Firearm Plating | Hard Chrome Specialists (2022)

Firearm Plating | Hard Chrome Specialists (1)

You might think of firearms as rugged tools designed to withstand a lot of use and abuse. While firearms are built to last, they are also subject to wear and tear. Improper storage, lack of cleaning and exposure to the elements can damage the finish on a gun. For that reason, many people who own firearms decide to plate them.

Some types of firearm plating, such as gold plating, are purely decorative. Others, such as electroless nickel plating and hard chrome plating, offer functional benefits to a gun. Whether you are a current gun owner or are considering becoming one, you can learn more about the benefits of plating a gun and what your plating options are below.

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Firearm Plating Options

What is Decorative Firearm Plating?

Firearm plating options range from decorative to functional. Decorative plating typically covers the gun in shiny metal. Silver and gold plating are two common examples of decorative plating for firearms. Gold or silver can be added to the entire surface of the firearm or only to specific areas. Although the gold or silver metal does offer some protection against wear and tear, people who gold or silver plate their firearms are typically doing so for show and aesthetic reasons.

What Are the Most Durable Firearm Plating Options?

If you’re interested in improving the function of your firearms or making them more resistant to wear, corrosion and rust, you’ll want to choose a harder plating option.Hard chrome platingis one choice.Electroless nickel platingis another. Electroless nickel plating produces a finish harder than the finish created by electroplating.

What Are the Best Materials for Firearm Plating?

When deciding on the type of material to plate your firearm with, an important thing to consider is the gun’s material. Typically, firearms are made of one of the following materials:

  • Aluminum:Plating an aluminum firearm typically requires a few more steps than plating other metals, especially if a gun owner wants to gold plate the gun. For example, an aluminum gun will most likely require nickel electroplating before the gold plate can be applied.
  • Stainless steel:Stainless steelfirearms already contain more nickel and chromium than firearms made from steel alloys. They can still be plated with nickel or chrome to improve their durability and minimize corrosion.
  • Steel:Steelis one of the most commonly used metals, although it isn’t particularly strong. Hard chrome plating or nickel plating improves a steel gun’s corrosion resistance.

Firearm Plating | Hard Chrome Specialists (2)

Firearm Chrome Plating

Can you chrome plate a gun? Yes, but it’s definitely a job to leave to the professionals.Chrome platinga firearm involves bathing the gun in an electrochemical bath, then coating the surface with chromium. Before the plating process begins, the gun needs to be cleaned. Cleaning usually involves applying a solvent to the firearm’s surface to dissolve away grease, dirt and other debris. After being wiped clean, the gun is rinsed to remove the solvent.

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Chrome plating a firearm is a precise process that requires ample expertise and know-how. When the firearm is in the electrochemical bath, the current must be well-controlled so the chemical reaction that pulls the chromium to the gun’s surface can occur, producing a well-adhered, hard layer. The chrome plating’s final result depends on the level of hardness you want and the type of finish you’re after.

What Are the Pros of Chrome Plating a Gun?

The most significant benefit of hard chrome plating a gun is that doing so dramatically improves the firearm’s corrosion resistance. Guns are sensitive and can rust quickly in the right conditions. When stored in a humid area or exposed to moisture for an extended period, the gun will rust and corrode. While chrome plating your firearm isn’t an excuse to store it improperly or avoid other care measures, it can provide an extra layer of protection that extends your firearm’s usable life.

Even though hard chrome plating is more for function than form, it can enhance your gun’s aesthetics. The plating creates an appealing, shiny surface on the firearm.

What Are the Cons of Chrome Plating a Gun?

A potential drawback of chrome plating a gun is the cost of doing so. It’s a job for a professional since the process involves a lot of careful calibration and precision. If you don’t use your firearm much and store it properly when it’s not in use, the expense of chrome plating might not be worth it.

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Firearm Nickel Plating

Can you nickel plate a gun? Yes, but as with chrome plating, it’s a job best left to a professional.Electroless nickel platingis ideal for gun materials that aren’t as conductive as steel or stainless steel. It is also appropriate for steel guns.

Electroless nickel plating replaces the electrical current that traditionally adheres nickel to another material with catalysts, which allows for a more even coating. The electroless process is ideal for objects with an unusual shape, as it can hold very tight tolerances.

What Are the Pros of Nickel Plating a Gun?

Since electroless nickel plating produces a more even surface on the gun, one of its benefits is that it provides excellent corrosion resistance. Although it doesn’t provide a finish as hard as hard chrome plating, it does offer a much harder and more durable finish than the unplated firearm would have.

Another benefit of electroless nickel plating is that the process works on a wider variety of materials, including aluminum and plastic. Finally, it can help improve your firearm’s aesthetic appeal by creating a shiny, bright coating.

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What Are the Cons of Nickel Plating a Gun?

As with chrome plating, a potential drawback of nickel plating a firearm is its cost. Nickel plating can be a good option if your gun sees a lot of use but might not be the right choice if you hardly use it. Another drawback of nickel plating is that the finished surface won’t be as hard as hard chrome. If you are particularly concerned about durability and corrosion resistance and your firearm is made of a material that can be chrome-plated, hard chrome might be the better option.

Firearm Plating From Hard Chrome Specialists

Whether you decide on chrome plating or nickel plating, who you work with to plate your firearm makes a major difference. Hard Chrome Specialists has more than 30 years of experience offering hard chrome and electroless nickel plating to our clients. To learn more about our services and the process of plating a firearm,contact ustoday.

Aluminum: Plating an aluminum firearm typically requires a few more steps than plating other metals, especially if a gun owner wants to gold plate the gun. For example, an aluminum gun will most likely require nickel electroplating before the gold plate can be applied.Stainless steel: Stainless steel firearms already contain more nickel and chromium than firearms made from steel alloys. They can still be plated with nickel or chrome to improve their durability and minimize corrosion.Steel: Steel is one of the most commonly used metals, although it isn’t particularly strong. Hard chrome plating or nickel plating improves a steel gun’s corrosion resistance." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Can You Chrome Plate a Firearm?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Yes, but it’s definitely a job to leave to the professionals. Chrome plating a firearm involves bathing the gun in an electrochemical bath, then coating the surface with chromium. Before the plating process begins, the gun needs to be cleaned. Cleaning usually involves applying a solvent to the firearm’s surface to dissolve away grease, dirt and other debris. After being wiped clean, the gun is rinsed to remove the solvent.

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Chrome plating a firearm is a precise process that requires ample expertise and know-how. When the firearm is in the electrochemical bath, the current must be well-controlled so the chemical reaction that pulls the chromium to the gun’s surface can occur, producing a well-adhered, hard layer. The chrome plating’s final result depends on the level of hardness you want and the type of finish you’re after." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What Are the Pros of Chrome Plating a Gun?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The most significant benefit of hard chrome plating a gun is that doing so dramatically improves the firearm’s corrosion resistance. Guns are sensitive and can rust quickly in the right conditions. When stored in a humid area or exposed to moisture for an extended period, the gun will rust and corrode. While chrome plating your firearm isn’t an excuse to store it improperly or avoid other care measures, it can provide an extra layer of protection that extends your firearm’s usable life." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What Are the Cons of Chrome Plating a Gun?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A potential drawback of chrome plating a gun is the cost of doing so. It’s a job for a professional since the process involves a lot of careful calibration and precision. If you don’t use your firearm much and store it properly when it’s not in use, the expense of chrome plating might not be worth it." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Can You Nickel Plate a Gun?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Yes, but as with chrome plating, it’s a job best left to a professional. Electroless nickel plating is ideal for gun materials that aren’t as conductive as steel or stainless steel. It is also appropriate for steel guns.

Electroless nickel plating replaces the electrical current that traditionally adheres nickel to another material with catalysts, which allows for a more even coating. The electroless process is ideal for objects with an unusual shape, as it can hold very tight tolerances." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What Are the Pros of Nickel Plating a Gun?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Since electroless nickel plating produces a more even surface on the gun, one of its benefits is that it provides excellent corrosion resistance. Although it doesn’t provide a finish as hard as hard chrome plating, it does offer a much harder and more durable finish than the unplated firearm would have.

Another benefit of electroless nickel plating is that the process works on a wider variety of materials, including aluminum and plastic. Finally, it can help improve your firearm’s aesthetic appeal by creating a shiny, bright coating." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What Are the Cons of Nickel Plating a Gun?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "As with chrome plating, a potential drawback of nickel plating a firearm is its cost. Nickel plating can be a good option if your gun sees a lot of use but might not be the right choice if you hardly use it. Another drawback of nickel plating is that the finished surface won’t be as hard as hard chrome. If you are particularly concerned about durability and corrosion resistance and your firearm is made of a material that can be chrome-plated, hard chrome might be the better option." } }]}

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