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Nickel plating has been around for decades and there are definite do's and don't's that I am sure need some airing. I know for a fact chlorides are detrimental to SS steels, but what about nickel plating? Most commercial polishes contain ammonia.... There is something I had heard about one flavor of Hoppe's (this should be true to any maker) that wasn't good on nickel plating because of the chemical that also ate copper fouling? True?

Figured this Forum was the best place to ask. I have always kinda shied away from nickel plated guns due to the flaking issue but I have found a nice antique revolver with some minor flaking. Just don't want to degrade it any further.

Draybo
 

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Well ammonia is not a chloride-you would probably be fine with those but why bother? Bleach does have chlorine in it and I would keep that away from any metal. Probably wouldn't hurt nickel plating much but could definitely cause oxidation over time from leftover residue.
 

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Nickel plating usually peels off when salt of some sort gets under the nickel and corrosion of the underlying metal takes place, loosening bit of plating bit by bit.

Hoppe's #9 is not corrosive to metal but a good rubdown with a clean rag and then gun oil after cleaning the bore should remove any residue or grime.
 

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Life of Nickel plating is determined by the prep work of the plater and quality of the product used. Stored in a dry atmosphere is a plus as once the plating starts to lift it is all down hill. I have plating jobs that are 100 years + old and in mint condition. Cheapo plating and poor storage will not contribute to a long life. I lightly wipe mine with a high quality oil and wipe it off. Don't over do it and store in a dry area without contaminants. It is interesting to note the type of deterioration of plating. Some will pell off/chip and others develop little micro specs of corrosion. This may be due to quality of steel used and the prep work. I read the comments of a Paterson Colt collector on maintaining the quality of bluing on the same. He knew of a collector who had over a dozen or more Pattersons and put them in a wooden box, put in a layer of moth balls to"preserve" the pistols. Unfortunately in time they became an amalgamated mass of rust. Not even good for parts! So storage is important.
An old Iver Johnson with mint plating is worth 10 times the value of one in poor plating,
Subvet
 

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I believe that the first coating when plating steel is copper thus the reason Hoppes and ammonia are not good on nickel plated arms. The next coating on the copper is the nickel. For car parts the top coating is a thin wash of chrome. The chrome keeps the nickel from being oxidized and thus the copper base. If you plan on handling the piece a fine non acidic oil is the best you can do. If on display I use a high quality car wax.
 
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