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Open pistol coating


Corrado_kid
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Which coating would be preferable? Pvd? Hard chrome? Or other coating? I am currently in the process of having an open gun built and would like to have the gun in silver. Would hard chrome or pvd be the best option? And why? I understand that hard chrome can have some tolerance variations etc. PVD is more uniform and evenly coated. 

I and looking for knowledgeable opinions about either coating. My main concern with hard chrome is the comp is titanium so it won’t match the rest is the slide/barrel (hybrid).  The pvd I’m concerned that it will have a dull flat finish and not “pop” and contrast like the hard chrome does. Any experience or helpful insight would be appreciated. 

3618D3D2-A580-4B45-A3E3-1BB11DE7021A.jpeg

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Have you considered electroless nickel? There are many variants. It matches chrome in most aspects. Especially say the en-b, electroless nickel boron.

 

Nickel will plate on titanium and tungsten steel.

 

Also, it offers less friction when compared to chrome.

 

Any electroless process will fill holes. The pvd is a line of sight thing. It probably will not completely line the firing pin hole or extractor hole in slide.

 

I dislike pvd. It tends to flake. Especially around edges. A good degreasing and electroless nickel will look nice. It can also be varied in appearance by media blasting(each media will result in different texture) or a mirror polishing via sandpaper on a stone.

 

I am partial to nickel coatings. Your miles will vary.

Edited by Specialneeds
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I would not have another gun Chrome plated.  The Chrome takes up space so your nice, tightly fit slide has to be loosened up before plating.  Same thing with Nickel plating.  Don't correctly both are fine.  Unfortunately, many are not done correctly.  BTW, Chrome pits from hand sweat.

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Usually .002 to .003" of buildup is accumulated. In total. Whereas each surface is typically measured to be .0008 to .0015" of buildup.

 

This pends on dip times. Most people recommend a 30-45 minute dip. A light film, very minimal dimensional changes.

 

Loose guns run better in most cases anyway. Loose being .002 to .003 of play. Not many people like the feel of a -0- play gun slaming back and forward. I know of a few cases where someone measured exact fit and found that.. after the gun left a 70*F controlled environment, the slide would not move along the rails.

 

Pardon, I forgot to mention that prior.

 

Rogaurd or whatever it was called used a phosphorus nickel. I believe it also had some ptfe(teflon) mixed in. They showed good results versus saltwater testing.

 

Like all things in life, gasoline is not equal, powder is not equal, platings are not equal. Some are better than others.

 

Go pvd if that is your cup. I would do nickel, but I am the odd guy here. In most cases it will look very similar to chrome, if done properly.

Edited by Specialneeds
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2 hours ago, Specialneeds said:

Usually .002 to .003" of buildup is accumulated. In total. Whereas each surface is typically measured to be .0008 to .0015" of buildup.

 

This pends on dip times. Most people recommend a 30-45 minute dip. A light film, very minimal dimensional changes.

 

Loose guns run better in most cases anyway. Loose being .002 to .003 of play. Not many people like the feel of a -0- play gun slaming back and forward. I know of a few cases where someone measured exact fit and found that.. after the gun left a 70*F controlled environment, the slide would not move along the rails.

 

Pardon, I forgot to mention that prior.

 

Rogaurd or whatever it was called used a phosphorus nickel. I believe it also had some ptfe(teflon) mixed in. They showed good results versus saltwater testing.

 

Like all things in life, gasoline is not equal, powder is not equal, platings are not equal. Some are better than others.

 

Go pvd if that is your cup. I would do nickel, but I am the odd guy here. In most cases it will look very similar to chrome, if done properly.

Do you have any guns done now in nickel? If so would you be able to post some pictures? Also where you had them done? 

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Hard chrome is cheap, durable, effective and is easily touched up if necessary. It's also pretty (OOOOH, SHINY!).

 

PVD is good but DLC is better and about the same cost.

 

DLC  is more expensive than chrome, harder to find a good place to get it done, is much slicker, is more durable and more effective but isn't as shiny.

 

I've had all three. The DLC was nicer and actually drew more eyeballs than the chrome but if you do manage to scratch DLC (or PVD) somehow, it won't just buff out like chrome will.

 

For the color you seem to be leaning towards (chrome, titanium) I would suggest DLC Duplex Stainless for a maximum effort build (coat the comp too) or hard chrome for cheap and easy.

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I have used hard chrome for many years and received back my latest build a few weeks ago with turn around time about three to four weeks.  I specify the matte finish because I don't care for shiny guns and small scratches don't show so easily, and the thickness for matte has not caused me tolerance issues.  You can specify polished flats on the slide if you prefer and it's a nice looking contrast against the matte color.  Hard chrome is extremely durable, has excellent coefficient value and will last and yes it can pit or rust through but you really need to abuse it for that to occur.  My TI comps don't match but personally I like the color difference anyway.  I believe it's the best bang for the buck.

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Np3 was one of the coatings, yes. A lot of the nickel and chrome are similar. Nickel tends to have other things 'floated' or deposited in it.

 

Pending on metal prep, the finishes can vary. Much like another person posted about chrome. Nickel sticks to a lot and can be silver soldered.

 

No, I do not have any pictures off hand. For some reason everything I do have photographs of will not upload due to filesizing. There are plenty of pictures online.

 

A lot of the military weapons I work with, chrome or nickel is very popular. Pending on the weapon's cost and intent. Plenty of old m4's and 249's have chrome still.

 

I always considered chrome and nickel very similar in finish, fit and field wear.

 

Personally, I dislike the wondersprays. They are reported to be 'line of sight'. Deep pockets, bores and odd shapes cannot be coated properly. Unless something has changed recently.

 

Robar, roguard or whatever.. they closed up for some reason. Used to, they did various types of nickel plating. Some of it was blackened. Others had teflon. My memory is a bit foggy, it has been years..

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5 hours ago, digi531 said:

I have used hard chrome for many years and received back my latest build a few weeks ago with turn around time about three to four weeks.  I specify the matte finish because I don't care for shiny guns and small scratches don't show so easily, and the thickness for matte has not caused me tolerance issues.  You can specify polished flats on the slide if you prefer and it's a nice looking contrast against the matte color.  Hard chrome is extremely durable, has excellent coefficient value and will last and yes it can pit or rust through but you really need to abuse it for that to occur.  My TI comps don't match but personally I like the color difference anyway.  I believe it's the best bang for the buck.

What do you coat your comps with? Or do you leave them bare? 

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I like chrome in every way.  Have 2, including a Tanfo.  Plenty of good info in the above replies, BUT I will throw 1 experience in just fyi.  I have 2 OLD Para open guns.  The original finish on both was old and looking terrible.  1 like new and 1 showing significant wear.  On a whim, I decided to spend a little to spiff them up, and maybe sell.  Cummings Custom Refinishing has a process called CP2.  Plating, only 1 color (similar to stainless but with a hint of grey).  I was totally surprised by the quality work and attention to detail on assembly done.  They were done so well and perform flawless so I kept them.  

IMG_0282a.jpg

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7p4DvRZ.jpg

 

DLC Duplex Stainless with Chameleon controls, screws, hammer and barrel.

 

Gorgeous? Oh yeah. Durable? The best. Slick? Extremely. Cost? Ouch! Worth it? I'd say yes, but YMMV. The worst part for me would be deciding whether to shoot it or frame it for display.

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21 hours ago, Absocold said:

7p4DvRZ.jpg

 

DLC Duplex Stainless with Chameleon controls, screws, hammer and barrel.

 

Gorgeous? Oh yeah. Durable? The best. Slick? Extremely. Cost? Ouch! Worth it? I'd say yes, but YMMV. The worst part for me would be deciding whether to shoot it or frame it for display.

Looks great! Who did your coating?

 

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I recently had my slide coated with a composite electroless nickel coating with boron nitride particles.  This coating has a very low coefficient of friction.  The coating thickness is determined by bath time so you can pick desired thickness.  I chose a very thin coating of 0.3 mil because the slide was fairly new and already had a tight fit.

 

http://twincityplating.com/electroless-nickel-composite-plating-services.html

 

20200127_211116.jpg

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20 minutes ago, andersonj55126 said:

I recently had my slide coated with a composite electroless nickel coating with boron nitride particles.  This coating has a very low coefficient of friction.  The coating thickness is determined by bath time so you can pick desired thickness.  I chose a very thin coating of 0.3 mil because the slide was fairly new and already had a tight fit.

 

http://twincityplating.com/electroless-nickel-composite-plating-services.html

 

20200127_211116.jpg

I like that!! 

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1 hour ago, parvusimperator said:

Looks great! Who did your coating?

 

 

That gun was a maximum effort build by CK Arms, every single available option. Bobby of CK took that gun to Shot Show for display as an example of their work. Not sure who they sent it out to for the coatings but there are several places that will do small lots like guns. They seem to change every couple months as companies form, succeed, then get gobbled up by bigger ones so I won't recommend a specific one. Check around and pick one or ask CK if they'll do it for you.

 

I can't find any papers or engineering specs on the Chameleon coating but since most of the items coated with it are not high wear or high stress items it's no biggie. The barrel coating showed only the very slightest wear after several thousand cycles so it's at least a bit better than hard chrome.

 

However, if you search the internet on papers published about the measured properties of Duplex Stainless, you'll find more than a few and it's pretty nuts. Thickness is measured in nanometers so there's no problems with causing fitment issues, wear rates are much higher than anything else you've heard of, coefficient of friction is better than even any of the boron treatments, and the coating is so hard that it's been shown to help prevent stress cracks from forming in the material it's covering.

 

I'm sure once cost comes down (it's not just one coating, it's two) we'll be seeing more and more of this stuff in the marketplace, not just on guns, watches and space age engineering.

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7p4DvRZ.jpg
 
DLC Duplex Stainless with Chameleon controls, screws, hammer and barrel.
 
Gorgeous? Oh yeah. Durable? The best. Slick? Extremely. Cost? Ouch! Worth it? I'd say yes, but YMMV. The worst part for me would be deciding whether to shoot it or frame it for display.
Yeah, I dunno about anyone else here, but this alone not only showed what dlc looks like on a pistol, but 110% sold me. Dang, she GORGEOUS. and I don't even like chameleon

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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31 minutes ago, Absocold said:

 

That gun was a maximum effort build by CK Arms, every single available option. Bobby of CK took that gun to Shot Show for display as an example of their work. Not sure who they sent it out to for the coatings but there are several places that will do small lots like guns. They seem to change every couple months as companies form, succeed, then get gobbled up by bigger ones so I won't recommend a specific one. Check around and pick one or ask CK if they'll do it for you.

 

I can't find any papers or engineering specs on the Chameleon coating but since most of the items coated with it are not high wear or high stress items it's no biggie. The barrel coating showed only the very slightest wear after several thousand cycles so it's at least a bit better than hard chrome.

 

However, if you search the internet on papers published about the measured properties of Duplex Stainless, you'll find more than a few and it's pretty nuts. Thickness is measured in nanometers so there's no problems with causing fitment issues, wear rates are much higher than anything else you've heard of, coefficient of friction is better than even any of the boron treatments, and the coating is so hard that it's been shown to help prevent stress cracks from forming in the material it's covering.

 

I'm sure once cost comes down (it's not just one coating, it's two) we'll be seeing more and more of this stuff in the marketplace, not just on guns, watches and space age engineering.

 

Thanks for the background.  Looks like I have some reading to do. :)

 

 

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More gun porn. Possibly NSFW.

 

FHUV7St.jpg

 

.

 

ry7Qrz0.jpg

 

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kfFZ5td.jpg

 

CK Arms custom: DLC Duplex Stainless with Chameleon controls.

STI Grandmaster: Hard Chrome with polished flats and painted roll marks.

S&W 22A: Stainless with brushed slide, polished barrel, painted cutouts.

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On 2/26/2020 at 11:51 AM, andersonj55126 said:

I recently had my slide coated with a composite electroless nickel coating with boron nitride particles.  This coating has a very low coefficient of friction.  The coating thickness is determined by bath time so you can pick desired thickness.  I chose a very thin coating of 0.3 mil because the slide was fairly new and already had a tight fit.

 

http://twincityplating.com/electroless-nickel-composite-plating-services.html

 

20200127_211116.jpg

 

 

That looks pretty slick.  Is it expensive?

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I'm interested in the black electroless nickel that twin city plating offers. I looked on their sight but didn't see prices. The slide above^ looks really good even though I normally don't like hard chrome type finishes. I wonder if refinishing later is labor intensive. 

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