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Old 11-10-2010, 02:57 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
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Nickel Plating a gun

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Any one know how I can Nickel plate a gun? is it something i can do at home and for how much? what do i need to do all of this? is there like a solution or something that i put on the gun?
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:51 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Madison, NH.
Posts: 5,459
short answer, no...
Not without purchasing alot of equipment and getting alot of chemicals.

Google or Wiki electroplating....see what's involved.

I used these folks for my hard chrome....
Chris in NH.

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Old 11-11-2010, 04:43 PM
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Location: Georgia
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I faintly recall intructions for nickel plating gun parts in George Nonte's book Pistolsmithing.
If I remember right, Nonte was giving instructions for plating small parts, not whole guns.
There are lots of people that do commercial plating of firearms - hard chrome, electroless nickel, all kinds of things.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:34 AM
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There is a lot of involved prep work, chemicals, acid dunk, cold water rinse etc. Even then it's a bit of a pain and I have quit offering the service. If you mess up the first try, you get to strip completely and start over. I would send it out.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:45 AM
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Yes, you actually can do electroless nickel plating (a reduction reaction process) at home. Brownells has the necessary supplies. IIRC, just three main chemicals are involved in addition to cleaning and degreasing, and those are a stripper for removing the remains of the old nickel, assuming you have any, muriatic acid for pickling and the electroless plating solution. Obviously, any polishing you wanted to do first would be an additional task involving additional equipment and supplies.

There's more detail to it than that, but I think Brownells still has a policy of sending their instructions out free on request. Call them and ask for that so you can read them and decide if it is worth it to you to do it yourself or not. Looks like at least $300 to get supplies.
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Last edited by unclenick; 11-12-2010 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:07 PM
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Plating is certainly something that can be done by the home gunsmith, but I don't think I'd undertake the mess or expense unless I had a lot of guns to do, or was simply burning with the desire to learn it. Before I'd tackle a gun, I'd do at least several test runs with a variety of junk items, just to be sure I was getting it right. As with any kind of gun finishing, surface prep is a major secret to success, and it's an entire art to itself. Either polishing or bead blasting will take a bit of effort to learn and some cash outlay for equipment. If I had a handgun or two I wanted plated, I'd probably find an experienced plater and pay him a resonable price, and just let it go with that. But that's just me.
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