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bluing salts

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by sant, Jan 18, 2003.

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  1. sant

    sant Member

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    Jan 3, 2003
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    A question for all the refinishers out there. Which bluing salts do you recommend those sold by Brownells or Dulite? I`m going to start doing bluing in my shop in the near future and I was wondering which salts are the best.
     
  2. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith Member

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    My choice is one you mix up yourself from lye and ammonium nitrate. Has the look of a German firearms finish from 1940. Most durable of all. Details in "Gunsmithing" by Roy Dunlap.
    After that, "Black Diamond" salts from Stoeger.
    However, the Haughton salts from Brownell were the most practical and foolproof.
     
  3. DeBee

    DeBee Member

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    Since the terrorist bombings and the McVey thing, I would think it very difficult to obtain ammonium nitrate. I understand IF you can get some, it's treated to prevent any chemical reation. Then, there is the lye problem- Drano surely must have additives... THEN, you have to deal with the ammonia gas when you mix up a batch...

    I ran into the same problems looking for nitric acid for rust bluing. Everyone though I was making a bomb.

    Isn't all caustic blue based on the same very similar formula to ammonium nitrate and lye anyway???

    I'd just go with the standard Brownells product- you'll get a more consistent result.
     
  4. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith Member

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    I bought nitric from a chemical supply house with no problems. (I sent them a copy of my FFL) The ammonium nitrate I used came from a feed and seed store and was in the form of "prills." The lye was from the hardware store. I have to admit that the ammonia gas released is a very bad effect. However, we have to pay a price for our art.
    What I hate about caustic nitrate blueing is that it eats holes in clothing and shoes and it creeps up out of the tank unless you draw a line around the inside of the tank with special crayon to keep it from flowing and growing.
    If you are going to use it, I will sell a set of tanks and burners that have hardly been used (only once, actually) cheap. Uses propane gas. Mounted on angle iron framework.
     
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