Electroless Nickel Plating Two Year Followup

It’s been two years since I first started electroless nickel plating firearms, and I figured it was time for a two-year followup. The original post is located here. Although I posted that in October of 2009, I started using the kit in July of that year.

I am very pleased with the results. If you are familiar with the process, you may find the first few minutes of the video boring. If you aren’t, it’s a general description of the electroless nickel plating kit, which might be as good of a decision for you as it was for me.

As you can see here, Caswell was also impressed with my results.

Spike’s Tactical Dynacomp Initial Impressions

Spike’s Tactical sent two Dynacomps for me to review, so I installed them on a few AR-15s that looked as if they needed a spiffy new part – my 16″ Spikes lightweight carbine and my 20″ A5-type rifle. Here are my initial impressions after a few weeks with the devices.

The Dynacomps are priced at $89.95 and feature a Melonite finish.

Kimber Stainless II 9mm 1911 Review

I have a love/hate relationship with my Kimber 1911s, as those who have seen my Custom II review know.

I bought this Stainless II in 9mm almost three years ago, and shoot it quite often. In its original configuration, it was simply nonfunctional. However, it didn’t take me too long to toss most of the Kimber parts and turn it into a very useful handgun. Would I do it over again? I don’t know.

See the video for more.

RFID Technology to Disable Firearms Under Development

I decided to do some background reading on RFIDs as they apply to firearms, since MKS Supply claimed that their implementation in Chiappa firearms was for inventory control only and that the devices could only be read at a distance of 2-3 inches.

I started with the company mentioned in the press release stating that Chiappa would be implementing RFIDs in its firearms – Novarex Etichette. Before I did so, though, I noted with interest a phrase in the (Google translation) of the Chiappa press release.

It hard to removable without significantly altering the characteristics of the weapon.

My interest was sufficiently piqued.

Novarex Etichette is a company that makes, among other things, RFID devices for companies in various industries. I saw two links on the front page of their website related to firearms. One was titled “A New Design for RFID Novarex” and was on the company’s webpage, the other “Tracking ‘Sporting Weapons‘” and located on an Italian RFID news webpage.

You, the reader, can use Google Translate as effectively as I can. However, the portions of the first article that interested me started with the introduction:

An important innovation in the product’s warranty, but also a harbinger of further developments for personal safety

A harbinger of future developments for personal safety? Pull up a chair.

The closing portion of the second article was also very interesting:

Certainly the project represents a big step forward compared to traditional systems of traceability as the two main aspects such as:

impossible to duplicate an RFID tag

impossible to remove it without destroying the weapon

provide an answer to guarantee product safety and traceability of the same

Impossible to duplicate? Okay, that’s understandable. But impossible to remove without destroying the weapon? This isn’t inventory control at the manufacturer, this is intended to be a permanent tracking device.

It gets better, though. For dramatic effect, I’m going to jump back to the first article.

Being able to reconcile different needs, thanks to a joint effort of all involved, represents a major step forward compared to traditional systems of traceability in the interest of safety of the product and its buyers. Not only that it is impossible to duplicate an RFID tag and remove it without destroying the weapon guarantees the constant traceability, clear deterrent to any use of the weapon, other than sports and therefore at risk. Just think that applications are being studied to make the weapon harmless in situations identified as potentially hazardous.

Yeah. Let’s read that again, shall we?

Just think that applications are being studied to make the weapon harmless in situations identified as potentially hazardous.

“Just think” about that.

MKS Responds to RFID Flap with Form Letter

As noted in the post about RFIDs in Chiappa firearms, MKS Supply seems to have a problem with public relations. Thomas, aka farmboy7.62, wrote MKS to express his opinion on this issue, and posted a letter he received from Charles Brown, president of MKS, as a reply. After reading the letter, I decided to write my own. The response I received was essentially the same as that which was received by farmboy7.62, with a few minor changes.

For those who are interested, here’s my email:

Mr Brown

I was very disappointed to read the press release you put out regarding RFIDs in Chiappa firearms. Although I am a blogger (vuurwapenblog.com), I did not really take offense at your comments regarding bloggers, or tinfoil, or anything like that. I could see that you were trying to be funny. Taken as individual parts, they did not disappoint me. As a whole, the release was horrifying.

You are now, in a very public manner, associated with Chiappa firearms, and may have caused the company serious damage – guilt by association, if you will. I’ve toured Chiappa’s factory in Azzano Mella and met Cinzia Pinzoni – in fact, she was my “tour guide.” She is a very nice person. Every single employee I met at Chiappa was polite, which I expected to find, but they were also, simply put, classy.

You serve as a, if not the, de facto representative for this company in America, a company of wonderful, hardworking people – and you represent it in a classless, rude, and disrespectful manner. The technical aspects of your press release were laughably incorrect, so it also appeared that you were willing to lie to as well as insult your end customers. This called into doubt the veracity of any statements you made regarding the timeline for implementation of this program.

I do not know what you plan to do about this issue, but at this time, I wonder why a company like Chiappa would wish to associate itself with the likes of you.


Andrew Tuohy


Here’s Mr. Brown’s response to my missive:

I appreciate your response to the barcode chip Release that was sent out last week, I am handling each one of the few responses we received individually, I feel if you took the time to contact me and express yourself I should extend the courtesy of responding to you.

I agree 100% with your observation that the “tin foil” comment sounded and read like we were uncaring pompous asses who did not care about the customers we market to, I like to try to put some humor in all of my releases and the shooting press seems to find it a nice departure from the mundane who-what-where-when contained in most the releases they get, however the intent of the “humor” came thru in a totally different “feel”-(yes we forgot the whole internet thing about how you can’t read inflection or feelings) I also try to let all of our releases “sleep” over night and come back in the next day with fresh eyes and take a look at it …unfortunately I did not with this one.

I do however disagree with your statement about lying to anyone and I stand by the facts in the release about the RFID info.

My family has been in the firearms business since 1953 and I have owned MKS for the last 28 years, always supporting the firearms industry and supporting the preservation of our constitutional rights and being on the watch for erosion of such.

Actually because of all of the concern and contact with consumers regarding the RFID issue Chiappa is looking at ways to attach the chip to the gun only for manufacture and shipping into the USA and then be able to detach it and return it to Italy and reuse it in a future batch of guns being made, so this had actually had very positive results.

MKS was one of the charter members of the Heritage fund that has pledged 1% of all of our sales to go toward fighting for our firearms rights, I am an NRA life member and support with cash and donations, thru MKS numerous events, friends of NRA, first shots programs, NSSF, US Sportsman’s alliance..In the 90’s we were one of the first to send donations of cash to the organizations in California fighting for our firearms rights. ect.

I am hoping that our ACTIONS of the past and future will show through and one comment that was supposed to produce a chuckle (unfortunately made us look like Jackasses) won’t forever hurt the way we are viewed. I guess I should have just re-stated that the glued in easy to find Barcode chip can be easily removed and left it at that.

Yesterday I sent a similar not to all of the blog contacts I had to help get the word out

Humbly and respectfully yours

Charles Brown