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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 07-26-2020, 06:55 PM
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Default Nickel issues

Nickel has starting flaking. Happened the last time I shot it. It's a model 29-3. It was factory nickeled, it has the N stamps. Not sure if it's the original finish or a refinish. I've only owned it about a year.

Any way to keep it from getting worse?

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Old 07-26-2020, 08:57 PM
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It's close to the cylinder gap. I wonder if hot gases and abrasion from unburned powder could have started this flaking of the Nichol?
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:17 PM
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Any way to keep it from getting worse?
Nope, other than never shoot it again. Is there an "N" stamped on the rear face of the cylinder?
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:28 PM
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I'd be screaming at someone ... Probably S&W but that's just me.
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:46 PM
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I'd be screaming at someone ... Probably S&W but that's just me.
Why?

The gun is nearly 40 years old, and the OP is not the first owner. What in the world would S&W have to do with anything? There is no warranty on a used gun.
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:51 PM
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I've had plenty of S&W nickel revolvers and still have a few that are more than thirty or forty years old. Mine have always been cleaned with Hoppe's #9. I've never seen the finish fail like in the photo, but I suppose a flaw is possible - or maybe abuse or rough handling of some sort.

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Old 07-27-2020, 06:41 AM
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The 29-3 was produced during a period in time when quality control was at a low point. There might have been an issue during the plating process, resulting in the finish flaking. I suppose it might also be that some pretty hot reloads were fired through this revolver and the hot gasses damaged the nickle finish. Aggressive cleaning agents could be another source of damage. Seeing as how this is an old revolver and the OP is not the first owner, we really don't know.


S&W is not likely to cover this as a warranty issue due to the age of the revolver and the current owner is not the original owner. It's either learn to live with it or send it somewhere for refinishing, which is expensive.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:32 AM
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I'd be screaming at someone ... Probably S&W but that's just me.
Being Southern born and raised My Mom had a rule ... " Be Nice"
I discovered a long time ago that if you were nice to others they were much more willing to help you than if you screamed at them . You would be amazed at what I can get by just being nice to someone , it's very easy..don't scream be nice .
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
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There is no warranty on a used gun.
Hmm, maybe stated, but I have had them repair several guns I bought used with out question.

Rosewood
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:43 AM
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I would at least call S&W and ask them. They can tell you to pound sand, or they might say "send it in and we will take a look at it". They usually pay shipping both ways. Doesn't hurt to call.

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Old 07-27-2020, 09:44 AM
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It doesn't hurt to call. No need to be a jerk and scream though.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:20 AM
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Yeah I'll call them and see what they say. I'm pretty sure it's the factory finish since the hammer and trigger aren't nickeled which is usually the first indication it was a refinish job

I have a model 27 no dash that is factory nickeled and it's still in excellent condition. Maybe this one was just a fluke

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Old 07-27-2020, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
Being Southern born and raised My Mom had a rule ... " Be Nice"
I discovered a long time ago that if you were nice to others they were much more willing to help you than if you screamed at them . You would be amazed at what I can get by just being nice to someone , it's very easy..don't scream be nice .
Gary
Absolutely, start out by saying "I need your help".
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:03 PM
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I would at least call S&W and ask them. They can tell you to pound sand, or they might say "send it in and we will take a look at it". They usually pay shipping both ways. Doesn't hurt to call.

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Old 07-27-2020, 07:09 PM
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I'm not sure they even nickel any more??? they may not be able to help that revolver, if they wanted to...I'd still call
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:25 PM
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I have that same flaking with one I have......okay, it's an Iver Johnson top break from 1895! Totally different nickeling process, and much older.

Seriously, I'd have to agree that the flaking is caused by something that occurred during the finishing process at the factory . I own a 29-2 I bought used and it was used a lot and kind of abused. It has some dings and dents in some places where the nickel has chipped away, but not flaking like yours. Give S&W a call and see what they say. Couldn't hurt.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood View Post
Hmm, maybe stated, but I have had them repair several guns I bought used with out question.

Rosewood
I have as well, and one was clearly marked Detroit Police on the back strap.
The last gun I sent off for repair, was a model 27 of the same vintage as the OP's 29. Original owner and all, and still paid for the repair. That one run about 150 bucks.

It doesn't hurt to call and ask them for help. They have never asked me if I was the original owner for anything I have had them fix, but none of them included finish issues.

I suspect that S&W would have to send the gun out to be refinished elsewhere.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:33 AM
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According to their webpage, Nickel is an option for refinishing.
Performance Center(R) Precision Gunsmithing | Smith & Wesson
Rosewood
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:57 AM
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TO FORDS FOR REFINISH. 6 MONTH TURN TIME.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:48 AM
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My 1st and only nickel gun was BEAUTIFUL! 29-2. It did not function anything like it looked! The cylinder kept binding when shooting. It went to the gun smith on 2 different occasions. No progress made. Gone now. BOO-HOO! Bob
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:51 AM
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If you are going to the trouble and expense of refinishing, consider hard chrome or NP3. More expensive than S&W's nickel refinish, but far more durable.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:42 AM
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I can tell you what I'd do if it were mine.

1) Call S&W and ask if they will fix it under warranty.

2) If not, I'd use a felt polishing wheel on my Foredom Tool at a lower speed and high polish the affected area with Flitz Polish. I have had GREAT success in making chipped or peeled Nickel look like the gun was brand new and never damaged. At this point if S&W will not repair free of charge you have nothing to loose. More than likely IF the damages was caused from hot loads and the flame cutting, the area might now be stabilized and not peel any further. By giving the chipped area a high polish there would be no more Nickel tp peel again and could be a permanent repair.

I've had incredible success making unavailable new blued screws and Thumb-latches looking like Nickel for use on Nickeled Smiths. When high polished with Flitz, almost no one would be able to tell and the high polish keeps the piece rust free even though it is really bare metal. The edges where the bare metal meets the Nickel must be "feathered in" on lower speeds. Use light pressure, check often before gong further. Works like a charm!

Feel free to PM me if you want to try this.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:39 PM
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Simi chrome polish has more polishing compound, I’d use it first. Then fritz last.
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Old 07-31-2020, 01:03 PM
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Simi chrome polish has more polishing compound, Iíd use it first. Then fritz last.
Donít they copper plate before they nickel it?
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:21 AM
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Donít they copper plate before they nickel it?
S&W does not, as for other gun manufacturers and refinishers, that's a different story.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:05 AM
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Donít they copper plate before they nickel it?
No, but Colt did. Once had a Nickel plated Python. Holster wear on the muzzle showed a layer of copper.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:52 AM
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No, but Colt did. Once had a Nickel plated Python. Holster wear on the muzzle showed a layer of copper.
Seems to me that the polished "Bright Nickel" Colt finish had a base layer of copper. Not certain about the satin "Coltguard" finish, that might have been nickel directly to steel.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:24 PM
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Stop using Hoppes#9, it desolves the copper plating under the nickel. Sid V
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:30 AM
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I thought Nickel was what you coated metal with before gold plating etc. At least that is what my Caswell gold plating kit said you needed for a base. Don't recall anything in their various plating systems requiring the use of copper.

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