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  1. #1
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    How long does nickel plating last?

    Ok you metallurgists - how long, under ideal storage conditions, does/would a nickel plated revolver (or I guess any item) retain its plating with the same look as it was made before it started to flake, peel, discolor, etc. - like you see on some/most older guns?

    I know some solvents and other chemicals will attack nickel - I think ammonia is one?

    And now for the grandpappy of retarded questions that any S&W owner should know, are the revolvers from the 1970s on including the new 'classic' series electroplated or electroless nickel plated?

    Thanks!
    http://www.p38pistol.com
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  2. #2
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    Re: How long does nickel plating last?

    Sir.
    The most stable isotope of Nickel has a half life of 76,000 years.
    Your gun should last at least twice that long if you take good care of it. It is subject to wear and tear.
    You are correct about other chemicals causing damage. They break down the copper layer that bonds the Nickel to the carbon steel.
    Bill@Yuma

  3. #3
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    Re: How long does nickel plating last?

    When I started buying Smiths in the early 70's nickel finish was all the I would buy. My nickel guns from that time frame still look good and show no signs of peeling or flaking. I still prefer nickel to blue or stainless.

  4. #4
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    Re: How long does nickel plating last?

    I have a nickeled M38 that had been a policemans pocket back-up gun for over 20 years before I adopted it & since them it has done a LOT of CCW duty for me. There is some wear, minor scratches, etc. Here in AZ it get's sweated on regularly but but the nickel is still doing it's job of keeping it fom rusting. My father-in-laws old M&P has been carried & shot so much it's starting to loosen up & the nickel is showing some serious wear & discoloring but no flaking or peeling yet. I think like Bill said, if you take care of it, it ought to last just short of forever.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment & buy one" Jesus - Luke 22:36

  5. #5
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    Re: How long does nickel plating last?

    My Grandfather had in his rather extensive collection of Civil War relics, a nickel plated (I assume it was nickel) Remington 1858 percussion revolver. He had dug it out of the ground somewhere around home (two major battles were fought around there). The grips had rotted away and the internal steel parts had rusted together, but the exterior, except for a few flecks of rust, looked almost like new. This in spite of having been buried in the Virginia countryside for more or less, 100 years as well has having been fired with black powder. Most likely a Confederate officers privately purchased sidearm.

    It holds up pretty well I'd say.
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    John 3:16 (NKJV)

  6. #6
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    Re: How long does nickel plating last?

    My CCW is a nickel plated M-36, that had some wear and scratchs on it, from being carried alot by a Police Chief. I have carried it for many years......and it still looks the same as when I bought it. Like anything else, if you give it decent care.....it will last. Bob
    When you want the BEST! Bob

  7. #7
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    Re: How long does nickel plating last?

    hoppe's #9 solvent is the worst enemy of nickle plating on guns. if there is the most minute break in the nickle, it will find it and get under the plating beginning a cancer like disease. i've seen some nickle revolvers from the 1800s that are still in great shape. 76,000 years seems about right to me. lee

  8. #8
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    Re: How long does nickel plating last?

    Thanks for the replies! I have a 4" model 29 that has a small nick in the nickel on the underside of the trigger guard. I clean all my guns with CLP - I think that is OK. I hope. I had heard that Hoppe's was evil.

    The nickel guns are so pimpin' 1970's cool...
    http://www.p38pistol.com
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  9. #9
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    Re: How long does nickel plating last?

    it has led a fairly sheltered life, but the nickle on this 1930 vintage colt has survived pretty well for the last 80 years. it has one tiny place that has peeled off the front edge of the cylinder, and a couple of tiny rust bubbles near the edge of one grip panel. i got it several years ago from an old guy, whose mom and dad had had it as long as he could remember. he said it had just lived in a sock drawer, and he had never known them to shoot it.



  10. #10
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    Re: How long does nickel plating last?

    That nickle Colt is the feline's testacles!

    Mike

    (P.S. that's very, very good!)





    My Oath, taken in 1973, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, stands.


 

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