Gander Mountain and Walter Birdsong

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Oct 27, 2004
Central Ohio
I bought a used P229-40 magazine from Vance's (Columbus, OH) a few days ago. I always check to see what kind of used stuff they get in, sometimes it's pretty good. Anyway, this magazine was very well used, to the point the finish was nearly nonexistent on the bottom half.

I considered having it refinished locally, but the only place I could find would do blueing only for $15. So I checked with Gander Mountain over on the east side. The gunsmith wasn't available, so I drove out there to talk to him. Very nice guy. I told him I wanted it parkerized to match the other magazines I have for it, and his response was, "Parkerized? Yeah, I suppose we could do that.... 'course we also do Black-T..."

I had to do a double-take to make sure I heard that right. Turns out Gander Mountain has a pretty good relationship with Walter Birdsong, the famous inventor of the toughest, most durable finish available. Black-T and the relatively new Green-T finishes are legendary, as most of you already know.

This guy called Walter and just a couple minutes later told me that it would cost $20, including shipping. I didn't hesitate to say, "Yeah, let's do it."

I've always wanted to see Mr. Birdsong's finish in person. I have a Spas-12 I've thought about refinishing, and Black-T is always the answer I've ended up at. So now I'll have a magazine with Black-T on it, and I'll probably end up sending my Sig P229 and the rest of the magazines in, as well. Normal turnaround time on a handgun or longgun is about 2 months, but for a single magazine should only be a couple weeks. While there, I picked up a brochure for the gunsmith, and Black-T is advertised... so this is probably a company wide relationship, not just one store. While I was there, I talked to the gun sales people. Two of them had guns with Birdsong currently, and the third was getting ready to send his out.

Can't wait......
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I realized that they did the Black-T about two months ago and figured I was just slow and everyone knew. I'm gonna have a gun done in it most definitely...maybe my next .308 AR after I butcher it up. :D
what does it cost to have a handgun done in black t?

asside from removing the grips on my revolver, any other steps necessary?
For something this good, i would normally say yes. But the gunsmith wasn't sure if it would cost $5 or $50. If I send my entire gun in (which is going to happen soon, probably both to my spas-12 and my sig p229), then the magazines cost $5 each. But if you send in just a magazine, he wasn't sure.

Caveat emptor.
Update 8/19/06

I got a call yesterday from Gandermountain, my magazine came back in.... Here are the pics.

The left magazine is finished in Black-T. It is a German Sig made 12-round P229 40S&W/357Sig magazine. It was made in 1996. You can see the round count holes are on the backside, and it has an indent on each broad side of the magazine near the bottom.

The right magazine is Italian made from Mecgar. It's also a 12-round P229 40S&W/357Sig magazine, but the round count holes are on the right side of the magazine. It also doesn't have the indents. It's finished in stock factory parkerized finish.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the results. I'm definitely going to send more items to Mr. Birdsong. It's the best, blackest, most even and smooth finish I've seen, and the texture is similar to a blueing smoothness.
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