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Old November 7, 2012, 03:15 PM   #1
Consort
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Model 642 finish trouble

I carry a S & W 642 as my primary ccw. Clear kote finish is starting to crack and checker. What are my options and/or your recommendations to refinish it? Bugs me that the thing isn't "pretty" aymore.
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Old November 7, 2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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wrong area champ.
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Old November 7, 2012, 03:20 PM   #3
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Ooops.

Moderator - Please move to the revolver forum(s). I messed up. Thanks.
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Old November 7, 2012, 04:57 PM   #4
BarryLee
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Call S&W they may help. Be aware that this is not an uncommon problem, so push them a little bit.
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Old November 8, 2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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Same thing happened to my 638. Robar in North Phoenix refinished it in Roguard, nice dark matte finish. Not cheap (they have a couple of cheaper options) but very nice work and a good company--they finished more of the frame than I asked for, and didn't charge for it. Also repainted the front sight better than I had done it.

Especially if you plan on keeping the piece, Robar is a good option.
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Old November 8, 2012, 05:27 AM   #6
scsov509
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Quote:
I carry a S & W 642 as my primary ccw. Clear kote finish is starting to crack and checker. What are my options and/or your recommendations to refinish it? Bugs me that the thing isn't "pretty" aymore.
The same thing happened to my 642 after about the first 9 months of being carried as my backup gun. My personal opinion is that a handgun is a fighting weapon intended to save lives, and as such I'm not all that concerned with it being "pretty". I understand what you're saying as far as not wanting it to look unnecessarily abused, but the truth of the matter is that any amount of serious training and shooting is going to put some serious wear on a weapon anyway. So my personal opinion is to not worry about it being "pretty", and in fact now that it's good and broken in I'd suggest you shoot the bejesus out of it since you've got nothing to lose. Then when people ask you why it looks worn you'll be able to tell them it's because you train like a madman.
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Old November 8, 2012, 05:58 AM   #7
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I remember reading that S&W repairs 642's with finish problems so maybe give them a call. However, even if they refinish it for free, you'll probably have the same problem down the line. What are you using to clean it?

My 637 is losing its finish on the grips back strap but I believe that is due to long sweaty handed practice sessions. Although I love the looks of my 637 (and pretty much any j-frame) I probably wouldn't not refinish, even if the wear spreads beyond the back strap.

Mossin, do you have any pics of your 638 you can post? I'd love to see it. Also, I wouldn't mind seeing the OP's gun either.
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Old November 8, 2012, 09:09 AM   #8
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Cleaning Solvent

Shadi Khalil - I have always used M-Pro 7 solvents for cleaning my pistols and revolvers. Hadn't experienced any previous issues. Just bought some Frog Lube, but haven't tried it yet. I'll try to post some pics, but I am technoligically challenged at times. Case in point....... originally posting this thread on the WRONG forum.
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Old November 8, 2012, 09:55 PM   #9
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Mine did it too. S&W refinished it TWICE. Sold it because it bugged me. A company like S&W should NOT be using such a crappy coat on their products. I know a guy who got tired of it and hosed his down with gunscrubber. Clear coat came right off.
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Old November 8, 2012, 10:17 PM   #10
Super Sneaky Steve
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Yup, my 642 looks like total butt, but, it's a carry gun so it's more of a tool than a BBQ gun.
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Old November 8, 2012, 11:50 PM   #11
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So, does this problem usually show up on the Model 6XX J Frames as opposed to the Model 4XX versions? I was just curious because I have a Model 442 and have not noticed any issues at all.
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Old November 9, 2012, 02:02 AM   #12
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I share the opinions of those who think of their j-frames as self defense tools. My 638 has various dings & scratches on it. No longer pretty at all. I don't really care. Works just fine. - - - Ever see photos of the weapons used by front line combat troops ? Its obvious that they care about function, not looks.

I have some firearms that may be considered more 'collectible'. In general, I try to take very good care of my guns. But if you use them, theyll get 'character marks'. And to me a current production j-frame is like a Glock, - a tool.
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Old November 9, 2012, 06:25 AM   #13
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The clear coat finish is a known problem, and even with very little carry and extra careful cleaning (I had a seperate cleaning kit for my 642), the finish still peeled. Comparing an M9 that has served countless soldiers in years of combat is not a fair comparison.
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Old November 9, 2012, 02:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
The clear coat finish is a known problem, and even with very little carry and extra careful cleaning (I had a seperate cleaning kit for my 642), the finish still peeled. Comparing an M9 that has served countless soldiers in years of combat is not a fair comparison.
It's not a fair comparison if you're talking about the durability of the two finishes or circumstances in which they became worn or damaged. Clearly the finish of the 6xx series has some durability issues, no one is debating that. The point is simply that a working man's gun isn't always pretty, and that beauty has nothing to do with function. Nothing wrong with wanting it to be pretty if that's what's important to you, but for a lot of us beauty just isn't a priority. I purchased the 642 because I wanted a BUG that would reliably go *bang* every time I pulled the trigger, and all I expect from the finish then is to protect the gun from rust and corrosion. My 642 accomplishes that well in both respects, so I'm plenty happy.
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Old November 9, 2012, 03:46 PM   #15
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Feedback Appreciated

Thanks for all of your comments. It's just my personal quirk, but I strive to keep all of my handguns as nice in appearance as I possibly can. (They are by no means safe queens, though.) No, the cracked clear kote does nothing to hinder the 642's performance. I'll keep carrying and enjoying it. The Gun Scrubber suggestion sounds tempting, though......

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Old November 9, 2012, 07:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
It's not a fair comparison if you're talking about the durability of the two finishes or circumstances in which they became worn or damaged. Clearly the finish of the 6xx series has some durability issues, no one is debating that. The point is simply that a working man's gun isn't always pretty, and that beauty has nothing to do with function. Nothing wrong with wanting it to be pretty if that's what's important to you, but for a lot of us beauty just isn't a priority. I purchased the 642 because I wanted a BUG that would reliably go *bang* every time I pulled the trigger, and all I expect from the finish then is to protect the gun from rust and corrosion. My 642 accomplishes that well in both respects, so I'm plenty happy.
No other carry gun I have ever owned has shown an appreciable level of wear like a clear coat 642 has. In 2 months, my 642 looked worse than my father's 25 year old model 60. My 40 year old model 66 still looks very noce, too. I know a carry gun doesn't need to look "pretty", but it shouldn't look like crap, either, ESPECIALLY coming from a company like S&W.

Hey, why not let the paint on your brand new car peel off? I mean, it still gets you from point A to point B, right?
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
I know a carry gun doesn't need to look "pretty", but it shouldn't look like crap, either,
Yes, there is a definite difference between good hard earned wear that adds nice character to a gun and what happens on some of the J-Frames. The clear coat flaking off is just an example of bad design work on S&W’s part and nothing else.
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Old November 9, 2012, 08:09 PM   #18
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If you ever did need to use it in a self defense situation, I doubt the bad guy is going to comment on the finish of your gun.
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Old November 9, 2012, 08:44 PM   #19
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It would be nice if the J frames that we're talking about had a better quality finish. Does this prevent me from buying one or using one ? No. Would I personally spend much money on having another coating applied to it ? No.
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Old November 9, 2012, 08:55 PM   #20
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If you ever did need to use it in a self defense situation, I doubt the bad guy is going to comment on the finish of your gun.
True. So why buy a new gun? Why not some beat up dragged through the streets PD trade in? When you buy a used gun, you don't expect pretty. When you buy new, you should.
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Old November 10, 2012, 12:28 AM   #21
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Hey, why not let the paint on your brand new car peel off? I mean, it still gets you from point A to point B, right?
Because I selected my vehicles at least in part with aesthetic considerations in mind. Aesthetics however factor zero into my defensive firearm selection. Like I said, I want a finish to protect against rust and corrosion. The J-Frame finish accomplishes that, and that's all I need.
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Old November 10, 2012, 01:00 AM   #22
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S&W is using a clear coat finish on the versions that have stainless parts. Clear anodizing would hold up much better. Anodizing was used on all the blued lightweight guns. It does wear, but holds up better than paint. The best option is hard chrome plating over electroless nickel, but that costs too much for S&W to do it.
If you can strip the coating completely off just leave the aluminum without a finish. The only downside is that the raw aluminum will scratch very easily.
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Old November 10, 2012, 05:32 AM   #23
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S&W has been able to keep these j frames at a half reasonable price point. (Unlike a lot of their other revolvers IMO). For the money, you get a lightweight and reliable primary carry or back-up gun. One can only wonder what the price would be if they did another coating. Or, you could always try a Ruger LCR.
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