Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What's the deal on hard chrome?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by dairycreek, Jan 15, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    North Plains, Oregon
    Read a lot of posts about the virtue of hard chroming. But, exactly what does that mean? Can it be done to any finish? What does the finish look like? Why do it at all? Rather than ask a zillion questions I invite those who opt to answer to "wax eloquently" as I am really curious. Now, have at it! Good shooting
    :)
     
  2. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    Very durable, apparently. No first hand experience myself, yet, except noticing that stainless is very pretty.

    Some complain about shiny guns being 'untactical' as the reflection could give away your position to a bad guy, but conversely a shiny gun looks larger, which could be a GOOD thing at night.

    Check out Tripp Research's Website:

    http://www.trippresearch.com/chrome/chrome.htm

    Doubtless others more in the know than I will chime in momentarily...
     
  3. Boats

    Boats member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,705
    Location:
    Oregon
    I don't do chrome. Click my sig link for why.
     
  4. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    Boats: is your point that Robar is such a great product that... why refinish in anything else?
     
  5. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,922
    Here is the deal on hard chrome:

    Hard chrome is NOT the same as cosmetic chrome on car bumpers and cheap pimp guns. Hard chrome is essentially an industrial coating developed for things like dies, adapted to handguns.

    It has alot of virtues: it helps protect against corrosion, and is VERY hard and wear resistant. It also looks nice, usually a bluish-tinged silver metal color. How shiny it is depends on how the base metal is treated; it can be mirror-polished, brushed or a flat matte appearance. It works well on carbon steel or stainless steel.

    Downsides? Mainly that it is light colored. If you need the ultimate in rust resistance, something like NP3 can provide you somewhat more corrosion resistance and more lubricity (read: it's slick!)... but won't be as hard as hard chrome.

    Example of hard chrome (not mine, unfortunately :D ):

    [​IMG]

    Hard chrome guns look good for a LONG time, and have to take a hell of a beating to start to show wear. It won't flake off like nickel can tend to. In that respect, hard chrome is probably unbeatable compared to any of the other mainstream finishes. But there really is no "ultimate" finish... it just depends on what your priorities are.
     
  6. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    4,933
    Tactical schmactical, if you have a pistol out and ready it is too late to worry about being tactical I think.

    Hard chome is extremely hard, it is the hardest coating typically used that you can put on your guns. Hardness is on the order of 62-65 on the Rockwell C scale if memory serves me. Wear even when run totally dry is virtually eliminated. It is virtually corrosion proof, it will not rust or decay. Makes for a nice carry gun that does not rust from sweat instantly, and can take weeks of condensation. I have several hard chrome guns, it is the only finish I have found that is wear proof, you just can't hurt it in normal usage. Corrosion? Never. Lube? Not needed if the gun is fitted decently, it is hard and slick all by itself.

    I am a big fan of hard chrome, where it is appropriate it is THE best possible plating/finish.
     
  7. CWL

    CWL Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,505
    Hard chrome is an industrial process whereby chrome (very hard stuff) is permanently bonded onto metal. It is not a plating which would normally flake off. It cannot be applied to polymer and is not generally applied to aluminum.

    The stuff is for real. It is primarily for industrial usage. It will extend the life of heavy-use tools and machine bits. An example of HC useage is in the bits of a drilling rig. It also has higher corrosion/rust resistance than bare metal.

    HC on guns is real overkill because a gun will never be subjected to the wear, vibration, shock, temperatures and pressures of industrial tools. It will make it beautiful and prevent scratching and additional wear such as along slide rails. People with HC'd guns haven't noticed wear on their pistolas after a decade of use. Thus it is popular with owners of 'high-end' guns as well as competition shooters who shoot thousands of rounds per month.

    Contrary to those who have never seen it, hard chrome is the color of liquid mercury, it has a satin sheen and is less shiny than stainless steel. HC can be polished to a beautiful shine however, but this is an additional process and expense.

    Knife makers have been using HC far longer than gun collectors.

    A properly HC'd gun makes it slick and easy to clean.

    Here is an example of one of my HC'd (as done by Virgil Tripp) HK P7M8. It is just wiped-down with a rag after shooting. No sign of wear.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,922
    To put hard chrome's hardness in perspective (from the Tripp Research site...)

    http://www.trippresearch.com/tech/hardchrome/hardchrome.htm
     
  9. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    13,233
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    I like it for pocket guns, especially during the summers here.

    If you don't like the color you can always have one of those dark finishes applied over it. It's only money.

    John
     
  10. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    Do most of you leave the sights black on a hard chromed gun?
     
  11. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,296
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
  12. yzguy

    yzguy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    589
    Location:
    Fl
    here is a pic of 2 slides side by side. The bottom one is hard chrome, and the top is nickel plated.
    [​IMG]
    (click to enlarge)

    the finish of both can be shiny if the metal is smooth before the plating...
     
  13. Onslaught

    Onslaught Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,006
    Location:
    Georgia
    If you GOTTA have "tactical", I guess there's always black chrome.
     
  14. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    North Plains, Oregon
    What great responses!!!

    Great responses! Learned a great deal already. The pics were great too. Keep 'em coming:D Good shooting:)
     
  15. AK103K

    AK103K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    5,774
    Hard chrome is great, but it will show wear. I'm sold on it for a carry gun, as I sweat like a pig and this stuff doesnt rust. I was told by my smith that it can rust if its degreased and not re-oiled, hasnt been a problem for me, but I still wipe it down twice a day.

    The pic below is my Colt Commander. Its carried everyday and shows it. It was a blued gun to start, but constantly wet leather took its toll. I now swear by hard chrome and kydex. You can see that chrome will wear. Its still chromed at the rub points but just polished, no longer matte. Its not totally perfect, but its pretty close.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,922
    Kydex will ruin ANY gun's finish. :D
     
  17. AK103K

    AK103K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    5,774
    The kydex isnt the problem, the leather is. Once its wet, it stays wet, and so does your gun. Kydex keeps everything nice and dry. Its also a lot more comfortable against your skin if you dont have cloth behind it. They both leave wear marks on your guns finish, only one protects it from you.
     
  18. mini14jac

    mini14jac Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    TN
    I sent my P32 back to KelTec.
    For $20 they exchanged my slide, barrel, and assembly pin for hard chromed parts.
    The finish reminds me of the "matte stainless" on my Ruger and Kahr guns. I'm glad, because I didn't want a shiny gun.
    It is durable, and rust resistant.

    Perfect for a pocket gun.
     
  19. incursion

    incursion Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    294
    Hard chrome will rust. I can attest to that. My hard chromed P7M8 has some black pits that I can't get rid of.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    4,933
    Those black pits could be inclusions in the plating too, that corroded.
     
  21. DBR

    DBR Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,071
    Location:
    Vermont
    Regular industrial hardchrome is full of microsopic cracks which is why it can rust stain. IMHO the "Chromium SS" process is much better. You should check it out before you get a refinish job done.

    Mahovsky's Metalife Ind.
    Ron Mahovsky
    RD 1, Box 149-A Eureka Rd.
    Grand Valley, PA 16420
    814-436-7747
    {Inventor of a high-tech in-surface chrome finishing process, hard coating of guns}
    [Gunsmith:coating;finishing;chrome]
     
  22. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Vermont
    SINCE NOTHING LASTS FOREVER

    I have hardchrome; it wears and rusts.
    I have NP3; it wears but hasn't rusted yet.
    I have stainless; it wears and rusts.
    I have blue; it wears and rusts.
    I have "I don't know"-coating, dark almost-totally-black; it hasn't done anything yet, including rust. Figure that alone means I'm ahead.

    I have heard exceptional results possible using Metalife.
    May give them a try.
    (I still have this burning desire to have Mr. Cogan at www.apwcogan.com gold-plate something for me.)

    Your results may vary.
     
  23. AK103K

    AK103K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    5,774
    The Glock has probably the best finish going for a carry gun. But they wont do guns other than their own, I called and asked. The biggest problem with it is, its on a Glock! :)
     
  24. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Vermont
    IMNSLE

    Robar probably has the best finish going for a carry gun: NP3.

    They'll do Glocks.
     
  25. Kentucky Rifle

    Kentucky Rifle Member In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,416
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky.
    Man! If you guys don't stop posting those pictures of P7's...

    ...I'm not going to have any choice in the matter!:D

    KR
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page