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Do any of you carry a gun with a nickel finish?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by John Wayne, Feb 8, 2010.


Do you carry a nickel-plated firearm?

  1. I do not carry my nickel-plated guns, or would not if I owned any.

    23 vote(s)
  2. I carry them and the finish has held up well.

    29 vote(s)
  3. I carry them and the finish has not held up well.

    1 vote(s)
  1. John Wayne

    John Wayne Well-Known Member

    I've noticed that a nice shiny nickel S&W revolver is lacking from my collection. I love S&W revolvers, and the nickel plating on the old guns is a work of art. But, I believe in functional art so anything I own is going to get carried and shot on a regular basis.

    For those of you that carry nickel-plated guns (specifically bright and shiny nickel, not so much the matte finish), how have they held up? I'm not interested in hearing about hard chrome or SS finishes as my question relates to a specific finish and not alternatives.

    Do they still look good after several years, provided they don't come in contact with any evil solvents?
  2. usp9

    usp9 Well-Known Member

    This was carried for over a decade and has held up well. In all honesty the gun looks a bit worse in person, little dings and wear areas, but on a whole, it is as good or better than any blued carry I've used and/or seen.

    The grips are brand new... the old wood grips are pretty dinged up. High, sharp spots are worn, the trigger, hammer and slide release have heavy wear, but the rest is still in good shape. If I were selling I'd say it was about 85%.


    ... a better pic?

  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I carry mine outdoors in a nylon flap holster. It's a hiking companion. It's a 4" Taurus M66 from the early 90s. It has a little holster blemish you can barely see in good light on the cylinder in one spot, but looks pretty decent. Nickel will eventually holster wear, but it's quite corrosion resistant.

    I used to carry and shoot my uncle's little Smith and Wesson M17 K22 Masterpiece in nickel, 6" gun. It held up well, too. That thing was NICE. :D

  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    BTW, I've been told to take it easy with the Hoppes No 9 (solvent) on a nickel gun, will cause it to peel or so they say. Therefore, I don't use Hoppes in the bore, just scrub with corrosion X lubricant.
  5. ghitch75

    ghitch75 Well-Known Member


  6. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    S & W Model 19 Combat Magnum 2 1/2" barrel. Carried in a holster open and concealed. Carried in a pommel bag suspended from my saddle horn on many a ride. Thousands of rounds (handloads) sense 1986. Shows vertually no wear.
  7. huntsman

    huntsman Well-Known Member

    I love a nickel finish (classy) and carry one daily, no problems.
  8. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    Nickel was traditionally offered as a "carry" finish. That's why lots of 19th Century and early 20th Century guns that you still find in good condition were originally nickel plated. Frontiersmen and lawmen opted for that finish on the S&W model 3's and Peacemakers as a "carry" finish.

    Your nickel guns will last better, comparatively, than blued steel. They will not offer the same level of wear protection as some modern wonder-finishes like Hard Chrome and others.

    If you are talking about buying a factory finished modern handgun like an S&W post WWII, there's no "evil solvent" to fear. They have not used copper under the nickel plating for a very long time (this per Roy Jinks). If you are unsure if the finish is factory nickel, then you need to be more careful.
  9. John Wayne

    John Wayne Well-Known Member

    Oro, I was referring to the warning on the side of a bottle of Hoppe's No. 9 that says to keep it away from nickel firearms. I've always considered Hoppe's pretty mild compared to some of today's copper-nuking solvents, so I thought if Hoppe's could damage it, Montanta Xtreme might leave you with a puddle of nickel.

    Maybe it's an old bottle though, or Hoppe's is just covering their bases.
  10. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    I've been cleaning my nickel plated Mod 19 sense it was brand new with Hoppe's #9 Bench Rest Copper solvent. Let's see...1986 to 2010...Hummm...That 24 years. I see no deteriation of the nickel. I do wipe it dry after cleaning only leaving a thin coat of oil in the chambers and barrel.
  11. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    The instructions on my bottle of Hoppe's No. 9 say

    The MSDS says it contains ammonium hydroxide, which could attack nickel, I suppose. However, it doesn't say not to use it to clean a nickel-plated gun, just don't soak it.
  12. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    Right - They don't know what kind of nickel-plating job you have, so they cover their bases and leave it up to you to figure out - which is fine. But a modern S&W nickel job is fine with Hoppe's - and any type is OK as long as it's not left soaking or puddling like dmazur said.
  13. baryon

    baryon Well-Known Member

    Nickel is allergic to many people and has been eliminated from products that touch skin. Like the stainless steel used in wristwatches no longer contain nickel as required by law. Something to keep in mind.

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    I carry a nickle Colt Mustang now days and for several years a nickle S&W J frame I like a nickle pistol for carry.
  15. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Well-Known Member

    Yep . . . I sometimes carry nickleplated S&W revolvers in my rotation.

    No finish is classier, just take care of it of course.

    The last nickleplated one I carried was . . . hmmm . . . last Friday evening as my wife and I went downtown for a nice Italian dinner, then on to do some shopping. It was this one. It was made in 1984 and I've owned it about a year or so. It looks nice indeed, but it is no safe queen . . . the perfect kind of nickle revolver to baby, BUT also carry and shoot! It is a Model 19-5 .357 . . .


    Sometimes I carry this one too, an nice little 1964 Model 36 no dash. I usually carry it in a holster that is nice on the gun too, a Rosen Upper Limit that is an amazing holster indeed! This gun is a little tack driver too. I've had it about 2 1/2 years and it looked/looks almost brand new. It hasn't been handled/shot a lot . . .


    The ONLY nickle plated revolver I have not carried will remain that way . . . though I may shoot it sometime gently. Though it has been shot very sparingly in its past, this one's a safe queen that I got recently that's almost TOO nice to shoot . . . including the original Magna grips numbered to the gun . . . a 1970 Model 27-2. I want to keep it pristine . . . the only handgun in my quite modest collection that's not a shooter for a specific purpose!

  16. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    i do not own any , and i wouldn't carry them if i had them. i like dark/ black/ subdued finishes on my carry guns.
  17. 71Commander

    71Commander Well-Known Member

    The above shown 686 is stainless, not nickle.

    My satin nickle Combat Commander.

  18. ghitch75

    ghitch75 Well-Known Member

    i know it's SS....just like showin' it off:D:D:D
  19. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Well-Known Member

    Nope. Blue is the best, followed by a good parkerization. If I have to, stainless is acceptable, though I prefer it dull to shiny. Nickel is, to my eyes, the least attractive finish available.

    Well, ok, gold on a gun is even uglier.

  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Opinions are like...........

    A nice stainless or nickel is prettier than a holster worn, rusty blued gun IMHO. To each his own. I like the satin nickel, also like polished. It's pleasant to my eyes. Nice guns, folks!

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