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What is best home applied firearm metal finish?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Run&Shoot, Jan 25, 2008.

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  1. Run&Shoot

    Run&Shoot Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    I am considering learning how to apply a good finish to metal parts at home. This wouldn't be for a custom look, but more for protection. Looks would be secondary for instances where original is spotty and I just want to apply a new even one over the old.

    I am willing to make a small investment (up to $500) for sandblasting, airbrush, maybe even parkerizing tank, etc. But I don't want to buy a bunch of equipment and supplies for ten different types of finishes.

    What would you recommend as a general purpose finish that can be applied to magazines, receivers, barrels, maybe even internal parts? Is there one finish that can do it all or will some protect but change dimensions, etc?

    Desirable characteristics of my ideal GP finish:
    - Protects at least as well from rust as parkerizing.
    - At least as durable from scratches and wear as parkerizing
    - Lubricity would be a plus
    - application without a tank or oven heat also are pluses, but if the finish was worth it I would perform those steps as well
    - Prefer a non-glare finish, really not looking for electroless nickel unless that was otherwise the best choice (can this even be done at home workshop?)

    I suppose the electroless nickel would be almost perfect if it could be colored/blackened, did not change dimension of internal parts, and could be done with reasonable equipment at home. I don;t have one big project right now, just a collection of parts and firearms that I would like to improve the protection on. I live in Oregon so the air can be pretty humid especially during the nine months of rainy season :).

    What would you recommend as the most versatile, best protecting, at home finish for firearms?
  2. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Feb 16, 2003
    Ft. Worth
    You've pretty much said it, parkerizing. It's fairly straightforward to do and low entry cost in tools, materials etc.

    I see the chemical kits in the 30-40 dollar range for a couple of gallons and there are a couple of websites selling stainless tanks long enough for rifle barrels for under 100 bucks.

    Seems like it would do well enough plus you get that World War 2 look ;)
  3. JesseL

    JesseL Member

    Aug 26, 2004
    Prescott, AZ
    IMHO, the best option for a home gunsmith is parkerizing followed by a spray'n'bake finish. The parkerizing is nice and hard and provides an excellent base for the spray finish; which does a good job of resisting corrosion, wear resistance, and self-lubrication.

    DENALI member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Northwestern Wisconsin
    ;) TR and Jesse took the words right out of my mouth....:cool:
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