What's the most durable, widely available gun finish?


Joe Link
August 27, 2008, 10:17 PM
I'm looking to get the slide and receiver of my Kel-Tec P3AT refinished (due to holster wear) and eventually my Remington 870P. Those of you who have had your firearm(s) refinished and carry them and/or are hard on them, what do you prefer/recommend? I only want to do this once :)

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August 27, 2008, 10:53 PM
Unless your wanting a dark finish id have them hard chromed..... here is a link, these guys do HC work for one of the US made manufactures, they also have other finishes.


Joe Link
August 27, 2008, 10:59 PM
I'm sorry, I should have mentioned I want them black. There's a company down the street, GunCoat, who does DuraCoat. They quoted me $60 for the P3AT, which I feel is more than fair. However, I've heard DuraCoat doesn't hold up too well. I want something that will last a long time, especially on my carry guns.

Josh Aston
August 28, 2008, 02:41 AM
Hard Chrome would be the best. If you want something with more rust resistance than bluing in a black color then you'll pretty much have to go with some type of paint. Duracoat, Gunkote, Rogaurd, Black-T, there's a million of them out there. Anyone of the baked on ones should be better than the non baked ones.

August 28, 2008, 10:22 AM
What was the original finish? Parkerizing would usually hold up well.

Most durable possible finish is probably carbo-nitriding, Tenifer or similar process. This is used on Glock, Steyr handguns, current XD's, and various others. It's nearly indestructible as a finish. I don't know if anyone does it aftermarket though.

August 28, 2008, 10:41 AM
Melonite/Tenifer is very good but I don't know if anyone but factories do them.
These are the names of finishes used by Springfield and Glock.

August 28, 2008, 10:50 AM
NP3 form RoBar

August 28, 2008, 10:55 AM
However, I've heard DuraCoat doesn't hold up too well.

You heard wrong....any of the non-plated (painted) finishes last about 5x's longer than blue or parkerize....my 870P shows almost no wear, even on bolt-face and action bars, ditto the magazine tube, and gets totally neglected...they are ALL two-part industrial epoxy, some with powdered ceramic, some with teflon, some with both, added....but plain old Duracoat works just fine....the baked on finishes are no harder, baking just accelerates cure time....you can buy EVERYthing you need to paint several guns one color from Lauer/Duracoat, including airbrush and canned air for $50....it works best directly over parkerize.....Duracoat also offers coatings with ceramic, but after my experience with regular Duracoat, I'd have to say the additives are mostly hype.....

If you want harder coating, then you'd have to go to some sort of plating

August 28, 2008, 12:11 PM
The most durable way to use Duracoat is to parkerize the parts first. The Duracoat is absorbed by the parkerizing and creates a tough bond and a very durable finish. BTW, if you need your slide done we can do it for about $40-50.

August 28, 2008, 12:23 PM
kingjoey is right. A spray coating over parkerizing will be very durable and corrosion resistant. Most "business" guns are protected that way nowadays.

August 28, 2008, 12:35 PM
Duplicolor Wheel Paint. It only comes in 3 or 4 colors but it's every bit as tough as the much more expensive "gun coatings".

August 28, 2008, 12:39 PM
Duracoat is about the only thing other then Krylon you can use on the polymer frame.

As for the slide there are much more durable coatings then Duracoat and they will offer you enhanced rust and corrosion protection.

August 28, 2008, 02:23 PM
I've known folks who had a gun hard chromed and then had the black finish baked on. Just a thought from the folks with a lot of money.


August 28, 2008, 02:25 PM
Oh yeah Krylon fusion for the frame.

Joe Link
August 28, 2008, 03:01 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys. The finish on the P3AT was originally blued, which is probably why it hasn't held up very well. I believe the finish on the 870P is parkerized.

With the P3AT you can actually remove the metal action from the polymer frame, and I'm not going to get the frame done. I sure wish I could find someone to do the tenifer, the finish on my Glock looks great and it's amazingly durable.

I appreciate the offer KingJoey, but GunCoat is literally within walking distance.

Eric F
August 28, 2008, 03:04 PM
probably not much help here but most available is paint most durable hard chrome.........I have seen some guns powder coated you can find lots of powder coating places might be a great compromise.

August 30, 2008, 03:03 AM
Most durable and widely available are two different things. There are no baked-on, spray-on finishes that are as durable as metal. NONE! Hard chrome and electroless nickel are the toughest finishes. NP3 is a surface treatment for steel and metal alloys that combines sub-micron particles of polytetrafluoroethylene, otherwise known as Teflon, with electroless nickel. It is an extremely hard and tough-wearing surface. Even as it wears, it brings more lubricity to the surface. I have NP-3 on one of my rifles and I absolutely love it. Robar's NP-3 is an extremely durable finish, but you must send your firearm to Robar. If you are looking for a product that is widely available for a do-it-yourself project, you are not going to wind up with the most durable coating/finish.

August 30, 2008, 06:08 PM
Walt Birdsong's Black-T seems to be favored by several large federal agencies.

August 30, 2008, 06:15 PM
I have a Rem. 870 Wingmaster, retired from Denver PD circa 1980's. There's not much blue on it. What's there is grey and thin. It's called "patina" and doesn't need "fixing."


I have a couple Mausers, Mosin, CZ 52, Makarov with the same sort of "finish." They ain't broke.

That said, I'd go with nickel plated -- a standard, durable gun finish. I'd stay away from chrome.

ALSO -- be aware the plating changes the dimensional specs on any surface. Chrome or nickel plating the fitted surfaces of a firearm is likely to result in a gun that won't function.

August 30, 2008, 06:48 PM
I agree w/0007. Birdsond's Black T is the best I've ever tried. I have several guns done in his finish as I could take them straight to his shop when I lined in Jackson, MS. He does a lot of military & Fed work so I imagine he is backed up right now.

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