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case hardening of firearms using chemistry

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by triker69, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. triker69

    triker69 New Member

    I have been gun smithing for about 40 years,but back in 62 i was in Las Cruses N.M>and old smith told me a way to case harden a gun for color,use copper sulfate first and then apply a cold blue,use the rules for per pairing a gun for bluing first.try on a old barrel of some type,the use of q-tips will give you tiger stripes,practice will make for a perfect job.it will be as durable as a cold blue job,have fun
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Well cold blue jobs are not very durable and the same would be true for that "case color". You can also "case color" steel with careful use of a torch, but that too produces a color that won't last well unless covered with laquer or some other transparent protection.

    Of course, none of those finishes will actually harden the surface as real case hardening will do. The original reason for case hardening was that old gun receivers and revolver frames were made of iron. Unlike steel, iron can't be hardened by heat treating, so case hardening (carburizing) was used to prevent wear from both the outside and from moving parts on the inside. The color was a by-product; it was often kept for cosmetic reasons long after steel made it unnecessary.

  3. triker69

    triker69 New Member

    case harden by chemistry

    yes i have used two methods of case harding,cyanide and charcoal,with some success,but you could not not control the color. Found using a torch did not give the color control i wanted,if a jewelers torch had been used it might have improved none of it will last very long. I talked with Roy Dunlap in Tucson
    and he stated he also used the copper sulfate method,and that was back in the early seventy's and there were a couple of shops in the middle lands in England that also use the copper sulfate method

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