Nickel plating vs. Stock Chrome

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by voigts, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. voigts

    voigts New Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    Well as you can see, I'm new to KTOG. I'm about to purchase a P-3AT, and have been searching and reading extensively for finish options, but haven't found any really good user experience. I saw a post on here about Jack Fuselier's finishing service which seems very reasonable to me. Another poster said he was very satisfied with his finish.

    I want some kind of hard finish, and as you all know, the chrome ones are hard to come by and are far too often overpriced. I am therefore considering just buying a blued P-3AT, making sure that it fires OK, and then getting it nickel plated. I called and talked to Jack about the nickel finish, and he says that nickel is a better finish than the chrome that Kel-tec offers because their chrome plating is very cheap, and nickel offers better rust prevention.

    Does anyone have any experiences with chrome vs nickel and the pros and cons of each?

    I am also wondering if now is as good a time as any to make a purchase, or if anyone has any idea if prices/availability may go up or down in the near future?
  2. jpaul

    jpaul Member

    Apr 23, 2008
    The only thing I don't like about nickel, and this is on any gun by any company, is that nickel is soft. Softer than the metal under it. On a revolver this is ok since you don't have as many moving parts as on an auto that would show the finish flakeing off.
    I will also add that I have not owned any autos that were nickel plated so this is just my theory.
    I had my p-11 plated with Metalife, which is a type of chrome, the more it rubs against itself the slicker it gets.
    I think it was about 70 bucks plus shipping and that was for everthing metal on the pistol.
    There is some pictures on here somewhere on the p-11 forum if you wan to do a search.

  3. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Looks good to me. I have found nothing but good reviews about his work here on KTOG. Now you have me thinking about getting my park'd P32 plated by him but I hate to be without it for any length of time. :-/

    I think it would be a little cheaper having a blue KT plated and easier than trying to find a stock HC model. Also the matte finish would be better for a ccw because it shouldn't reflect light as much.

    I'd like to hear feedback about having a park'd slide plated if anyone has had their's done.

  4. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Nickle canhold up quite nicely. While not a KelTec, this P38 which was plated sometime in the late '40s - early '50s only has a little wear on the frame where the slide runs. Nothing visible tho.

  5. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
  6. virtual-rj

    virtual-rj New Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Houston, TX
    cera-hide in brushed stainless looks nice.
  7. voigts

    voigts New Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    I read that article on his site about what he thinks of Chrome and nickel. I however don't know the process involved with the Chrome that Kel-tec uses, and therefore am only going on his feedback.

    That gun from the 40s or 50s looks pretty good, but I doubt it was carried on a concealed basis given its size. That is what I am wondering. How nickel holds up on a daily concealed basis.

    I guess the only real potential drawback at having a gun plated not from the factory is that if you have to send it in for warranty service for some reason, you could potentially lose your plating in the even that the slide has to be replaced.
  8. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Except that once you have your pistol there is no getting the factory to plate it, they don't offer that as an after purchase option.

    You could outright purchase a new slide I guess. Or you could contact apwcogan (I think that is right) who does (or at least used to do) the plating for KT.

  9. alamo

    alamo New Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Jack has plated 4 of my KTs and the 5th is hard chrome from KT. The nickel and chrome finishes are very durable. No problems with either.

    Cosmetically, I would give a slight edge to the chrome although the nickel looks great too. For me anyway, the additional cost of getting chrome these days is not worth it.
  10. Wessinger03r6

    Wessinger03r6 New Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    I definately like the two tone kel tec. I had mine coated by a guy on here before i sold it. It was Titanium boron cobalt nitride or something. It looked good, but I would've gone for the factory hard chrome if I had it to do over.
  11. voigts

    voigts New Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    That's good to know. At least the nickel seems then to be on par with chrome.
  12. voigts

    voigts New Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    After much searching and chewing, I finally found and just purchased a chrome P-3AT off of for $316 shipped using a VISA for payment $279 buy it now + $25 shipping +4% for using a CC). I have the FFL transfer fee also. I seriously thought about just going with the nickel plating, but when it is all said and done, buying a blued P-3AT and having it plated would run maybe $10 less than getting chrome (blued is currently $270 shipped at budsgunshop +$40 for plating and shipping), and with chrome, if I have any issues in the future that would require warranty work, I don't have to be concerned with having my slide replaced and losing my plating. Hopefully it will come in Friday so that I can take it with me to the range Saturday morning at the gun safety carry class I'm taking Friday/Sat to get my permit.