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Can you blue a stainless gun?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by STAGE 2, May 1, 2006.

  1. STAGE 2

    STAGE 2 Well-Known Member

    Just like the title says. I'm looking for a specific pistol, however in the caliber I like they only have stainless. Is this possible to do, and when I say possible I dont mean possible if I fork over all of my savings. Thoughts and any reccommendations on who does a good job.
  2. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Well-Known Member

    Robar has a process to blacken Stainless Steel ... It think Tripp Research also does.

    Its not exactly "bluing" but it does make it more black.

    I have heard nothing but good things about either company.
  3. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    SS can be coated with the new teflon coatings and others, but not really blued like the old way. Places like Robar or The Birdsong finishes
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Durable black oxide is no problem. It won't have the blue tinge of carbon steel blueing, but a lot of newer blue finishes are pretty dark also.

  5. Kentak

    Kentak Well-Known Member

    No. Hence, the name "stainless." However, there are other processes that can put a dark coating on the metal. Try some googling.

  6. LoneCoon

    LoneCoon Well-Known Member

    On a similar note...

    On a similar note, I recently aquired a Zinc plated shroud for .357 Dan Wesson. Trouble is, the gun itself is blued. Is it safe the strip the zinc off with sodium hydroxide and reblue it?
  7. AZ Jeff

    AZ Jeff Well-Known Member

    Are you sure it's zinc plated? Zinc is used as a corrosion control coating in two forms, primarily: galvanizing (like on old metal pails) and bright zinc plating (such as on nuts and bolts). It's RARELY used on firearms.

    Most firearms that have bright metal parts are either nickle-plated, or chrome plated. I would bet the part in nickle plated, rather than zinc.
  8. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    Short answer is yes you can blue stainless steel.
    Brownells offers a chemical bluing compound called Oxynate 84 but this is a gunsmith hot tank solution it is not a cold blue.

    Any gunsmithing shop set up for standard bluing can use this product but it will require seperate tanks from their regular bluing solution and the stepa are a little different than conventional hot tank blue.

    I can appreciate your desire for a good blued finish on your firearm.
    I can abide parkarizing, actually prefer it, but I just cannot stand any spray on paint type of finish on a firearm.
  9. I don't believe stainless will take an authentic bluing job, because bluing is actually a stain of the steel, in effect, and stainless steel will not stain, but you can get stainless steel blackened. I have a stainless rifle that was factory blackened, and it looks something like a matt blue.
  10. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    Hawkeye, I somewhat agree but an authentic blueing to me involves fire,(furnace heat tempering the metal to a blue color) and oxidation( rust formed by the application of a solution of Nitric acid).
    These two surface treatments haven't been used in any great degree for a hundred years.
    Heat produced by friction can also cause metal to blue, ask anyone who has made chips what happens when the spindle speed and the feed are set too fast.

    Hot chemical blueing involves molecular bonding of the color agent with the iron in the steels composition using heated liquid as the attractant.
    Since 'Stainless' steel still contains more iron molecules than chromium molecules a chemical agent will indeed attract to and color the primary base metal.

    If you were to view the surface of chemically blued stainless steel it would look very, very spotted because areas of chromium blend into areas of carbon steel.
    The naked human eye isn't acute enough to detect this surface variation and the finish will indeed appear to be a uniform but matted blue/black color.
  11. LoneCoon

    LoneCoon Well-Known Member

    You're right, it is nickle plating.

    The question still remains, can I strip the nickle plating and reblueing the shroud?
  12. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    Someone that is set up to restore Garands usually has the right stuff. The gas cylinder on the Garand is stainless. My 'smith used the Brownells stuff to make mine black. Looks real good, but not as durable as bluing. Look at older non refinished Garands and you will see how the gas chamber's finish is very thin. Of course one can argue that anything that old and that used is going to be worn down :rolleyes:
  13. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Well-Known Member

    Yes, you can strip nickle and refinish to your taste, depending on what's under the nickle. Robar, Arizona Response Systems, Tripp Research can all do it. Good luck-
  14. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Well-Known Member

    Yes, some grades of stainless can be blued.

    The barrel on this PPC Trooper is a Douglas stainless. It was blued in a regular hot tank, but after it was given an acid bath (pickling) , and left in the tank about twice as long as usual with extra heat.


    Good Luck...

  15. GeorgeR

    GeorgeR Well-Known Member

    Hot Blue Stainless Steel

    There are two commercial formulas available to blacken and stain stainless steel. Brownell's Oxynate 84 and DuLite's 3-0 salts (which I use). Both are harder to use than straight blueing salts, but they will do the job. I use DuLite to blacken stainless and also for Win 94s between 2,700,000 and 5,024,957. It's also useful for those receivers with a higher silicone content that turn reddish or plum colored with regular blueing.
  16. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    Hey George, is that the Winchesters made around '72 that had the iron plating to accept a regular bluing? I've got one that has the plating popping off with a freckled apperance. Do you have a shop that provides services, or just a hobbiest that does your own guns?
    I've been thinking about stripping mine down and parkerizing it, but I'm having trouble finding a stainless tank that big.
  17. GeorgeR

    GeorgeR Well-Known Member

    Win 94s

    Them's the ones. 3,185,692 to 3,806,499 (1968 to 1972) were black chromed and 3,806,500 to 5,024,957 (1972 to 1981) were iron plated. Been giving us fits ever since. The same salts for stainless work on these guns after you take off the plating. I use 80 grit hard wheels, but if you do it without regard to profit or time, the best way is by hand. You can then polish back up to about 400 grit and blue.
    I'm really embarassed by my turnaround time on stainless and Win 94s-8 to 10 weeks- so you might want to try Du Lite at 869-347-2505 or Brownell's to see if they have customers who can do the job sooner. My site is www.gunblue.homestead.com. George

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