View Full Version : Hard Chrome or Electroless Nickle ?

August 30, 1999, 07:09 AM
Here's my dilemma....
Here in Aus, we don't have the wide variety of "you beaut" finishes that are in the USA. :(
I want to refinish the frame of my all steel P-16 & I only have the 2 choices mentioned.
So who's had either finish applied & how has it lasted so far ?
TIA. :)

"The Gun from Down Under !"

Walt Welch
August 30, 1999, 03:16 PM
I would suggest hard chrome. This is a true electroplating, and has been characterized as superior to electroless nickel, which is a pyrolytic process if I recall correctly.

The problem is that the electroless nickel has tiny defects or pits, which allow easy access to corrosion. It is a lot cheaper to do, however, which accounts for its' popularity with firearms' manufacturers.

Hope this helps, Walt

Mike Baugh
August 30, 1999, 07:10 PM
I have had several 1911's hardchromed and I think it is the best finish out there . I have a Springfield government model that has been carried for several years and has had around 1000 rounds through it and you would swear it has never been shot . Good luck , Mike...

September 6, 1999, 01:32 AM
A fellow on the Kel Tec users board does a regular electric nickle plate and says that it is superior to hard chrome because it is consistant in thickness over the edges and it is supposidly more rust resistant. Many of the subscibers report how happy they are with it and a lot carry in IWB holsters in the hot, humid south. My Ruger 77 is hard chromed and I love it, so I guess it boils down to what's your poison? The gunsmith says that the electroless nickel is not recommended at all (at least by him). Jim

Art Eatman
September 8, 1999, 06:17 PM
I'll go along with the hard chrome. But, I'll offer an electroless-nickel story.

I have a lightweight commander. A gunsmith friend of mine got into the e-n deal early on, and we tried my gun as a guinea pig.

He removed the anodized finish with oven cleaner. After rounding all the corners and edges on the frame (no snag, no gouge), he used a double-strength solution, and left the frame in for twice the normal time.

In almost 20 years, now, I've had mild discoloration in a few tiny spots. I used it as a carry gun for six months, with no holster--just stuck inside my pants, shirttail out. No problems...

I just wish the triggers on the rest of my autos were as good. It's like snapping a glass rod, at around 3 lbs, and no follow-on problems. Wish he was still 'smithing...

But overall, I think hard chrome is maybe less susceptible to scratches, and I've seen older guns with the nickel separating--which is a quality control problem, I guess...


[This message has been edited by Art Eatman (edited September 08, 1999).]