Nickel finish question


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16in50calNavalRifle
October 20, 2015, 03:06 AM
I hesitate to post this, but I haven't found any info anywhere, so ....

Just wondering if there are any down-sides to a nickel finish on a revolver, in terms of maintenance, wear, etc.?

Locally there's an S&W 586 nickel finish for sale, and it's tempting (4-inch, no-dash, good condition). But I have no experience with nickel and just want to make sure there are no negatives attached to it. More of a shooter than a collector (though not enough of a shooter, lately .....), so anything I buy will be used.

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gotboostvr
October 20, 2015, 04:02 AM
Just don't use hoppes #9 to clean it (or at least be very diligent about getting all the hoppes out when you're done)

Got a steal on a cosmetically challenged desert eagle because of that caveat

ku4hx
October 20, 2015, 07:22 AM
Any down-sides? Well yes, besides the possibility of damage by Hoppe's #9, it can flake off. Maybe not as likely with newer processes, but it is a plating that can, and does, come off.

bannockburn
October 20, 2015, 07:32 AM
The reason I (and others), don't use Hoppes No. 9 on nickel or bright chrome guns is that typically nickel and chrome won't adhere to the surface metal. What is needed first is a copper sub-surface which will bond to the bare metal and allow the nickel or chrome plating to bond to it. Since Hoppes No. 9 is a copper solvent it can get into and remove the copper sub-surface and cause the nickel or chrome plating to flake and come off the gun.

The only part of my nickel plated gun that gets cleaned with Hoppes is the barrel. Other than that I spray it down with WD40, wipe it off, and occasionally clean the tarnish off and shine it up with Flitz Metal Polish. Still looks great after all these years.

http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z334/TailoAltera/064_zps4ynft146.jpg (http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/TailoAltera/media/064_zps4ynft146.jpg.html)

Waveski
October 20, 2015, 08:43 AM
Nickel plated 586 no dash ---

BUY iT and go to bed each night in the comfort of knowing that you own a very classy shooter!!! The 586 is the predecessor to the proven ss 686. It is a fine revolver. Take precautions when cleaning as stated above and enjoy.

I own a 586 no dash nickel 6" Fabulous shooter. Paid a bit too much for it - no regrets! No MIM , no Horrible Hole , all classic beauty.

They don't make 'em like that anymore!

Barry the Bear
October 20, 2015, 08:54 AM
Had a model 29 that was nickel plated that I foolishly traded off years ago. That gun had a 6.5 inch barrel and I had taken two does and several hogs with that gun. As stated keep the cleaning with hops to a minimum of at all, I used ballistol on mine and never saw ill effects, and it will be fine. Hell I'm looking for a 586 4 inch right now. To me they're the best "combat" revolvers out there with the 686 up there to of course. I say buy it you won't regret it.

Waveski
October 20, 2015, 09:30 AM
Yes , you need one of these -



(Natural lighting would have been nice , but still dark out.)

Bannock - That Colt is an eye full!

Onward Allusion
October 20, 2015, 09:51 AM
I personally don't like nickel finishes. Aside from chemical and flaking challenges, you can't easily touch up wear. With bluing, there are many products that you can use to touch up wear. With stainless, it's easy to polish w/o worrying about taking off the nickel. Put a little ding in SS? Buff it out . . .

bannockburn
October 20, 2015, 11:31 AM
Waveski

Yes it is! It was a limited run from Colt's Custom Shop as the factory only offered matte nickel in the Combat Commander models. It's a great shooter too with that Gold Cup trigger, action job, and that MMC rear sight.

The Bushmaster
October 20, 2015, 11:56 AM
Oh damn!! And I've been cleaning my Mod 19 nickle plated revolver with Hoppe's Benchrest copper solvent for the last 20 years. It's still nickle plated. What am I doing wrong here? I mean the nickle should have flaked of by now...

Sunray
October 20, 2015, 02:47 PM
The only real downside, aside from nickel plating being 19th Century technology, is that you might have the front sight disappear in bright light. Mind you, I had that happen under indoor fluorescents with a blue GP100 too. Friggin' cop range.

Ruger Redhawk
October 20, 2015, 03:27 PM
I've never cared for a nickel gun although I have owned for a short time a couple of them over the years.
I have a nickel S&W M 19 that was my wife's late husbands gun. It's been in the safe ever since I got with her. I've wiped it down and noticed a few nicks or marks on it. If it were mine it would have been long gone by now but it's up to her what she wants to do with any of his belongings. I doubt she even knows it's locked away after all these years.

Driftwood Johnson
October 20, 2015, 08:41 PM
Howdy

For what it's worth, in the 19th Century, Smith and Wesson used to sell more of their pocket pistols with a Nickel plated finish than a blued finish. In those days, gun blue was not as robust as it is today, and Nickel plating was a better way to prevent rust.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/pocket%20pistols/32safetyhammerlesswithbox_zps6a26bd76.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/pocket%20pistols/32SingleAction02_zpsdaf87b77.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/pocket%20pistols/38SA2ndModel02_zpsd4889723.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/pocket%20pistols/38DA3rdModel02_zps60158318.jpg

joem1945
October 20, 2015, 09:07 PM
I have a S&W model 57 in bright nickel. I don't shoot it because I don't want to damage the finish. Ordered a blue one, it came in by mistake so I took it anyway. I have other 57's to shoot.

Steve CT
October 20, 2015, 09:56 PM
Oh damn!! And I've been cleaning my Mod 19 nickle plated revolver with Hoppe's Benchrest copper solvent for the last 20 years. It's still nickle plated. What am I doing wrong here? I mean the nickle should have flaked of by now...
The nickel finish is resistant to the cleaner, the problem comes in if there is a scratch, nick, or ding in the finish that allows the copper removing cleaner to get access to the copper substrate. Once that happens, the copper starts to degrade and allows the nickel finish to flake and peel.

I have a Dan Wesson 15-2 that I had refinished in bright nickel, fortunately, with a DW I can remove the barrel for cleaning with a copper cleaner/remover.

The Bushmaster
October 20, 2015, 11:23 PM
Nicks and scratches? This Mod 19 has seen everything you can imagine. It's seen many miles in a pommel bag on horse back. Years as a backup for hunting and an in camp carry gun. It is one of my "workhorses" in my small arsenal.

Proper care and it won't happen.

16in50calNavalRifle
October 21, 2015, 02:46 AM
Thanks all for the informative and interesting responses. Have learned to expect no less at THR.

Driftwood in particular, thanks for the typically authoritative info on nickel plating and bluing in the old days.

I actually don't use Hoppe's - pretty much just CLP on the handguns (some Butch's and copper- and lead-remover, occasionally, in rifle bores). I find CLP (sometimes soaked overnight), and for leading an old bore brush wrapped with a piece of Chore Boy copper scrubber, get the job done for the revolvers (again, hat tip THR for the Chore Boy thing).

So I don't think solvents would be an issue. But it is a plated finish, so as pointed out above, fixing small issues is not an option as with many blue- or stainless-finish situations. And I shoot everything I own, so the thing would "see action" and possibly get dinged.

Really want a 586, which are hard to come by in my state, so that's why I'm even looking at the piece. Seller wants too much for it (for my taste) at this point, but hoping he'll drop his price over time as it doesn't sell. Worked before, but you never know.

If I end up buying it, I'll post up some revolver porn in this section for the common good.

Jim K
October 22, 2015, 09:30 PM
The bad part of the old Hoppe's is ammonia, which will attack copper. Hoppe's (and some other clearners) were originally developed to clean cupro-nickel residue out rifle barrels. While cupro-nickel jackets have not been used for many decades, lots of folks like to clean out the copper wash from gilding metal jackets and so use ammonia-based cleaners.

So, it is not just Hoppe's that should be avoided for nickel plated guns, but any cleaner containing ammonia.

Jim

just for fun
October 24, 2015, 08:27 AM
Cost be dammed. If any of those were made today-my money would be on the table! A plastic 380 auto? Oh PLEASE!

CraigC
October 24, 2015, 02:50 PM
IMHO, there are lot of old wives tales about nickel plating and most people just repeat them, without having ever actually experienced the flaking or peeling. Or they saw it on a used gun with an unknown history. Few ever bother to mention that nickel is the most corrosion resistant finish possible. Hard chrome is more abrasion resistant but somewhat less corrosion resistant. Nickel plating is a durable finish that will last a lifetime if taken care of and it has a beauty all its own. If you like it, go for it. Just keep the ammonia away from it and you'll be fine.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiv/large/IMG_6658b.jpg

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_8062b.jpg

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsii/large/SandW%20M15%202in%20-%20007.JPG

CraigC
October 24, 2015, 02:53 PM
.....aside from nickel plating being 19th Century technology.....
Bluing is centuries older, so I don't see how that's an indictment. :confused:


.....is that you might have the front sight disappear in bright light. Mind you, I had that happen under indoor fluorescents with a blue GP100 too.
I've got several guns with plated front sights and it has never been an issue. Those stupid red inserts are a much greater hindrance.

jad0110
October 24, 2015, 09:31 PM
I don't use Hoppes or ammonia on my sole nickel plated gun, my S&W 36-1. Typically I use my home made Ed's Red (for my blend equal parts acetone, 1K kerosene, mineral spirits and Dex VI auto trans fluid). Anyone see any issues with that?

I can always switch to Balistol, which I use when cleaning my son's 1851 Navy.



http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Model%2036%2038%20Special/DSC07978_zpsucot6tw3.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/jad0110/media/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Model%2036%2038%20Special/DSC07978_zpsucot6tw3.jpg.html)

16in50calNavalRifle
October 26, 2015, 04:18 AM
CraigC, there oughta be a law against photos like those ......

Is that a Model 19 snub at the end? Dangit, who told you that was my grail gun (well, sorta, the blued 19 snub to be exact .... and even that itch is partly scratched by the snub King Cobra in the stable).

Waiting to see if the price drops (it did - by $30 ??? huh?) as time goes on. Just a bit too high at the moment. We'll see. But the info here has pretty much resolved any doubts about the nickel finish.

CraigC
October 26, 2015, 12:17 PM
No, 2" model 15 square butt. ;)

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