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Old 03-22-2010, 01:19 AM
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Default Tell me about nickel plated S&W's

I don't know if this is true but do nickel plated S&W's hold up as well or better than a blued model? Or can the plating chip off in places due to scrapes, dents etc?

Just asking beause i was offered a nickel S&W 13 but i was looking for a blued version.

Also, do nickel guns add or subract anything from a piece like a M13?
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:19 AM
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You will find that nickel-plated S&W revolvers are much less common than the same model in blue finish. Estimates are that some 10%-20% of any given model were made by the factory in nickel finish.

The are definitely scarcer than the blued models, and almost certainly worth more to the collector.

As for durability, the nickel finish is harder than blue, and more abrasion-resistant than the blued finish. It will resist holster wear much better.

Yes, a badly abused nickel revolver will develop nicks, scraps, and scratches on the finish, and may start to rust and peel. You will see this commonly on 10-year-old "working" guns, but seldom on the more modern ones, say made in the last 40 years or so. The modern plated finishes seem to be much more durable than the older ones.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:34 AM
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I meant "100 year old" guns.

Deteriorated nickel finishes are commonly found on some of the cheaper models by the cheaper manufacturers of 100 years ago. The finish quality was not very good.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:42 AM
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The are many forum members that shoot nickel guns and report that the finish is very durable and with stands wear better then a blued revolver. I own several collector grade nickel revolvers and they don't get fired by me as all my shooters are blued or stainless.

There is nothing prettier in my mind then a cleaned up and waxed nickel S&W revolver.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:24 AM
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I'd snatch up a nickle 13 in a heartbeat if one ever came my way in good condition and priced right.

-S
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:07 AM
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In antique S&W nickel is more common in most of the models, and blued guns are sought after. Like John Traveler says, you do find some crummy looking nickeled guns, but the most pristine guns you find are usually the nickel finished kind. This after over 100 years of sitting in that sock drawer.

So, if you're looking for a gun to retain it's value after having beat around in your glove or tackle-box for a decade or two, I'd choose nickel. If you're looking for a gun that will live in a gun case and be gingerly handled at the range once and a while, go blue. In resale, finish is king.

Another thing about nickel. If you're using it as a self defense gun, a nickel gun looks one hell of a lot bigger in that dark alley. I'm just sayin....

Buy the toys you like. This ain't no rehersal!

Last edited by Kweeksdraw; 03-22-2010 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:44 PM
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I have a Model 24-6 with a 3" barrel in nickle...it's a 2006 Lew Horton special, #167 of 250.

I know what you mean about nickle looking bigger...I have a 325 Night Guard, same frame size and a 1/2" shorter barrel, and the 24 looks about 5 times as big when I hold them side by side. Something about a black gun looks smaller to me, anyway.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:13 AM
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New to this forum, not sure if this is posting public or private. I have a nickel plated S&W 19-3 revolver I recieved for Christmas that is in fantastic condition just wondering what people are using to keep a high shine on it as I don't want to mar the finish note I do use it. I have actually called S&W and asked them and they were even stumped.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:20 AM
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I only have a "few" nickel plated Smiths. I agree with FYIMO in that I do not think there is anything better looking than a well kept nickel Smith. Just my opinion, but that is why I have a "few" of them.
If I had a chance to buy a nickel M13, that was P&R, and in very good condition, and at a decent price, I would own it. I sold the one I had, and have regretted it since.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:03 AM
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The key is to get one, or have one that has been taken care of. If one is ever abused or not cared for, you have junk on your hands. There is nothing worse than a rusted or flaked nickel finish. There is just not much you can do for it short of having it re-plated. The technology back-in-the-day was nowhere near as good as the plating and coating processes used today. I see older nickel-plated guns with pits and flaking all the time. If you get one in good shape, keep it that way. I don't want one for everyday work. A blued gun you can touch-up. A stainless gun you can pretty-much forget about. A nickel finish...you just can't fix. If you chip it or wear the finish to bare metal....your screwed.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:58 AM
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The most common areas I see nickel fail are right on the side of the barrel at the muzzle end and under wood stocks. If the nickel gets worn enough that rust can form under it then it's going to flake off.

I would be trying my best to shove people out of the way to get a good priced nickel plated 13 in good condition. I can't even find a blued steel model 13 in my area. All I ever see are run hard and hung up wet 65's that are shot loose.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:49 PM
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I'm glad to read this thread. I love the look of my "new" 27-2 nickel. To me it looks practically brand new. I want to keep it looking that way and plan on taking as good care of it as I possibly can. I must say that it is a beautiful pistol to me.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:59 PM
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Default Nickel 58

I've had a NIB nickel model 58 1977 vintage for years ( Gunlist @$400 in as I remember) I just really like the nickel finish. Several have tried to talk/trade me out of it for years. I've heard of the 10-20% production numbers but never have seen a real study done on it. Might be a chore for the SWAC.

Ischia
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:27 PM
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Just out of curiousity, how (if at all) do you fix the "cloudy" condition in nickel? I have a 10-4 nickel that right near the end of the barrlel (mainly on right side) it is a little "cloudy" in the finish. No chips or scratches, but this cloudy thing is frustrating.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyimo View Post
The are many forum members that shoot nickel guns and report that the finish is very durable and with stands wear better then a blued revolver. I own several collector grade nickel revolvers and they don't get fired by me as all my shooters are blued or stainless.

There is nothing prettier in my mind then a cleaned up and waxed nickel S&W revolver.
Indeed, but I have to take the babies out and sling lead with them, I get to bored just watching them sit in the safe or case.
Eric
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:00 AM
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Man, I can't look at nickel plated gun that won't develop a scratch. I like 'em, plenty of bling, I just can't own 'em. I don't have the same problem with blued guns. But, since I live in Florida my blued guns develop other problems if I don't keep on top of it.

Here is a pic of my solution to my nickel problem. A highly polished M64-5.

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