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Finishes for firearms

726 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Dave Sample
Although I'm sure that this topic is "old news", let's rehash it...

A friend of mine disputes me when I tell him that parkerizing is, from my point of view, the best of the dark finishes for general use. My reasoning? I won't chip or peel, like the spray & bake finishes (Armor-tuff, Black-T, etc.), it's dark (unlike chrome), it's relatively cheap...I guess that's about all I can think of off the top of my head.

A good blued gun is nice but, in my experience, will rust more quickly than a parkerized gun in which the parkerizing is thoroughly saturated with oil. Hence, I will choose parkerizing.

I feel that hard chrome is the most durable finish, but it's not dark. I know that there is chrome with pigments, but I've never seen this in person and I imagine it to be somwhat reflective and not really a dull finish.

Some companies make claims about their dark finishes being ultimately durable, but I will have to test it to believe it. I have heard a rumor that Birdsong is putting some sort of ceramic in Black-T to increase abrasion resistance and that Wilson is improving Armor-Tuff. Mad Dog Labs claims that their dark finish is the best around but it's also the most expensive I've priced and looks like SEVERAL layers of stuff have been applied (like layers of spray paint).

Anyone have any comments? Agree or disagree?
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Your comments regarding finishes seem to be right on. I do not like the looks of parkerizing and learned early on to like a bead blast blue that would work best for me and my 1911's. The advantage? I can touch them up with a good cold blue and take care of the scabbard wear almost indefinately. I have some black stuff for my blaster that came out of the Copper Mines in Ajo, AZ that I use for the top round of the slide and change to a more mild glass bead for the flats. I never thought that parkerizing was that great but finishes are a matter of personal taste and there should be no argument on what anyone likes or not. I also don't think much of the spray on finishes even though a lot of people like them. They are very expensive to do and it's hard to fix the wear and tear. My guns all get carried alot.
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