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Old 06-26-2010, 07:11 PM
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Default J-Frame Airweight Finishes

I'm looking at a new w/o IL model 642 in aluminum/stainless or a 442 in some kind of black finish. I'm prone toward the black, but, I will purchase the one that has the more durable finish. I understand that the 642 has some likd of lacquer/spray-on finish? that wears through with time? What's under the black finish? is it more durable? This will be in-the-pocket carry.

Advice and counsel would be appreciated.....
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:07 PM
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I have bright finish 642. Both the black and silver have the clearcoat. However, as the black wears off, the silver shining through makes the wear more noticable. If you really use either as an EDC gun, you will not be able to keep a stainless steel "safe queen" type finish on them. They will not be your "Barbecue Gun". A good reason for concealed carry I guess.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:40 AM
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Either one will scratch with use. For pocket carry, with magna type grips where the frame shows, go with the 442.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:21 PM
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My 340PD has a black finish that is very durable, much better than blueing, anodizing, or parkerizing. I think they call it Ion Bond. If that's what is on the 442, you'll only need to worry about rust inside the barrel or cylinder. After nearly 10 years of daily pocket carry, my has some silver showing along some of the edges. I'm impressed.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:55 PM
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Default I have to say I am disappointed with the durability

of the finish on my 340 M&P. I have only been carrying it for about six months, on a daily basis, and it looks well worn. I carry it daily while working outside and there is noticeable wear on the muzzle, the top strap, and in front of the crane. I also have rust on the cylinder release latch as well as the left side of the trigger. I also blow it off with an air compressor and wipe it down at the end of each day with light oil as necessary. I carry the gun in a Desantis front pocket holster, which is very comfortable and easy to draw from.
Don't get me wrong, I liked the gun enough, after shooting it only once, that I went back and bought a second 340 M&P from the same gun shop a few days later. But in my experience, the finish is anything but durable. I am in N.C. and carried a Glock on-duty for years with nowhere near the same finish wear. YMMV
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:15 PM
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The black finish is easy to touch up with Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black. The silver/clearcoat finish looks crummy fast, and just keeps getting worse with no easy way to fix it.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:26 AM
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Does anyone know what the finishes are on them and the best way to keep them looking good? I just got a 340 M&P as a replacement for my 337Ti that I had to send back to the factory for a problem that they could not fix. I carried that gun for many years in the pocket and it showed a bunch or wear at the end of the barrel and around the trigger guard. As someone else has said. They are a tool to save your bacon with and they will show wear when carried and not left in the safe.

Tom
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:45 AM
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Sure wish they still made them with the Anodized frames like my Original 642 No Dash..
That finish is very tough & still looks great after many range setions & thousands of hours of carry in my front pocket..
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:08 AM
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My working 642's look rough. If it ever comes to pass that it bothers me, I'll just have them refinished in Black-T or send them to Robar or something like that.

Guns that are used end up looking, well, used. Even my Glocks that get used are rough around the edges. If you want a beauty queen, buy a 640 and have Smith and Wesson polish it. Even then, it'll probably get scratched some if you actually use it.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkymingeo View Post
The black finish is easy to touch up with Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black. The silver/clearcoat finish looks crummy fast, and just keeps getting worse with no easy way to fix it.
That's good to know. I just picked up a 442 today and was wondering about touching it up if any major wear or scratches materialize. I just came back from putting about 30 rounds through it. I would have shot more but it's 100 degrees out , and I had enough. Awesome little gun though!
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:57 AM
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On the 642, I have been doing some research on how to fix the finish. The original finish appears to be a silver like paint with some kind of a clear coat over that. I have tried paint with a small brush to touch up small places on the finish, and then clear coat over that for durability. It has held up fairly well. I have not used the really good material as of yet.
I have painted many cars and I believe that these can be painted also with very good results.
I have not been able to get anything out of S&W as to what the finish actually consists of. I have noticed that some of them have a much thicker finish than others, with some having heavy build up in spots.
It has to be a time consuming task for the factory.
I am pretty sure that the guy that mixes my paint can mix up the exact color in a really good paint line to respray the revolver. It can then be clear coated for durability. The question is will the finish stick properly to the revolver for a long period of time?
I am really thinking of trying this when I have some time. I am fairly sure that it will work really well, and should not cost a whole lot as the amount of material required is very small. The time involved may be a big factor, but if it provides a durable finish that will last, then it would be worth the trouble.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:05 AM
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I occassionally put a coat of Johnson's paste over the clearcoat on my 642. It gets carried and shot a lot, and shows no finish wear. The only thing that wears is the last coat of wax I put on. I consider the waxing on this gun the same as oiling a blued gun. A little preventative maintenance can go a long ways.

I am also careful about the chemicals I use cleaning my 642 (mostly just CLP). Some of the photos I have seen in the past on this site of finish 'wear' were obviously poor factory application or the use of harsh cleaners by the end user. No way peeling on the flat frame immediately behind the recoil sheilds, for example, could be wear.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:23 AM
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I agree with InTheWoods. My two year old 642 daily carry still looks like new. I clean it with CLP and keep a good coat of Renaissance Wax on it. I think many of the finish problems on this model come from harsh cleaners. I wouldn't use anything on it that I wouldn't use on a fine auto finish.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:00 PM
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I used Mother's Mag/Chrome wheel polish with very good results on my SP101. But, would the alum/clear coat react as well? or could this be too harsh for the 642 finish?
I don't want more bullet holes in my foot while trying to save the finish! Has anyone ever tried FLITZ polish?

Last edited by Rob1109; 07-10-2010 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:08 PM
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I have a new 442. I sent an e-mail to the service dept. of Smith and they told me to use Hoppe's Elite. Anyone else use this to clean their 442's or 642's? They also said to only use nylon bore brushes.

TLG in WV....
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobra44 View Post
On the 642, I have been doing some research on how to fix the finish. The original finish appears to be a silver like paint with some kind of a clear coat over that. I have tried paint with a small brush to touch up small places on the finish, and then clear coat over that for durability. It has held up fairly well. I have not used the really good material as of yet.
I have painted many cars and I believe that these can be painted also with very good results.
I have not been able to get anything out of S&W as to what the finish actually consists of. I have noticed that some of them have a much thicker finish than others, with some having heavy build up in spots.
It has to be a time consuming task for the factory.
I am pretty sure that the guy that mixes my paint can mix up the exact color in a really good paint line to respray the revolver. It can then be clear coated for durability. The question is will the finish stick properly to the revolver for a long period of time?
I am really thinking of trying this when I have some time. I am fairly sure that it will work really well, and should not cost a whole lot as the amount of material required is very small. The time involved may be a big factor, but if it provides a durable finish that will last, then it would be worth the trouble.
I'm sure a lot of us will be grateful for whatever your results turn out be be.....
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:11 PM
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I use MPro7, nylon brushes and Rem Oil.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:12 PM
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My EDC used to be my M&P 360. Its got an awful lot of wear for the short time Ive carried it. So, I bought a 640! Stainless is def the way to go. Yes its heavier but not prohibitively so (lighter than the G27 I thought would be my EDC). My 360 has been moved to nightstand status.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheWoods View Post
I occassionally put a coat of Johnson's paste over the clearcoat on my 642. It gets carried and shot a lot, and shows no finish wear. The only thing that wears is the last coat of wax I put on. I consider the waxing on this gun the same as oiling a blued gun. A little preventative maintenance can go a long ways.

I am also careful about the chemicals I use cleaning my 642 (mostly just CLP). Some of the photos I have seen in the past on this site of finish 'wear' were obviously poor factory application or the use of harsh cleaners by the end user. No way peeling on the flat frame immediately behind the recoil sheilds, for example, could be wear.
ITW, I'm picking up my 642 this Tues. Is the CLP by Breakfree or Gunzilla or some other Mfr? Thanks. Great Forum. BBuck
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photoman44 View Post
I use MPro7, nylon brushes and Rem Oil.
Good forumula/recommendation. Wear will eventually overtake the finish, though. My 12 year old 16x7x365 342Ti looks like it got dragged behind the pickup on a gravel road. Oh well...at least there isn't much to rust or corrode!

Last edited by JNewell; 08-05-2010 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:13 PM
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Both me and a friend had 638's. After researching the finish complaints on them I only used hoppes elite and got him to do the same and they looked as good as new outside from some wear on the edges from holsters.
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