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                  Photo is H&K P7 and courtesy of a happy Metalife customer

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Quality Firearm Plating


Mahovsky's Metalife has been in business for over 45 years. The owner, RON MAHOVSKY, offers firearm plating in the form of Metalife Hard Chrome Plating and Nickel Plating; as well as, laser engraving, customizing and gunsmithing services. Both finishes can be applied to various types of metal, including aluminum frames and magazines. Metalife plating is a satin matte finish. Mahovsky's Metalife also offers several types of nickel firearm plating, including:

• Electroless nickel, which is a matte finish
• Bright Nickel
• Nickel Boron

Mahovsky's Metalife also offers custom laser engraving and gunsmithing/customizing. Please look under "Choices of Plating" for a more detailed description.


Hard chrome firearm plating
Electroless firearm plating
Nickel firearm plating

    4 Choices of Firearm Plating

All of our coatings are RoHS Compliant and FDA Approved

Metalife Hard Chrome Plating

Metalife Hard Chrome firearm plating looks similar to stainless steel. It has an increased hardness value compared to standard hard chrome; however, it retains a remarkable amount of ductility and toughness. Metalife will not chip, crack, peel, flake or separate from the base metal and has been tested on standard bend tests. On the Rockwell "C" scale, Metalife has a 71 hardness rating, and when applied to metal, it shows an increase of 10-15 points on the Rockwell "C" scale. Metalife hard chrome firearm plating can be applied to various metals including aluminum. Critical edges, sharp edges and threaded edges will not be affected by any of the Metalife Hard Chrome firearm platings. With a build-up of only .0005, it will not affect the tolerances of even the finest fitted parts. Metalife's process eliminates the "hydrogen embrittlement" phenomenon and the need for stress relief baking after plating. The nodular structure of Metalife Hard Chrome reduces the coefficient of friction substantially compared to other coatings. It has a coefficient friction rating of .12 to .16, depending on the application. What this means is that the Metalife micro-surface composition aides in lubricant dispersion, enhancing base metals to the degree of reducing or eliminating galling, seizing and high friction over a wide range of installations and environments. Metalife Hard Chrome firearm plating is applied by a rigidly controlled process to produce a superior degree of adherence and uniformity that is not obtainable with conventional chromium plating. Metalife is highly rust and holster wear resistant. Metalife is effective in increasing wear resistance in sliding surface contacts. Metalife Hard Chrome resists attack by almost all organic or inorganic compounds. It shows no reaction in 48 hours with seawater, aerated seawater, or aerated rainwater. What all of this means is that METALIFE IS A GUN'S BEST FRIEND. The Metallife Hard Chrome application will improve the look and durability of your firearm. Metalife Hard Chrome firearm plating will protect your firearm. Metalife makes a good thing even better.

Matte Electroless Nickel Plating

Mahovsky's Metalife offers Matte Electroless Nickel plating which has an alloy of 10-12% phosphorus in the nickel. Our high phosphorous electroless nickel coating outperforms other electroless nickel deposits with 9% or less phosphorus by 4 to 1. Our Matte Electroless firearm plating has a high hardness and lacks porosity which makes it an ideal barrier coating for firearms. This coating is deposited chemically rather than with electricity. This process is utilized to avoid problems with edge build-up, uneven thickness, and voided spots of plating adherence in corners and recesses that are typical with facilities that choose to deposit with electricity. The Matte Electroless firearm plating process that we use guarantees 100% coverage and uniform, with an average, controlled thickness of only .0002 to .0003". Threads and other complex shapes will maintain their original geometry after plating. Our Matte Electroless Nickel has corrosion and wear resistant properties that have been tested. Our Matte Electroless Nickel is non-magnetic. Matte Electroless Nickel is a pit-free deposit. It has a semi-bright appearance which looks similar to stainless steel. Our Matte Electroless Nickel deposit is less prone to staining.

Bright Nickel Plating

Our Bright Nickel is a Medium Phosphorous Electroless Nickel with a 6-9% alloy of phosphorous in the nickel. This coating offers a pleasing bright cosmetic appearance. It provides good coverage in blind holes and recesses and low coefficient of friction. This coating enjoys the same uniform deposit properties as our High-Phosphorous Electroless firearm plating. This coating is slightly magnetic and has great flexibility in plating thickness. A very smooth and even coating can be achieved, regardless of the geometry of the parts being plated. This is a hard and moderately corrosion resistant finish.

Nickel Boron Plating

Our NICKEL BORON is an electroless nickel composite process incorporating Boron Nitride as occluded particles within a medium phosphorus nickel deposit. This unique process is designed to deposit a uniform dispersed Hexagonal Boron Nitride throughout the nickel deposit. Nickel Boron is a hard, uniform metallic coating that can be applied to most metal substrates including carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum to provide a wear and corrosion resistant surface. Its application is recommended for any metal that involves friction or sticky substances. This plating is highly recommended for Shotgun barrels.



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A letter from RON MAHOVSKY, for all customers and future customers

Since I was a kid, I have always had a love of guns, hunting and the outdoors.  I attended Max Hayes (Cleveland, Ohio) High School where I studied Tool & Die.  I loved it and had a natural knack for it.    After graduating high school, I joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17.  I gained so much knowledge and experience in the Army and was encouraged to utilize my love and knowledge of guns and tool & die. 

After honorably discharging from the U.S. Army, I returned to my hometown, Old Brooklyn, Ohio.  I worked in the machine shop at Van Dorn Tool & Die while starting up my gun smith and bluing business in my attic.  As my customer base grew, I knew I would need a bigger place. 

I moved to Pennsylvania.  I purchased the very same land that I had been visiting with my parents and hunting on since I was 4 years old.  I wanted my wife and children to experience the love of the outdoors, nature and to have a safe, clean environment.

I built my own home and I built my business.  I began seeing a change in the market and consumers wanted more plating options, other than the bluing I was offering.   Through alot of testing and evaluating, I began offering Metalife SS Chromium M hard chrome plating and nickel plating on firearms in 1972. 

I was featured in numerous gun magazines.  The Metalife SS Chromium M hard chrome plating became very popular for its durability, lustre, and numerous claims and tests published said the hard chrome plating actually improved the base metal composition. I had tremendous support from gun enthusiasts from everywhere.  A well known author, Jerry Ahern, became one of my best customers and a good friend.    Jerry wrote about Metalife in alot of gun magazines and even wrote about the Metalife plating on his Colt Python in his series of novels called The Survivalist.  He dedicated a book to me as well.

I began customizing firearms and building my own.  Smith & Wesson did not offer a "K" frame revolver with a rounded butt, so I redesigned and customized my own "K" frame  from a S&W "N" frame, with a Mag-na-port option.  All of my designs had the Metalife SS Chromium M hard chrome finish.   This new design of firearm was a success.   Smith & Wesson then re-integrated their K frame design and began manufacturing a better "K" frames design on Models 29, 629, 57, and 25. 

I continued to offer my customized work on Smith & Wesson Models 10, 13, and 65.  I cut the barrels down to 3",  rounded the butts, fitted custom grips, gave it a good action job and custom engraved SS METALIFE on the barrel.  I engraved my eagle insignia and SS CHROMIUM M, surrounded by a badge outline on the frame of the pistol. I have the first one that I made, as my personal, carry all sidearm to this day.  The Metalife SS Chromium M Hard Chrome finish looks the same as the day it was plated. 

I became good friends with Roy Rogers, as I met him at a trade show where I was displaying my customized firearms and the Metalife SS Chromium M hard chrome finish.  I couldn't believe that ROY ROGERS was admiring my work.  I grew up watching ROY ROGERS on TV and was definitely a huge fan.  From that day on, ROY ROGERS and I became very close friends.  I also became his personal gunsmith.   Roy was adamant about having his own custom & personalized pistol.  Roy really liked RUGER'S.  I worked with Roy and came up with a piece that he loved so much, he wanted to produce a limited number of replicas and offer them to the public.   From there, LIMITED EDITION SALES was born.   Roy Rogers and I were business partners.  We worked together to make 6 different Limited Edition Series of ROY ROGERS, KING OF THE COWBOYS, Ruger Custom Pistols and one Golden Stallion Lever Action Rifle Limited Edition Series, designed for Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr.  

Roy introduced me to his good friend, BILL RUGER and we presented him with #3 of the first Roy Rogers Series.   Roy was also good friends with President Ronald Reagan and Roy personally presented President Reagan with one of the Limited Edition Series Pistols.  Roy, Bill, Dusty and I had some incredibly fun and good times.  I feel so honored to have called these gentlemen my true friends.    Since Roy's passing, LIMITED EDITION SALES has dissolved, which is what Roy and I agreed upon, if something should ever happen to either of us. 

I appreciate every customer that I have.  When you send me your firearm; whether it is for repair, plating or customization, I handle your firearm from the time it arrives to the time it is shipped back to you.  I expedite all areas and phases.  I am the only one who works on your firearm.  I feel so strongly about this, as this is the only way I have found to maintain the quality control of the superior workmanship,  which is my standard.  Thank you to all of my past, present, re-occuring, and future customers.  I appreciate each and everyone of you. 

Warm Regards, RON MAHOVSKY