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Old 12-03-2010, 15:28   #1
awpk03s
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Hard Chrome Wear/Corrosion

Don't want to sidetrack the other thread about Manly's fine NHC Heinie Tactical Carry pistol - but here are some photos of the wear of the hard chrome finish on my NHC Heinie Tactical Carry pistol.

The gun is 4-5 months old, and I carry it IWB maybe 1-2 days a week. I am pretty disheartened by this on such a new gun, how will it look after years of use?

Nighthawk told me that they have seen this type of corrosion before, and that different people's body chemistry/sweat etc can affect the chrome like this.

I'm working with them now to get it re-finished.

Anyone else have experience with this on hard chrome??

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Old 12-03-2010, 16:11   #2
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I don't have one, but I shot someones HC Colt that looked just like that.
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Old 12-03-2010, 16:19   #3
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4-5 months old and it looks like that? That is the factory finish? I think I'd blow a sh1tfit about a close to $3,000 gun and that happened after 4-5 months. Hopefully they make it right for you.
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Old 12-03-2010, 16:28   #4
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Chrome tends to be talked up a lot by folks who like to take pictures of their guns rather than shoot them. The chrome 1911 that I had was the only gun that I ever seriously scratched (it scratched very easily) and the only one I ever had corrosion issues with (even when given "proper" care). And FWIW this was a $3k factory "custom" that I bought brand new and not some POS that had been bubba'd.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Chrome plating can also make the actual parts brittle which can lead to premature breakage. Of course you have to actually shoot the pistol to find that out.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Bottom line is that the benefits of this finish are largely overstated on all of these forums. It certainly looks nice, but it is not the choice of the serious shooter. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
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Old 12-03-2010, 16:43   #5
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Originally Posted by awpk03s View Post
Don't want to sidetrack the other thread about Manly's fine NHC Heinie Tactical Carry pistol - but here are some photos of the wear of the hard chrome finish on my NHC Heinie Tactical Carry pistol.

The gun is 4-5 months old, and I carry it IWB maybe 1-2 days a week. I am pretty disheartened by this on such a new gun, how will it look after years of use?

Nighthawk told me that they have seen this type of corrosion before, and that different people's body chemistry/sweat etc can affect the chrome like this.

I'm working with them now to get it re-finished

Anyone else have experience with this on hard chrome??

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I have seen that before. A 1911 and a Hi-Power both done by APW. I bought a used Eclipse Compact that had craters in the same area from being carried. I sanded, filed and blasted then finally cerakoted it. I is now my carry gun. Not bad for $350.00. Body chemistries vary. Cerakote holds up well against sweat.

Last edited by DRAGON1970; 12-03-2010 at 16:46..
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Old 12-03-2010, 19:20   #6
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Originally Posted by Carrots View Post
Chrome tends to be talked up a lot by folks who like to take pictures of their guns rather than shoot them. The chrome 1911 that I had was the only gun that I ever seriously scratched (it scratched very easily) and the only one I ever had corrosion issues with (even when given "proper" care). And FWIW this was a $3k factory "custom" that I bought brand new and not some POS that had been bubba'd.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Chrome plating can also make the actual parts brittle which can lead to premature breakage. Of course you have to actually shoot the pistol to find that out.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Bottom line is that the benefits of this finish are largely overstated on all of these forums. It certainly looks nice, but it is not the choice of the serious shooter. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Blah blah blah. Hardchrome is one of the hardest, most corrosion resistant finishes out there. Period. Yes, it can show wear over time, but not much. And when applied properly will outlast you. If you have issues with hardchrome, then odds are, it was the person who applied it. And someone who knows what they are doing can remedy that. There are also other good finishes out there as well. But hardchrome is right up at the top of the list. Oh, and it looks pretty damn good too.
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Old 12-03-2010, 19:51   #7
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Well for a pistol that was closer to $4k than $3k, and to witness this kind of wear after what I'd consider "limited" use in the grand scheme of things - I'm not that pleased with it.

It's a Metaloy finish, and I know they stand behind their work, but it's just disheartening that it's wearing so quickly.

glock2740 - I know you have many very fine HC guns. Do any of your carry pieces exhibit this kind of condition?
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Old 12-03-2010, 19:56   #8
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Well for a pistol that was closer to $4k than $3k, and to witness this kind of wear after what I'd consider "limited" use in the grand scheme of things - I'm not that pleased with it.

It's a Metaloy finish, and I know they stand behind their work, but it's just disheartening that it's wearing so quickly.

glock2740 - I know you have many very fine HC guns. Do any of your carry pieces exhibit this kind of condition?
I would give Chris a call. I've heard nothing but good things about dealing with him.
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Old 12-03-2010, 19:59   #9
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I have a Colt Commander that was hardchromed by Virgil Tripp that shows some wear on it, but it is not any kind of issue. I bought the gun used and it was carried ALOT. It still looks great though and the slight wear marks give it character. It's actually my favorite 1911 to CC. Chris does GREAT work and will stand behind every inch of it, without a doubt. If I were you, I would go through NH to get it resolved, on their dime, but I would give Chris at Metaloy a call and he can tell you everything you need to know. Best guy in the business handsdown.

Last edited by glock2740; 12-03-2010 at 20:00..
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Old 12-03-2010, 20:16   #10
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Hard Chrome has the best abrasion resistance of any of the firearm finishes. Corrosion resistance on the other hand is not even close to some of the other finishes.
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Old 12-03-2010, 20:21   #11
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"not even close"? That's a pretty far fetched statement. There may be a FEW other finishes that are better at corrosion protection, but they are alot newer than hardchrome. HC has stood the test of time. It's not the "best" finish out there, but it's right up at the top. Even you say that it has superior abrasive resistance. So, that alone speaks volumes in itself. The OP just needs to have Chris take a look at it and everything will be just fine and dandy.

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Old 12-03-2010, 20:32   #12
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I've got a stainless Colt I've carried almost daily for ten years and it doesn't have a bit of wear like that. I'd be highly pissed!
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Old 12-03-2010, 20:52   #13
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I've got a stainless Colt I've carried almost daily for ten years and it doesn't have a bit of wear like that. I'd be highly pissed!
Stainless isn't a finish. Apples to oranges.
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Old 12-03-2010, 20:57   #14
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"not even close"? That's a pretty far fetched statement.


I'm not going to go on a fact finding mission to support my statement because it's been a very long day, but the data is out there. Hard Chrome, no matter who does it, can barely come close to 100 hours of salt spray testing. Compare that to most of the Teflon polymer coatings that can go 2,000 hours or so. To me 10 or 20 times the corrosion resistance means HC doesn't come close to the spray and bake finishes.
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Old 12-03-2010, 21:24   #15
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I'm not going to go on a fact finding mission to support my statement because it's been a very long day, but the data is out there. Hard Chrome, no matter who does it, can barely come close to 100 hours of salt spray testing. Compare that to most of the Teflon polymer coatings that can go 2,000 hours or so. To me 10 or 20 times the corrosion resistance means HC doesn't come close to the spray and bake finishes.
HC is superior in scratch resistance. Correct? As for salt spray, I used to live in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, but didn't carry my guns swimming. Salt spray is relevant, but yet, irrelevant to the OP's issue. Personally, I'm more worried about how tough the finish is, as apposed to how many hours on the deck of a ship at sea it can withstand. In my personal opinion, if salt spray and scratching is a big deal, then Tennifer is high on the list. I treat my Glocks like ****. And they look damn near brand new. FWIW, here's something I found that contradicts the 100 hour salt spray test, by ten fold. http://www.hardchrome.com.au/documen...ctrolessNi.pdf

I could give a rat's ass either way. I like and believe in hardchrome. It works for me and if I was gonna put my gun through a ton of abuse, then I would just grab one of my Glocks out of the safe. Notice my signature line.
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Old 12-03-2010, 21:54   #16
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Stainless isn't a finish. Apples to oranges.
All the more reason to start out with a stainless gun instead of paying a couple hundred to have a carbon steel gun coated with a finish that wears that quickly.
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Old 12-03-2010, 22:06   #17
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All the more reason to start out with a stainless gun instead of paying a couple hundred to have a carbon steel gun coated with a finish that wears that quickly.
Stainless will rust WAY before hardchrome. And I'm a stainless fan myself.
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Old 12-03-2010, 23:02   #18
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Hate to break to the chrome haters spreading internet lore but it's STILL one of the best finishes out there due to wear and resistance. Nighthawk has a point about body chemistry, I've seen guys that will rust a brand new glock in a week if they aren't careful and glocks don't rust....... EVER!!!.....
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Old 12-04-2010, 04:19   #19
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FWIW, here's something I found that contradicts the 100 hour salt spray test, by ten fold. http://www.hardchrome.com.au/documen...ctrolessNi.pdf



Only problem is that's not chrome.
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:35   #20
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my hard chromed carbon steel 2002 Kimber looks like the day Tripp Research did the job (and it is carried but not every day anymore)...there is much to do with application...Hard Chrome is very resistant to scratching etc...there are better for corrosion resistance but it isn't bad there either but they still need care like any applied finish...stainless needs care too but it is a bit more forgiving because you can usually "fix" it since it is not a finish...
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but like anything...something harder WILL scratch it (like if you futz up assembly with the slide stop)
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:55   #21
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Ok, I am no hard chrome expert, but I have had MANY, MANY hard chromed guns and slides done over the years.

Some guys will claim that is is a great rust proof finish, but it is not. I did a LOT, LOT of reading before I got my 1st gun hard chromed years ago. I also called several places and asked a lot of questions.

Back when Tripp did hard chrome, he had some detailed info on his website. Hard chrome is NOT a good finish for rust protection, but wear protection.

Hard chrome has microscopic pores/holes. From what I have read, this can vary in each actual specimen that gets hard chromes. Because of these pores, sweat can get thru the finish and cause problems.

Now, some companies seem to have a better method/formula that lessens these microscopic cracks - that is why some guns seem to resist rust better than others. But honestly, there is no way to know this without just waiting to see if the gun rusts or not.

About 7 years ago, I saw a post about a guy who had a Kimber done by Tripp - he shot it at a match in the summer, and put it away in the case that evening. When he got homer, he forgot to take it out - the next morning, he took it out, and the finish was ruined on the front strap area...

Do NOT expect hard chrome to be a great rust proof finish. NP3 is the best for that. Even Nighthawk's permacoat is better for this (but permacoat wears easily)

My Custom Shop Springfield Operator is hard Chromed. I will not carry it concealed because it is hard chromed. I spent way too much for it to develop rust issues. Sometimes I wish I had gone with black T or armory koat, so I could carry it concealed. And, the gun is so super tight that I won't risk another layer of finish over the hard chrome.

And, because of what I know, I'm not willing to risk it no matter what others n forums claim to know about hard chrome. Personally, I'd only carry a polymer handgun with a hard chromed slide (concealed) as a daily carry (which I did). The sweat shield will cover the slide, and the grip is plastic. If you can open carry or carry as an LEO, then you will be fine, as the gun won't make contact with the skin then.

If using a leather holster, it will take a LONG, LONG time to wear the finish. I carried my P99c (with hard chromed slide) for years in a leather holster, and I took it in and out the
holster every day. It did not effect the finish at all. That is why I love it...

However, if you use a hard, polymer holster, it will make the contact points a bit "shiny."

Last edited by Shipwreck-The-Sequel; 12-04-2010 at 07:58..
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:40   #22
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yes, you do need to oil it and I always wipe mine down...nice post Shipwreck...
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Old 12-04-2010, 21:17   #23
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yes, you do need to oil it and I always wipe mine down...nice post Shipwreck...
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Old 12-04-2010, 21:44   #24
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Stainless isn't a finish. Apples to oranges.
Ya but his point was well made.
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Old 12-04-2010, 22:14   #25
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Hate to break to the chrome haters spreading internet lore but it's STILL one of the best finishes out there due to wear and resistance...
Agreed. There is a huge difference between how little wear there is on my chrome TRS, versus how much there is on virtually every other carry gun I own.
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