Awesome! Lots of good oil or grease helps greatly.
How do you record the number of rounds? I’ve yet to find a way that suits me.
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Well, from a metallurgical standpoint, removing the couple thousandths of anodizing can't NOT have an affect on the frame. Does it weaken it, well, depends on what one defines as weaken, but it does expose it to several potential maladies such as potential for corrosion, lack of wear resistance, and risk of a scratch being a fatigue initiation site.
What those arguing for this (seems just for the sake of an argument) discount is the fact the electroless nickel is largely assuming the responsibility for those roles. I mean technically the anodizing itself, which is converting several thousandths of material into what amounts to a ceramic oxide, "weakens" the host material by removing those several thousandths of cross sectional area, thereby reducing the strength.
So I think the question, and in my view what Q is trying to answer, is does the electroless nickel do as good (or worse, or better) of a job as anodizing at protecting the underlying aluminum from wear, from corrosion, from fatigue, and how does the coating itself hold up in regards to longevity, ease of maintenance, and let's face it, appearance.
If only I had the time to take one of my non-Ni P228s and run a parallel test to Q, we'd have at least a control to compare his findings to, but I have no more time for that than getting back out the material science library in the den to further remember all the days spent studying material finishes.
Sorry for the tangent Q, I am interested to see how the finish fares as even though I've never really been a fan of the Ni appearance, I am interested in how it performs. So thanks for doing this.
Very impressive, all around! Thank you very much for contributing this!
Very impressive ! Nice test and documentation.
I will admit my OCD kicked in and it was almost physically painful to look at the photos of the gun dirty, and a huge relief to see the clean shots ! Thank you for not leaving me hanging !
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When I was contemplating doing the evaluation, I knew it was going to be a long term deal. I originally had planned to do a side-by-side testing between the Ni P228 and the black one, also mint condition. I actually started the first sessions with both, shooting 200 rds through each. But then, thinking it over, it was going to be just too much. Also, there are tons of black guns out there already that are well used. But, how often do you see a detailed documentation on a Ni SIG? I haven't seen one. So, the black gun was retired (I actually subsequently sold it). I know, it would have been ideal to keep going with both. But, what can I say. Someone else is going to have to pick up the slack.
Here are the pics of the first session with both guns.
Ni gun after 200 rds
Black gun at zero
Black gun after 200 rds
Also, prior to this, I was what you would call an occasional shooter. I probably averaged once-a-month shooting, with 200 rds top, if I'm lucky. Also, I kept reading folks shooting thousands of rounds through their guns. That was also a motivation for me to give mine a try, at the same time to see how the Ni gun will do in the long term. Yeah, 10,000 rounds is just the beginning. It looks promising so far. Of course, I'm not a metallurgist and have no special ways of detecting any micro defects. So, only to my unaided eyes, the frame looks good still, with some wear, but no exposed shiny aluminum. But really, the minimal barrel smileys are what surprised me more.
Nothing was replaced during this whole process. Springs and breech block pins are still original. Not surprisingly, you can actually feel the recoil spring getting softer/weaker now, at 10,000, compared to the beginning, when it was really stiff.
How do I keep round count? Easy. I wrote down exactly what I loaded and brought to the range each time. The rounds were all loaded and ready to shoot for each range trip. There was no need for breaks to reload the mags. Continuous shooting until I ran out of ammo.
That was great! Thank You for showing how to enjoy your Sig! VI
Very impressive! I'm glad to see that the original trigger bar spring held up so well. What did you use for actual cleaning?
Very interesting! Thanks so much for taking the time and such excellent pics. I may have missed it but what was your lubrication method/schedule? Did you just drip in in along the rails and locking surfaces or did you remove the slide?
Very impressive wear (or lack thereof) in my opinion.
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Thanks for the great pictures.
With legions of internet commandos posting YouTube videos of unrealistic torture tests, it was refreshing to read a review which addressed real world practicality. Thank you Q for investing the time and expense in conducting this test. Top marks indeed.
Just Break Free CLP. Let it soak a few minutes. Cleaned off pretty easy.
The EWL30 is something I would call a groil, since it's not as thick as some damn grease but not as runny as oil (like the plain EWL), and still hangs on the the surfaces. So, it's the main lube used for all sessions. Before each range trip, it's applied to the frame and slide rails, barrel's external, locking insert's surface, the portion of the breech block that contacts the hammer, and the hammer and sear area. During the stretches that I did not clean the gun, I simply applied it over the nasty crud. Yes, got to take off the slide to do this. During the early sessions, I also dripped some additional plain EWL onto the barrel and along the rails a couple of times, without taking off the slide. But then, I decided that was overkill, so I stopped using it.
Q, looking at the wear between the two pistols, would you say the nickel offered slightly more protection than the Nitron?
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Thank you for sharing Q! It only confirms why my KG 1996 two tone P228 that was my first SIG ever, is still one of my favorite pistols. I don't have anywhere near the round count in 20 years+ that you ran in 5 weeks (wow!) but I've never experienced a malfunction and is an excellent shooter. Of course mine being a two tone doesn't have a nickel frame and has never been quite that dirty between cleanings but it is certainly reassuring to know that it will hold up to substantially more neglect and wear than it ever has seen or likely will see anytime soon.
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Wow. Quite the report and wonderful pics.
I've never handled or shot a 228 and I think I now know why you love them so much!
How does the extractor look after 10,000 rounds?
And did the recoil spring still seem good after 10,000 rounds?
Thanks for sharing your information.
I don't think we can really say much, with just the 200 rounds through each at the beginning. The odd looking wear spot on the left frame rail of the black gun looks to me like it was due to some bur in the slide rail. But, I couldn't appreciate anything running a finger along it. Just strange. Btw, it's not Nitron. The frame is black hard anodized, and the slide is blued.
Extractor still looks sharp.
Recoil spring, as noted above, is definitely softer/weaker compared to the beginning, when it was quite stiff. Still works just fine, though. I'll keep going with it, until there are spring related malfunctions. We'll see how far it gets.
Thanks much for the effort you put into this report. It's heartening to see how your 228 stood up to the test. I feel much better about my own P Series Sigs - especially since I shoot them much less.
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Thank you for sharing this with all of us.
I appreciate the time and energy you put in this project.
Your documentation is exceptional, as is your collection.
To hell and back, baby!!!!!
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