Why you shouldn't chrome your gun

Discussion in 'Gunsmith shop' started by lklawson, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Master Gunsmith, Bob Dunlap, explains why you shouldn't have your gun chrome plated.

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlfdmIl4eko"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlfdmIl4eko[/ame]

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  2. ekim

    ekim Member

    Can you say chrome plated barrels on many AR's and other weapons. I've never heard of mass barrel failures! I'm not buying his reasoning.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015

  3. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_embrittlement

    "Hydrogen embrittlement is the process by which various metals, most importantly high-strength steel, become brittle and fracture following exposure to hydrogen. Hydrogen embrittlement is often the result of unintentional introduction of hydrogen into susceptible metals during forming or finishing operations and increases cracking in the material.

    [...]

    Hydrogen embrittlement can occur during various manufacturing operations or operational use - anywhere that the metal comes into contact with atomic or molecular hydrogen. Processes that can lead to this include cathodic protection, phosphating, pickling, and electroplating."​

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  4. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I could see it being an issue where heavy plating is required or desired.
     
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I'd bet that amateur (me) plating and some small after-market electroplating shops are more at risk than a full on industrial shop.

    How do industrial shops do Hard Chrome plating? From what I recall it isn't electroplated over nickel (which is over copper) any longer. Some sort of electroless plate apparently.

    I'll have to hunt around and see if I can find it.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  6. Maybe, but I just have not heard of a lot of failures on chrome guns. Plating is only a surface treatment, and it may well make the surface more brittle. Chrome plating has been done on high stress parts, without vacuum treatment, for decades. Such things as motorcycle chains, engine parts, one motorcycle manufacturer(Bridgestone) chrome plated the cylinder walls.

    Small springs? No I would not chrome plate those. Firing pin, oh hell no.
     
  7. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    From all of my chroming experience, watching American Chopper, I believe you are correct.

    BAL SEAL actually says that thin dense plating is the best for cylinders and interior surfaces and inside diameters because it is smoother, more durable, consistent, less prone to cracking, and better corrosion resistance.

    It also describes how the base metal hardness, type (ferrous/non-ferrous), and porosity is a factor on which chroming process should be selected and what additional layers should be applied beneath the finish plating layer to yield the best results..

    It also says nickel plating has the best corrosion resistance of the plating types.

    Bal Seal Plating PDF
     
  8. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    I've shot a nickel plated 1911 and frankly it sucks.
    As soon as your hands get a little sweaty it's a pain to rack the slide.
    Nice looking gun though.
     
  9. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    And you look like a pimp.
     
  10. How about chrome lined barrels? Much harder surface, supposed to be more durable...? Mostly on expensive barrels. As it is, it's not so much of a plate as it becomes part of the steel. Not quite like a plated bumper where it can peel.

    Who knows. Much of it is marketing BS, So we have any real chemists/scientists/metallurgists here that can affirmatively verify this info? The video, albeit from a "master gunsmith" was limp. he kept exchanging the terms "molecular and atom".
    They are NOT interchangeable. An atom is NOT a molecule and vise-versa. Plating is several thousandths thick... a coating if you will. that's why chrome can peel from corrosion underneath. In a chromed barrel (because it is inside and reinforces itself, it is much more solid.

    On the other hand, if the chrome "becomes part of the steel" rather than being a coating, it would be more brittle as it's harder.
    again, a question for a metallurgist.

    Need a scientific' metallurgic explanation of this for further valid discussion.

    Anyone know someone of this field?
     
  11. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    Branth, ask your professor for us.;)
     
  12. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Check out that PDF I posted a few replies up. It covers the electroplating process and what it really does. It doesn't become a part of the metal, it bonds to the metal creating a coating on the surface of varying thickness depending on the process.
     
  13. papataylor

    papataylor Member

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    Unless you're talking about Hydrogen, then it's fairly interchangeable.
     
  14. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    That's true, and he did mention that in his rather homey, animated, speech.

    Hydrogen is a wonky atom and a wonky molecule too. If memory serves, it's the only atom which can be both a positive ion and simultaneously a type of radiation (ims, stripping the electron makes an Ion which is also an Apha radiation). H2 is also a wonky molecule. It "prefers" to bond again (H2O for example). And, of course, even the H2 molecule is small compared to some atoms.

    Now, honestly, I have no idea if Hydrogen Entitlement from plating is really that much of a danger to firearms. I'd guess probably not based on how much plating actually goes on in the gun industry. I'd guess that liability and warranty concerns would likely have stopped it by now if it were that prominent and dangerous.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  15. colthrash

    colthrash Member

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    oh great, now even hydrogen feels entitled... pork
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  16. papataylor

    papataylor Member

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    Hydrogen ion = Br√łnsted-Lowry acid
    - redox reactions, carboxylic acid reactions, etc.

    Radiation? It can be a radioactive molecule, it also forms the the hydrogen 21-cm line (shows change in energy state), also forms free radicals. But I hadn't heard of it being a type of radiation (unless there's a molecule that emits a H+ ion as a result of radiation). I'll have to look into it!

    Hydrogen is odd. At times it behaves as its own molecule, but most of the time it's a tag along, needy little guy dependent on more electronegative atoms. Yet without it, life wouldn't be possible.
     
  17. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    It's been well over a decade since my last chemistry class, so I'm a little foggy on the radiation types. Isn't an Alpha particle the emission of a helium atom (two protons and two neutrons)? Or is it a proton bonded with a neutron that gets emitted? A Beta particle is when a neutron splits into a proton and an electron, with the electron being emitted, right?
     
  18. papataylor

    papataylor Member

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    Alpha - 2 P+'s and 2 N's
    Beta - E-
    Gamma is a simple photon
     
  19. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter


    mmmmmmm, pork.....

    wife and kid went to Florida yesterday so I ate a half pound of bacon all by myself this morning..... :D:D:D
     
  20. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    After the dirty bomb:

    Dude 1: Why do you sound like a chipmunk?

    Dude 2: I got bombarded with Alpha particles.

    Du- Dum-Tss!