At Black Collar Arms we have had the pleasure of creating some really awesome custom Pork Sword Pistols for our customers. We’ve done a bunch of really unique Cerakote jobs (example 1, example 2), a few trick anodizing jobs (example 1, example 2), and, now, a head-to-toe completely chromed out pistol. To be clear, we don’t do Cerakote, anodizing, or chrome plating in-house so we really can’t take credit for this part of the work . . .
But we’re certainly very happy to have found skilled vendors capable of bringing our ideas and our customers’ ideas to life.
In the case of this chrome plating work, which was a customer request, Manchaca Suppressors & Rifle Works just south of Austin, TX here put the metal to the metal. This isn’t paint, it’s actual chrome plating like you’d do on a bumper or an exhaust pipe. And if you aren’t from here, that’s pronounced “man-shack.”
To plate the aluminum Pork Sword Chassis and Handguard, plus the aluminum optic rail, bolt knob, magazine catch, etc., Manchaca Suppressors first copper plates these parts. Copper will bond to aluminum during the plating process. Once that’s done and polished mirror smooth, they can then nickel chrome plate the parts as they do with all of the steel components.
Then, of course, comes what I can only assume is hours of polishing to provide a blemish-free mirror finish.
A little shift in focus and the Pork Sword nearly disappears, showing more of what’s behind the camera than what’s in front of it.
Focus on the Chassis.
Focus on stuff in the reflection.
Handguard and barrel (the chrome is sooo deep and amazingly flawless, like a pool of mercury, on the spiral fluted X-Caliber barrel).
If you haven’t photographed a chromed out firearm, I don’t recommend it. It’s a pain in the butt.
All-in, having these parts chrome plated ran $1,400. That’s Black Collar’s actual cost, which we just passed directly onto this customer.
Certainly not for the faint of heart or light of wallet. But, dang, does it stand out!
Somehow defying the laws of physics, the mirror chrome plating is both fragile and durable simultaneously.
When brought to a flawlessly flat, mirrored polish like this, it will shows scuffs and the finest of scratches very easily. For instance, if it has dust on it and you rub it with a cloth, you’ll probably dull the finish. In that case you may not see actual scratches, but it’ll dull the shine. Its status as a flawless mirror requires gentle care.
On the other hand, the chrome plating is hard and durable. Aside from sharp impacts against a hardened object, it’s extremely unlikely to chip, ding, or otherwise wear. In fact, it looks pretty darn good after a couple years of legitimate use.
For example, Capitol Armory has a fully gold-plated AK-47, also plated by Manchaca Suppressors, and it has been shot quite extensively over the course of a few years. It has been to public shooting range days and has not been treated more gently than a typical gun. The mirrored gold plate shows scuffs and fine lines, but it looks fantastic. It’s fancy, shiny, and over-the-top, but it looks well used in the best possible way. And those imperfections aren’t even visible from more than six-or-so feet away anyway.
When it comes to this Pork Sword Pistol, I don’t actually know what the customer has in mind. Will it live a life mounted on the wall, being dusted occasionally by Jeeves with his white cotton gloves before he checks the fireplace mantel to ensure it’s clean? Or will it find itself out on hunts and riding in side-by-sides?
No idea. I do know that this 12-inch 6.5 Creedmoor is incredibly accurate and capable. This is a sub-half-MOA gun — five shots at 100 yards, not three — and it’ll send a 147 grain ELD match about 1,150 yards before it first goes subsonic. Deer out to 600 yards? Absolutely. Steel targets with half-MOA or better accuracy out to 1,000 yards? Yes.
Will this particular Black Collar Arms Pork Sword Pistol enjoy those activities? No idea. But we darn sure enjoyed building it!