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Old 01-30-2020, 12:55 AM
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Group, Anyone ever have a revolver hard chromed ❓pros cons cost recommended shops ect .... thanks
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:22 AM
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Looks cool and is VERY durable. If you want black, black nitriding also looks great and provides superb durability.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:27 AM
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Well Dad had a few over the years
Depends on who does it
One was very nice
Other one was overbuffed
I prefer nickel but it all depends on why u want it
If u just want very shiny hard chrome is great and it is very durable
God Bless,John
I truly believe that it all depends on what u like and what u plan on doing with it
It is not cheap and will require a good shop who knows their stuff to do it
And also depends on gun too
I would not do this to anything older as would take away value from collectors
God Bless,John

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Last edited by jringo8769; 01-30-2020 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:28 AM
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I had a Series 70 1911 hard chromed in the mid 70s. It was super durable, had a mat finish and didn't interfere with function. Wish I still had it.

Given the technology now, I opted for Cerakot on a recent restoration of a J Frame 32 S&W. Photo below.
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:09 AM
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I can't help much with current providers of the service, but I'll always show off my chromed Kit Gun. This was likely done back in the 1970s.

With so many guns either coming in stainless or having a factory nitride treatment (Melonite, others), and of course all the great coatings like NP3 and Cerakote, hard chrome is not a very popular option anymore.



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Old 01-30-2020, 09:44 AM
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I've had one done years ago by the Armoloy Corp. More rust resistant than stainless steel, much harder than cerakote, still looks great.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:04 AM
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Hard chrome is the best finish you can put on a firearm. The final finish, just like with blued or nickel plate, depends upon the surface of the metal before it gets plated. You can go for all matte, satin, brushed, high polish or a combination of finishes.

My only hard chromed firearm is an Argentine FM-90, one of the last of the FM-90's and one of the few to have been factory hard chromed. Honestly, it looks like a stainless steel Hi-Power and that's what initially caught my eye. The receiver has a matte finish, the slide has a brushed finish.


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Old 01-30-2020, 08:20 PM
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Hard chrome is one of the very few gun finishes that's a true life-time finish.
APW/Cogan recommend it over a stainless steel gun for the absolute most durability possible. To the rust resistance of the stainless the hard chrome gives a far more scratch resistant coating.

Back in the 70's and 80's I sent out a fair number of guns, including revolvers for hard chrome, including some of my own.
It not only is a great and durable finish, it also puts a hard layer on parts so they last much longer, and actually improves trigger pulls from the "slick" chrome.
This also reduces the amount of lubrication needed, and the gun cleans up WAY easier, both because the fouling is easy to see, and fouling won't adhere as well to hard chrome like it does to steel.

Prices and available final looks vary from supplier to supplier.
Look can run from the original satin "orange peel" pearl-gray, to a stainless steel look, to a full mirror polish.
Many suppliers have brand names for it, but it's all hard chrome.

The best of the platers is APW/Cogan.
Accurate Plating & Weaponry | Gunsmith In Newville, Alabama

Ford's is excellent.
http://www.fordsguns.com/

Metaloy was once owned by Wilson's and i think still does their work.
Metaloy, Industries - Professional Gun Finishing - hard chrome, blue and polymer finish

TechPlate is big in aero-space and the oil industry.
Welcome to TechPlate, Inc. Firearms retail plating price list

Early on I used Armoloy of Fort Worth, but had an occasional problem with dark gray blotches appearing in the finish and having to have them redone, and one case of a "lost" customized Colt Combat Commander they never fully made good on.
I never used them after that but they still do good work.

Armoloy also offers plating of bores and chambers. Another plater told me that he didn't think this worked very well.
Protect your firearm with Armoloy(R) TDC - Armoloy of Fort Worth, Texas

Mahovsky has been around a long time and does plating cheaper then anyone.
In the past they had a great reputation, but lately I've heard an occasional complaint about problems.
They also have poor communication too often.
http://www.mahovskysmetalife.com/

My recommendation.... If you want the very best use Cogan.

Last edited by dfariswheel; 01-30-2020 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:12 PM
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Used Armoloy from a shop in PA decades ago on several guns and 1911 frames. You get a bond with the base material on a molecular level and it will not peel. They quick plated a piece of pipe and gave me a sledge hammer to try to get it to peel and it didn't.

Thickness is about 0.0001 inch, so plating bores & chambers isn't an issue. Hardness is about 70+ on the Rockwell C scale or about 2-3 times as hard as most frames/barrels.

There are several places that do Armoloy.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
Hard chrome is one of the very few gun finishes that's a true life-time finish.
APW/Cogan recommend it over a stainless steel gun for the absolute most durability possible. To the rust resistance of the stainless the hard chrome gives a far more scratch resistant coating.

Back in the 70's and 80's I sent out a fair number of guns, including revolvers for hard chrome, including some of my own.
It not only is a great and durable finish, it also puts a hard layer on parts so they last much longer, and actually improves trigger pulls from the "slick" chrome.
This also reduces the amount of lubrication needed, and the gun cleans up WAY easier, both because the fouling is easy to see, and fouling won't adhere as well to hard chrome like it does to steel.

Prices and available final looks vary from supplier to supplier.
Look can run from the original satin "orange peel" pearl-gray, to a stainless steel look, to a full mirror polish.
Many suppliers have brand names for it, but it's all hard chrome.

The best of the platers is APW/Cogan.
Accurate Plating & Weaponry | Gunsmith In Newville, Alabama

Ford's is excellent.
http://www.fordsguns.com/

Metaloy was once owned by Wilson's and i think still does their work.
Metaloy, Industries - Professional Gun Finishing - hard chrome, blue and polymer finish

TechPlate is big in aero-space and the oil industry.
Welcome to TechPlate, Inc. Firearms retail plating price list

Early on I used Armoloy of Fort Worth, but had an occasional problem with dark gray blotches appearing in the finish and having to have them redone, and one case of a "lost" customized Colt Combat Commander they never fully made good on.
I never used them after that but they still do good work.

Armoloy also offers plating of bores and chambers. Another plater told me that he didn't think this worked very well.
Protect your firearm with Armoloy(R) TDC - Armoloy of Fort Worth, Texas

Mahovsky has been around a long time and does plating cheaper then anyone.
In the past they had a great reputation, but lately I've heard an occasional complaint about problems.
They also have poor communication too often.
http://www.mahovskysmetalife.com/

My recommendation.... If you want the very best use Cogan.
Thank You Sir for taking the time with the detailed information my 28 deserves the best Cogans it is
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WR Moore View Post
Used Armoloy from a shop in PA decades ago on several guns and 1911 frames. You get a bond with the base material on a molecular level and it will not peel. They quick plated a piece of pipe and gave me a sledge hammer to try to get it to peel and it didn't.

Thickness is about 0.0001 inch, so plating bores & chambers isn't an issue. Hardness is about 70+ on the Rockwell C scale or about 2-3 times as hard as most frames/barrels.

There are several places that do Armoloy.
Should i get the hammer trigger and extracter star plated
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:47 PM
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Had my Python done in Armoloy back in 1985. Still looks new.






Last edited by saemetric; 01-31-2020 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:51 AM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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Something similar to Armoloy is the finish on most stainless hammers & triggers, your choice. I've had it done on a couple. The extractor, definitely if your's is good on carryup. The harder surface finish will help resist normal wear.

I'd get someone very good to go over the piece for carryup, end play, gage/headspace and barrel/cylinder gap before plating. Get everything right, then plate. The minor build up shouldn't cause any issues. Never saw an issue with bores & chambers in any of the work I had done. Surface prep is the key to any plating operation and that can vary shop to shop.

My reference stuff is scattered, but I recall an outfit in Florida that did outstanding work. IIRC, Checkmate plating/finishing. There's also Robar out in AZ.

Last edited by WR Moore; 01-31-2020 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:11 PM
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The 2 1/2" Mod 19-4 was coated by Metaloy in Berryville Arkansas about 2008. The 1911 frame also by the same people 20 years earlier.




I still shoot the 1911 and it has hardly any signs of wear. Cost if I recall correctly was around $230. I specified to keep the rib and sights black on the 19, and only shipped the parts I wanted done.
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Old 01-31-2020, 08:49 PM
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The plating on most revolver hammers and triggers is a flash plating of hard chrome, mostly to match the carbon steel parts to the stainless steel of the rest of the gun.
S&W did this with the stainless revolvers until the later 90's when they just used standard color case hardened parts like on the blued models.
This flash plating is much more porous then standard hard chrome, which is why these parts are prone to rusting.

Years ago in the early 70's most people found out about hard chrome when a gun magazine did a story on Armoloy of Fort Worth, who were one of the very first to offer it to the general public.

In the article the writer had a S&W Model 36 plated and did the following tests.......
He carried the gun in a pocket full of change, keys, and a pocket knife for 30 days.
No sign of any damage, scratching, or wear.

He buried the gun in a pile of damp table salt for a couple of days.
No rust or corrosion.

He tried a Swiss needle file on it.
The file only left a shiny mark and the edge of the file was dulled.

He had a large nail plated on one half and left the other half bare. He soaked the nail in hot acid for a few days.
The unplated half of the nail was almost completely eaten away. The plated half was untouched.

I always had everything including all magazines, but not the sights and springs plated.
After the first Colt I sent in came back with no plating under the cylinder bolt and some rust, I began totally disassembling the guns before shipping.
Most platers offer masking of sights.

Most platers will not hard chrome aluminum parts. They usually just bead blast them to match the hard chromed parts.
Those who will do aluminum almost always have to nickel plate first then hard chrome over that.
Plated aluminum is not nearly as durable as plated steel, and due to the soft metal the hard chrome can crack and chip off.

Hard chrome plating on steel cannot crack, chip, or peel since it bonds INTO the surface of the steel. Unlike bright nickel there is no "under" hard chrome.
Watch out for gray-black blotches appearing in the finish. This is rare but did happen once in a while.
I was told by Armoloy that this was "acid leaching" caused by improper cleaning in the process.
I had one customers Astra pistol that was sent in 3 times for this and it still developed blotching over most of the gun.
Finally Armoloy told me that it was apparently something in the actual steel and there was nothing they could do to correct it. They refunded the money.

Be aware that I have seen guns from some platers who had control numbers electro-penciled on the parts. These were in semi-hidden areas, but I and most customers were not happy with this.

Do ALL gunsmithing and trigger work before plating. Once plated any work will require breaking through the finish.
Pick your type of finish first.... once plated you can't change it by polishing the finish. That will break through the very thin plating and won't materially change the look.
How it will look depends on how it's polished or processed before plating.

Hard chrome is not bullet proof, but it is one of the most all around durable gun finishes there is, and is still the preferred finish from custom gunsmiths when you ask for the most durable finish he offers.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:08 AM
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Here’s my 2014 Colt Government Model that was sent to Wilson to be upgraded to a CQB Model. The lower is hard chrome plated.

Hard Chrome-a3539001-bfb5-4626-8c33-51d04bd3bb05-jpg

Bill

Last edited by CA Escapee; 02-01-2020 at 12:12 AM. Reason: Not wordy enough.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:19 AM
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I have a Colt Detective Special that was hard chromed. I bought it over 25 years ago that way. I don't know who did it, but it was done well. It was my CCW when I lived in FL, and I never had any problems with it. It still looks new.

I also had a Walther P38, Nazi marked, that I bought that way as well. The sights were left black. It had the later German black plastic grips and actually looked better than it sounds it would. It shot pretty good as well and was a fun gun. I sold it to a buddy of a friend of mine that fell in love with it.

A shooting buddy of mine hard chromed a FN/FAL. Yeah, it sounds as odd as the P38, but actually looked good with the FN black plastic stocks. He was living on a boat, and it had no problems with the environment.

Personally, I think hard chrome is a great finish and wouldn't hesitate to have it done.
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