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Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Keyser Soze, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Well-Known Member


    Any information on the melonite finish/treatment. Could one have a 1911 "melonited"? Has any one done that and what were the results. Will the 1075 F degree bath heat cause problems with the metalurgy of the frame and slide?

    Seems to me that a tenifer like treatment/finish would be great on a 1911.

    I have been unable to find in depth information on the treatment as it applies to firearms. There is at least one firm on the west coast that will do it as well as one gunsmithing shop that will farm out the treatment/coating ( probably to the first company) .

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

    The vendor I know of is Flame Metal Treating. They are located in Wisconsin of Minnesota (I have a memory like a steel...sieve)

    Melonite is identical to Tennifer AFAIK. It is a carbo nitriding process that behaves differently on different types of steels.

    On Stainless Steels is forms an abrasive surface. The abrasiveness can be overcome by using the entire QPQ process, which involves polishing the areas of interest and giving the part another dunk.

    The treatment WILL affect the core hardness of the metal. The case I am most familiar with (4140 with an initial hardness of 45 Rc) resulted in a core hardness around 35 Rc. That is a significant difference in hardness, however, the melonite results in a very hard coating on 4140, around 70 Rc. 70 Rc is harder than most knives and metal cutting tools.

    edited nitrocarburizing to carbo nitriding
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2003
  3. basicblur

    basicblur Well-Known Member

    Melonite info

    From my research within the last 2 weeks:
    Bought a S&W Sigma SW9VE, that apparently was a special order of 4000 from S&W that fell through, and were sold for $279 (new)! Apparently the original purchaser specified a carbon steel slide with Melonite instead of the OEM stainless slide. Traded an older SW9C for a SW40VE that came with a dull finish/stainless slide (didn’t know at the time, and I’m not a fan of shiny guns). Checking possibilities for blueing/Melonite on the SW40VE’s stainless slide, and S&W told me the Melonite treatment was put on the SW9VE I bought by the folks below. Called them and here’s the info I got:
    Flames Metals Processing Corporation
    7317 West Lake Street
    Minneapolis, MN 55426
    (952) 929-7815
    3/24/03: Spoke to Flames Metal Processing (Bill)
    1. Find out what grade stainless slide and barrel are from S&W; not really necessary, but nice to know (S&W says stainless is 400 series)
    2. $125 lot charge: send as many parts as you like, within reason
    3. Send $10 for return UPS shipping
    4. Send detailed letter 'bout what you want done!
    6. Send to Flames Metal Processing/12450 Ironwood Circle/Rogers, MN./55374

    Got all the above from S&W by going thru Customer Service, their metals department, their metallurgist, and Flame Metals. Flame Metals says the Melonite is put on a finished product, so no problems with stampings, etc on existing slides, etc.

    Probably going to put a few rounds through the SW40VE before possibly having the treatment done at a later date.
    BTW…when talking to S&W after speaking with Bill at Flame Metals, the S&W metallurgist kinda wondered if you could have Melonite put on stainless. While not directly asking Bill at Flame Metals, during our conversation all the talk was about the SW40VE’s stainless slide (and I was told to find out the grade of stainless), so I assume it can be done? I never directly asked him “can you Melonite stainless partsâ€, so you might want to specifically ask this question if you go this route.
    S&W wanted $86+$14 S&H to blue the slide, so for the money, I’ll probably go the Melonite route if/when.

  4. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    Theoretically you can carbonitride stainless steel but I don't know what the results would be as far as looks and you probably reduce the 'stainless ' or corrosion resistance.
  5. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Well-Known Member

    Thank you Basicblur and Owen. I will be making some calls.
  6. basicblur

    basicblur Well-Known Member

    Let us know what you find out and/or do.
    I'd like to know the results if you have stainless done. If I decide to do my SW40VE's slide, I'll have to ask a few more questions next time I talk to Flame Metals.

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