Titanium nitride as a gun finish?


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BCRider
May 3, 2011, 12:19 AM
Driving home to day I got to thinking about a thread on blueing vs parkerizing vs hard chrome vs whatever I read on another forum. That got me to wondering about the idea of Ti Nitriding. You know, that golden color seen on drill bits, milling cutters and some other tooling these days.

It's thin, it's harder than nails so it'll resist scratching by almost any source other than rubbing a diamond ring against it. So what's NOT to like... other than the rather bling'y gold look.

That Desert Eagle from a couple of years back, was it TiN or was it actually gold plated?

So what's your thoughts out there in THR land? Could you learn to live with/love a gold coloured gun if you knew it was only because it was coated with a hard and wear resistant coating that just happened to be gold in color? Or would the "pimp" connotation make you want to gag and puke? Or do you think you'd start out wanting to G&P and then get used to it and finally like it since it would be so tough and stay nice looking for so much longer?

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Effigy
May 3, 2011, 12:36 AM
There are some vendors that do TiN plating for firearms. Any "gold" guns you've seem likely had this finish. IIRC it's less durable than hard chrome, but still stronger than parkerizing and it does look nice. I think the major limiting factor is cost.

Jim Watson
May 3, 2011, 12:52 AM
There are versions of TiN coating in different colors. Either by modifying the coating, there is a TiAlN coating that comes out near black, as does TiN when done in a particular atmosphere. I have seen a purplish black on knives I think done with atmosphere control.

BCRider
May 3, 2011, 01:14 AM
Jim, I didn't realize that there were options for Ti coating colours. So we could almost get a sort of Ti version of colour case hardening? I'd think this would be a look that I could learn to like depending on how it came out. I know I really like the look of CCH on my 1873 clones and when I've seen it on lever rifle receivers. I guess I'd have to see how it came out on semi autos.

Jim Watson
May 3, 2011, 01:23 AM
I have not seen anything resembling the blotchy mess of case colors done with TiN.

BCRider
May 3, 2011, 03:13 AM
BLOTCHY MESS? ! ? ! ? ! Some folks just have no tastes for the more interesting things in life :D

460Kodiak
May 3, 2011, 12:07 PM
:barf:

BCRider
May 3, 2011, 01:25 PM
Well, passing on the colour case hardening for a moment and getting back to the material itself.

I wasn't thinking about having it done after the fact but directly from the factory. And I believe that the big selling point is that the coating is extremely thin so no provisions need to be made for thickness buildup like with hard chroming.

It may not be as hard as a hard chrome but if it's good enough to survive for quite a while on drill bits and milling cutters it would appear to be a pretty good surface treatment for firearms to avoid scuffs and scratches in place of parkerizing or blueing. And if it can be manipulated to come out with darker colours other than gold that seems like it would be worth exploring.

Effigy
May 3, 2011, 03:15 PM
I don't know of any manufacturers that do TiN plating from the factory. Here's one place that does it aftermarket, but to refinish a whole pistol would cost you upwards of $500:
http://www.apwcogan.com/plating-and-refinishing/finishes-metal-finishes.html

RedAlert
May 3, 2011, 05:09 PM
One other advantage of the TiN coatings, from a machining perspective, is its lubricity. The coating actually reduces friction in the chip forming zone. I don't know if this would translate to reduced operating friction in the slide/frame rail zone or not. Maybe.

raz-0
May 3, 2011, 05:48 PM
Have a black titanium nitride coated gun (assuming AlTiN, but who knows).

The good:

It's pretty. It's SMOOTH, so mating surfaces will feel as good or better than at the start. It's THIN which means it doesn't really affect the fitment of anything, which is a very good thing on a custom gun. It's hard, so it's hard to scratch and wears well against friction. It absorbs a surprising amount of lube for being so thin. Anyplace you make a hole in the coating is not likely to lead to expanding flaking or peeling. It can be done at lower temperatures, so less issues with thin pieces of metal.


The bad: It's not corrosion resistant. The gun will rust beneath the coating which is porous. It's hard, so if the underlying metal is soft enough to dent, it will likely crack and flake off in that spot. PRICE. It's expensive! Availability. Not a lot of people do it, which means shipping it far, which means even MORE EXPENSIVE.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
May 3, 2011, 05:56 PM
Can't one run into a problem on certain wear areas where the plating comes off leaving a really sharp edge of plating where the plating remains?

I've seen chrome that is missing and typically the remaining chrome is extremely sharp and small pieces can even come off much like splinters.

Would that be a problem with this plating?:confused:

Effigy
May 3, 2011, 05:57 PM
Possibly. I think it's more of a "cool" finish rather than a practical one. Kind of like mirror-polished chrome.

raz-0
May 3, 2011, 06:54 PM
Can't one run into a problem on certain wear areas where the plating comes off leaving a really sharp edge of plating where the plating remains?

I've seen chrome that is missing and typically the remaining chrome is extremely sharp and small pieces can even come off much like splinters.

Would that be a problem with this plating?:confused:

No, that's not how it fails as far as I can tell. It doesn't tend to spread like that, and it doesn't come off in a sheet. I've only ever seen it fail in small spots, and the exposed surface remains small under normal use.

Cearbhall
May 3, 2011, 07:28 PM
These guys don't do guns, but they have a discription of common surface treatments available.
http://www.icscuttingtools.com/Surface.htm

BCRider
May 4, 2011, 12:46 AM
Well, I posted this more as a general discussion about the idea of the manufacturers using TiN or some variation of it as an OEM finish rather than as an aftermarket option. Done that way and in quantity it shouldn't affect the price much if it replaces other finishing options. Well.... other than for simple brushed finish stainless guns.

bsingleton47
July 16, 2011, 03:39 AM
Just purchased one of the last Titanium Nitride Baby Eagles from a company near Chicago called Megasports. It was one of the last ones left from the 2008 run of those guns.

I did some research on Titanium Nitride which included calling IMI in california who did the finish on these guns for Magnum Research. I am told that the Rockwell hardness is higher on Ti Gold than any hard chrome. Although the hard chrome is thicker, the titanium nitride is harder and more resistant to scratching.

A discussion with a tech at IMI revealed that this finish has had a track record of unsurpassed durabilty on long guns and with IPSC shooters. Bottom line, Titanium nitride is tough as nails. He has some amazing stories to tell.

Having been a gun enthusiast since I was a kid I am used to guns being blue or nickel. Stainless steel guns and parkerized finishes came later in my experience and I always thought guns lost some appeal with those finishes. I am a military man and I understand the tactical value of a gun that doesnt shine. But unless the mission warrants a dull finish the elegance of high polished firearm is a thing of beauty IMHO. Personally, I think the finish is cool and I have had enough guns in my lifetime to be a bit smug when it comes to other peoples opinions of my firearms. It is not 24 karat gold which is much softer. With a reasonable amount of care the finish should last many lifetimes. But dont believe me. Just call IMI.

BCRider
July 16, 2011, 04:26 PM
Nice.... post up some pictures and a report of how the gun's action feels and performs once you get it out to a range.

Rembrandt
July 17, 2011, 08:15 PM
No experience with coating an entire gun, but do have an AR bolt done in Ti.......easy to clean and maintain.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/ar-5.jpg

EddieNFL
July 17, 2011, 09:15 PM
This guy was doing TiN, but stopped due to material cost.

http://www.apwcogan.com/complete-price-list/section-7-refinishing.html

dprice3844444
July 18, 2011, 03:44 AM
http://www.robarguns.com/

just for fun
July 18, 2011, 05:36 PM
Because I totally destest any and all glocks, they would show an increase in sales if they had a gold tint. The more "bling" the better! So to answer your question YES for the glock crowd! Come to think about it pretend gold on a plastic gun even sounds right. :barf:

Mike1234567
July 18, 2011, 06:21 PM
Because I totally destest any and all glocks, they would show an increase in sales if they had a gold tint. The more "bling" the better! So to answer your question YES for the glock crowd! Come to think about it pretend gold on a plastic gun even sounds right. :barf:
Hey, plastics and rubbers of various types have been making life easier and "funner" for a very long time, grandpa.:evil:

casey44mag
July 20, 2011, 03:01 PM
I have a coating facility at my work I make endmills and cutters run CnC gringers sharpeners UTG's,PTG's,HHS's,SR's etc. I TiN-ed my bolt carrier and bolt for my Rock River Varmint AR It is easy to clean and does have lubricity from a cutter standpoint not sure on a bolt carrier tho. it looks just like REMBRANTS picture in his post i dont like the word "BLING" but it does have a "POP" with the gold ring on my VX-3 Luepold:D all i gota do is just hand it to Jeff and when they do a run of TiN cutters they throw my stuff in too and its free:evil:

Mike1234567
July 20, 2011, 03:11 PM
...all i gota do is just hand it to Jeff... they throw my stuff in too and its free.

Soooo... just let us know when to send you our stuff so we can get the free TiN coating. :D

casey44mag
July 20, 2011, 03:22 PM
Well i geuss i shouldn't brag i dont do it all the time. theres a saying "Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered" a motto to live by. But TiN and affiliated coatings are great and if you can do it and get past the "BLING" factor of gold on your gun id do it. They are super HARD and only had microns of thickness on the metal Better than hard chrome Hmm...... I wonder if you could TiN a Barrel bore and reloading dies and knives and...... :rolleyes:

Standing Wolf
July 20, 2011, 03:53 PM
I once looked at a Taurus pocket .38 special with a very pretty blue TiN finish. If it hadn't been a Taurus, I'd have bought it.

bsingleton47
July 21, 2011, 02:52 AM
It seems that the public needs an education regarding this finish. To describe this finish as "Bling" doesnt fit. The finish is unique looking. Certainly doesnt have a traditional look. The fact that it is gold looking is odd since there is no gold in the finish.

I must say I like the look of the Titanium Gold bolt and scope ring there Rembrandt. It would be cool to see some handguns come from the factory with Titanium Gold parts, barrels, triggers, and some other internal parts. Maybe even a coating on the spring since it is only microns thick.

I will have my pistol in a few days. Waiting now the typical few days to get cleared before pickup. When I do I will post pictures for sure. For now I will try to upload the one Megasports sent me. I think I will pass on different grips as I have seen on some of these Ti Gold guns as I feel that the black grips give it some semblance of a tactical gun.

deerhearse
July 21, 2011, 09:39 PM
Hornady does some of their reloading dies with TiN, I believe.

agtman
July 21, 2011, 10:07 PM
Try NP3 ...

... 'cause chrome and such don't get you home.

G20 & G29.
http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo166/agtman/CIMG1418.jpg

G20.
http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo166/agtman/CIMG1413.jpg

:cool:

BCRider
July 22, 2011, 07:34 PM
Bsingleton, it doesn't matter what the material actually is or isn't. If it's shiney and gold looking then it'll be seen as being all bling'y. You ain't gonna change that sort of reaction so you may as well get used to it.... :D

Having said that I'd buy such a gun. Up this way the need to make the gun dark to hide it in defensive roles isn't there. THey are range and competition toys. As such a TiN coated gun is going to be a nice switch that likely offers significant advantages. But we'd still be accused of being pimps with bling.... :D

bsingleton47
July 24, 2011, 03:38 AM
You are right BCRider, but you strike me as someone who like myself doesnt concern yourself with peoples opinion of your firearms. IMHO most handguns today are so boring looking, like the difference between a new 4 door sedan from Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota, etc. They are all pretty much a mixture of steel and plastic that have a dull black finish, at least as far as semi autos go. The finish will look like crap after a few pulls from your holster if you are carrying it. I used to subscribe to Shooting Times many moons ago, but now the covers all look alike. It is nice to see a change once in awhile, something that looks like the finish work was important.

Remember the Colt Royal Blue? Not the most durable finish but with some care it could last a lifetime. I had a 1911 Colt Special Combat Government in two tone blue and stainless back in the early 90s, one of the first ones made. Damn I wish I still had that one. :banghead:

I love my most recent aquisition because its all steel, its beauty and durability. Just call me Huggy Bear! ;)

gvf
July 24, 2011, 03:58 AM
Driving home to day I got to thinking about a thread on blueing vs parkerizing vs hard chrome vs whatever I read on another forum. That got me to wondering about the idea of Ti Nitriding. You know, that golden color seen on drill bits, milling cutters and some other tooling these days.

It's thin, it's harder than nails so it'll resist scratching by almost any source other than rubbing a diamond ring against it. So what's NOT to like... other than the rather bling'y gold look.

That Desert Eagle from a couple of years back, was it TiN or was it actually gold plated?

So what's your thoughts out there in THR land? Could you learn to live with/love a gold coloured gun if you knew it was only because it was coated with a hard and wear resistant coating that just happened to be gold in color? Or would the "pimp" connotation make you want to gag and puke? Or do you think you'd start out wanting to G&P and then get used to it and finally like it since it would be so tough and stay nice looking for so much longer?
You got a photo of something with that finish? I'd like to see what it looks like.

BCRider
July 24, 2011, 03:27 PM
gvf, look at the picture of bsingleton's Baby Eagle in TiN a few posts up. IWI/Magnum Research also did the big Desert Eagle in the same finish. Lots of pics of those guns is a mere google for "desert eagle images" away.

Bsingleton, to a big extent I find that you're right. Look at lines of handguns and other than the obvious striker vs hammer fired guns it can be quite easy to mix them up until you learn the subtle differences in shapes between them. A few, such as the Beretta 92 style and 1911, stand out. But even with the 1911 there's enough close clones with the same slide shape that an observer has to look twice in detail.

For a defensive gun I can more than see the desire for a dull and dark finish. But so many handguns are used primarily for sporting reasons. And for those there's no reason at all not to use options such as bright finish stainless, nickel or even a gold looking TiN finish.

And you're right, I may be amused at the reactions of others and even joke about my guns myself. But I buy them for ME first and foremost. Which is likely why I'm beginning to use my revolvers in IDPA and think that it would be cool to go against the flow and use a P38/P1 for something like IDPA as well.

bsingleton47
July 25, 2011, 02:44 AM
BCRider, interestingly enough the guy at IMI coating who does the Ti Nitrade for Magnum Research tells of an IPSC shooter with his 1911. As he had worn off several hard chrome finishes on the slide of his gun with all the draws from the holster he decided it was time to try something new. According to IMI the competitive pistol shooter had Ti Nitrade put on the slide and has yet to need it done again! The functionality of the finish is truly remarkable.

On another note I must say, I have never owned a gold colored gun. My wife hates it. It is a weird finish to the touch as well, very different. There seems to be a permanent film on the gun which needs no lubrication. Take the gun apart and look inside and in all the normal parts that you would see the wear to the bare metal on some of the internals, such as the slide stop, all you see is Ti Gold Nitrade without a trace of scratches or any appearance of the surface metal, pretty amazing!

As for the question posted earlier. 24 karat gold plating looks much more blingy. It looks like jewelry and will rub off very easily. Ti Nitrade is much more brassy looking, I hate to say it, but almost tacky looking. But I can forgive it alot if it holds up the way I am told it will.

Route666
July 30, 2011, 07:20 AM
I used to be right into DEs and they did have a 24k Gold one, a polished TiN that looked better in my opinion (more yellow) and I think it was later they stopped polishing the TiN so it is matte, but now they also have "tiger-stripe" polished and matte TiN.

Now they also had a new finish coming up when I used to be interested in them, called Titanium Carbon Nitride. It is apparently harder than the TiN, looks silver/slightly brown (actually I think it is clear, a kind of crystalline structure so you see the silver metal colour through it) but under different lights there is a touch of pink highlight from the certain frequencies of light interacting with the crystal lattice.

I found a pic! - attached.

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