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topic 4760

Nickel on firearms


What kind of nickel is used to plate guns?

We used watts nickel but had pitting and bad adhesion problems on the barrel. We also used electroless nickel but the color was not shiny and to the customer liking.Is there a special way or solution to plate guns in nickel? We are looking for something shiny and shock, heat , and wear resistant.

veronica dewis
- Florida, USA

First of two simultaneous responses-- (2000)

You really need to say what the barrel is made of, but,

Pitting is either a pretreatment problem or a lack of anti-pit in the Watt's bath. You might want to measure the surface tension and adjust as required.

Adhesion problems could be a pretreatment problem or a deposit stress problem. Since you also have pitting, you might want to first examine the pre plate cycle to make sure that first, it is effective (and this will depend on the nature of the soil and the substrate metal), and, second, that the pretreatment is not causing any damage on its own.

If it turns out that the adhesion problem is one of deposit stress, you might want to consider a sulfamate bath instead of watts.

James Totter
James Totter, CEF
- Tallahassee, Florida

Second of two simultaneous responses-- (2000)

There is something bad wrong with your process if you pitted a gun that was not previously pitted.

EN is the most wear resistant and corrosion resistant of all the nickels. It can be deformulated by any vendor to have less shine. Glass beading will reduce the apparent shine also.

Chrome plating is another alternative.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

p.s. (2000)

Oops, I did not read the question correctly. EN can be absolutely brilliant, brighter than a new dime. This tank had to be out of specification or contaminated with something, probably another metal.


Thank you for your answers .

The barrel is made of high carbon steel.

The problem is not pitting but rather stripping and peeling of the plate once the gun is fired.

Will sulfamate nickel look as shiny as watts nickel?

veronica dewis



James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

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