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Old February 24, 2011, 04:01 PM   #26
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I have a used 642 I bought four years ago that had the flaking clearcoat problem, which I made worse by trying to sand under the grip

It isn't so much how the gun looks, it's that it lets the moisture get in and mess things up. I called S&W and they sent me a prepaid Fedex label. I sent the pistol in with a brief note and got it back three weeks later looking like new, for free.
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Old February 24, 2011, 04:13 PM   #27
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Just because I want to give S&W the benefit of the doubt, is there a chance that these aluminum frames are anodized prior to the addition of whatever coating is flaking off? I can't see S&W skipping a step that important and relatively inexpensive.

If whatever cheap chinese mfg. made the .50 cent carabiner on my key chain can anodize that, then I have to believe that the fine american institution of Smith and Wesson is not negligently removing this from their manufacturing process.
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Old February 24, 2011, 10:17 PM   #28
Bill DeShivs
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That is entirely possible, and that the clear coat is for added protection.
But, I kind of doubt it.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Old December 21, 2012, 04:54 PM   #29
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642-2 finish

My 642-2 has seen considerable cleaning with shooters choice and shows no sign of finish damage even after daily carry. I do wipe it dowm with a silicone cloth daily just to protect the finish.
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Old December 23, 2012, 12:31 AM   #30
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I have a Model 637-2. It has the coating too. I wouldn't say it is flaking. It is more like it is just wearing off in places. I pocket carry it. It hasn't bothered me. It is just cosmetic, it doesn't effect the functioning of the gun.

(Luke 11:21 KJV) When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

(Luke 22:36 KJV) Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
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Old December 24, 2012, 07:06 PM   #31
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I would be very surprised if the Factory wouldn't repair that finish if you send it back to them.

I have a M442 with satin nickel finish that I have carried every day from 1993 until today. I fire it every trip to the range. In 2003 I noticed that the nickel was peeling on the front of the cylinder. I sent it in to S&W and it was completely refinished and returned at no charge.

I know the two guns are different in material and finish. My point is that, unless there is evidence of some misuse, the Factory is usually good about repairing modern guns.

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Old December 24, 2012, 07:20 PM   #32
Rainbow Demon
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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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Old December 27, 2012, 06:45 PM   #33
Seven High
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Is Smith & Wesson putting the same clear coat back on the revolvers that are sent in, or are they using an improved clear coat that will not chip off?
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