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Thread: Oxpho..Van's..Blue Wonder..G96..?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Oxpho..Van's..Blue Wonder..G96..?

    I figure if I ask "What's the best cold blue?"..y'all will tell me Oxpho blue..

    Truth being..I ain't had all that good of luck with the stuff..will work on some guns..not worth a hoot on others.

    I've had pretty fair luck with Van's myself..My father was a fan of 4440 blue(can you still get that stuff?)..If Van's won't stick..G96 paste or the old stinky Birchwood Casy 'Perma-blue' sometimes will.

    That's been my experience anyhow..and I may have had a bogus bottle of Oxpho blue..'cause it never worked for me like everyone claimed it did for them.

    So just what is your favorite..and most effective..longest lasting cold blue?

    Thanx..Rag

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    You can still get 44/40 from Brownells. It went on a little easier than Oxpho blue for me, but Oxpho lasted better.

    I built a .35 Whelen in 2001or 02, and was getting ready to come home on leave to go deer hunting. I hadn't polished the rifle yet, so I cold blued it with Oxpho blue, it is still on the gun, and looking good even with our humid summers in MO.

    OF the cheap blues that you used to be able to get anywhere-- G96, Birchwood-Casey and Outers, I had the best luck with Outers. I don't know if it is still around or not.

    Most of the secret is in preparation for any blue job, and sometimes heating the metal will make a cold blue take, sometimes not.

    Robert

  3. #3
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    Bret4207's Avatar
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    As Mk42 said, prep is the key. You HAVE to get ALL the oils off the piece. ALL OF IT. And remember if you are rubbing down with steel wool for final prep as many do that it comes with oil on it. Degrease your steel wool and apply the Oxpho with it. Don't just swab it on and walk away, rub it in. And warming the metal a bit helps too. IME the more work you put into getting the Oxpho on, the better the result and the longer it lasts. Multiple coats help too.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I don't even take the chance on de-oiling steel wool. I buy the un-oiled stuff made by Libron. It comes in big rolls and costs a little more but is worth it. Stick with the Oxpho Blue. Polish your parts to 400 grit. THOROUGHLY de-grease ( I wash with acetone), wear gloves (do not handle bare metal with bare hands after de-greasing) warm it with a hair dryer, and expect to do about 5-6 applications to get a uniform deep blue. A little bit of work, but you get out of it what you put in. It's the best IMO.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Uncle Grinch's Avatar
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    Applying Gel Oxpho

    I recently ordered a pint of Brownells's Oxpho Blue and when it arrived, I realized I mistakenly ordered the gel or creme version.
    I went ahead and used it, but I've had issues with it streaking. Most youtube videos show it being applied with large cotton balls or pads and I tried these with varying results.

    On a whim, I used one of those throw-away foam brushes and immediately it seemed to go on much more even. The results were very good also. It may work just as good with the liquid also.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
    NRA Endowment Member
    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I just 'Vanned' my Krag barrel, buttplate and barrel band.

    Did well on everything except the buttplate..it darkened..but really didn't blue. I got a bit of Van's on the receiver..it seems impervious to it...case-hardened I guess.

    I will probably order me some more Van's gun blue..and a bottle of Oxpho just to give it another try for future projects.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    I've used Oxpho Blue Creme and heat after a polish and cleaning to do a whole S&W model 10 4". A old worn finish LEO revolver. I was impressed how it turned out from where it started.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    I have used Oxpho Blue Creme (the gel) and it is the absolute best cold blue out there. I did a new barrel on a Stevens Model 44 single shot. I carefully de-oiled the barrel, used clean gloves and applied several coats with a bit of heat. The results were excellent. I still have a nice blued barrel YEARS and a LOT of use later.

    I talked to a professional gun smith and he told me that is all he is using for bluing these days.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  9. #9
    Boolit Master bubba.50's Avatar
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    i used oxpho-blue for years and loved it. then they up and "improved" it. ever since my results have been about like yours-sometimes it does, sometimes it don't. luck to ya and have a good'en, bubba.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I used the Blue Wonder stuff and it all seems to turn brown/goldish. Not a bad looking finish but not a blue after awhile. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I just did several guns with Oxpho blue. all but the Savage 24 came out great. The Savage turned kinda blue-grey.
    I like to blue in the summer here in Phoenix. Put the parts in the sun at 110' for 20 minutes and the bluing goes real well.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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