Installment 1 of "appreciate some tutoring...." case hardening using modern compounds


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unknwn
December 7, 2012, 11:53 AM
Rather than stretch someone else's thread beyond the original inquiry I thought that getting a new series of questions rolling about the problems/solutions of the Pietta (& Uberti) C&B and other reproduction firearms.
Adding a quote from the "1860 Pietta problem" thread as one of the answer men suggested, here goes:
"... would really appreciate some tutoring as regards the tuning aspects of my seven various open tops and a pair of '58 New Army Pietta revolvers..."

On the topic of using heat treating of select parts of the guns after they have been "slicked up" or otherwise repaired or modified:

I have learned that the original Kasenite substance ceased to be produced some time ago and has been replaced on the market by similiar? stuff.
I wonder if there is any dramatic difference beyond price and availabilty to these two alternate products?:
http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/metal-prep-coloring/color-case-hardening/surface-hardening-compound-sku083000033-27119-52952.aspx#producttabLearn
and:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/119479/cherry-red-surface-hardening-compound-1-lb
when I read through the descriptions the Brownell stuff instructed to coat the part prior to heating and that it comes through the process scale-free
While the CherryRed compound calls for being added to a part AFTER it has been heated to the extreme and then to heat to that extreme again followed by a choice of quench or air cooling. That product explains the need for addressing scaling , ect. .

Before I finished and posted this thread I went back to the "1860.. problem" thread and got caught up on the posts, and I would like to thank - rifle - for his post on his use of the case hardening compounds.
Question to you rifle: Which brand of product did you use, and could it likely make any sort of benefit -one over the other- ??

I'm really looking forward to keeping these highly informational threads going, so, here's our chance for this particular topic.
Please chime in Old Fuff, denster, and others I may have failed to mention.

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denster
December 7, 2012, 10:00 PM
I've not used the two compounds listed as I still have a good supply of Kasenite. The instructions for Cherry Red sounds like it is a similar compound to Kasenite.
Essentially with any case hardening compound you are carburizing the surface of low carbon steel. Or basically cooking carbon into it. Quenching in water will give you a glass hard surface, oil not quite as hard and air cool a tougher but not hard surface. The depth of the case hardening can range from one or two thousandths to a max of about .015 depending on the length of time the part is kept at or near the critical temperature. With water or oil quench there is little or no scale.
As to it's use on revolver parts it will certainly work. That said check them first and if they are allready hard (most likely) don't fix it if it ain't broke.

Hellgate
December 8, 2012, 11:50 AM
I've only hardened triggers that have had their sears chip and need reshaping. I harden the reshaped trigger because the exposed metal has had the hard surface removed.

72coupe
December 8, 2012, 12:08 PM
I have a can of Herter's World Famous case hardening. I have never used any of it but I have loaned it to friends who have made good use of it.

Old Fuff
December 8, 2012, 05:15 PM
I haven't tried the new Brownell product, but I'm going to. It must be popular because they are currently out of stock.

They have another product called "Heat Stop" that's useful. You can coat those areas of a part you don't want to harden, and it acts like a heat sink. I generally only harden the lower part of the hammer where the bolt cam and notches on the hammer face are. It really isn't necessary to harden the upper part of the trigger or hand, but in the case (pardon the pun) of the trigger it may slightly improve the trigger pull.

Brownells are super people to deal with. On request they will usually send you a free copy of the instructions that go with any of they're products, and they have an outstanding group of experts onboard that will answer questions about most anything. Tell them what you want to do, and they will explain how to do it.

They are also the only ones I know of that sell the equipment and supplies to do genuine bone & charcoal, color case hardening as it was done during the 19th century and before. Understand that the case handening under discussion in the first paragraph will make a part's surface hard, but not give you any but gray colors.

unknwn
December 9, 2012, 01:34 PM
quote:
"...I generally only harden the lower part of the hammer where the bolt cam and notches on the hammer face are..."
Why wouldn't you promote hardness of the hammer striking face? It seems that the wear /imprinting of slamming into the cap/nipple would call for some attention too.
Can you harden the stainless steel as is used by the Italian manufacturers?
I have a Pietta .44 '58 hammer that was quite beat up by some bloke that dry-fired the gun until the nipples bent over. After I dress the damage and fit the striking face as best as is possible I'd like to toughen it up if that is at all doable.

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