642 finish ... I did a BAD thing ... need advice please


July 17, 2004, 12:42 PM
Hello all,

Yesterday, after I returned from the range, I hosed up the finish on my 642. I was trying to remove the build up around the barrel on the inside of the frame and I grabbed a metal (copper? bronze?) brush and went to work. I stripped some the mystery coating from the crane and from the top of the inside of the frame. :uhoh:

I'm going to call S&W on Monday to get their thoughts but I wanted yours as well.

How serious is this?
Will it start to rust (or whatever aluminum does)?
Does it need to be refinished?

Also, how the %#*@ do I clean around the barrel on the inside of the frame?


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July 17, 2004, 02:55 PM
Hoppe's #9 and a nylon brush, would have let the clear coat live a while longer. The uncoated alloy may change color a bit, but it won't effect the gun's function.

If it really bugs you, just call S&W and see if they will re-coat it.

Good Luck...


Black Majik
July 17, 2004, 07:02 PM
Doesn't the 642 have the same finish as the 637's?

If so, and I've heard reports of the finish peeling on the 637's, I'd say it was just inevitable. :p

My suggestion is to get the gun refinished, but not the factory finish. I mean hardchromed. :cool: :D

July 17, 2004, 08:45 PM
Call S&W and ask for a shipping number. They will reapply the coating for you at no charge. Several people have been complaining of the finish coming off with usage and some of the common gun cleaners.
Makes you wonder why all those new M642s and M637s were sold off at discounts.

July 17, 2004, 09:01 PM
It's not inevitable. I've been cleaning alloy-frame Smiths for 10 or 15 years and have never had this happen. I generally use a USGI brush and Hoppe's, MPro 7 or CLP. If you spray a gun with miracle solvent, unanticipated consequences should be...anticipated?

July 17, 2004, 09:40 PM
This is a problem that has just popped up with the latest M642s and M637s. Several types of cleaners have affected the coating, and not all of them were the sprays.
No one has complained of any other model past or present.

July 18, 2004, 12:14 PM
Hello all,

I've read other posts about problems with the coating from various cleaners being applied. In fairness to S&W, I believe this was my fault totally. I used a bronze brush rather than nylon. I've cleaned the gun 3 times before with no problems.

I will call S&W tomorrow and get their thoughts.

Black Majik,

Were you joking about the hard crome or were you serious. I've never thought about having another finish applied. How cosly is it and who does it?


July 18, 2004, 04:01 PM
hard chrome generally costs 150-200. many people swear by Tripp Research.

July 18, 2004, 04:19 PM
many people swear by Tripp Research.

I'd be one of those people. He did a GREAT job on my Glock 17. The aluminum first has to be nickeled, then it can be chromed. Since it is being applied to nickel, I think only matte chrome is available.

July 19, 2004, 06:16 PM

Thank you all for your help. I called S&W today and they're sending me a shipping label to return the gun to be recoated at their expense.

Waxing philosophically, this might be a good thing. I didn't do my research well before buying the 642. I didn't know that the 442 even existed at the time. I'm seriously thinking about selling the 642 when I get it back and putting the money towards a 442.


July 19, 2004, 08:44 PM
I always wanted a 642 but found a 442 at a great price....had my 442 hard chromed when the cylinder started to show some rust....oh well...other side of the fence and all that....


July 19, 2004, 09:34 PM

Who did your chrome work?


July 20, 2004, 12:27 AM
I don't think tripp does hard chrome on firearms any more, if he has started again go with them as he does awesome work.......accurate plating in florida is very good too, they worked on my mdl. 66, I may be sending my 642 to them real soon......tom

July 20, 2004, 12:39 AM
Tripp is back into chroming again, and he is the only one I would recommend. His price is literally a fraction of the others, and his turnaround time is less than two weeks, while others are more than a month. If you have any questions, give them a call, Virgil answers the phone himself! Here is my G17 that he did three years ago.

July 20, 2004, 08:52 PM
Thank you all again for your replies,

I know nothing about the chroming process but I'm definately interested. By the way, Tripp quoted me a price of $150 for the 642 via e-mail.

Let me ask a few questions:
1. Are their any drawbacks or dangers involved?
2. How durable is the chrome finish?
3. Are the cylinder and barrel chromed as well?
4. Does it add noticable weight to the gun (I wouldn't mind another couple of ounces at the range :neener: ).
5. Does Tripp disassemble and reassemble the entire gun or do I have to break it down before shipping?

Many thanks!

July 20, 2004, 11:45 PM
1. Not that I'm aware of.
2. MUCH more durable than the aluminum. It is like 68-69 on the Rockwell scale.
3. If you want them to be.
4. The layer applied is very thin so that it doesn't interfere with function. Not so thin that it's not effective, but thin enough that it shouldn't add weight.
5. As far as I know, he does everything as far as disassembly/reassembly, but taking it apart will save you some $$$ on shipping.

July 21, 2004, 07:25 PM

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