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  #1  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:15 PM
Nowhere Man Nowhere Man is offline
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Tell me about hard chrome finishes




I know nothing about it.

How does hard chrome hold up compared to other gun finishes? Is there any trouble with it flaking off or cracking? How about holster wear?


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  #2  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:21 PM
Lastwagen Lastwagen is offline
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The experts at STI can tell you about a hard chrome finish. I think Virgil Tripp (the "T" in STI) is doing their hard chrome finishes. From what I understand it is more durable than blue, will not peel like nickel, and may be more scratch resistant than stainless. This is my understanding but maybe an STI rep can explain it better.
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:25 PM
sousana sousana is offline
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I use Metaloy finishes on all my carry and comp guns. The first gun I did so was a Safari Arms Matchmaster 1911 back in the early 80's. The finish gives the gun a feeling of being oiled slightly and actually bonds to the metal hardening it. My Matchmaster has seen over 129k rounds, thousands of concealed carry presentation drills, hundreds of matches, thousands of range trips, immersion in mud, salt water, ice, sand, and today, the gun looks like it just came from the factory. In Virginia, summers can get extremely humid and hot, and the gun holds up fine under those conditions, but my test gun, an Essex 1911 rusted overnight without being cleaned.

There are a lot of finishes out on the market now, and many are cheaper, but you get what you pay for.

I've used it for over 30 years and I see no reason to change.

http://www.originalmetaloy.com/pricing.html
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:53 PM
Shad Roe Shad Roe is offline
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I've no experience with the new wonder finishes like NP3,Hardhat,Black Nitride etc.;but,the two hard-chromed guns I had were absolutely bulletproof. No signs of wear or scratches for so long a period that you don't notice them when they do appear.

Seems I cannot appreciate/bond with a hard-chromed gun. Same with stainless;and,I presume the wonder finishes.

Most redeeming quality of hard chrome finish,IMHO, is that it is done on carbon steel.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:55 PM
MTSCMike MTSCMike is offline
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Awsome finish. Probably the most durable available.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:56 PM
Nowhere Man Nowhere Man is offline
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Any problems with cleaning chemicals like with nickle?
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2012, 02:01 PM
Horoscope Fish Horoscope Fish is offline
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Hard chrome is, in my opinion, one of the best overall finishes you can ask for. Properly done, it won't peel or crack, rates about 65C on the Rockwell hardness scale is highly corrosion resistant and just looks damn good. My Kimber was hard chromed by Metaloy Industries and after three years, and countless (Kydex!) holster draws, still looks fantastic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
Any problems with cleaning chemicals like with nickle?
Nope.

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  #8  
Old 08-30-2012, 03:09 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is online now
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I have a Colt Special Combat Gov that was hardchromed. It is an impressive finish.

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  #9  
Old 08-30-2012, 03:15 PM
Nowhere Man Nowhere Man is offline
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Very nice!!


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  #10  
Old 08-30-2012, 03:37 PM
Rock185 Rock185 is offline
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Hello Nowhere, I have had two pistols hard chromed and had two others with factory hard chromed frames. One of my hard chromed guns, a Colt, still looks about the same as it did when I had the work done 30+ years ago. There are certainly other good finishes, Robar's NP3 for instance, but I have found Nothing as tough, hard and durable as hard chrome. Properly applied, hard chrome does not flake or peel, fouling does not seem to stick, cleaning is very easy and HC resists evidence of holster wear better than any other finish I've ever seen. Many of the new wonder finishes are high tec paint, epoxies, baked on, etc, etc. Some are more durable than others, but none are as hard and durable as hard chrome. If you look at pistols with some of these finishes, that have actually been holstered and used for a while, you wil see what I mean. Some of the newer nitride finishes, e.g. Tenifer, Melonite,etc, seem like a good bet, but the only one of those I've had experience with is Glock's Tenifer. But the Tenifer is very hard and durable. I would suggest checking the Armoloy and Metaloy websites to learn more about hard chrome. If my experience with hard chromed guns is typical, I really doubt that a hard chromed gun would ever need to be refinished for a lifetime or two...ymmv
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2012, 03:49 PM
FF Sparky FF Sparky is offline
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I was looking at hard chroming mine. They shop said it was in good enough condition it would need to much work to polish it out,. So I got nickel-teflon which is a metal gray
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2012, 04:07 PM
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Rosco Benson Rosco Benson is offline
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Hard chrome is a good finish; attractive, wear-resistant, and reasonably corrosion resistant. It is thin enough not to cause problems with closely fitted parts. It is applied via electroplating, so "rods" must be fixtured into the nooks and crannies of the pistol (like inside the slide, up the mag well, etc) in order for the chrome to "throw" itself into these areas. Thus, the coverage is not as complete as a chemical bath electroless plating process like electroless nickel or NP3. Hard chrome can build up a bit on corners and the edges of holes.

You'll have no problem with hard chrome flaking or peeling. If you whack your pistol hard enough to put a dent in it, the harchrome finish will conform to the dent.

The appearance of hard chrome is influenced by how the substrate is prepped. A heavily bead-blasted area with appear matte. A highly polished area can shine like a mirror. A brushed area will look very much like brushed stainless steel.

Metaloy http://www.originalmetaloy.com/ does top-notch work and can handle sight installations and various other pistolsmithing. Virgil Tripp used to offer excellent plating services, but he exited that part of the business.

IMO, no plating beats NP3 or electroless nickel for a corrosion-resistant finish. This is due to the extremely complete coverage of all the nooks and crannies. If you're willing to wipe the sweat off your pistol at the end of the day, then hard chrome will serve you well.

Rosco

Last edited by Rosco Benson; 08-30-2012 at 04:10 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2012, 07:58 PM
schwartzint1 schwartzint1 is offline
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All of this pictures are getting me excited. My smith just told me my build is almost done. Just sending the frame out for hard chrome finish. Everything I have heard and seen is very impressive
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2012, 11:14 PM
L84CABO L84CABO is offline
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I have a Wison CQB that they did in Hard Chrome for me (back when they were still doing HC). I love it. I wish I could tell you how it holds up to holster wear but I live in California and getting a carry permit here is damn near impossible. The only holster time it sees is at the range but it's held up beautifully for that limited amount of time. It's a gorgeous finish too. I don't think you will be disappointed.
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2012, 11:33 AM
BSA1 BSA1 is offline
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Refinishing stainless steel handgun

What is the best coating/plating for a stainless steel 1911? I have always thought a plated stainless steel firearm would be the ultimate in rust resistance.
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  #16  
Old 09-01-2012, 12:25 PM
Rock185 Rock185 is offline
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BSA, I agree with Rosco, for rust prevention, NP3 would be the finish. The nickel/Teflon composition of NP3 just cannot rust. I did see a hard chromed gun years ago, that appeared to have had little to no maintenance, with some rusting. I never had any rust on my HC guns because I took care of them. While not as hard as hard chrome, NP3 is harder and much more durable than the bright decorative nickel used on firearms. NP3 is an all around excellent finish, IMHO. I believe that NP3 on a stainless gun would be about as rust resistant as it gets...
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  #17  
Old 09-01-2012, 01:03 PM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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Any issues with hard chrome not taking well over front strap checkering?
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  #18  
Old 09-01-2012, 01:08 PM
kk5fe kk5fe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubfromGa View Post
Any issues with hard chrome not taking well over front strap checkering?
I have a hard chromed Colt modified by Wilson back in '82 with front and back checkering and looks great. It still looks new.


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  #19  
Old 09-01-2012, 07:41 PM
ShipWreck ShipWreck is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kk5fe View Post
I have a hard chromed Colt modified by Wilson back in '82 with front and back checkering and looks great. It still looks new.


Man, that is just PURE awesome right there. I REALLY, REALLY like that.

Never seen a mag release like that before
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  #20  
Old 09-01-2012, 08:03 PM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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Thanks.

That is a great looking 1911.
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  #21  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:52 PM
kk5fe kk5fe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShipWreck View Post
Man, that is just PURE awesome right there. I REALLY, REALLY like that.

Never seen a mag release like that before
Quote:
Originally Posted by DubfromGa View Post
Thanks.

That is a great looking 1911.
And it shoots as great as it looks! I talked about it here:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=368216
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  #22  
Old 09-01-2012, 10:28 PM
jfwest jfwest is offline
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STI Sentinel Premier HC 45ACP





STI Trojan HC 40 S&W

Great stuff!
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  #23  
Old 09-02-2012, 01:12 PM
maxwayne maxwayne is offline
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I had these guys do the CPII finish on my 1911 frame and it looks very good.
http://www.ccrrefinishing.com/
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  #24  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:39 PM
Intercessor Intercessor is offline
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HC is best 'white finish' out there for many years now. It seems impervious to almost everything, cleans so easy, and retains its color. I really cant say any mor than whats already been said, its truely an amazing finish.

My custom Colt, build by Steve Morrison in matte Starburst by Metaloy.



My USP .40sw in Cobra Chrome by Virgil Tripp.

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  #25  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:46 PM
rdinak rdinak is offline
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+100 A well done hard chrome job will still look new 20 years from now. I have tried several finishes over the years-Black T, Cerakote, electroless nickle and hard chrome. Hard chrome is my personal favorite for a handgun.

AWP does excellent work and will be getting my future business based on over 20 years of positive experiences.
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