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Old 08-11-2017, 05:02 AM
4570Tom 4570Tom is offline
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Default Nickel finish care

I have my eye on a nickel finish 10-5. Any special considerations or do's/don't's for care and cleaning of nickel finishes? Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:45 AM
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I've one nickel finish revolver, a 29-2. I'd always heard that Hoppes No. 9 can damage nickel finish. Consequently, for the few times I've shot my 29 I did most cleaning with Break Free CLP and elbow grease. And like all my revolvers, even my blued shooters, when all fouling is removed from a day at the range I lovingly apply Renaissance Wax to all surfaces, wood too.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:11 AM
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I clean my nickle 57 with Hoppes #9, them flush/wipe down with lighter fluid, then dry and oil it with REM oil. No problems.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:20 AM
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SOFT rub down with Mothers Mag polish with a clean cotton rag. Followed with a careful finish of Turtle Wax. But as you can see by other posts, nickle is not delicate and several methods are used. This is just what has worked for me
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:22 AM
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I've always cleaned my Nickel finish 586 with clp. Sometimes using a bit of either Flitz or Mother's mag polish on the gun followed by a coat of paste wax.


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Old 08-11-2017, 08:34 AM
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The only note I have is "nothing with ammonia on nickle plate".
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:00 AM
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Factory Nickel stands up pretty well from that era. I have a Nickel Chief's Special from 1951 that's been around the block and back more than a few times and yet the Nickel still looks pretty good. It was also cleaned routinely with Hoppes (for 60 years) and although we all know now that is a "no-no" the Nickel finish is pretty much unaffected from the Hoppes. I am NOT recommending you use it - just trying to point out even when cleaned with the Ammonia based Solvent it stood up fine. I guess back in the day my Dad never realized that - but we got lucky.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:06 AM
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Regurgitating information I've learned here. Ammonia doesn't attack nickel, chrome or steel directly. Ammonia attacks the so called "red metals", any copper, or copper alloy such as brass or bronze. Many nickel platers use copper as a base layer before they nickel plate. As I understand, S&W never used copper as a base material for nickel plating. Other manufacturers such as Colt did (does). That's why ammoniated cleaners have developed such a bad reputation around nickeled guns however, they're supposedly safe around S&Ws. However, that being said, I've seen my share of peeling nickel plated S&Ws. Something is causing it.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:43 AM
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Any plating - regardless of manufacture or metal being plated is always subject to peeling. Contamination during the process is one of the major causes of peeling of plating. If there is not a perfect bonding of the platings molecules to the material being plated, it will simply not hold up well.

I believe that Tyrod is correct in stating that S&W did not use Copper first as a base plating and Colt did. I do own a few Colts that do have Copper plating under the Nickel and they were made in the 1960's. Before I realized Ammonia based solvents were no good for them, I used Hoppes 9 many many times for many many years - no plating damage; no plating chipping or flaking. I no longer use Hoppes 9 as the guns are not getting any younger and don't want to chance it since I now know better, but I guess I was lucky in the fact there is no damage.

While I too have seen chipping and flaking on more than a few Nickeled guns (all brands) we really do not know the exact cause (Ammonia, no under plating, poor adhesion due to contaminants, poor temperature control) who knows!

My personal experience with Nickeled guns has been excellent although it is in no way my favorite finish. A properly plated gun in good condition should stand up well for many years. Again - I am NOT advocating using anything with Ammonia in it (no longer use it myself)- just to be on the safe side. S&W's Nickel plating from the 50's through the 80's is in my opinion very good quality plating, as is Colt's.

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Old 08-12-2017, 09:24 AM
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While I may draw the ire of others including the polishers, I've never seen any adverse effects caused from using Hoppes #9 on nickel S&Ws during the forty years I've been doing it. I don't soak guns, only clean, and follow-up with a wipedown using a lightly oiled rag. All such guns are fired, though some infrequently.

If nickel peels, it was likely not caused by Hoppe's. It may have started with a tiny break in the finish caused by physical rather than chemical damage. Such may allow any of a variety of cleaners to enter the break and cause peeling.

I'd be interested to hear reports of actual nickel finish damage caused by cleaning with Hoppe's; something of substance, nothing parroted from questionable sources. I just might have to change my cleaning methods.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:39 AM
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To the OP - clean with any solvent safe for nickel finishes, don't scrub with heavy abrasives, and wax and the nickel will last a long time. It is easier if the finish is not already chipped/oxidized/worn.

I suspect any 'intact' nickel plating is safe with rapid use of Hoppes #9, as in use and remove quickly. I recall a post here in which someone dissolved all the plating off a part by long immersion in Hoppes #9, which sounds to be a good removal method but not so good for cleaning .
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
To the OP - clean with any solvent safe for nickel finishes, don't scrub with heavy abrasives, and wax and the nickel will last a long time. It is easier if the finish is not already chipped/oxidized/worn.
Good advice!
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:19 AM
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Even if the nickel did have a copper base layer, you can still use Hoppes #9 on it. When used properly, Hoppes #9 will not hurt a nickel gun with a copper base layer.

Used properly means you use it to clean, then quickly wipe the excess off when finished. Not soak you nickel gun in it for 3 days.

Some people are just super cautious when it comes to these things, and that is their prerogative.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:46 PM
sonora sonora is offline
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Default Cleaning the bore on Nickle revolvers

New to Nickel myself. Is it safe to use brushes with Bronze bristles to clean the bore and chambers of Nickel plated revolvers? I'm concerned about the possibility of damage to the plating around the crown and chambers. Sonora
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonora View Post
New to Nickel myself. Is it safe to use brushes with Bronze bristles to clean the bore and chambers of Nickel plated revolvers? I'm concerned about the possibility of damage to the plating around the crown and chambers. Sonora
I think bronze bore brushes should be ok for cleaning the bore and chambers as bronze is actually a soft metal, softer than nickel. Never use stainless steel brushes. If there is lead in the bore or chambers and it does not come out with bronze brushes, use a Lewis lead remover.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:42 AM
4570Tom 4570Tom is offline
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Thanks for the responses--very helpful.
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