should I refinish a parkerized CCW gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by greyling22, Oct 1, 2016.

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  1. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I have an opportunity to come into a colt agent revolver for a song. (not the real desirable old school blued one, this is the 80's parkerized version)

    Now, here in east texas, the humidity can go off the charts and guns can start rusting in your living room, so I have some concerns about sweating all over the gun and rusting it. or oiling it so much is gets oil all over my tuxedo (or, more likely, my jeans and t-shirts)

    Do you think a park finish would be ok. or should I take a look at having it hard chromed?

    not the exact gun, but an internet photo of a similar gun
     

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  2. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    Parkerized guns have survived in hot, humid locals for generations, I doubt that you have much to worry about from rusting if propery cared for. I know that I've never had an issue with parkerized guns rusting or staining my clothes. I've had several parkerized revolvers, including a Colt like yours and a couple of S&W's that I had parkerized after having work done on them. That said, hard chroming would certainly go a long way towards eliminating any finish worries. I have some hard chromed handguns, it is one of my favorite finishes, it holds up better than just about anything else available.

    Personally, I'd leave it as is and try it, if rust or staining becomes an issue then have it hard chromed, if not just keep carrying it.
     
  3. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    Parkerized finishes tend to be pretty tough in bad environments. Especially if you just periodically wipe down the finish with a good oil. Parkerizing tends to soak up a bit of that oil which adds to it's durability. Just check your grips screws, etc. that might NOT be parkerized. Replace those with dark SS screws and you should be gtg.
     
  4. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    I would go with the Parkerized finish.
     
  5. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Served the military pretty well for a lot of years in wars all around the world.

    Ive got a 1941 USGI Colt no telling were it served and still not a rust heap.
     
  6. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Parkerizing is 100% dependent on oil for corrosion resistance. If it's not well oiled, it's no better than bluing. I would have it hard chromed.
     
  7. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    I refinished two guns, regretted it both times, never again.
     
  8. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I've had several guns refinished and have regretted none.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    If you propose to have it Parkerized be absolutely sure the frame is steel, and not aluminum. Otherwise you will have problems.
     
  10. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger member

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    Hard chrome isn't a bad idea, but for high humidity and maximum corrosion resistance I would also look into Robar NP3 (nickel teflon matrix). Not only very slick but you won't find much that will exceed it in corrosion resistance including hard chrome.
     
  11. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I would wait to determine whether or not the park is adequate before having it refinished.
     
  12. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

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    The later Agents also used an alloy frame - no worries there and any compromise to the original hard anodizing is IMO a bad idea. Just keep it oiled & it shouldn't do too bad.

    A coating like Cerakoat may not be a bad idea for for wear/ corrosion resistance but I think it includes surface prep like bead blasting. That goes back to the anodizing - wouldn't trade hard anodizing for any spray-on stuff.
     
  13. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    greyling22

    If it's a Colt Agent from the '80s then it has an alloy frame. These were relatively inexpensive guns (for Colt revolvers that is), and had a parkerized finish to cover up cosmetic flaws from the partial lack of hand finishing and polishing.

    If you want a truly durable and tough as nails finish I would recommend Ron Mahovsky's Metalife hard chrome plating. He can apply it to aluminum alloy frames by first putting electroless nickel on it before applying the hard chrome plating.
     
  14. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I'd go with melonite over hard chrome. I've never had anything rust that has that finish and I prefer the look of it compared to chrome (at least on a gun). I don't know what the frame of that gun is and if it can melonited though.
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    As said, a Colt Agent has an aluminum frame. That isn't going to rust and cannot be Parkerized anyhow.

    So what do you do for the exposed steel barrel, cylinder, hammer, and trigger.
    I'm thinking one of the Whatchamacote paint jobs. Far less expensive on a gun bought "for a song" than plating.
     
  16. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Agreed.

    I have a 1911 that is parkerized. When it's color turns gray I oil the exterior and after soaking for a day is black again.

    No rust and no rubbing off on clothing.
     
  17. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    If it's an aluminum frame, it could be bead blasted and the steel parts hard chromed. I did this with a Ruger flat top's aluminum grip frame.


    Makes no sense. Melonite is not a finish, it is a surface hardening process and thus, cannot be done after plating.
     
  18. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger member

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    Yep, in order to Melonite or salt bath nitride all the steel parts would have to be removed from the frame, stripped of any previous finish and then processed and reassembled. It would make for a very durable and corrosion resistant revolver though. Plus the Melonite would case harden both the interior and exterior of the barrel and cylinder, so you'd end up with an exceedingly durable barrel and chambers.

    Could make for a really neat project, but not one likely to be done on the cheap. Maybe Cerakote the frame to match the Melonite....or have the whole gun Cerakoted.
     
  19. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    Anodized aluminum and parked steel should do fine. Just a hint of oil will do ya--no need to mess up your tux.
     
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Colt's aluminum D-frame revolvers have a number of steel components that shouldn't be removed except at the factory. These include the studs (pins) that the trigger and hammer rotate on and are a press fit in the frame.

    Also the barrel shouldn't be unscrewed without using blocks to support the frame, and a correct wrench and blocks for the barrel.

    Screwing (pardon the pun) with any of these parts without the proper tooling is a big mistake. :uhoh:
     
  21. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    yeah, the more I read about them the more I think taking it apart is a bad idea. And yes, upon taking a magnent to it, steel barrel and cylinder, alloy frame. I'll just oil the steel parts and drop it in a holster. Speaking of, anybody know of a good left handed leather holster that doesn't cost a fortune that would fit this gun?
     
  22. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Be aware that any holster advertised for the Detective Special or Cobra will also fit your Agent.

    Gun Shows and shops often have a box(s) filled with used holsters that once held revolvers. If you find something that fits you can almost name your own price. Whatever you pay is likely pure profit for the seller.
     
  23. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Parkerized finish wiped with oil if effective.
     
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