Ask The Gunsmith
Ask The Gunsmith
Please fill out the form below to ask your question. The email, city, etc. are optional, but if your question requires a more detailed answer, or if I need additional information to answer your question, it will help to formulate better answers. Any general interest questions will be published below, with the corresponding answer. I will not publish any email address or other personal information.
I try to answer all questions submitted through my Web Site. However, on questions specific to obscure models, I will answer these questions to the email address you supply. Recently, people have been supplying incomplete email addresses, so in those cases--there will be no answer. If you really want an answer, I need a complete (and correct) email address. I do not sell, or in any way pass your email address on to others.
Recent Question: I have recently had a couple people ask my advice on restoring old guns, so at this time I will talk about restoring a nickel plated gun.
Do NOT take it to a production plating facility. They won't know how to properly disassemble, then reassemble your gun properly, nor will they know what not to plate. Even their process is not the best way to nickle plate a gun. Most platers use an electroplating process. It is fast and inexpensive, but uneven (especially on gun parts). Electrop0lating will plate thicker near sharp edges, and thinner on inside curved parts. Also, it is often porous, and so to have good corrosion resistance, it is often done too thick to allow close-tolerance parts like in firearms to fit properly.
Electroless nickle plating is far superior to electroplating for firearms. The thickness of the plating is not effected by the shape of the part, and thus, goes on evenly, and gives complete coverage even when only a few ten thousandths of and inch thick. This provides superior corrosion resistance and will not interfere with proper fitting of the parts.
I had a gun in my shop that had been taken to a production plater. The gun was a top-break revolver, and it looks like it was plated as three assemblies; the barrel assembly, the cylinder, and the complete frame. By replacing all the springs, and grinding off the plating in key areas, I was able to get the gun functioning again, but any collector value has been destroyed, and the gun still looks bad.