Handgun Finishes?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by BigBlue, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. BigBlue

    BigBlue New Member

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    While most of us are familiar with parkerizing and blued gun finishes, I find all the proprietary finishes very confusing. We find names like Melonite, black oxide, tenifer, KimPro, Armory Kote, Ion Bond, it goes on and on. I have read, in regards to Glock pistols, that if you remove the black finish on their slides, the tenifer would still be intact? A resident metallurgist might be able to clear up the confusion. :rolleyes: What's best, what should be avoided?
    Thanks!
     
  2. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Well, I am a metallurgist (okay, okay, I studied metallurgy at UCLA and worked as a metallurgist on-and-off for 8 years - I've been a computer programmer for the last 16 years- I don't want people to say I change my claimed area of expertise to suit the thread). From a metallurgical standpoint, there's nothing that makes any of the available finishes uniquely "interesting". The finishes with proprietary sounding names are all variations on finishes that have existed since the beginning of time (in other words, since I was in school - When we still had textbooks and graph paper.). They are nice and slippery, and not susceptible to galling, so they are good choices over stainless. The only real purpose they serve is to keep a poorly maintained gun sliding along a little longer.

    If your gun is an SA, I'd say talk to the SA Custom Shop. If your gun is a Glock, nothing is going to make it look like anything but a Glock. There's a Glock with $2000 in custom work on it at my LGS, for $1100... Nobody is going to buy it. It's a Walmart Cinderella.

    From a shooting standpoint, dead flat black park or paint is best. Not very interesting from an aesthetic standpoint.

    If you're fussy about the finish of your gun, choose something that's easy to touch up, like Krylon camo paint. I'm considering Krylon over Park for a fun finish on my Citadel.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

  3. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I just got two ASM books on "high tech" metal finishes. If I have time to read this weekend, I'll offer up some specific observations based on my interpretation of laboratory testing of the various finishes.

    God bless the internet for making expensive engineering handbooks available for, ahem, a reasonable price ;)
     
  4. BigBlue

    BigBlue New Member

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    I think my main concern is regarding rust when I spend days at a time outdoors. I know the parked finish on my Dad's 1943 Colt is still keeping it rust free, but then again so is the painted finish on my 1943 Mosin Nagant M38. Those finishes lasted longer than I expect I will and they both still work fine. I hope I'm not still expected to work in another 70 years. Thanks!
     
  5. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Haha! The reason Parkerizing works so well is that it holds oil really well. If you oil or wax a parked gun, it's waterproof. Parkerizing also has the property that slight damage through the parkerizing tends to self heal at the metal boundary - The parkerizing interferes with the oxidation of the base metal by changing the chemical process from oxidation to galvanization. Same reason chain-link fences don't seem to rust (at least here in California).
     
  6. Blackwind

    Blackwind Supporting Member

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    So, the takeaway here is, Park is best for shooting as the flat, anti-reflective finish is easier on the eyes. And it's also a good metal treatment for it's self-healing properties for minor nicks, scratches. And it retains a little oil for lubrication purposes. It's everything but good looking.

    Stainless galls.

    The other finishes are all about equal in function, durability, and purpose?

    Any thoughts on a blued slide versus anodized? Or Armory Kote?
     
  7. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I think that SA has got the SS galling issued solved (not a hard problem, just requires a little forethought). My SS MilSpec has thousands... Even tens-of-thousands of rounds through it, and there has never been any evidence of galling. And I am am metallurgist, among other things.
     
  8. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Oh, look at that, I promised to check up on the newer finishes and then dropped the ball. My memory isn't what it was even 5 minutes ago.

    Really, truly... Get what you like the look of best. If you really like the way the finish looks, you'll take the time to care for it. Never saw a Python with the finish worn off.
     
  9. unclebob

    unclebob Active Member

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    . If your gun is a Glock, nothing is going to make it look like anything but a Glock. There's a Glock with $2000 in custom work on it at my LGS, for $1100... Nobody is going to buy it. It's a Walmart Cinderella.
    .[/QUOTE]
    Is that like putting perfume on a pig??
     
  10. Teddybear

    Teddybear Member

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    I feel your pain...........................................................Now what was we talking about?
     
  11. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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    Two words...

    Nickel Boron

    Advantages of NiB-X include:

    - Harder than Tennifer, Melonite, Nickel Teflon and Hard Chrome (NiB-X is Rc72)
    - Environmental corrosion protection
    - Very lubricious (CoF .07)
    - Easier to clean (wipes clean in most cases)
    - Less maintenance (longer usage between cleaning cycles)
    - Higher reliability (fewer stoppages)
    - Enhanced performance

    https://www.wmdguns.com/firearm-coatings.html


    ( disclaimer: I have NO affiliation with any companies I recommend...)
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  12. BigBlue

    BigBlue New Member

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