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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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Old 01-04-2015, 03:30 PM
Lemming Lemming is offline
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New member looking for some advice. I have a nickle finish Model 36 that I have had for years but has had very little use. On another thread here there was a comment made that Hoppes and some other cleaners could damage nickle finish. Was hoping for some suggestions on safe cleaners/solvents and preservatives. Currently, I generally use M Pro-7 cleaner and oil.

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Last edited by Lemming; 01-04-2015 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Forgot Photo!
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:36 PM
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Right. Hoppes, or any other copper-removing solvent can damage a nickel finish, providing the nickel has a layer of copper under it. Colts have copper under the nickel. I'm not so sure if Smiths do or not.

Personally, I don't fuss too much with a nickel finish. A light coating of oil overall and just live with some carbon on cylinder face. Don't over-clean (wear through). Lead remover cloths, I'd say use with caution, if at all.

So, yeah. On my nickel guns, I mainly just be careful only to use solvent in the bore.
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:44 PM
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I use solvent inside the bore and cylinder very carefully not to get any on the finish. I don't let it soak. I wash it and wipe it. I wipe down the outside. I then soak the whole revolver with a gun spray silicone. Then I wrap the gun up in the s&w parchment paper and in the case she goes.

Should the nickel finish ever get foggy on the finish a little simi-chrome Polish will make it like brand new again.
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:26 PM
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CLP was designed by a company that does nickel plate. I have used it with no problems. With some of the S&W presentation cases, WD40 will react with a nickel finish. WD40 by itself is OK for nickel.
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:51 PM
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I have used Clenzoil to clean revolvers finished in bright blue or nickel. It works very well for both.

Bill
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:00 PM
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I use CLP to clean mine. When they first come home, they get a thorough polish with Mothers (available at auto stores), followed by Johnsons wax.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:15 PM
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Good advice above. I recall reading S & W did and does not use the copper underlayer.

Try to use light pressure and abrasives (if needed at all) on nickel; you're removing the metal with polishing and it shows scratches easier than blue. Wax definitely helps prevent this.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:31 PM
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I just contacted S&W and they recommend Hoppes Elite.
I just can't find a retailer..
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:03 AM
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I've inherited my Dad's (Baby Chief's) M36 (circa 1952-52) that has a Factory Nickeled finish. This was his daily BUG (he was a Fed) and he competed in National Matches for 25 years and sometimes in un-official BUG matches with this M36. I can not imagine how many hundreds of times he had cleaned this Nickeled gun in Hoppes, sometimes leaving it in a bowl soaking for a few hours before cleaning it. Remember, these were the days that no one knew not to use Hoppes on Nickeled guns!

While I would not ever recommend using Hoppes on Nickeled guns now, I have to say this little Chief's Special has not lost any of its finish and still looks fairly good after 62 years of service and hard use. I too have used Hoppes on Nickeled guns before I knew better, and I have had no ill affects either.

Today I use Rig #2 Oil or Remoil to clean & lube the gun, then Renwax on it after thoroughly drying the outside. Still looks great!

Last edited by chief38; 01-06-2015 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:06 AM
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I have no idea where the story about Hoppe's #9 being harmful to nickel plating started, but it is an absolute urban myth that grew legs. There is no ingredient in Hoppe's which will affect nickel in any way. And S&W did not use a copper underplating for the nickel, so there is no copper for anything to attack.

For shining nickel, a metal polish called Flitz works well, and is not abrasive. I use it when necessary. Others recommend an automotive product called Mother's Mag. I suppose it is used for polishing automotive brightwork.

I always wax all my guns - Nickel or blued, rifles, shotguns, and handguns. For many years I have always used Johnson's paste wax. Many like Renaissance Wax, but I cannot imagine it is superior in any way except price to Johnson's. Waxing really does prevent rust in storage.

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Old 01-06-2015, 03:18 PM
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Clean it with Ballistol, CLP or something not too harsh
Polish it lightly with Flitz or Mothers
Apply a Coat of Ren Wax
Look at your reflection

That's what I did:







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Old 01-06-2015, 07:24 PM
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Wow, more good info. Had not thought of polishes and wax. Tom R, that is a beautiful revolver (great photography also!). To everyone who responded, many thanks. I have several of the cleaner, oils and waxes mentioned but not the polishes. As to the Flitz and Mothers products... seem to be a few choices. I'm thinking it is the Flitz paste metal polish or the Mothers Mag and Aluminum polish paste?

Again, many thanks, this is a tremendous forum.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:38 PM
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I'm not sure on the Hoppes issue either. It does NOTHING to get copper fouling from a bore so I'm not sure how it would do anything to the plating.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:40 PM
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My tube of Flitz says "Flitz Non-Abrasive Metal Polish." It's sort of a paste in a toothpaste-type tube.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:55 PM
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I don't care for nickle finishes!

Oh, you mean "How to care for nickle finishes"?
Sorry, I wouldn't know.

Just kidding you know. I respect everyone's right to enjoy their favorite finishes on their pistols.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:02 PM
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I've used Hoppe's #9 on all my guns for over 50 years with no damage. I have a nickel 586 that I shot an informal Bullseye league with for two years. I use Ren wax, occasionally. I also use the copper cleaning version of Hoppe's in anything I shoot jacketed, which is very seldom, except rifles. I also wipe my blue guns down with a rag saturated with spray silicon. (automotive) I also lubricate the moving parts of my guns with automotive ATF.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:28 PM
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Perhaps some of the earlier formulations of H #9 may have contained ammonia, which might attack copper, were the copper somehow exposed to it. And, some who don't know any better just assumed that S&W applied copper plating as a substrate under the nickel plating. One conclusion could be that H #9 is therefore bad to use on anything nickel plated. But as S&W nickel plates directly on steel (and I believe always has), and that nickel is unaffected by exposure to almost every solvent, acid, or base known to chemistry (maybe it might be affected by Aqua Regia or Hydrofluoric Acid, but I don't know about that), certainly H #9 won't do anything to the plating. It is made of almost all organic materials, and no acids or bases.

In any event, anything you may read about how evil Hoppe's #9 is around anything nickel plated, rest assured it is total BS.
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