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Titanium nitride as a gun finish?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by BCRider, May 2, 2011.

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  1. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Driving home to day I got to thinking about a thread on blueing vs parkerizing vs hard chrome vs whatever I read on another forum. That got me to wondering about the idea of Ti Nitriding. You know, that golden color seen on drill bits, milling cutters and some other tooling these days.

    It's thin, it's harder than nails so it'll resist scratching by almost any source other than rubbing a diamond ring against it. So what's NOT to like... other than the rather bling'y gold look.

    That Desert Eagle from a couple of years back, was it TiN or was it actually gold plated?

    So what's your thoughts out there in THR land? Could you learn to live with/love a gold coloured gun if you knew it was only because it was coated with a hard and wear resistant coating that just happened to be gold in color? Or would the "pimp" connotation make you want to gag and puke? Or do you think you'd start out wanting to G&P and then get used to it and finally like it since it would be so tough and stay nice looking for so much longer?
     
  2. Effigy

    Effigy Member

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    There are some vendors that do TiN plating for firearms. Any "gold" guns you've seem likely had this finish. IIRC it's less durable than hard chrome, but still stronger than parkerizing and it does look nice. I think the major limiting factor is cost.
     
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    There are versions of TiN coating in different colors. Either by modifying the coating, there is a TiAlN coating that comes out near black, as does TiN when done in a particular atmosphere. I have seen a purplish black on knives I think done with atmosphere control.
     
  4. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Jim, I didn't realize that there were options for Ti coating colours. So we could almost get a sort of Ti version of colour case hardening? I'd think this would be a look that I could learn to like depending on how it came out. I know I really like the look of CCH on my 1873 clones and when I've seen it on lever rifle receivers. I guess I'd have to see how it came out on semi autos.
     
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have not seen anything resembling the blotchy mess of case colors done with TiN.
     
  6. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    BLOTCHY MESS? ! ? ! ? ! Some folks just have no tastes for the more interesting things in life :D
     
  7. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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  8. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Well, passing on the colour case hardening for a moment and getting back to the material itself.

    I wasn't thinking about having it done after the fact but directly from the factory. And I believe that the big selling point is that the coating is extremely thin so no provisions need to be made for thickness buildup like with hard chroming.

    It may not be as hard as a hard chrome but if it's good enough to survive for quite a while on drill bits and milling cutters it would appear to be a pretty good surface treatment for firearms to avoid scuffs and scratches in place of parkerizing or blueing. And if it can be manipulated to come out with darker colours other than gold that seems like it would be worth exploring.
     
  9. Effigy

    Effigy Member

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  10. RedAlert

    RedAlert Member

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    One other advantage of the TiN coatings, from a machining perspective, is its lubricity. The coating actually reduces friction in the chip forming zone. I don't know if this would translate to reduced operating friction in the slide/frame rail zone or not. Maybe.
     
  11. raz-0

    raz-0 Member

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    Have a black titanium nitride coated gun (assuming AlTiN, but who knows).

    The good:

    It's pretty. It's SMOOTH, so mating surfaces will feel as good or better than at the start. It's THIN which means it doesn't really affect the fitment of anything, which is a very good thing on a custom gun. It's hard, so it's hard to scratch and wears well against friction. It absorbs a surprising amount of lube for being so thin. Anyplace you make a hole in the coating is not likely to lead to expanding flaking or peeling. It can be done at lower temperatures, so less issues with thin pieces of metal.


    The bad: It's not corrosion resistant. The gun will rust beneath the coating which is porous. It's hard, so if the underlying metal is soft enough to dent, it will likely crack and flake off in that spot. PRICE. It's expensive! Availability. Not a lot of people do it, which means shipping it far, which means even MORE EXPENSIVE.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  12. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Can't one run into a problem on certain wear areas where the plating comes off leaving a really sharp edge of plating where the plating remains?

    I've seen chrome that is missing and typically the remaining chrome is extremely sharp and small pieces can even come off much like splinters.

    Would that be a problem with this plating?:confused:
     
  13. Effigy

    Effigy Member

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    Possibly. I think it's more of a "cool" finish rather than a practical one. Kind of like mirror-polished chrome.
     
  14. raz-0

    raz-0 Member

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    No, that's not how it fails as far as I can tell. It doesn't tend to spread like that, and it doesn't come off in a sheet. I've only ever seen it fail in small spots, and the exposed surface remains small under normal use.
     
  15. Cearbhall

    Cearbhall Member

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  16. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Well, I posted this more as a general discussion about the idea of the manufacturers using TiN or some variation of it as an OEM finish rather than as an aftermarket option. Done that way and in quantity it shouldn't affect the price much if it replaces other finishing options. Well.... other than for simple brushed finish stainless guns.
     
  17. bsingleton47

    bsingleton47 Member

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    Titanium nitride more durable than hard chrome...

    Just purchased one of the last Titanium Nitride Baby Eagles from a company near Chicago called Megasports. It was one of the last ones left from the 2008 run of those guns.

    I did some research on Titanium Nitride which included calling IMI in california who did the finish on these guns for Magnum Research. I am told that the Rockwell hardness is higher on Ti Gold than any hard chrome. Although the hard chrome is thicker, the titanium nitride is harder and more resistant to scratching.

    A discussion with a tech at IMI revealed that this finish has had a track record of unsurpassed durabilty on long guns and with IPSC shooters. Bottom line, Titanium nitride is tough as nails. He has some amazing stories to tell.

    Having been a gun enthusiast since I was a kid I am used to guns being blue or nickel. Stainless steel guns and parkerized finishes came later in my experience and I always thought guns lost some appeal with those finishes. I am a military man and I understand the tactical value of a gun that doesnt shine. But unless the mission warrants a dull finish the elegance of high polished firearm is a thing of beauty IMHO. Personally, I think the finish is cool and I have had enough guns in my lifetime to be a bit smug when it comes to other peoples opinions of my firearms. It is not 24 karat gold which is much softer. With a reasonable amount of care the finish should last many lifetimes. But dont believe me. Just call IMI.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  18. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Nice.... post up some pictures and a report of how the gun's action feels and performs once you get it out to a range.
     
  19. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    No experience with coating an entire gun, but do have an AR bolt done in Ti.......easy to clean and maintain.
    ar-5.gif
     
  20. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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  21. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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  22. just for fun

    just for fun Member

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    Because I totally destest any and all glocks, they would show an increase in sales if they had a gold tint. The more "bling" the better! So to answer your question YES for the glock crowd! Come to think about it pretend gold on a plastic gun even sounds right. :barf:
     
  23. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    Hey, plastics and rubbers of various types have been making life easier and "funner" for a very long time, grandpa.:evil:
     
  24. casey44mag

    casey44mag Member

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    I have a coating facility at my work I make endmills and cutters run CnC gringers sharpeners UTG's,PTG's,HHS's,SR's etc. I TiN-ed my bolt carrier and bolt for my Rock River Varmint AR It is easy to clean and does have lubricity from a cutter standpoint not sure on a bolt carrier tho. it looks just like REMBRANTS picture in his post i dont like the word "BLING" but it does have a "POP" with the gold ring on my VX-3 Luepold:D all i gota do is just hand it to Jeff and when they do a run of TiN cutters they throw my stuff in too and its free:evil:
     
  25. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    Soooo... just let us know when to send you our stuff so we can get the free TiN coating. :D
     
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