First Time Parkerizing My FAL


June 13, 2007, 02:12 AM
Well I finally got my Para-FAL in working order and I decided to try my hand at parkerizing the used parts. After reading a bunch of helpful threads in the gunsmithing forum over at I decided that I could handle it on my own. I took about 8 hours spread over two evenings and all the equipment needed is fairly cheap with the exception of a media blaster (which I was able to borrow the use of).

Zinc Phosphate park solution (1 pint) $14 at Brownells

Electric hot plate
candy thermometer
stainless steel cooking pot : all $34 at Shopko

1 gal distilled water
1 gal water displacing oil (borrowed from and returned to a parts washer).

To start with I cleaned all the gunk and grease of the parts and the put them into the blasting cabinet. Bead blasting is like spray painting in reverse, just go slow and evenly until all the finish if uniformly removed.
Some Parts After Bead Blasting

After I had blasted all the parts I prepared the parkerizing solution. You mix the solution with distilled water in the stainless steel pot and heat it on the hotplate to 140*. Once it is ready you dunk your parts in (suspended by bailing wire) for about 15 min.

After the parts come out of the park solution I dunked them in oil to remove any park solution and then they are done.
The finished parts
The finished rifle

Some After Thoughts:
1. Read the instructions twice. I accidently mixed the solutions to the proportions for magnesium phosphate instead of zinc. (I think that is why my many of my parts are a lighter color than the upper rec that was done by DSA).
2. The instructions call for a heated bath of degreaser followed by rinsing with distilled water before parkerizing. However, if you blast the parts right before parking, there is no grease to remove.
3. Keep the parts clean after blasting, oily fingerprints can be removed with a can of spray degreaser.
4. Despite the light color, the finish is really tough. One of my mags had wavy lines in the park so I blasted it again to put it back in the solution. The parkerized finish was considerably more difficult to remove than the original finish.
5. Even with fumbling through it for the first time, most of my parts came out with a very nice and even finish.

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June 13, 2007, 02:17 AM
Well done.

June 13, 2007, 03:57 AM
Isnt' there a similar process which involves salt water and electricity? I may be thinking of something else...

June 13, 2007, 08:43 AM
Cool pics! Thanks for the walk through and equipment list. I've been thinking of trying that myself.

If you want a darker finish, degrease good and spray on some Satin Gray Gunkote. It looks just like dark gray parkerizing. Your parkerizing will make a great primer for it.

Bwana John
June 13, 2007, 10:05 AM
Good on ya!

Usually I just use stove paint and the little BBQ for FAL stuff..

June 13, 2007, 10:15 AM
did you plug the barrel??

June 13, 2007, 10:45 AM
This is probably a stupid question, but did you parkerise the barrel and chamber as well as the outer metal?

June 13, 2007, 11:07 AM
did you plug the barrel??

Yes. I forgot to mention, I bought a couple rubber plugs from Home Depot and plugged the barrel and gas port. The instructions say that parkerizing wont stick to chrome lined parts, but my barrel is surplus and I'm not entirely certain that it is chromed.

Also, I only parked the first 8" of the barrel because the rest is hidden by the handgaurds and the original finish is still pretty good. Also I would have needed a bigger tank. (although I have heard of people parking barrels by sticking them in PVC pipes and pouring the hot solution into the pipe).

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