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Glock barrel plated?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by HSMITH, May 27, 2003.


    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    I was told tonight that the barrel of a Glock pistol is Tennifer (sp?) coated/plated inside and outside? Is this true? Searching the net is not turning up much. I was also told that this Tennifer coating/plating can flake off or be released by the metal creating the appearance of pits. Any input there? The pistol in question is a third gen 40 if that matters.

    I know Tennifer is tough, I had a G17 that I beat the crap out of for years and it help up tremendously well. I am not sure about what I was told tonight however.

    Anyone have a phone number and a contact at Glock that I could talk to directly?
  2. Gilmore

    Gilmore Active Member

    It isn`t any kind of plating, it has had a chemical treatment that basically case hardens the surface of the steel. I don`t believe it is used on the inside of the barrel just the surface of it and the slide. Nothing to flake off, just a very hard surface of the existing steel.
  3. Nero Steptoe

    Nero Steptoe member

    The entire barrel and slide are tenifered, both inside and out.
  4. swingcatt

    swingcatt Well-Known Member

    Tennifer isn't a coating it's a treatment to the metal. The black color of the slide(!) is parkerizing. The parkerizing might wear off, but the treatment of the metal goes a few mils below the surface. The barrels are treated also, but not parkerized. That is why they last so long and is also why they use the polyagonal rifleing. The tennifer treatment makes the metal almost as tough as a diamond on the Rockwell Hardness Scale and I have heard (not seen mind you) that some people sharpen theor knives on the slides.

    Last edited: May 28, 2003
  5. Navy joe

    Navy joe Well-Known Member

    HeHe, umm, the black coloring on the frame is plastic, but I know what you meant ;)

    Tenifer is a dumb sounding trade name for nitro-carburizing. Nothing plated on, but the surface layer of the barrel and slide are chemically converted in this process to something harder than woodpecker lips. If you see pits you figured out how to corrode your bore, not good.

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    I was impressed when I heard it was as hard as diamond, but then I heard woodpecker lips and if that were true then there could be nothing short of atomic attack that would hurt the Tenifer finish........................:D :D :D

    The gun was a present, I got it home and cleaned it and WALLA a frosted bore:cuss: :cuss: :cuss: The shop is the one that told me Tenifer was a plating........ Tis the reason I call to you guys for help, and I thank you for the help so far.

    BTW, the next measure of hardness under woodpecker lips is "so durn hard a cat cain't skratch it!!" :D :D Over wookpecker lips hardness? NEVER!!!!!!!! LOL
  7. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    I saw a Glock 9mm barrel that definitely had pits in the corners of the grooves despite looking unfired. I always wondered about that.
  8. Handy

    Handy Guest

    It's apparently not Parkerizing. It's black oxide that is done as part of the nitro-carburizing process.

    Tennifer is one of the most corrosion resistant finishes. I say again; RESISTANT. Abuse anything and it will corrode - stainless, chrome, whatever.
  9. Nero Steptoe

    Nero Steptoe member

    The black finish has nothing at all to do with the tenifer process.
  10. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Then you saw an aftermarket barrel. Glock 9mm barrels don't have grooves since they employ polygonal rifling.

    For the people talking about "frosted" bores, or bores showing some sort of odd "lines" or what sometimes appears to be hairline cracks in the bores of Glock barrels... That's common in Glocks that have only had a few hundred rounds through them. It disappears with more shooting and doesn't affect function or accuracy.

    IIRC, the surface of "tenifered" steel is harder than chrome, and more corrosion resistant than any of the stainless alloys used in guns. It's a pretty amazing treatment. About as close to truly corrosion proof as steel can get.
  11. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    John, it was a Glock bbl. I called it grooves for lack of a better term. Glock 9mm with the serial # of the gun on it.

    Maybe your second comment addresses what these imperfections were. Thanks.
  12. Handy

    Handy Guest

    Alright Nero,

    Where does that shiny black surface on the barrel come from?
  13. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

    Tenifer is more widely known as QPQ. Handy is close, it is not nitro-carburizing, but carbo-nitriding (according the the lit I have on my desk, right in front of me). Depending on the substrate, is is somehwere between 60 and 75 Rc. It is not a coating at all, but a heat treating process. The black is introduced during the finishing process.

    It works bacsically the same as carburizing. Nitrogen is infused into the surface of the metal, disturbing the grain structure. It also lowers the core hardness of the slide, which is a good thing.

    Tough parts are like M&M's, crunchy on the outside, and squishy on the inside.

    The slides are heated to, well, very warm (1100 deg F or so), quenched, polished (which removes the color) and quenched again (to replace the color). Quench Polish Quench = QPQ =Tenifer = Melonite.
  14. swingcatt

    swingcatt Well-Known Member

    From http://www.f-r-i.com/glock/misc/overview.htm


    The Tenifer-treated slide and barrel

    Glock barrels and slides are made from quality steel which has been treated with a special "Tenifer" process. This colorless carbo-nitrate formula enriches the steel with oxygen, sealing its pores. Tenifer makes the steel extremely hard (as hard as industrial diamond on the Rockwell scale) and corrosion resistant. The steel will not scratch or rust, period! In fact, the slide is so hard you can use it to sharpen your knives.

    The barrel is treated both inside and out. Because of this, Glock barrels do not show the normal wear associated with untreated barrels by other manufacturers. Glock, Inc., has one barrel which has fired one million rounds and still works; another has fired 300,000 rounds and still shoots better than 1½" groups!

    Glock also parkerizes the slide and barrel to give them a matte black color. While the parkerizing might wear off showing "bare" steel beneath, the Tenifer is still there. In fact, it penetrates the steel to a depth of three microns. Even a Glock which has lost all of its matte black finish is still scratch- and rust-proof.
  15. ktd

    ktd Well-Known Member

    as far as rifling goes, I have read that NYPD ordered Glocks with conventional rifling so that they can ballistic print them better, and an armourer friend told me that the Austrian issue Glocks actually have conventional rifling to allow the firing of lead bullets just in case.
  16. Handy

    Handy Guest

    The barrel is not Parkerized! If you have ever seen Parkerizing, you would realize that the very dark, shiny smooth finish on the barrel can not be that.

    Like Owen said, it's done on the tail end of the heat treatment process, which I'm pretty certain is iron oxide.

    The black part does not have to be part of the process (Witness "Wunderfinish"), but is included in the Glock, HK and probably S&W processes.
  17. ktd

    ktd Well-Known Member

    correction to my previous post

    My armourer friend actually told me that German military guns are conventionally rifled instead of polygonal, not Austrian.
  18. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Well-Known Member

    Tennifer is a salt-nitride process used to harden the surface of steel (.69RC) and to provide superiour corrossion resistance.

    Older Glock slides were then finished with a type of parkerizing. The newer (G3) ones have some kind of shiny teflon finish. The finish is for cosmetic reasons and it will burnish, at least the parkerized ones will. Haven't had the teflon finished one long enough to know how it will hold up.

    The barrel has some kind of finish on the outside, looks like teflon, but the inside of the barrel is just tennifer treated steel. Tennifer treated steel is a dull dark gray in color.

    Look at the feed ramp of a glock and the metal inserts in the frame. That is what tennifer treated steel looks like.

    Tennifer process:

    4. Nitriding and Nitrocarburising
    In nitriding, nitrogen is diffused into the surface of steel components by heating them to about 520oC in an atmosphere of ammonia or exposing them to a low pressure nitrogen + hydrogen atmosphere while they are subjected to a glow discharge. To obtain a high surface hardness (above 750 HV) elements that form hard nitrides, eg Al, Cr, Mo, V, must be present in the steel.

    Due to the lower temperature than that used for carburising, the process times are much longer (20 + hours) and this factor combined with the fact that there is no quench means that danger of distortion is greatly reduced.

    Nitrocarburising is a variation on nitriding, normally carried out between 570 and 585oC in either a molten salt bath or gaseous atmosphere. A treatment time of 90 - 120 minutes gives a shallow layer, about 20 micro m, and although this is not particularly hard, it provides excellent wear and fatigue resistance.

    There are a number of proprietary processes: Tufftride, Tennifer, Nitrotec. In some variations sulphides are added to the salt bath, giving even better wear resistance. Two processes are Sulfinuz and Sursulf.
  19. Tecolote

    Tecolote Well-Known Member

    The latest Glocks don't have a phosphate finish on the slides. It's more like a teflon like on non-stick pans. The new finish resists holster wear better. The barrels are blued but like the other posters said the slides and barrels are first tenifer treated before being finished.

    The bores of new Glocks have residue from the tenifer treatment. It takes a few hundred rounds and cleaning with bore solvent to remove the residue.
  20. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    There are some strange definitions here. If you do a search on 'Tennifer' you will find ( mostly in german) that it is a trade name for a gas carbonitriding process . This puts both carbon and nitrogen into the steel within a few thousandths from the surface. This results in a hard wear resistant surface and a tough core when the steel is hardened. After this is done the the steel may be given various surface treatments such as Parkerizing ( manganese phosphate) , teflon coating etc. The process does not "add oxygen" nor "disturbe the grain" nor will it "flake off". The basic process is many years old. Just the metallurgical facts!!!

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