Go to the S&W website under the Support and FAQ section. They address cleaning and lubrication issues.
IIRC correctly they used to recommend Hoppes Elite, and specifically said not to use any products that contain ammonia.
They now promote their own line of products, which are some existing product private labled for them I assume?
I have a 642-2 that doesn't see much carry (wear and tear) and it still looks good. The flaking is aesthetic only and is a clear cote over the powder coated or painted finish. The comment on it being painted, is that true?
What is the paint process?
I have never gotten a straight answer as to what the finish actually is on a 642-2 and I have done at least 160 minutes of research on the Internet and many Forums.