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Discussion Starter #1
well, it's been beat to hell already, I know...the best finish is blah blah blah...but i'm only interested in the best BLUE finish.

Don't want a shiny carry gun, I don't care how durable and rust resistant the "chrome" finishes are...I need my gun to be dark in color.

So, what do we have? Parkerizing...
 

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Not to be a smartass, but just to clarify things, it sounds like you aren't looking for a blued finish at all, just a dark-colored finish that performs well, right? Because there is really only one kind of bluing out there; all blue jobs look and perform roughly the same, assuming they were done well. Bottom line is, bluing is a nice looking but poor performing finish from a practical point of view.

Parkerizing, contrary to what some folks think, actually isn't much better than bluing by itself. It was originally used for military weapons because it was cheaper, and the porosity traps oil that can help to prevent corrosion... assuming you oil the outside of the gun regularly. Otherwise, parkerized guns can quite readily rust if abused.

Your other real choice is one of the polymer finishes, some of which are applied over parkerizing. They all have alot of hype, but none of them seem to be that much better than the others. Roguard, Black-T, Bearcoat, Armor-Tuff, Gunkote, etc. seem to be pretty much 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. They look like a black paint job, and aren't anywhere near as wear resistant as the plated finishes like hard chrome or NP3, but have a VERY high degree of corrosion resistance.

If I had to choose one of them, I'd probably pick Roguard.

http://www.robarguns.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=4&tabindex=2

There are also some promising carbide finishes from Bodycote, but they don't take direct orders & I don't know what 'smiths you could go through to get your gun done in their latest DiamondBlack finish. Probably not what most people would consider proven, but looks to be the most promising black finish... looks alot like a real blue job, but tough as nails.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hey man,
thanks for your imput...
i am looking for a dark finish, yes.
Blueing's weak and rusts easily.
The gun will be carried in FL where sweat will surely find its way to the gun and it will rust eventually...and this is why i asked this question.

I was hoping to get some info on where to get a Tenifer finish of some sort on my gun...(like the Glocks have).
That seems to be THE finish to have if dark finish is preferred.

Any ideas?
 

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I have no firsthand experience with Melonite, but like Tenifer, it is a surface hardening finish (which is what gives Tenifer its great protective properties). I've seen them on rifle actions and barrels but not on the complex, intricate lines of a 1911.

By all accounts it offers outstanding corrosion resistance, and it is BLACK. Smith Enterprises offers the finish for a reasonable cost.

http://www.smithenterprise.com

Otherwise, you have blue, parkerizing, and spray/bake.

Tim

PS. If you end up using Melonite, please post pics and report back.
 

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Just to clarify, tenifer isn't a finish. It's a metal treatment. The black coating on Glock slides is a phosphate based finish. Nothing special really.

Tenifer penetrates the surface of the steel and leaves a very light, dull grey color. If you strip the phosphate finish down to the bare metal, the tenifer protects it from corrosion unless the surface is deeply scratched.

Edited to add: Tenifer
 

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Rust blue, in my limited experience with it, is extremely tough and looks GREAT. Only problem is it's pretty expensive and very time-consuming, and finding someone who's good at it ain't easy.

Best,
Joe
 

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Melonite and Tenifer are the same process, there both a saltbath
nitriding process.followed by QPQ. Tenifer is a Trademark name used in Europe and Melonite here in the United States. Many heat treating companies have this process. Be careful though
the process temp is about 1000F.

Darrell
 
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