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Old 06-30-2020, 12:17 PM
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Default Polishing and cleaning a nickel gun

I am sure this has been asked a million times. I have a nickel gun coming, and I know it needs cleaning. Now I have been told no ammonia products. OK, so what to use. Simichrome polish? Flitz polish?

I looked at the web page for Flitz, and while it is rated for nickel, is says not for electroplated finishes. Nickel guns are electroplated right?? Is that a warning because they are concerned about the abrasion and amount of force> just wondering

Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:59 PM
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I will only tell you my personal experience with Nickel and Flitz. When I inherited my Dad's 1951 Nickel plated Chief's Spl. it was scratched up quite severely. I used Flitz and a few old cotton T shirts on it after completely disassembling the Revolver. I worked strictly by hand (no power tools) -, check the progress often and it came out really good. Definitely doesn't look new or like a safe queen, but it now looks respectable.

There was no damage to the guns finish and no visible signs of Nickel removal - however this is not something I'd do more than once. I'm
sure over time if the process was repeatedly done Nickel might be lost, however done carefully and one time did no harm and absolutely & vastly improved the finish on my Nickel plated Revolver. Just my own experience and not advocating or condoning here- just how it worked for me.
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:23 PM
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Default Polishing and cleaning a nickel gun

Pete,

For cleaning I use Hoppe's "Elite" product. It contains no ammonia.

For polishing I use Mother's Mag and Aluminum Wheel Polish, and

then I hit it with Renaissance Wax.

Works like a charm!!

Bill
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:41 PM
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Just used Flitz on an old nickel 57 and it brightened it up nicely. Go slow and easy.


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Old 06-30-2020, 04:46 PM
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Note that EVERY TIME you use a metal polish on nickel you're removing a thin layer of the plating.
Do it too often or just a little too vigorously and you can polish right through the plating.

Scratches, no matter how fine cannot be "removed" you have to polish away enough of the plating to get to the bottom of the scratch.

I'd recommend using a good metal polish ONE TIME with a microfiber cloth, and do it gently.
Flitz is supposedly a finer abrasive then most others, but ALL of them are abrasive, that's what metal polish is.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:54 PM
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Note that EVERY TIME you use a metal polish on nickel you're removing a thin layer of the plating.
Do it too often or just a little too vigorously and you can polish right through the plating.

Scratches, no matter how fine cannot be "removed" you have to polish away enough of the plating to get to the bottom of the scratch.

I'd recommend using a good metal polish ONE TIME with a microfiber cloth, and do it gently.
Flitz is supposedly a finer abrasive then most others, but ALL of them are abrasive, that's what metal polish is.
Not true in all cases.
I have a nickel model 19 snub that had a pronounced scratch on the right side that I completely removed with Flitz on a cloth and a pencil eraser as a rubbing block. You can no longer see the scratch and the finish is fine.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Marine Corps Air View Post
Pete,

For cleaning I use Hoppe's "Elite" product. It contains no ammonia.

For polishing I use Mother's Mag and Aluminum Wheel Polish, and

then I hit it with Renaissance Wax.

Works like a charm!!

Bill
Perfectly Perfect!!
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:09 PM
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I use Flitz on all my nickel guns. Definitely makes mine look like new
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:41 PM
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Let me just add:

Over the years I've used at least 4 different metal polishes including Flitz, Mothers Mag Polish, Simichrome and one from Germany that I don't recall the name of. Flitz is hands down the best of them. I have NEVER encountered any damage what-so-ever from Flitz and I use it on metal, chrome, plastic, fiberglass, paint, - you name it.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:51 PM
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My master cleaner instructor rubiranch on this forum suggested gently using a finger to apply polish, a method Iíve adopted. Your finger will turn black. He suggests wiping the polish off while it is still wet. I use an old t-shirt. Then apply Renwax. I second Kennyís method. Once itís clean and waxed, I occasionally apply another coat of wax while bored watching Netflix.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:28 PM
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Let me just add:

Over the years I've used at least 4 different metal polishes including Flitz, Mothers Mag Polish, Simichrome and one from Germany that I don't recall the name of. Flitz is hands down the best of them. I have NEVER encountered any damage what-so-ever from Flitz and I use it on metal, chrome, plastic, fiberglass, paint, - you name it.
The german one was probably Wenol. The original formula was pinkish-red from the Jeweler's Rouge in it. There is now a newer one as well, and it is blue.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:32 PM
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You might also consider going to a music store and purchasing a cleaning/wipe down cloth that is used to clean a nickel horn.

I have one and it works well for wipe down on my 19-5.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:41 PM
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I am surprised that no one mentioned that S&W never copper plated under their nickle plating..Colt did to get a smoother finish .Just like older rechomed car bumpers had a copper coat under the chrome easier to polish imperfections on copper than chrome
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Old 06-30-2020, 11:22 PM
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Pete- A few years back I acquired a 4 inch nickel 29-2 that had a spider web of fine scratches, but nothing too deep. I gave it a hand polish with a soft rag and Simichrome Polish (which I use to keep up the polished aluminum on my motorcycles). It worked well, and really improved the look of the gun. Of course, it does work by removing a microscopic layer of the nickel, so go easy, if needed, and not for regular use during routine cleaning.

Wanted to add that I recently did the same thing with a blued model 28 that had a sort of dull, splotchy, oxidized look to the finish. The gun came out looking a lot nicer, with that handsome, even, satin blue a 28 should have.

Larry

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Old 06-30-2020, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narragansett View Post
I am sure this has been asked a million times. I have a nickel gun coming, and I know it needs cleaning. Now I have been told no ammonia products. OK, so what to use. Simichrome polish? Flitz polish?

I looked at the web page for Flitz, and while it is rated for nickel, is says not for electroplated finishes. Nickel guns are electroplated right?? Is that a warning because they are concerned about the abrasion and amount of force> just wondering

Thanks!
Ammonia doesn't play well with copper. That may be of interest depending upon what make your gun is. S&W did not use a base plate of copper under the nickel, Colt and some others did, so be aware. As for polish, I have tried many and now only use Flitz. With any polish be gentle and infrequent; they all remove metal from the surface. I use an old t-shirt or soft paper towel to apply and remove. Then a coat of Ren Wax and a microfiber cloth polishing. Very minor scratches will be removed.
Last I bought Flitz, they ran a good deal on their website along with a really good microfiber cloth and IIRC the postage was paid by them. Good product, just do not overdo on frequency and elbow grease. These have been my personal experiences and I am sure others will have other opinions or results.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:13 AM
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I've used both Mothers Mg and Flitz. Carefully, using old cotton tee shirts, as posted above. My only comment is Flitz is a bit more aggressive than Mothers Mag. So on older, more delicate nickel finishes, I'd go with Mothers mag. My "birth year" 1947 factory nickel M&P was quite dull and tarnished. I used Mothers Mag on it when I purchased it nearly a decade ago, and it shined up nicely. I did not try to do anything but "clean" it up; scratches cannot be removed without damaging the nickel. I have not done anything to it since, but given it a coat of wax.


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Old 07-01-2020, 11:31 AM
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My master cleaner instructor rubiranch on this forum suggested gently using a finger to apply polish, a method Iíve adopted. Your finger will turn black. He suggests wiping the polish off while it is still wet. I use an old t-shirt. Then apply Renwax. I second Kennyís method. Once itís clean and waxed, I occasionally apply another coat of wax while bored watching Netflix.
I should just send everything I own to Rubi. He sure does make em shine!
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:56 AM
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I should just send everything I own to Rubi. He sure does make em shine!
You and me both. Haha
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Old 07-01-2020, 01:37 PM
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i only wipe with a microfibre cloth.....then again over here in the uk we are not allowed to fire these so its a wallhanger

edit....revolver was refinished in the usa in the mid 50s and i bought it after it become a estate sale etc
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