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Old February 23, 2011, 11:03 AM   #1
Scout
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642 Airweight Finish flaking?

I bought the wife a Model 642 Air weight in stainless steel. It seems that some sort of flaking is taking place on the left side above the trigger guard. I don't want to pick at it, so as not to make it worse, but it looks like paint flaking. What could this be? Does this revolver have some finish that could do this? I've never seen anything like this on a stainless weapon.
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Old February 23, 2011, 11:31 AM   #2
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Apparently these guns have some sort of coating that can fail. I had a friend who had the same problem with his S&W. I am not certain what causes the failure and why they would utilize it in the first place – seems to defeat the purpose of a stainless finish.
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Old February 23, 2011, 11:38 AM   #3
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I have the same problem with my 642...............I say problem, not really, yes it flakes but it doen't bother me. This is my pocket carry revolver, I don't plan on selling it, its smooth and reliable, I don't care if it flakes or not. It doen't affect the functioning of the revolver.
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Old February 23, 2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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I believe S&W also warrents their finishes, so you could get it fixed for no charge if you want to call customer service & get a call ticket
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Old February 23, 2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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It's a type of clear coat or something over the aluminum frame on the revolver. Give S&W a call if it bothers you and see what they'll do.
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Old February 23, 2011, 01:01 PM   #6
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Thanks to all.
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Old February 23, 2011, 04:18 PM   #7
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Flaking

I gave my son a Custom Shop 625 last year. Scandium frame has begun showing flaking after he soaked it in Hoppes #9 while cleaning it. Haven't heard back from him what S&W said yet. That stinks. Nothing anywhere about not using Hoppes on the finish.
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Old February 23, 2011, 05:20 PM   #8
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The frame of your 642 is not stainless steel, it's aluminum. The flaking you're seeing is the clear coat. Aluminum requires a different type of finish than steel and it typically isn't as durable. The Colt Cobra that I used to have was very lightly used, but it had very obvious holster wear in certain places (the edges of the topstrap and bottom of the trigger guard). What type of holster are you using? A poorly fitting holster will cause more rapid finish wear than a better fitting one.
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Old February 23, 2011, 05:25 PM   #9
j frame
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It IS a clear coat. The 642-1 had an anodized finish that was MUCH more durable.
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Old February 23, 2011, 06:10 PM   #10
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At least its not rusting like my new 442
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Old February 23, 2011, 06:29 PM   #11
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The fact that S&W is using paint, as opposed to anodizing, shows just how greedy they are.
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Old February 23, 2011, 07:55 PM   #12
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Bill...what kind of finish is the matte/satin black of the model 442?
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Old February 23, 2011, 09:22 PM   #13
aryfrosty
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Don't rule it out...

Those frames with clear coat are susceptable to solvents. My son's 625 custom shop has neevr been in a holster. He shoots it infrequently and after shooting he cleans it and reurns it to the box.
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Old February 23, 2011, 11:24 PM   #14
Webleymkv
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Quote:
The fact that S&W is using paint, as opposed to anodizing, shows just how greedy they are.
Or perhaps it shows why they can sell a J-Frame for less than a revolver that's half plastic.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/26498

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/58567
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Old February 23, 2011, 11:27 PM   #15
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I spoke with S&Ws customer service department about a customer's revolver that was flaking and was told it's related to cleaning solvents and S&W will evaluate for warranty repair on a case by case basis. I can say that none of the ones we have sent back have been refused warranty service, though.
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Old February 23, 2011, 11:29 PM   #16
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I'm buying a 638 that has this clearcoat on it.

What brand and type of gun cleaner solvent should I use on it that is safe to use?
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Old February 23, 2011, 11:38 PM   #17
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No clue on these. New S&Ws hold no interest for me.
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Old February 24, 2011, 04:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
No clue on these. New S&Ws hold no interest for me.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old February 24, 2011, 04:24 AM   #19
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When was the gun maid?
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Old February 24, 2011, 09:46 AM   #20
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Use cleaners like Breakfree CLP or MPRO-7/Hoppe's Elite which are the safest on the clear coat finsih. Don't use Gunscrubber or other similar harsh degreasing solvents. Hoppe's #9 is okay as long as you don't soak the gun in it.

If someone has no interest in newer S&Ws, why would they even bother to post in this thread about S&W "greed" and to state their lack of interest in them. What a waste of bandwidth. I suppose they want a cookie for making their opinion known in a thread that did not call for it.
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Old February 24, 2011, 12:07 PM   #21
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The airweight in question was purchased new last fall. It sits in a small bedside safe most of the time. The exterior has been wiped with Remoil periodically and the bore cleaned with Hoppes #9 and Rem oil.
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Old February 24, 2011, 01:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
The airweight in question was purchased new last fall. It sits in a small bedside safe most of the time. The exterior has been wiped with Remoil periodically and the bore cleaned with Hoppes #9 and Rem oil.
Sounds like you need to make a call. I been carrying my 638 everyday for three years in my front pocket and the gun looks in excellent shape.
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Old February 24, 2011, 02:46 PM   #23
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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.
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Old February 24, 2011, 03:39 PM   #24
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Sorry I'm wasting you guys' bandwidth.
I like S&W revolvers., but the newer ones are cheapened.
Now, so I don't waste bandwidth- anodizing is a very hard aluminum oxide surface. It can be dyed any color, or left natural. Anodizing is produced using electric current and acid compounds. It holds up fairly well, considering the aluminum beneath the surface treatment is soft.
The gun paints (clearcoat, etc.) are still paint. They are much softer than anodizing-probably softer than the underlying aluminum. Paint, IMO, is for the hobbyist, not manufacturers-though it seems this trend is expanding.
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Old February 24, 2011, 03:54 PM   #25
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You are not wasting anything, Bill DeShivs

The only waste I saw was the poster who challenged you about it. Forums are just that. Discussion arenas. When I looked at the rules I did not see any that said we had to agree with anyone else's opinion. I don't care much for the newer S&Ws myself. My five screws are the top of my collection . But that doesn't stop my opinion from being of possible use. I do try to stay abreast of the current crop of firearms from every maker. If S&W ever grows a brain and goes back to the old way of making them I'll buy some then. I don't like the idea of an $1100.00 revolver losing its' finish to Hoppes #9.
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