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Old 12-13-2004, 10:33 PM
1911.45 1911.45 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 520

I have had pistols plated in hardchrome by Tripp, Metalife, and Metaloy. The finish can be matte, satin, or high-polished, or any combination thereof. I prefer the matte finsh, although I had satin slide flats on the SW1911. The SW1911 was plated by Metalife. All three platers do a great job, IMO, but the colors vary somewhat. Metaloy is the lightest silver, very similar to stainless; Tripp is a little darker; and Metaloy is the darkest. Tripp is also a terrific full service gunsmith. I like all three platers, and would use any of them again, although Metalife and Tripp's prices are lower. Even though the SW1911 is stainless, I chose to have it hard-chromed because I wanted the billboard removed and didn't like the two-tone appearance. However, I believe that there are also avantages to hard-chroming stainless pistols rather than just steel pistols. The hard-chrome finish is much more scratch-resistant than stainless, in my experience, and there is purportedly less friction between hard-chromed parts. My Combat Commander is also stainless, and I had it hard-chromed by Tripp (along with having the front strap checkered and an extended thumb safety), and I am very pleased with the results.
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