The preferred finish


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straightshooter9
July 10, 2011, 01:04 PM
Which FINISH is the BEST for weapon protection and the least maintenance?

I have no problem with the "maintenance" aspect of taking care of a gun.
I was shopping in GANDER MOUNTAIN for a new shotgun and there were a dozen different models that had RUST on the display models! :uhoh:

If I'm about to buy a new gun I might as well consider which finish will withstand this FLORIDA HUMIDITY, right?

Will a "Parkerized" gun surface hold up better than the rest?
THANKS!

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isc
July 10, 2011, 01:25 PM
I'm a big fan of parkerizing. It holds oil well and is a great rust preventative. The only thing that I think is better is browning (not really suitable for most modern guns) or stainless steel construction.

9mmepiphany
July 10, 2011, 03:40 PM
For protection against rust and scratches...and ease of maintenance...I can't think of anything better than Hard Chrome

Smokey Joe
July 10, 2011, 04:10 PM
Duracoat??

AK103K
July 10, 2011, 04:36 PM
I can't think of anything better than Hard Chrome
Ill second that.

jimmyraythomason
July 10, 2011, 04:50 PM
My preferred finish is high polish bluing. Properly cared for it does just fine and Alabama's humidity can and does rival Florida's.

Screendmon
July 10, 2011, 04:50 PM
tenifer

CraigC
July 10, 2011, 04:54 PM
Hard chrome and electroless nickel are both very good. Chrome is harder and thus more wear resistant while nickel is more corrosion resistant.

Parkerizing is a good, utilitarian finish but I wouldn't pay to have it done. On its own, it is no more corrosion resistant than bluing. Its advantage is that it holds a lot of oil. Parkerized military firearms are typically kept very well-oiled, giving birth to the misconception that parkerizing is more rust resistant than bluing. Without the oil, it is not.

That said, I lived in Florida for 32yrs and rarely had a problem with rust on blued guns. Given reasonable care, they will last a lifetime but I must warn you not to leave them outside overnight.


tenifer
Tenifer (or Melonite) is not a finish, it is a surface hardening treatment and not suitable for all gun parts. The black finish present on most guns so-treated is actually black oxide.

Sam1911
July 10, 2011, 04:57 PM
Toughest finish... Duracoat??Allow me a polite guffaw! Duracoat is a very nice paint, but that's it. It will come off just like any other painted finish. It is a decent choice, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't belong in a discussion of the ultimate finishes.

Hard chrome or one of the proprietary treatments like Robar's NP3, Tennifer or Melonite (same thing, really) -- those are the "ultimate" most durable finishes.

Parkerized finishes are very good because they hold oil. They also hold paint very very well. A "paint over park" finish is extremely good -- right up there in the tier below hard chrome and the others mentioned before.

Nushif
July 10, 2011, 05:02 PM
Which <something> is the BEST for <stuff>?

Opinions. We all have them. Much like some other piece of our anatomy. And that's about all you'll find. 8)

Ultimately every finish is a tradeoff. I like worn bluing on steel. It looks pretty, but for a carry gun tenifer or parkerizing is probably the better choice. It's all a tradeoff.
As to what kind of maintenance you're prepared to provide? Dunno, but generally speaking anything stainless or more rugged than bluing works well for average shooter who also carries.

ball3006
July 10, 2011, 05:52 PM
Nice blued steel. I protect it with LPS2, a milspec rust preventative and lube that dries after application. I have never had a rust problem with any of my guns using this product, inside or out.....chris3

9mmepiphany
July 10, 2011, 10:35 PM
I've given this some thought and talked to a friend with some experience in the area of corrosion and wear resistance. He had two suggestions:

1. Stainless steel gun - plate it in electroless nickle (NP3 is electroless with teflon added)
2. Carbon steel gun - Melonite (domestic tennifer) the large steel parts and electroless nickle the smaller parts

bannockburn
July 11, 2011, 04:16 PM
I would have to go with hard chrome as my preferred finish. I have guns that were plated over 20+ years ago with SS Chromium Metalife and they have yet to show any surface wear.

Viper
July 11, 2011, 05:27 PM
Another vote for hard chrome. I don't have one, but my GF has a P3AT in HC and it's taken a beating for 10 years, and is still perfect.

Carter
July 11, 2011, 06:15 PM
As far as a carry gun I prefer stainless steel and polymer. However, my experience is somewhat limited.

I also like parkerized weapons, but I prefer that for rifles.

Although I'm sure if I was in a combat role I'd reconsider the stainless steel...

oldbear
July 11, 2011, 08:31 PM
Hard chrome and stainless steel are generally considered to be the best finish/material for general finish protection. I still prefer the old Smith and Colt deep blue finishes.

Dstoerm
July 11, 2011, 08:41 PM
I good parkerized finish is my favorite for durability - every time it gets oil it holds it well, and it lasts.

btg3
July 11, 2011, 08:49 PM
For protection/maintenance, the best finish is no finish. Another vote for stainless steel and polymer firearms.

For aesthetics, I'll take blued steel.

AK103K
July 11, 2011, 08:55 PM
I still prefer the old Smith and Colt deep blue finishes.
I do too, but unfortunately, they dont do to well if you sweat like hell and live with your gun.

gym
July 11, 2011, 11:18 PM
Stainless or nickle. I don't have any, but the ones I did have in stainless, 'polished, and nickle" lasted 20 years plus, and cleaned up easy. some of the coatings that look cool, are just a pain to clean, and ware off if you really rub them.

351 WINCHESTER
July 11, 2011, 11:22 PM
Armorloy (spelling)?

rodensouth
July 12, 2011, 10:58 AM
I have a couple rifles coated in Black T, and it seems pretty tough, although they've only seen a couple seasons of hunting. I like the matte finish.

Safetychain
July 12, 2011, 12:51 PM
I believe the OP asked for protection and rust prevention, not what looks good. Stainless, titanium or one of the other non (or not much) oxidizing metals is the only way. I guess stainless is the cheapest material. It may get its spots and stains but it will never oxidize to the point that the function of the gun is compromised, at least if you don't leave it on the bottom of the ocean while in contact with a more noble element like copper. I've got a homemade stainless anchor made up of at least 3 different grades of stainless that spends a lot of time on the bottom that is possibly shinier than when it was first made 20 years ago.

tbutera2112
July 12, 2011, 07:39 PM
Robar's NP3+

i like hard chrome myself, but you really cant even argue that NP3+ isnt the absolute best finish for longevity....granted its not a factory finish, but he just asked for the best finish

http://www.robarguns.com/np3%20plus.html

CapnMac
July 12, 2011, 07:44 PM
2. Carbon steel gun - Melonite (domestic tennifer) the large steel parts and electroless nickle the smaller parts

I'm thinking that would make for a handsome 1911, GP36, or even a CZ75, with the lighter-color controls and parts on the darker parts. Kind of a reverse of the Colt Custop shop finish with blue small parts on electroless nickle (which is a spiffy look, too).

9mmepiphany
July 12, 2011, 09:21 PM
but you really cant even argue that NP3+ isnt the absolute best finish for longevity
There was a time I would have agreed...until I bought some magazines which had been coated in NP3 which were peeling. I did some checking and it looks like it was a batch that had been done, along with the guns, for a LEA...it looked like the surface hadn't been prepped correctly. Granted it was only one magazine out of a batch of 10

tbutera2112
July 13, 2011, 11:04 AM
NP3+ is different from NP3

and it sounds like something just got messed up in prep - its not the actual finish that failed, just the employee who prepped it....i believe it carries a lifetime warranty, so perhaps you could send it back and have them redo it for ya?

Redneck with a 40
July 13, 2011, 11:09 AM
On a rifle, I like the parkerized finish.

For a pistol, stainless steel or melonite.

wh!plash
July 13, 2011, 11:23 AM
I'm not a huge Glock guy, but their tenifer finish is ridiculously resilient. I wish I could have a 1911 finished the same way.

tbutera2112
July 13, 2011, 11:46 AM
^ HK's HE finish is similar....one member on HKPro had his HK45c stolen and it was tossed in a river...it was recovered after 2 months under water and although the finish was wearing off, it was not rusted

those finishes are very tough

9mmepiphany
July 13, 2011, 01:07 PM
I'm not a huge Glock guy, but their tenifer finish is ridiculously resilient. I wish I could have a 1911 finished the same way.
You can, just have in finished in Melonite or one of the other trade names for molten salt bath ferritic nitrocarburizing. It's just a chemical metal treatment.

CraigC
July 14, 2011, 01:15 AM
I'm not even sure how the Tenifer or Melonite processes are even relevant. It is not a finish and even on a Glock, the slide is the only part so-treated. It is not suitable for all the small parts within a firearm, anything that isn't steel and probably not the barrel either. It is certainly not applicable to revolvers. Whereas the various platings such as hard chrome, electroless nickel and hybrid finishes like NP3 can be applied to any metal firearm part.

I think many believe the black finish on Glocks and XD's is a Tenifer or Melonite "finish" when it is really black oxide. As stated earlier, they are surface hardening treatments. They add nothing to the surface but hardness.

Sheepdog1968
July 14, 2011, 01:25 PM
Robar has some really good finishes. NP3 is a good one. There may be one finish that is better than that but I can't recall. Awerbuck did a reivew on Robar in the latest SWAT magazines and spent a few paragraphs talking about the various finishes including the one he had put on his range dummy gun.

BBQLS1
July 14, 2011, 03:48 PM
tenifer

This or Melonite is just hard to beat.

BBQLS1
July 14, 2011, 03:52 PM
I'm not even sure how the Tenifer or Melonite processes are even relevant. It is not a finish and even on a Glock, the slide is the only part so-treated. It is not suitable for all the small parts within a firearm, anything that isn't steel and probably not the barrel either. It is certainly not applicable to revolvers. Whereas the various platings such as hard chrome, electroless nickel and hybrid finishes like NP3 can be applied to any metal firearm part.

I think many believe the black finish on Glocks and XD's is a Tenifer or Melonite "finish" when it is really black oxide. As stated earlier, they are surface hardening treatments. They add nothing to the surface but hardness.


Blueing is a form of rust, parkerizing, bead blasting, and polishing are all considered finishes because that is how the gun is "finished" they protect the metal from damage. How can you not call it a finish? It may not be a coating, but it's a finish and better than raw metal.

straightshooter9
July 14, 2011, 03:53 PM
So the PARKERIZED finish on a MOSSBERG Shotgun would be a good one?

CraigC
July 14, 2011, 06:23 PM
It may not be a coating, but it's a finish and better than raw metal.
Because it isn't one. It's not meant to be. It's a surface hardening process. Not a finish. Tenifer and Melonite change NOTHING at the surface but the hardness. Bluing is a surface treatment, platings and coatings cover the surface. Tenifer and Melonite do none of these things and as stated, is not applicable but to a few select parts. The black oxide that is typically applied over Tenifer or Melonite treated slides IS a finish.

btg3
July 14, 2011, 06:54 PM
Blueing is a form of rust...
Incorrect. Both are forms of oxidation.
More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluing_(steel)

...better than raw metal.

There are numerous metals that will not rust even if no protective finish is present. Perhaps you meant to say "raw steel".

olafhardtB
July 14, 2011, 08:06 PM
There is a new kid on the block, electroless COBALT. It is even harder than hard chrome. You can look it up on the web. I make sights with things bought at the hard ware store. Bronells oxypho over electrogalvenized gives a dark bluebiack durable finish. I like oxypho for older rescued guns because it looks like an older taken care of finish and it works.

Magoo
July 14, 2011, 08:24 PM
For those of you talking about 1911s with a tennifer-like coating. Here's mine done with atranite:

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g251/jrr1/SAleft.jpg

Most everything was coated (no springs, FP, etc.). Unfortunately that pic was taken with a flash. It's very matte in person.

The cast iron stove it's sitting on was obiviously not coated with anything ;).

CraigC
July 14, 2011, 11:20 PM
.....with a tennifer-like coating.
Lordy mercy.

Sean Smith
July 15, 2011, 01:49 PM
Hard chrome on top of stainless steel is probably the ultimate combination. It has the bonus of negating any worries about galling (not that modern stainless steel guns have much of a problem with that anyway.)

Snowdog
July 15, 2011, 06:57 PM
Electroless nickel happens to be my favorite finish in terms of looks (it has a slight shimmery appearance) and low maintenance. I have both my K9 and Kimber with this finish.
EABCO is where I sent my Kimber for their "French Gray" finish. The turn around time was a bit lengthy at about 8 weeks, but the work as excellent.
The K9 arrived from the factory this way, back when the only choices of finish from Kahr was blued or nickel.

The Kimber hasn't been carried, but I carried my K9 nearly exclusively over 10 years (my wife now uses it) and I don't see any holster wear yet. I'd say that says a lot for the wear characteristics. It's not nearly as hard as chrome, but it will hold up fine to regular use.

bhk
July 15, 2011, 07:02 PM
Lordy mercy.
Amazing, isn't it?

CraigC
July 15, 2011, 07:57 PM
Amazing, isn't it?
Indeed!

Remo223
July 15, 2011, 08:07 PM
Because it isn't one. It's not meant to be. It's a surface hardening process. Not a finish. Tenifer and Melonite change NOTHING at the surface but the hardness. Bluing is a surface treatment, platings and coatings cover the surface. Tenifer and Melonite do none of these things and as stated, is not applicable but to a few select parts. The black oxide that is typically applied over Tenifer or Melonite treated slides IS a finish.
really. then why does a glock NOT rust? must be a little more to it than mere surface hardening.

Strykervet
July 15, 2011, 08:20 PM
I'm not a huge Glock guy, but their tenifer finish is ridiculously resilient. I wish I could have a 1911 finished the same way.
I think you could if you wanted, but you'd have to want to really bad. Look up tennifer finishes... It is actually called "nitroferrocarbeurizing" or some such. My spelling on that is probably way off. But the tennifer name is something I think Glock uses. The other thing about this treatment is that it may be illegal in the US now, it uses very nasty chemicals. It may have to be sent off... Like overseas. The treatment treats the metal itself, it isn't the finish at all, it is the rust preventative and is what aids in surface hardening the metal.

Anyway, I agree, nothing, nothing at all, beats that metal finish on a firearm. And it really isn't a finish, it is a metal treatment that turns the metal slightly gray. Almost invisible really. The black Glock finish is actually applied after the tennifer treatment. And as far as that goes, I liked the old black park looking finish better than the newer slick black paint looking stuff.

CraigC
July 15, 2011, 10:32 PM
really. then why does a glock NOT rust? must be a little more to it than mere surface hardening.
Google is your friend.

Remo223
July 16, 2011, 12:06 AM
Google is your friend.
google is YOUR friend, friend. my comment was a rhetorical question to make you think about the error of your comment.

Snowdog
July 16, 2011, 12:55 AM
From Smith & Wesson's Website (demo) (http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson2/upload/popups/MP_Fine/pageflip.html), bold italics added for emphasis:
When it comes to the slide and barrel, we machine both parts from solid bars of stainless steel that are through-hardened and Melonite finished for the additional strength, corrosion and scratch resistance.

These words could create some confusion. Does the Melonite process (which I previously understood as similar to Tenifer) impart something that appears to be a finish as a side benefit or is the finish on M&Ps something that is applied later, having absolutely nothing to do with the Melonite process?

I found it strange when I bought my M&P40c that the slide, in addition to being stainless (which is already more resistant to corrosion than ordnance steel) was also listed as being "Melonite finished". It makes more sense to me that the Melonite process simply hardens the surface of the stainless and doesn't serve as a rust-preventative finish.
It would have been less confusing to me if they simply stated this. However, I suppose explaining the specifics in detail isn't conducive to effective marketing.

I'm under the impression that whatever the actual finish is on the pistol is more for aesthetics and to reduce light reflection than to provide protection from rust.

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