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Should I media blast my RIA 1911?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by EvilGenius, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Well-Known Member

    I have an RIA 1911 Tactical that has a 2 tone finish.

    The slide and moving bits are parkerized, but the frame is "nickel". I cant really tell if it is or not, it just has a matt steel looking finish.

    The reason I ask is I bought a novak picatinny rail to mount on the dust cover that I ended up welding on. Now that I have it installed and the welds smoothed down I figured the easiest way to remove the charred mess around the welds would be to hit it with a media blaster that we use on steel parts at work. But I dont want to actually take off a nickel finish.

    But if it actually IS just media blasted steel, then why hasn't it rusted?

    Either way,would blasting up and around the rails and such hurt the operation as well?
  2. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    You would have done far more damage to any plating by welding than by media blasting. Nickel and chrome plating should be removed before welding. Are you sure that it is not stainless steel?
  3. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I don't know how to tell.

    I agree with you though. However, it's as on there as it's gonna get. So maybe it isn't actually nickeled?
  4. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

  5. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Well-Known Member

    It's a bit pinkish, but yes.

    Here's an actual picture as it is now.

  6. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Well-Known Member

    I've tried doing a small amount of filing on the inside of the dustcover to see if there's any indication of copper and I'm not seeing anything. I have it completely stripped to the frame right now and I dont see any copper peaking anywhere thers has been rubbing. The gun has over 1500rds, I'd think theyre'd be something somewhere.
  7. Guntoter

    Guntoter Well-Known Member

    Looks like Electroless Nickel to me. Unlike Nickel or Chrome, I believe EN is applied directly to the base metal and requires no copper interface plating. A call to Armscor would probably be in order.
  8. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    Discovered when I went their website that Armscor doesn't list any stainless guns. Only carbon and nickel plated.
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Hit a worn through, or right next to a welded surface with cold blue.

    If it blues, it is carbon steel.

    If it doesn't, it is stainless steel.

  10. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Well-Known Member

    So would it be a terrible idea to just blast the whole thing?

    I plan on having it cerakoted in the near future, but I could blue it in the mean time. (This thing a beat it up competition/carry gun, so it aint s'posduh be pretty.
  11. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    Nickel is best removed by chemical stripping. It will take a lot of blasting to get it off.
  12. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Well-Known Member

    So just giving it a quick blast shouldnt be an issue?

    I dont plan on stripping it, I just assumed it would happen if I hit it with a blaster. I didnt want to unintentionally end up with a half stripped gun and start getting some weird corrosion going on in random spots.
  13. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Well-Known Member

    Ok, so apparently its the electro nickel type of plating.

    I tried about a half second blast on the inside of the dust cover to test and then hit it with a little bit of cold blue and it turned black as night except for the areas I didnt blast. I didnt see any copper layers either.

    So it must be a super thin coating of nickel.

    I have some more filing to do and then I think I'll just go ahead and give the whole frame a good blasting and cold blue it for the time being while I wait for the chance to get it cerakoted.
  14. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    It's nickel plated.
  15. MartinS

    MartinS Well-Known Member

    Poor thing.

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