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Colour case hardening on "classic" semis?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by BCRider, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    If the classic all steel semis such as the 1911, Browning Hi Power and Beretta 92's were available with colour case hardening and the "splotchy" browns, blues and even purples were available would you be up for buying such a thing? Or do you see such finishes as more appropriate to the old world revolvers?

    Having bought a few Italian Classic Era cloned revolvers with this finishing I can't help but wonder if I would be swayed by the same finish on a semi if it were done in ways that produced colouring that fit with the style of gun.

    I'm inclined to say "yes" to this since I really like the colour case hardened finishes on my guns so far.
  2. kozak6

    kozak6 Well-Known Member

    Some are. No, I wouldn't be interested. It's too expensive.


    Looks great. $1100.
  3. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    Just doesn't look right to my eye on an auto, but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  4. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Beretta 92s/M9s have Aluminum frames, except for a few fairly rare versions like the Steel I and Billenium models.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Color case hardening was never used as a finish, except to harden working parts like hammers & triggers on S&W & others, and frames like on double-barrel shotguns and SAA Colt revolvers.
    The "color" was just a by-product of the actual intentions of it's use.

    In actual fact, color case hardening makes a very poor firearms finish in itself.

    It wears off quickly from handling & sun, and the colors will fade in a relatively short period of time when exposed to normal gun handling.

    I would not buy a 1911 with a color case hardened finish on a bet, as if I used it, it would be a gray ghost fairly quickly!

  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Besides the reasons expressed by rcmodel, the high-heat process used to make true bone & charcoal color/case hardening would result in warpage on a high number of frames. It might work on slides, but again - the usual heat treating done to them would be ruined.

    Other methods to simply produce a sort of color caseharding look might work, but most of the results don't look right. Original pistols were either blued or plated, and things should stay that way. Otherwise you open a can of worms.
  8. VA27

    VA27 Well-Known Member

    Gimme blue steel frames and slides with CCH hammers and triggers. That's classic.
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member


    Don't try to case harden one of them new triggers that has pot-metal or plastic fingerpieces... :what: :D
  10. Dimis

    Dimis Well-Known Member

    I would have to say yes if it was a 1911
    for some reason I love the way the Olympic Arms look but never liked OA so I wont buy one

    the kimber centennial is gorgeous to me with the case colored frame and blue slide

    but I also know more often than not RC is right so I would probably only do this on a safe queen which I probably wouldnt own (I shoot everything I get my hands on)

    so sadly as much as I find it to be a beautiful finish I couldnt justify owning it
  11. Nushif

    Nushif Well-Known Member

    I have to say ... I love the way it looks. a whole lot.

    But I would have my concerns about durability. So if they came up with a process that's also a good protecting coat ... I'd say hells yes! On any semi!
  12. Cards81fan

    Cards81fan Well-Known Member

    Why not a Sig in "Rainbow Titanium?"


    (It's not my style either, guys)
  13. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Well-Known Member

    I would go with a case color frame and this damascus slide in a heartbeat...maybe a new project gun....

  14. xr1200

    xr1200 Well-Known Member

  15. Dimis

    Dimis Well-Known Member

    reading that link im a bit confused

    ive read articles about case color techniques using old motor oil instead of the bone and leather method
    im sure the oil method is a newer way since case hardening would predate cars

    but now im curious if one would do the old motor oil technique would it in turn be a better finish with some of the oil penetrating the steel?

    or am i just out on a limb?

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