Difference between Nitron & stainless steel slide finish?


PDA






jawman
May 16, 2011, 11:53 PM
I'm trying to decide if I want the standard Sig P220 that has a Nitron slide finish, or the Platinum Elite that has a stainless slide (also deciding between the Elite Dark model but it is the same Nitron slide as the standard). What is the difference between the two? Is it purely cosmetic, or does it make a difference in weight and the feel of the gun when being handled and fired? What are the qualities/pros and cons of stainless vs Nitron? Does the Nitron finish wear off easily and make the gun look bad? I just keep finding conflicting information on it :(
I've heard that the Nitron finish can wear off and I've also heard the opposite saying that it's pretty durable and doesn't show signs of wear easily, so I'm confused as to what I should get. Thanks in advance for the help! :)

PS I also read that Sig used to use a finish called K-Kote that was one of the most durable and finest finishes, but Sig stopped using it because "Sig has another finish that is new and supposed to be a tougher finish but the rumor is it is not allowed into the USA"
Out of curiosity, has anyone heard about this? Sounds like it must be pretty cool/good if it is illegal.

If you enjoyed reading about "Difference between Nitron & stainless steel slide finish?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
seed
May 17, 2011, 04:29 AM
In my experience, Nitron is very durable. I have yet to wear it through, although my old Sigs don't get the use others give to theirs (unfortunately). But if you are using your gun enough to wear through the Nitron, you won't mind because you are a shooter and not a safe-queen hoarder. Remember, that is what your Sig was designed for: to shoot...a lot.

Nitron provides a bit of corrosion protection -- much more so than plain stainless (from what I have read) and is tough. Knowing you have stainless underneath ain't half-bad though.

I will leave you with this. When I first got into shooting I was young and was super concerned about my guns lasting forever. Now I am not so young (not old though either) and have come to realize that these damned things will outlast me. What I need to do is shoot them into oblivion so that I truly enjoy what they were meant for. Who cares what happens to them when you're gone? Don't get me wrong: I still take very good care of my guns (old habits die hard), but I wish I could just shoot them more and enjoy that aspect more than anything. So if finish is your only concern/criterion, get the Nitron, shoot it and present it until the metal shines through and then enjoy how much better of a shooter you have become as a result. If you break it, Sig will fix it. If they won't, replace it with something else and let us know about their bad CS.

The Lone Haranguer
May 17, 2011, 07:47 AM
"K-Kote" was just a clear polymer - akin to clear coat over paint - applied over their then-standard matte bluing.

silversport
May 17, 2011, 09:18 AM
K-Kote was just what The Lone Haranguer said...tougher than the old SiG Blue but not a whole lot better...I have a P220 with a K-Koted slide (currently getting ccr's CPII finish applied)...The finish everyone thought from SiG that was so tough is the German applied Ilaflon...I've never seen it though...Nitron is pretty tough (in my SiG experience) and has for years been IONBond DLC...(though SiG may not admit that)...
Bill

MJ_ATL
May 17, 2011, 09:32 AM
I own both Nitron coated and stainless models. None of my Nitron coated slides have every shown any signs of rust, ever. If treated improperly the stainless will rust. I bought a two toned P229 that due to a fault in the store's HVAC was exposed to a lot of humidity and had a couple of rust blemishes. They were easily cleaned up and its a daily carry gun so given the price I paid I'm not complaining.

The point of this is you can't assume that the stainless model doesn't need a light coat of oil now and then. However, the Platinum Elite is pretty and is a good choice - just don't leave it in a high humidity environment without some oil on it.

(no experience with other finishes on Sig Sauers so can't help there)

G.barnes
May 17, 2011, 04:05 PM
The nitron finish is almost indestructible. It will show marks in it and holster wear but to wear all the way through it is a challenge. I ground the finish off my controls to see if I'd like the nickel look. It took a die grinder with an abrasive wheel and was still not an easy task. Even with the bare steel. Surface rust is very minimal but pieces are being replaced with nickel plated ones. The stainless weighs about 12 oz more and I not a huge fan of the internal extractor on the stainless( I believe the new ones have an external extractor). Either way if you keep it oiled properly you shouldn't have any problems out of either. Your best bet is to find one used. It will already have some wear so you won't feel as bad about a scratch and you can save a couple hundred dollars

rellascout
May 17, 2011, 04:39 PM
Nitron is a good finish against corrosion. It really eliminates the old issues of rust which were related to the carbon steel blue slides. It does however chip and flake easily IMHO. Sharp edges or any hard surface which comes in contact with can and will chip Nitron in my experience.

I also agree with silverport that Iffalon is the best finish that Sig uses. It is closer to melonite and bonds to the metal of the frame and slide. Unfortunately they cannot use it in the US due to IIRC EPA regulations.

Many of the all German SP2022s that came into the country which were built for the French police contract have this finish. It is a darker black and has a shine to it that if held up against a nitron gun creates a visible difference. Since it bonds to the metal it does not cheap but will show wear over time.

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t213/rellascout/sigpro.jpg

jawman
May 17, 2011, 09:30 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. But why do people get stainless guns if Nitron defends better against rust and means the end user doesn't have to oil/maintain it as much? Is it just for cosmetic reasons? Do they just prefer the silver shiny look of stainless over the black?

Also G.Barnes, you said the stainless weighs 12 oz more, but on the Sig website, the weight of the standard P220 and the P220 Platinum Elite (the one with the stainless slide) they are both listed at the same weight with mag of 30.4 oz. Is this an error on their part?

G.barnes
May 17, 2011, 10:17 PM
I thought you meant the full stainless. It weighs 40 oz over 30oz. Sorry about the confusion

MJ_ATL
May 17, 2011, 10:56 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. But why do people get stainless guns if Nitron defends better against rust and means the end user doesn't have to oil/maintain it as much? Is it just for cosmetic reasons? Do they just prefer the silver shiny look of stainless over the black?

Also G.Barnes, you said the stainless weighs 12 oz more, but on the Sig website, the weight of the standard P220 and the P220 Platinum Elite (the one with the stainless slide) they are both listed at the same weight with mag of 30.4 oz. Is this an error on their part?
I bought a Platinum Elite P220 because of the fact that it just looks cool and feels awesome in the hand. Its also no slouch at the range. I'm not worried about it rusting since I take care of all my guns. The two tone SAS was the right price (i actually wanted the nitron one) and again looks cool. Now that its cleaned up I'm not worried about it rusting either.

Didn't mean to insinuate that the stainless would rust... it just, under the right (wrong) conditions, can get small rust spots. If you keep it clean and dry there shouldn't be a problem.

You asked which finish was "better" and IMHO the Nitron is. The stainless is just prettier.

Fishman777
May 17, 2011, 11:17 PM
I seem to recall reading that it is a vapor deposition finish that deposits Tungsten carbide. Tungsten carbide is very scratch resistance. My wedding band is tungsten carbide and that thing looks like it did the first day I bought it. Tough stuff. Near diamond hardness.

jawman
May 17, 2011, 11:57 PM
Thanks guys, very informative!! Really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I learned a lot and I'm grateful. I think I'll just go either the standard P220 or the Elite since they are Nitron, but being my first firearm, I don't think I will need all the bells and whistles that the Elite has to offer, so I might be better off just getting the standard version. Although I must admit I do like the look of the Platinum Elite the most, and the girlfriend/future wife likes it the most too. Which makes me wonder what kind of extra care needs to go into having a gun that is part stainless? Do you just oil it before storing? If that's all, then maybe I'll go with the Platinum.

9mmepiphany
May 18, 2011, 01:13 AM
Unless I missed it, it seems that in 12 post, no one has mentioned that the slides of both, given current production, models are stainless. It was only the older folded slides on 220s that were carbon steel

The coating that Sig adds to the stainless slides to make them dark/black is called Nitron

jhb
May 18, 2011, 06:56 PM
i have had a different experience than you guys on nitron. i only have two sigs both p238's. one in stainless finish the hd version, and one of the originals in nitron.

i dislike the nitron on my p238. it wore away in darkness the first cleaning. no solvents used, only weapons shield. went from black to a darkish grey. i use weapon shield on every pistol i have, and no other finish had this problem.

it's durability is debatlable as well. mine is a pocket carry pistol carried in a leather rkba holster (by itself no keys, cellphone, or coins, etc to bang into it.) and from time to time in a bladetech owb kydex holster. it's never been dropped, or scratched via banging it into something. there are some chips taken out of it from using with the kydex holster and slight wear marks. not huge chips but rather smallish chips. i complained to sig right away but they said it's fine, little chips are common and to apply "quailty" gun oil to have it become black in color again, which is somewhat true until the oil wears off and it's darkish grey again.

so maybe mine just had a bad job done and sig doesn't want to deal with it? i didn't push the issue and i don't really care, but i won't buy another nitron pistol.

SIGLBER
May 19, 2011, 03:18 PM
The newer SIGS all have stainless steel slide. The Nitron goes on over the stanless steel. I have a 229 and 239 with this combination and they workvery well together. When I have gotten a scratch on the Nitron a bluing pen worked just fine on it. So unless you just want a two tone (which I like) just get the one with the Nitron finish. Give you double the protection against corrosion.

If you enjoyed reading about "Difference between Nitron & stainless steel slide finish?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!