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  #1  
Old 03-24-2020, 06:43 PM
tjpaxton tjpaxton is offline
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Hard Chrome

Pro's & Con's of Hard Chrome?
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2020, 07:02 PM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is online now
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Moved it here to Gunsmithing - I think you'll get more responses, and meaningful responses from the smiths on the forum about their experiences with the pros and cons.
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2020, 07:07 PM
Plaidad Plaidad is offline
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Pro - more durable than bluing.

Con - shows every little spec of dirt, so takes longer to clean.
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2020, 07:14 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Pro....very durable.

Con......hmmmm..... can't think of one.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2020, 11:19 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Pros - Protects the gun better than bluing or nickel. Do not assume that a hard chrome can or will not rust. Rust is much less likely, but I've seen it happen numerous times. It still requires some care, just not as much.

Cons - You better have done all of the work you intend to do before getting hard chrome applied as doing things like cutting for new sights or a beavertail will require stripping and re-plating.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2020, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaidad View Post

Con - shows every little spec of dirt, so takes longer to clean.
Pro - dirt can be removed with any product made for cleaning guns without harming the finish.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:09 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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Hard Chrome gun finish

In the high humidity state of Florida, most of my handguns are hard chromed, but I leave the front and rear sights their normal blue/black finish. I also like and use a Fiber Optic green or orange light rod front sight. The blue/black front sight allows the light rod to contrast and show up more distinctly in the sunlight....
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:10 AM
gnappi gnappi is offline
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I can't fault Hard Chrome... No cons, all pro.
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:30 AM
Rob S Rob S is offline
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I have pistols with a variety of finishes. I highly recommend hard chrome--easy to clean and very durable. If you decide you want a darker finish, I suggest DLC such as IonBond produces.
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:21 AM
Greg Derr Greg Derr is offline
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I have yet to find a negative for hard chrome, but I have found that if it is applied incorrectly you can have issues. In my shop if its silver toned, its hard chromed. Stainless is nice but it does oxidize to a grey tone and with a number of different parts on a 1911 by a variety of manufactures they tend to oxidize into different shades. Hard chrome does not do that. You really need to find a good plater who is able to and has done firearms. Hard chrome can look very rich on a 1911.
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:23 AM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Originally Posted by Greg Derr View Post
I have yet to find a negative for hard chrome, but I have found that if it is applied incorrectly you can have issues. In my shop if its silver toned, its hard chromed. Stainless is nice but it does oxidize to a grey tone and with a number of different parts on a 1911 by a variety of manufactures they tend to oxidize into different shades. Hard chrome does not do that. You really need to find a good plater who is able to and has done firearms. Hard chrome can look very rich on a 1911.
Dammitt man!!!! That gun is Gorgeous!!!!
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2020, 11:20 AM
Jason Burton Jason Burton is offline
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Originally Posted by Greg Derr View Post
I have yet to find a negative for hard chrome...
Pretty much my thoughts as well...

I’m a long time fan of hard chrome and it remains my top choice for a finish on my personal guns. If you can stand a ‘silver’ gun there’s hardly a downside to a hard chrome finish.


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  #13  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:24 PM
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When I retired back in 2000, I decided to give myself a retirement gift of a custom 1911. I contacted Ross Carter in Harrison, Arkansas and commissioned him to build me the finest 1911 he could do. He recommended hard chrome. That pistol has well over 50K rounds thru it and looks about as good as the day I got it. I'm a big fan of hard chrome.
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  #14  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:36 PM
GONRA GONRA is offline
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Nothing prettier than GONRA's Norinco .45ACP 1911 copy. Chrome or Electroless nickel plated - not sure but ts REALLY PRETTY! One of my Very Few Safe Queens....
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2020, 05:11 PM
brickeyee brickeyee is offline
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Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
Pros - Protects the gun better than bluing or nickel. Do not assume that a hard chrome can or will not rust. Rust is much less likely, but I've seen it happen numerous times. It still requires some care, just not as much.

Cons - You better have done all of the work you intend to do before getting hard chrome applied as doing things like cutting for new sights or a beavertail will require stripping and re-plating.
A light coat of lubricant is as much for corrosion protection as anything else.
I clean parts to remove ALL chemical on the surface.
Lacquer thinner and MEK strip the metal bare.
I heat parts up gently, maybe a few hundred degrees using a heat gun or in an oven set very low.
Remove them and immediately immerse them in Breakfree CLP and allow them to cool.
Wipe off excess after they have cooled and use them.
Maybe a tiny bit of higher pressure lube (molly) on things like hammer hooks and sear faces.
Functional lube and corrosion protection that last a long time.
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  #16  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:31 PM
dfariswheel dfariswheel is offline
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Pros....

One of the few gun finishes that are true life time finishes.

The "slick" plating won't allow fouling to adhere as badly as on bare metal.

Fouling is easier to see and easier to clean off.

The hard, slick plating improves trigger pull and gun function.

Needs less lubrication.

Impervious to almost all commonly available chemicals and cleaning solutions, impervious to most common acids.

More scratch and wear resistant then blued or stainless. Cogan says the ultimate finish is hard chrome over stainless.

Very rust resistant.

In the original "orange peel" matte finish is less light reflective then bluing or nickel.

Is applied in a very thin coating so only the very tightest fitted guns can be plated without problems.

At least one suppler will plate ID of chambers and bore. Another suppler doubts it does much.

Can't crack, chip, or peel unless the metal is deeply dented and then it can only chip slightly.

Cons.....

Can still rust if neglected, especially if it's the more porous flash plating as used on some hammers and triggers.

Not easily scratched, but if it is, like most all gun finishes the only repair is to strip and re-plate.

Hydrogen embrittlement can be a problem, but most all platers know this and process the parts to eliminate the problem.

No after plating gunsmithing can be done without breaking through the finish.
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  #17  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:48 PM
tjpaxton tjpaxton is offline
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Thank you for the responses. The responses are overwhelmingly positive.
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  #18  
Old 03-25-2020, 11:22 PM
Benchrest1 Benchrest1 is offline
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Best finish there is.
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  #19  
Old 03-26-2020, 04:43 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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Hard Chroming a firearm.....

I have had excellent results for hard chroming my guns with Accurate Plating and Weaponry, out of Newville, AL.

website: www.apwcogan.com


You may want to review the process of plating a gun under "finishing" at the top tool bar on their web page

I am sure there are other good plating companies, however, I have had several guns hard chromed with APW over the years, and
have never been disappointed.....

Last edited by Rwehavinfunyet; 03-26-2020 at 04:48 AM.
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  #20  
Old 03-26-2020, 05:44 AM
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Wilsonedbrown Wilsonedbrown is offline
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It wears well and cleans easy and doesnt stain like some other finishes as well as very good corrosion resistance.
As said above the only real downside is if you decide to change anything after the fact it has to be stripped and refinished adding a lot of expense..
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  #21  
Old 03-28-2020, 11:25 PM
cd2u cd2u is offline
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I have had hard chrome since Armand Swenson did my first 1911. (1974) Armand used to bake the parts in his oven back then to remove any nitrogen. (NITOGEN imbrittlement)

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
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  #22  
Old 03-29-2020, 12:28 AM
Autonomous Autonomous is offline
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Chromium Nitride and DLC are harder and more impervious than hard chrome. The CN has a silver appearance and DLC is almost black.
New technology and something to consider.
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  #23  
Old 03-29-2020, 05:10 AM
Kcdub1000 Kcdub1000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwehavinfunyet View Post
I have had excellent results for hard chroming my guns with Accurate Plating and Weaponry, out of Newville, AL.

website: www.apwcogan.com


You may want to review the process of plating a gun under "finishing" at the top tool bar on their web page

I am sure there are other good plating companies, however, I have had several guns hard chromed with APW over the years, and
have never been disappointed.....

That's where I got mine done. Easy to clean and tuff.
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  #24  
Old 03-29-2020, 09:28 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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I only have one hard chrome gun, the STI I shoot USPSA with.
It is smooth and easy to clean, I would have a future gun chromed.

But as Wilsonedbrown says, better have your mind made up; chrome or any of the other platings or metallurgical treatments will have to be redone at considerable expense if you have the finished gun modified.
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  #25  
Old 03-29-2020, 12:47 PM
brickeyee brickeyee is offline
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I still prefer black finishes for CHP guns.
The less conspicuous the better.
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