Glock barrel plated?


May 27, 2003, 07:45 PM
I was told tonight that the barrel of a Glock pistol is Tennifer (sp?) coated/plated inside and outside? Is this true? Searching the net is not turning up much. I was also told that this Tennifer coating/plating can flake off or be released by the metal creating the appearance of pits. Any input there? The pistol in question is a third gen 40 if that matters.

I know Tennifer is tough, I had a G17 that I beat the crap out of for years and it help up tremendously well. I am not sure about what I was told tonight however.

Anyone have a phone number and a contact at Glock that I could talk to directly?

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May 28, 2003, 09:59 AM
It isn`t any kind of plating, it has had a chemical treatment that basically case hardens the surface of the steel. I don`t believe it is used on the inside of the barrel just the surface of it and the slide. Nothing to flake off, just a very hard surface of the existing steel.

Nero Steptoe
May 28, 2003, 02:25 PM
The entire barrel and slide are tenifered, both inside and out.

May 28, 2003, 04:59 PM
Tennifer isn't a coating it's a treatment to the metal. The black color of the slide(!) is parkerizing. The parkerizing might wear off, but the treatment of the metal goes a few mils below the surface. The barrels are treated also, but not parkerized. That is why they last so long and is also why they use the polyagonal rifleing. The tennifer treatment makes the metal almost as tough as a diamond on the Rockwell Hardness Scale and I have heard (not seen mind you) that some people sharpen theor knives on the slides.


Navy joe
May 28, 2003, 05:49 PM
The black color of the frame is parkerizing

HeHe, umm, the black coloring on the frame is plastic, but I know what you meant ;)

Tenifer is a dumb sounding trade name for nitro-carburizing. Nothing plated on, but the surface layer of the barrel and slide are chemically converted in this process to something harder than woodpecker lips. If you see pits you figured out how to corrode your bore, not good.

May 28, 2003, 08:14 PM
I was impressed when I heard it was as hard as diamond, but then I heard woodpecker lips and if that were true then there could be nothing short of atomic attack that would hurt the Tenifer finish........................:D :D :D

The gun was a present, I got it home and cleaned it and WALLA a frosted bore:cuss: :cuss: :cuss: The shop is the one that told me Tenifer was a plating........ Tis the reason I call to you guys for help, and I thank you for the help so far.

BTW, the next measure of hardness under woodpecker lips is "so durn hard a cat cain't skratch it!!" :D :D Over wookpecker lips hardness? NEVER!!!!!!!! LOL

May 29, 2003, 02:02 PM
I saw a Glock 9mm barrel that definitely had pits in the corners of the grooves despite looking unfired. I always wondered about that.

May 29, 2003, 02:09 PM
It's apparently not Parkerizing. It's black oxide that is done as part of the nitro-carburizing process.

Tennifer is one of the most corrosion resistant finishes. I say again; RESISTANT. Abuse anything and it will corrode - stainless, chrome, whatever.

Nero Steptoe
May 29, 2003, 09:53 PM
The black finish has nothing at all to do with the tenifer process.

May 29, 2003, 10:49 PM
I saw a Glock 9mm barrel that definitely had pits in the corners of the grooves
Then you saw an aftermarket barrel. Glock 9mm barrels don't have grooves since they employ polygonal rifling.

For the people talking about "frosted" bores, or bores showing some sort of odd "lines" or what sometimes appears to be hairline cracks in the bores of Glock barrels... That's common in Glocks that have only had a few hundred rounds through them. It disappears with more shooting and doesn't affect function or accuracy.

IIRC, the surface of "tenifered" steel is harder than chrome, and more corrosion resistant than any of the stainless alloys used in guns. It's a pretty amazing treatment. About as close to truly corrosion proof as steel can get.

May 30, 2003, 08:44 AM
John, it was a Glock bbl. I called it grooves for lack of a better term. Glock 9mm with the serial # of the gun on it.

Maybe your second comment addresses what these imperfections were. Thanks.

May 30, 2003, 10:32 AM
Alright Nero,

Where does that shiny black surface on the barrel come from?

May 30, 2003, 01:10 PM
Tenifer is more widely known as QPQ. Handy is close, it is not nitro-carburizing, but carbo-nitriding (according the the lit I have on my desk, right in front of me). Depending on the substrate, is is somehwere between 60 and 75 Rc. It is not a coating at all, but a heat treating process. The black is introduced during the finishing process.

It works bacsically the same as carburizing. Nitrogen is infused into the surface of the metal, disturbing the grain structure. It also lowers the core hardness of the slide, which is a good thing.

Tough parts are like M&M's, crunchy on the outside, and squishy on the inside.

The slides are heated to, well, very warm (1100 deg F or so), quenched, polished (which removes the color) and quenched again (to replace the color). Quench Polish Quench = QPQ =Tenifer = Melonite.

May 30, 2003, 01:16 PM


The Tenifer-treated slide and barrel

Glock barrels and slides are made from quality steel which has been treated with a special "Tenifer" process. This colorless carbo-nitrate formula enriches the steel with oxygen, sealing its pores. Tenifer makes the steel extremely hard (as hard as industrial diamond on the Rockwell scale) and corrosion resistant. The steel will not scratch or rust, period! In fact, the slide is so hard you can use it to sharpen your knives.

The barrel is treated both inside and out. Because of this, Glock barrels do not show the normal wear associated with untreated barrels by other manufacturers. Glock, Inc., has one barrel which has fired one million rounds and still works; another has fired 300,000 rounds and still shoots better than 1½" groups!

Glock also parkerizes the slide and barrel to give them a matte black color. While the parkerizing might wear off showing "bare" steel beneath, the Tenifer is still there. In fact, it penetrates the steel to a depth of three microns. Even a Glock which has lost all of its matte black finish is still scratch- and rust-proof.

May 30, 2003, 02:40 PM
as far as rifling goes, I have read that NYPD ordered Glocks with conventional rifling so that they can ballistic print them better, and an armourer friend told me that the Austrian issue Glocks actually have conventional rifling to allow the firing of lead bullets just in case.

May 30, 2003, 04:27 PM
The barrel is not Parkerized! If you have ever seen Parkerizing, you would realize that the very dark, shiny smooth finish on the barrel can not be that.

Like Owen said, it's done on the tail end of the heat treatment process, which I'm pretty certain is iron oxide.

The black part does not have to be part of the process (Witness "Wunderfinish"), but is included in the Glock, HK and probably S&W processes.

June 8, 2003, 12:11 AM
My armourer friend actually told me that German military guns are conventionally rifled instead of polygonal, not Austrian.

June 8, 2003, 06:25 PM
Tennifer is a salt-nitride process used to harden the surface of steel (.69RC) and to provide superiour corrossion resistance.

Older Glock slides were then finished with a type of parkerizing. The newer (G3) ones have some kind of shiny teflon finish. The finish is for cosmetic reasons and it will burnish, at least the parkerized ones will. Haven't had the teflon finished one long enough to know how it will hold up.

The barrel has some kind of finish on the outside, looks like teflon, but the inside of the barrel is just tennifer treated steel. Tennifer treated steel is a dull dark gray in color.

Look at the feed ramp of a glock and the metal inserts in the frame. That is what tennifer treated steel looks like.

Tennifer process:

4. Nitriding and Nitrocarburising
In nitriding, nitrogen is diffused into the surface of steel components by heating them to about 520oC in an atmosphere of ammonia or exposing them to a low pressure nitrogen + hydrogen atmosphere while they are subjected to a glow discharge. To obtain a high surface hardness (above 750 HV) elements that form hard nitrides, eg Al, Cr, Mo, V, must be present in the steel.

Due to the lower temperature than that used for carburising, the process times are much longer (20 + hours) and this factor combined with the fact that there is no quench means that danger of distortion is greatly reduced.

Nitrocarburising is a variation on nitriding, normally carried out between 570 and 585oC in either a molten salt bath or gaseous atmosphere. A treatment time of 90 - 120 minutes gives a shallow layer, about 20 micro m, and although this is not particularly hard, it provides excellent wear and fatigue resistance.

There are a number of proprietary processes: Tufftride, Tennifer, Nitrotec. In some variations sulphides are added to the salt bath, giving even better wear resistance. Two processes are Sulfinuz and Sursulf.

June 8, 2003, 07:21 PM
The latest Glocks don't have a phosphate finish on the slides. It's more like a teflon like on non-stick pans. The new finish resists holster wear better. The barrels are blued but like the other posters said the slides and barrels are first tenifer treated before being finished.

The bores of new Glocks have residue from the tenifer treatment. It takes a few hundred rounds and cleaning with bore solvent to remove the residue.

June 8, 2003, 10:06 PM
There are some strange definitions here. If you do a search on 'Tennifer' you will find ( mostly in german) that it is a trade name for a gas carbonitriding process . This puts both carbon and nitrogen into the steel within a few thousandths from the surface. This results in a hard wear resistant surface and a tough core when the steel is hardened. After this is done the the steel may be given various surface treatments such as Parkerizing ( manganese phosphate) , teflon coating etc. The process does not "add oxygen" nor "disturbe the grain" nor will it "flake off". The basic process is many years old. Just the metallurgical facts!!!

June 8, 2003, 11:59 PM
I submit once again that the black color on the barrel, and slide, come from the a step in the Tennifer process.

The barrel is too smooth to be parkerized, but can not possibly be blued either, due to the fact that bluing IS rust, and Tennifer doesn't rust! The inside of the barrels are also black, not the light silver of Witness nitraded guns. Also, anyone who's dealt with coatings would realize that a coating wouldn't last on the Glock barrel more than two cycles, and it wears much longer than that.

So if someone could explain how a rust proof barrel ends up with a shiny black finish that is that wear resistant and it NOT being part of the Tennifer process, I'd love to hear it.

Nero Steptoe
June 9, 2003, 12:13 AM
Handy, you can submit for 1000 more times, and you'll be equally incorrect for 1000 more times.

June 9, 2003, 12:42 PM
The black finish on a Glock has absolutely NOTHING to do with the tenifer process. It is a black phosphate finish. If you don't belileve me call Glock and ask them yourself. 770-432-1202 Also check out for more good glock info.

G Man.40
June 9, 2003, 04:20 PM
Quote: The black finish on a Glock has absolutely NOTHING to do with the tenifer process. It is a black phosphate finish. If you don't belileve me call Glock and ask them yourself. 770-432-1202 Also check out for more good glock info.

This is absolutely correct!;)

June 9, 2003, 05:41 PM
So, what is the BARREL finished in? Shoe polish?

June 9, 2003, 08:34 PM
I don't know what the outside of the Glock barrel is, but the inside is the dull gray of tennifer treated steal. It's deceptive, looks black, and you have to get a bore light and shine it a certain way to see this.

All my Glock barrels show burnishing of the black finish at friction points.

Call Glock, they will not tell you - proprietary of course.

Nero Steptoe
June 9, 2003, 10:05 PM
I have well-founded, experienced reasons to believe that Glock barrels are not finished with shoe polish.

June 9, 2003, 11:45 PM
Yep, you're very good at refuting, at not so good at suggesting.

I was once given a run down of the nitrading process that included a black oxide portion at the end, just as Owen (who's in the industry) said. I had thought the slides parkerized until then.

The main thing that convinced me is the barrel. The corrosion proof barrel wears a shiny (not parkerized) finish that is in the metal. Now, what could that be, and why would glock use two different finishes, one for the barrel and the other for the rest?

Those are simple, reasonable questions. Can someone come up with a better answer than "nope"?

June 10, 2003, 07:14 PM
actually nero, it is shoe polish. But it not black...its actually a very dark white.:D :D

June 10, 2003, 11:20 PM
Well, my older Glocks clearly have black parkerized slides--the barrels have a shiny black finish which isn't parkerizing.

My newer Glocks have a semi-gloss slick finish on the slides. Maybe some sort of teflon, it feels kind of like a non-stick finish in a pan. The barrels have the same shiny black finish that's on the older models--it's not parkerizing, nor is it similar to the semi-gloss slick finish on the newer slides.

That might lead one to believe that whatever the black finishes are (I can see at least three distinctly different black finishes on the four Glocks I own), they're not a byproduct of the tenifer process since the slide and bbls of all four guns are "tenifered" but clearly have very different black finishes (overcoats?)

For what it's worth on all the guns, where the black finish has worn away (slide or barrel), they look the same underneath. They are a dull metallic gray which seems to be just as corrosion and wear resistant as the black-coated parts of the gun. Which might lead one to believe that the corrosion and wear resistance has nothing to do with the black coatings.

All of which might lead one to believe that the black finish is some sort of mostly cosmetic "overcoat" while the tenifer is an underlying metal treatment that is independent of whatever "overcoat" is applied.

I think that's pretty much exactly what the manufacturer says on the topic, come to think of it.

June 11, 2003, 11:15 AM
Just for clarity, I am speaking about the first 2 generation Glock slides and small parts. I haven't really looked at the new gooey coating.

But back to the info disseminated here:
Glock also parkerizes the slide and barrel giving them a matte black color.

Since we all know that Glock barrels are not "matte black", is this really a good site to reference?

I'd still like to hear a basic description of the process that leaves a tough shiny black finish on the Tennifered barrel.

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