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  #1  
Old 03-15-2020, 10:42 PM
L84CABO L84CABO is offline
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Issue With Hard Chrome Finish

Any ideas what is going on with my Hard Chrome finish? Is this rust coming up from underneath?

Next Question: Can hard chrome be refinished with something else?





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  #2  
Old 03-16-2020, 06:26 AM
Viper_29 Viper_29 is offline
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Well that's interesting...
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2020, 07:15 AM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Ouch. That's what's happening, chrome plate is vulnerable to any imperfections/damage allowing rust to form underneath it and ruin the plating.

If you want to avoid corrosion use armor tuff
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2020, 08:36 AM
toocool45 toocool45 is offline
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Try scrubbing the surface with breaknfree CLP. And a gun cleaning patch. If that doent work try xxx steelwool with break free CLP. Ive had a couple of hard chrome pistols. 1911 models. Even though hard chrome is a great finish. Its not Impervious to damage. It can have its share of issues. That looks like pitting starting from the outside. That finish looks dry. Guns need a protection barrier of some sort of oil based product to slow/stop the effects of corrosion.
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2020, 12:31 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Just asking, what would happen if you applied some chemical rust remover to the area?
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2020, 03:52 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is offline
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I wouldn't have thought corrosion would have started on the outside surface of hard chrome; underneath seems more likely (and a greater concern) ... but then again I do not process to have great expertise on the subject.

A (probable) first course of action is to contact the shop which applied the hard chrome in the first place. Their initial response will likely reveal a lot.

Best of luck on this ... I know it's not a good day to find that on a fine 1911.

----

Curiosity persuaded me to do a few Google searches. One result (FWIW) appears to suggest that hard chome, even if properly applied, tends to form in a plate-like crystalline structure with microscopic cracks existing between the plates, e.g.:

"Hard chrome has excellent corrosion resistance but it plates in a micro-crack structure so it will rust over extended periods of time in wet environments."

https://hcsplating.com/about/plating-faq/

I'd suppose that the thicker the chrome, the less susceptibility to corrosion.

---

I wouldn't have thought that the dust cover area would have been the most corrosion-prone area, but sometimes the inexplicable happens.

---

As to removing and/or re-finishing, a few Google search results suggest that this is possible but expensive. A chemical removal (reversal) process appeared the most preferred method...not surprising given the hardness of hard chome.
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Last edited by chrysanthemum; 03-16-2020 at 04:18 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-16-2020, 04:01 PM
Jerry1834 Jerry1834 is offline
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Had a similar problem on a old Walther I carried for 30 years - I used Flitz and the dark spots came of with no other effect - attributed to body/holster sweat.
Good Luck!
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  #8  
Old 03-16-2020, 04:37 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is offline
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Rust removal techniques might remove the visible corrosion. But given the chemical structure of hard chrome plating, it is less certain that removal of visible surface corrosion would do anything to stop the corrosion at its likely underlying steel source (between and underneath crystalline plates of chrome).

I suppose it's worth a try, but I'd be concerned that the underlying steel would continue to corrode.
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Last edited by chrysanthemum; 03-16-2020 at 04:41 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2020, 04:54 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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The dust cover has flex and vibration occur when you fire the gun, this leads to the chrome plating "layers" having greater susceptibly to the cracks allowing rust.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2020, 04:57 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
The dust cover has flex and vibration occur when you fire the gun, this leads to the chrome plating "layers" having greater susceptibly to the cracks allowing rust.
Ahhh. That makes perfect sense. +1911 Striker for your insightfulness.
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Old 03-16-2020, 05:16 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Well, you didn't say he had been SHOOTING it.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2020, 05:46 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is offline
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^^^

We needed some humor....+1911 Jim. (That is, as you say, if he was shooting it).

Very few shoot as many rounds/year as our good friend Striker.
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Last edited by chrysanthemum; 03-16-2020 at 05:52 PM.
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  #13  
Old 03-17-2020, 12:20 AM
L84CABO L84CABO is offline
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To update:

The gun came hard chromed from Wilson. It was one of the last guns they did in HC before the discontinued the finish. I have an email in to them to see what they think...is this an issue with initial chroming process or is this brought on by normal wear and tear? And then what do they recommend doing about it?

The gun has spent 99% of its life at the range or on my nightstand. Very minimal holster wear...perhaps 50 presentations from holster and that's being generous. It's not a gun that I normally carry.

The gun gets treated with Renaissance wax VERY regularly. There's a couple spots in the magwell where the chrome has worn down so I'm pretty meticulous about keeping a coat of wax on it

I appreciate Jim's humor. I mean it would be a lot funnier if it was someone else's problem, of course, but it made me laugh.
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  #14  
Old 03-17-2020, 10:01 AM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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“I appreciate Jim's humor. I mean it would be a lot funnier if it was someone else's problem, of course, but it made me laugh. ”

That’s worth an LOL by itself. Hope it works out for you.
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  #15  
Old 03-17-2020, 11:49 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Any road, it seems you have two choices:
1. Any of several mentioned approaches to remove or stabilize the stain. Cost in time and money is low.
2. Have the receiver refinished. Cost is substantial, turnaround time can be long. And will it match or do you need to have the whole gun refini$hed?
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2020, 05:28 AM
VF-1 VF-1 is offline
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Following along for the education...
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  #17  
Old 03-21-2020, 05:40 AM
Totally Tactical Totally Tactical is offline
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It happens sometimes with hardchrome.
I like to use Birchwood Casey Barricade on the outside of my guns.
spray on and wipe off excess with a soft cloth.
Some of that may come off with the Barricade after that just keep a coat on it say monthly.

I have a Commander that had serrations done on the front strap and then was hardchromed.
I noticed something like that happening in the serration.
The Barricade clean most of it up and after a few coats, it's there but very hard to see.

I wouldn't refinish it.

Last edited by Totally Tactical; 03-21-2020 at 05:43 AM.
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  #18  
Old 03-21-2020, 05:55 PM
Sandhills Write Sandhills Write is offline
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I have used Barricade (formerly Sheath) since the 1970s on everything from muzzleloaders to 1911s. I have had no rust problems, some of the muzzle loaders have not been used in 30 years. Finally checked them recently because someone was interested in buying a couple. Not a trace of rust.
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  #19  
Old 03-22-2020, 12:47 AM
L84CABO L84CABO is offline
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FYI, a rep from Wilson responded to my email and says that it's rust from underneath. No word yet on whether this is caused by normal wear and tear or by faulty prep during the finish process.

As a side note, I tend to keep a pretty generous coat of Renaissance Wax on my guns and this gun was no exception...and particularly in that area. It's the only gun I've ever had a rust problem with. I suspect once rust gets ahold under the finish it's pretty hard to mitigate.

Stay tuned.
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