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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a "AS" B-West import - how can I tell if it's stainless or nickel? I have a couple of nickel guns and a couple stainless, and it looks more like stainless than nickel to me.

Is there any easy and sure way to tell? I don't want to drill a hole in it or anything...

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not sure if I can see any pores, but they sure were not worried about machining the interior surfaces!

Your thoughts?
 

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Looks like stainless to me. The Colt .45 is satin nickel, the .380 is stainless. And the slide release on the .45 is stainless.
 

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I have one just like it and was trying to decide whether it was nickel or stainless also. I put a small scratch inside the mag well and cold blued it, but that was hard to tell. Finally, I decided mine must be stainless based on the very small machining marks in the safety groove. I would think if it was nickel plated that these very small scratches would've been filled in a bit.
 

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I don't have either a nickel or a stainless. If a magnet does not attact it, it is probably stainless. The converse does not work. So, not a perfect test.
 

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Its stainless steel.
In 2003, I purchased a B-West Stainless Steel 380 Makarov like yours, no rust in 2 years of sweat as my CCW. Smoothed the finish with 400 and 500 grit paper buffed all available surfaces. Gun Stainless Steel is normally in the SS 416 series, which is mildly magnetic. Technical info: http://www.alleghenyludlum.com/ludlum/Documents/303_416.pdf (iron is in excess of 80%). Hug inside my gun safe door since, considering selling it just has no idea its value. What the going price of a 380ACP SS Makarov today?
 

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They're nice pistols, I'd hold onto it. And .380 auto is starting to show up again on store shelves, so you can pick up a box in case you ever feel the urge to run some rounds through it.
 
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