust clays with that. i could see hunting snakes or even mice with it close range, but it is not all that much shot.

Dudemeister
April 25, 2011, 02:55 AM
Dudemeister,

Instructions are one thing, speaking with the experts directly is quite another. I discussed my project, and my concerns, over the phone, directly with Mr. Caswells son, who works for his dad's company. He is quite expert in things regaurding plating. Your plating solutions, should never "go bad" if they are properly cared for and kept clean. There are filtering pumps with charcoal filters that will filter out all the "crud" that forms in these solutions during the plating processes. There are also additive solutions and crystals to prevent the "brownish" plating you described by replacing the chemicals lost because of the "crud" formation.

When you consider, that the metalic plating compounds, are priced, according to the value of the metal contained in the solutions, you realize that there is indeed an "adequate" supply of gold in the electro plating solutions. An 8oz bottle of copper plating solution costs $11.95 at Caswells, and a 4oz bottle of gold plating solution costs $57.95. The significant jump in the cost of the solutions is due to the fact that the gold solution does in fact contain, real gold, which is expensive. I assure you, there is more gold in that solution than you think there is.

And, finally, you seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth at the same time. On one hand, you say that plating with the wand plating systems, for 5 minutes, gives adequate plating coverage, but, it is too thin to stand up to repeated handling. Then, on the other hand, you say, plating for 30 minutes is "excessive". But, if my goal is to insure a good heavy plating layer, to avoid the problems of a thinly plated piece, then 30 minutes would be an appropriate plating time.

If you don't personally like, or disapprove of the wand plating methode for some reason, that's fine, but you can't deny basic physics, the longer you plate, the thicker the deposit, period. That was my only statement, and calling it "excessive" is within your right, however, it is not excessive if you want a thicker plating layer at all.

This group, this forum, is composed of die hard do-it-yourself enthusiasts, who almost never take anyones instructions as gospel, they always find better, cheaper ways of doing the same things the manufacturers and "pros" want you to spend excessive amounts of money to perform. Waving a magic wand, and muttering magic spells over a plating tank does not make the plating any better.

If you want to spend your hard earned money on being overcharged by a "pro" to do something you could have done yourself for 1/4 the price, that is your choice, be my guest. That is my definition of "excessive".

Sincerely,

ElvinWarrior... aka.. David, "EW"
This is your thread and I don't believe in thread crapping, so I'll bow out of this discussion, but I'll leave you with this:

I've used Caswell's products for at least 4 years. I plated mostly guitar parts, some small jewelery parts and trim pieces for cars and such, but never a gun. However, I think I do understand how this stuff works.

I do think you are confused about what you're doing, you are mixing instructions and techniques and applying it to the wrong plating kit and metal. But then again it's your money and project and if you're happy with it, who am I to convince you otherwise.

BTW, the standard gold plating solution has a 4 month shelf life, not indefinite as you think. I know this to be the truth, because I bought an extra bottle, and when I tried to use it about a year later it was no good, even though it had never been opened. I couldn't get a decent gold layer on the object either with the wand or by immersing it. Their FastGold kits have a shelf life of 1 year, but they costs $235.

Anyway good luck on your projects.

Sincerely,
Dudemeister... aka Chris.

ElvinWarrior
April 25, 2011, 06:32 PM
Dudemeister,

It was you, not me, who kept switching back and forth between tank plating, and wand plating methodes. I am aware that the gold wand plating solutions have limited shelf lifes, what I was referring to, was the use life of the tanking systems solutions, of which, there is no shelf life if kept cleaned and maintained properly.

Thank you for bowing out, I was going to suggest the same thing in my next response myself.

Obviously we disagree substantially on this topic. Oh well, that's life, If someone wants to spend in excess of $400.00 for a small home plating tank system, more power to them, personally, I would rather spend $50.00 bux on copper and nickel wand plating supplies, and spend the rest of my money on another gun...

Just my preferances is all.

Sincerely,

ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"

lackluster dave
May 3, 2011, 08:35 AM
Can you provide a bit more info about the brush and the surface contact it is making; does the plating happen where the wet fibers of the brush contact the metal, or where the liquid is? In the example of the watch band, if that whole watch band, with all it's little intricacies was copper, it seems like it would be pretty hard to plate it well with nickle or chrome. maybe it would be easy to do touch up on the exposed surface, but not into the nooks and crannies.

Or if the electrical contact comes from the brush to the metal...and the liquid dribbles into the little corners, will that deposit the plating there?

Your insight on this would be appreciated.

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