Home /
Search 🔍
the Site
pub Where the world gathers for
plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989


Stripping chrome to restore authenticity


I have a question or two regarding chrome removal. We have a full machine shop and recently I acquired some rifle barrels. Unfortunately these WWII barrels were chrome plated on the lugs located on the discharge end of the barrels There are three square spots approximately 1/2" x 1" long on each barrel which are chrome plated for reasons I won't get into. I need to remove this and would prefer a muriatic acid method. I have researched this process but can't find out how I tell when the chrome is gone. Someone said to wait until the bubbling action stops, but will not the metal barrel also bubble as it is corroded away?

How do I tell when process is complete?

Thank you,


Thomas Smith
- Tuscaloosa, Alabama


The attack should slow dramatically when the chrome is gone, such that "wait until the bubbling stops" may not be as puzzling as you think. However, I would never practice on an item of value like this. Further, you did not say whether there is nickel under the chrome or not. Take them to a plating shop.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


The gun barrel is a hardened high strength steel. You will get some hydrogen embrittlement from Muriatic Acid [affil link]. The barrel needs to be stress relieved immediately after the strip at 350F for 4 hours. Otherwise it is subject to eventual failure if fired enough times.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

finishing.com is made possible by ...
this text gets replaced with bannerText
spacer gets replaced with bannerImages

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2023 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA