1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.


Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Jeremiah10:23, May 7, 2012.

  1. Jeremiah10:23

    Jeremiah10:23 Well-Known Member

    After being educated some on 1911's recently I decided to take a look at Nighthawk's website.

    I notice they say they use Black Nitride on their pistols and it made me curious. I know there are "many" different finishes used by various manufacturers, my question is, is there one finish that is superior to others? Maybe I should ask which finish has the best resistance to rust and holster wear? Maybe we could compare to stainless although I do not liek "shiny" guns.
  2. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Well-Known Member

    Glock has the best (the ones that were built in austria). Every one else us trying to copy them.
  3. GCBurner

    GCBurner Well-Known Member

    The nitride surface hardening treatments, known variously as Nitron, Black Nitride, Melonite, or Tennifer, depending on the manufacturer, are all very durable. I haven't had enough experience with all of them to say that one is superior to another, but they are all more scratch resistent than plain stainless steel.
  4. Jeremiah10:23

    Jeremiah10:23 Well-Known Member

    I knew someone would throw this in, it just happened faster than I thought it would.
    No I am not bashing Glock, I am waiting to get my hands on one to shoot. If you feel Glock's is best tell me why.
  5. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane Well-Known Member

    Wrong answers so far.

    Melonite, or Tennifer are treatments to the metal that Walther and Glock do BEFORE sticking on the black finish.

    The BLACK stuff you are seeing is not the Melonite, or Tennifer.
  6. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    Correct. The final finish is black parkerizing, a "first defense" should the finish wear to the tenifer.
  7. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    Actually, no.

    The Walther pistols (P99AS, PPQ, and PPS) have a tenifer/nitride finish that is similar to the Glock pistols, but has a more flat black finish (as opposed to the shiny grey finish of the newer Glocks) than has proven to be much more durable in my experience.
  8. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    That's very interesting considering that Glock didn't develop, and doesn't own the Tenifer process. Durferrit GMBH of Mannheim, Germany developed and still owns the Tenifer process, which Glock simply uses. Durferrit also explicitly states that Tenifer, Tufftride, and Melonite are all the same process with three different trade names (all of which they own).

  9. RugerOldArmy

    RugerOldArmy Well-Known Member

    In my book, the best finish is matte hard chrome. It's durable (hard and corrosion resistant), has a high lubricity (dunno about that spelling...but the slide glides well) and it is attractive (subjective).
  10. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    I'm seconding the vote for the hard chrome.

    They put that treatment on the piston rings in a lot of cars. Think you could slide your gun back and forth in your holster for the equivalent of 200,000 miles?
  11. Spanky Albert

    Spanky Albert Member

    I have never had a Glock rust, and I have carried in every condition imaginable. Rain, snow, the high humidity of where I live in East TN. My Glocks have withstood it all just fine.

    Deus Machina makes a good point about hard chrome. I would not hesitate to have a gun finished in hard chrome. Not only is it extremely durable, but it looks great too.
  12. First, it should be noted that Tennifer, Melonite, and similar treatments are not "finishes". They are actually surface hardening processes that change the structure of the metal to a certain distance under the surface.

    These surface hardening processes are part of a hot bath nitriding process.

    Depending on which exact type of process is used, this in and of itself may impart a blackened apearance. Often the manufacturers will add additional blackening/bluing on top of that, such as Parkerizing.

    Alloy frames are never treated with Melonite or Tennifer processes, but are annealed and then finished.

    Surface treatments such as bluing, Parkerizing, hard chrome, Duracote, nickel, Black-T, Cerakote, and others, are basically put on top of the metal substrate.

    One of the beauties of the various nitriding processes is that they provide excellent corrosion resistance, even if the outer finish or color is worn down, scratched, etc.

    In addition to the slides on Glocks, all M&P slides are treated with a similar process, Melonite.

    Of course the greatest example of this, on one of the greatest guns made, are on the 3rd generation S&W pistols such as the 4566 Melonite version. The WV State Police just scored a major coup by forcing S&W to make a large run of these all metal guns. Stainless Steel, .45 cal, DA/SA, Melonite finish.
  13. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane Well-Known Member

    To answer the original posters question-a pure stainless steel gun has always been my favorite followed by a hard chromed.

    I carry a P3AT in hard chrome. Given Kel Tecs low quality level, the hard chrome (which they don't do themselves) shows zero wear whatsoever in a year pocket carrying.
  14. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Well-Known Member

    People have done unholy things to glocks (including week long saltwater baths) and they keep in ticking rust free. I never said they invited it and they are not the only one to use it but they did make it an industry standard.
  15. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    No, but you did say they were the best. Which they aren't.

    Many manufacturers use the tenifer (or similar processes) on their guns, but there are some (Walther and H&K come immediately to mind) that use a better-looking and more durable finish OVER the tenifer-treated steel than Glock uses.
  16. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Well-Known Member

    Please provide proof that they are more durable.
  17. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Well-Known Member

    I have had more experience with the tenifer finish on Glocks than any others. Second would be cerakote/duracote type finishes. My Glocks have been exposed to sweat, saltwater, blood, pool water, tap water, rain, and pond water. The only rust I have seen is a small spot on my G26 that looks like the tenifer didn't take hold and on the metal sights.

    Cerakote/Duracote type finishes are Decent, but (IME) I have see them wear off rather quickly. Especially after a couple hundred from the holster presentations. This of course could be from improper application.

    Hard chrome is hard to beat. I have heard good things about Birdsong and Black T.
  18. robinkevin

    robinkevin Well-Known Member

    I cast my vote for Hard Chrome follow by Nickle then the Melonite or Tennifer. Personally I think hard chrome or nickle are just the best finishes for a carry defense weapon, not so much for tactical use however.
  19. ku4hx

    ku4hx Well-Known Member

    All finishes will eventually fail; that's just the nature of things. The salient point is which finish is best suited for the conditions under which the gun will be used. Some resist salt corrosion better, some resist other chemicals better, some resist wear and abrasion better and so forth.

    Any high tech finish is "better" and far more protective than guns "in the white" and frankly the marginal differences among them all is minor. No matter the finish, keep the gun clean, free of salt and other corrosives and wipe it down with a preservative dampened cloth (motor oil, WD-40, Sheath, 3in1 and etc.) when you put it away.

    I've got Damascus barrel shotguns over a century old with nary a spec of rust. But they have been kept clean, properly oiled and wiped down with an oily cloth after being admired. And they have no high tech finish of any kind.
  20. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    Please provide proof that they are not.

    Simple - I'm going off first-hand experience. Both seem to have a crazy degree of corrosion resistence (it is the same tenifer treatment after all). But it's the flat black (or really dark grey on newer Glocks) finish OVER the tenifer-treated steel that I'm talking about. What Walther applies to their slides is much more resistent to scratches and wear in my experience.

Share This Page