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Old December 24, 2012, 07:20 PM   #32
Rainbow Demon
Senior Member
Join Date: September 27, 2012
Posts: 397
I had a Model 37 Airweight, the original with alloy cylinder. A friend found it buried in mud of a lake bottom where it had been long enough for the grips to rot away and the mainspring and guide to rust away to nothing.
The only plating left was on the barrel, which appeared to have been hard chromed. The rest was covered by a thick crusty deposit which looked to be decomposed nickel.
Under the crust, which was easily scaped away, the alloy frame and cylinder was in good condition. Part of the thumb piece of the hammer was deeply pitted and the knurling rusted away.

Theres a lot of chemicals in that lake water, whatever ate away the nickel had decades to work on it.

I looked into nickel plating and found that Hoppes No.9 while damage common nickel plating on older pistols. According to one source if a nickeled pocket pistol like an old Iver Johnson is soaked in Hoppes and placed in a natural fleece lined pistol case the lanolin and ammonia will react and over time can strip the finish where it makes contact with the fleece.

More modern Nickel plating processes are supposed to be less vulnerable to ammonia based solvents, but its good to remember that these solvents were originally intended to dissolve Cupro-Nickel fouling of the early milspec jacketed bullets.
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