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Chrome or Nickel for durability?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 460Shooter, Jun 28, 2013.

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  1. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Hey all. All of my guns are stainless steel.

    I'm thinking about a Desert Eagle in .44 mag as my next purchase, and I see they have a polished nickel and a polished chrome finish available. I did not see a stainless option.

    So which could I expect to hold up better? I would think chrome, but have no clue really. I'm most concerned about durability rather than whether one has a little more shine than the other.
     
  2. Torian

    Torian Member

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    There is no comparison. A hard chrome finish is vastly superior to Nickel (in terms of durability and protection) save for aesthetics IF you prefer the unique color nickel plating gives.
     
  3. Solo

    Solo Member

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    Chrome is more durable, but it just won't be as pimpin' as nickle if you want gangsta bling-bling.
     
  4. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Is it hard chrome or is it just chrome?

    I see the web site says "brushed chrome". I'd call and ask them.


    tipoc
     
  5. Torian

    Torian Member

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    If he wants bling, the 24K gold plated finish would be more appropriate.
     
  6. Nickel Plated

    Nickel Plated Member

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    Don't forgret the tiger stripes. Though I always find nickel to be a classier version of bling than gold.
     
  7. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    I'm just wondering why you're looking for something more durable? Are you worried about the standard Black finish. I have the black finish version and it is still like new after several years of shooting with the .44 mag and .50 AE barrels.
    What I am getting at is; if you want the bling get the bling that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside but don't fret too much about finish wear, they are pretty tough in whatever finish you get.
     
  8. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Member

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    Hard chrome by far.
     
  9. Acelaw

    Acelaw Member

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    How does chrome hold up to heat/humidity so far as rusting goes
     
  10. rhinoh

    rhinoh Member

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    Chrome does not rust. If poorly done or too thin the underlying steel alloy may rust through.
     
  11. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    TIMC

    I just prefer the shine and look of stainless versus black. Deep bluing is great, but I don't care for a black finish myself. I am sure it would hold up fine. I am always concerned about durability. Just the way I am. Hence the original question.

    Solo, The only reason I would buy a gold colored DE for "pimpin" is if I was going to use it to pistol whip myself...... for buying a gold gun. Thus, I will save myself the head trauma and not buy a gold gun, and get rid of any need to pistol whip myself. Bit of a paradox there.

    Sounds like chrome is the way to go.

    As far as hard chrome TIPOC, not sure. Maybe I will call. Thanks all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Sorry but it's not that black & white.

    Hard chrome is a harder finish, even higher than the underlying steel but it doesn't cover as evenly as nickel and is not quite as corrosion resistant. It's more durable and wear resistant but also has a very cold, bluish white color that some folks don't care for. No other plating or finish is as corrosion resistant as nickel but it's also softer than industrial hard chrome. It covers more evenly and has that soft bronze hue that is a much warmer looking finish.

    Here's a comparison of the colors. Matte nickel on the left, matte hard chrome on the right. I like both. Either one would like nice on a Desert Eagle. Personally I'd lean towards chrome but in a matte or brushed finish rather than bright. :)

    IMG_8088b.jpg
     
  13. Torian

    Torian Member

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    I've never really noticed a bluish tint on my hard chromed hi power...maybe I'm missing it though. Even with all the holster wear from the last 10 years of using this as my primary carry...not a scratch on it.

    2z7mrli.jpg
     
  14. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    No simple answer...

    Chrome is harder and more chemical resistant if it's applied directly to steel. It has a coloration that's pretty close to steel. It will tend to round corners.

    Nickel (assuming you're talking about electroless nickel) tends to be less likely to peel or flake and can be applied to metals that chrome won't adhere to without some sort of intermediate coating/plating. It is more corrosion resistant because it tends to be less likely to crack than chrome since it's less brittle. It applies more evenly with less tendency to "radius" corners. It tends to be a little more yellow than steel.
     
  15. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Thanks for the info CraigC. I have a better understanding now.

    They do have a polished chrome finish, which is what I think I'd go for. Assuming it is hard chrome, which I believe it is.
     
  16. mwmjones

    mwmjones Member

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    Have you ever seen CCR's CPII it looks in-between either for color and texture
     
  17. Torian

    Torian Member

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    I agree a good nickel finish is very pretty. If I had a nice shot piece that was going to sit in my safe, not get carried, and only infrequently shot at the range, I would consider nickel.

    However, anything that I'm going to carry regularly, that is going to get a lot of holster wear, I think would do better with a hard chrome finish. The durability of the finish was the first thing I was looking for.
     
  18. OrangePwrx9

    OrangePwrx9 Member

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    My only nickel plated gun is a Python I bought new back in the '70s. Always kept it on the top shelf of my gun safe. Gun was pretty much immaculate.

    One day I tossed the blueprint for a house I was buying into the safe. It landed on top of the Python and stayed there for a month or two.

    Next time I saw the Python there was rust around the edge of a cylinder flute that had been in contact with the print. It's still there and is the only real blemish on the gun. I think the ammonia residue in the print was the culprit.

    That, plus the Python was a pain to get looking good after a range session. Seemed like there was always powder residue or fingerprints on it somewhere.
     
  19. ZVP

    ZVP Member

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    I haave a Cobra Derringer that's shiney chromed and a S&W Model 36 in Nickle.
    Of the 2 finishes the Nickle looks classier and the chrome looks like a good bumper! I will always go for the Nickle even if it dosent wear as long.
    BPDave
     
  20. Torian

    Torian Member

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    That is horrible. I can only imagine the # of swear words that came out of your mouth after seeing it. Have you considered getting it professionally refinished, or would that actually lessen the worth?
     
  21. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I carried a hard chromed P-32 in my front pocket everyday for about 8 years. I carried it in a leather holster. I didn't even take it out of the holster at night to dry it either - and it's humid here.

    It looked about like new when I sold it.

    That's the extent of my experience. Well, I did inherit my great uncle Ed's 1884 nickel S&W break top .38 that he carried in his back pocket everyday working as an electrician at UVA and raising about 30 Black Angus each year. It was discolored on one side, but hadn't flaked at all.
     
  22. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

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    Keep in mind that not all nickel plating processes are created equal. Electroless nickel is superior to the type of nickel plating most people know, which is applied over a copper sub-plating, as would have been the case with OrangePwrx9's Python.

    Hard chrome is probably better but electroless nickel isn't the pretty but frail nickel most people know.
     
  23. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    I have a nickel 586 S&W. The thing was left in a lambswool lined holster by it's orignal Oklahoma owner and rusted in a couple of spots.
     
  24. Landgroove

    Landgroove Member

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    I had a shiny nickel M29 years ago.
    It was very pretty but too shiny for practical use in bright sun.

    Also it was 4" bbl so I got rid of it pretty quickly after the pain subsided. ;)
     
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