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Thread: Bluing vs paint vs powdercoat

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Ozark mike's Avatar
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    Bluing vs paint vs powdercoat

    Just wanting to get opinions on what you guys think about these finishes. I was thinking about price practicality wear and difficulty. Diy only
    If you think of a another finish you like please let us know
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Paint is the cheapest and quickest
    Powder Coating is more time intensive.
    Slow rust blue can be the longest lasting against rust protection, unless you take extra steps in the metal prep for doing paint, or powder coating.
    All three, the key is metal prep if you want a good finish, and to make it last.
    Powder coating or things like Paint or Duracoat can build up on surfaces and cause fitting problems with some parts.
    I do 95% of my guns in slow rust blue.
    The investment has paid for itself many times over.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Another is some of the new nitride plating's and other plating's being done. Increased surface hardness longer wear and self lubricating.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Jedman's Avatar
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    Mike, Another finish is parkerizing. It is a easy DIY finish and is much more durable than any of the paint finishes. I built a parkerizing tank from 3" ABS plastic pipe and used a 120 volt water heater heating element for under $ 20 and once you buy the parkerizing mixture it can last for years and parkerize dozens of guns .
    If you like a dull finish parkerizing is great!

    Jedman

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Ozark mike's Avatar
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    Just sitting here thinking about maybe an epoxy finish that I use as a sealer in body work epx901 I believe. I like charcoal blue but I don't consider it rust protection oil is the rust prevention what got me to thinking about all of this is I had a fire some years ago and lost almost everything most of the guns got hosed by the fire department and the blueing looks like it washed off. At any rate one of em is a 510 target master which is painted camouflage that I did my self but can't replicate the job due to the lack of leafy trees here. The other is a Marlin 65w that I would like to bring back to original looks but with something on the metal to protect it better. the other guns aren't in as bad as shape and will be left in the current condition because they look just fine
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Rattle can spray paint will protect against rust because it seals off the metal from the air and minimal moisture.
    But most are softened or removed by oils or gun cleaning products.
    Epoxy paint usually will not be softened by oil or cleaning products.
    That is the same with Dura Coat or similar products.
    Cold Bluing products will be the cheapest bluing, but takes the same metal prep as Painting or slow rust bluing.
    But even though Cold Bluing is not a durable as a slow rust or hot blue, it can make the metal look good, and most of the rust protection in in the oils you clean the rifle with.
    I have done many rifles with Paint, cold blue, and slow rust blue. ( I don't do Hot Blue )
    I have an equal opinion an all three types of finish I do, depending on the Firearm and what I am going to use it for.
    But most guns do get Slow Rust blue, because of all the effort I have to put into the metal preparation.

  7. #7
    DOR RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I think a blued gun looks the best but i believe powder coat or parkerizing is going to be toughest . Never had any luck with paint other than its easy. So it just boils down to what you want looks go with blue something to withstand elements then power coat or parkerize something easy that can be touched up paint. As stated above prep is the most important thing. Time spent here can make or break a finish.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master knifemaker's Avatar
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    If you are wanting a DIY finish that you can apply for a cheap price, try "Gun Kote" that you can get from Brownells. Can be applied by air brush, also comes in aerosol spray can. Apply in thin coats to prevent runs and bake in oven per instructions. It has excellent abrasion quality. some say it is has better abrasion resistance then cerracoat.
    I used it on the top of a stainless steel slide to cut shine and it has withstood a years daily use as my everyday carry concealed pistol.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    My first carry gun had a blued slide and plastic frame. It was rusting badly because, uh, I sweat like a pig. I blasted it with coarse grit aluminum oxide and Parkerized it. It hasn't rusted since. Blasting and Parkerizing makes a great base for a sprayed on finish as well.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Ozark mike's Avatar
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    Ya alot of ppl parkerize tools and fuel tanks with phosphate acid forgot all about that until it was mentioned here
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by knifemaker View Post
    If you are wanting a DIY finish that you can apply for a cheap price, try "Gun Kote" that you can get from Brownells. Can be applied by air brush, also comes in aerosol spray can. Apply in thin coats to prevent runs and bake in oven per instructions. It has excellent abrasion quality. some say it is has better abrasion resistance then cerracoat.
    I used it on the top of a stainless steel slide to cut shine and it has withstood a years daily use as my everyday carry concealed pistol.
    I used gun kote on dirt bike parts and it seemed to hold up much better than paint kind of a severe test lots of mud and power washing.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    The original GunKote looked like hammered metal and is still lasting on my daughters JCH .22 bolt gun and my nephews Astra 400. Iíve used Lauer duracoat( the no bake 2 valve can) on several beaters in the past few years and itís doing what I want- no rust.
    Last edited by Texas by God; 04-27-2019 at 08:07 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold Metrobluing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozark mike View Post
    Just wanting to get opinions on what you guys think about these finishes. I was thinking about price practicality wear and difficulty. Diy only
    If you think of a another finish you like please let us know
    Have you ever considered Cerakote? This ceramic based paint is extremely durable, resistant to just about any chemical and is DIY friendly.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Powder coating may not be well suited to alloy gun steels, the temperatures required are at the levels of where you temper a lot of steels.

    Bill
    Both ends WHAT a player

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    I use ceramic header paint from the box or auto stores. Heat in oven as directed if you can. Its a poor man's version of CeraKote.

    RichardB

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    I know this is an old thread, so perhaps no one will mind if I drift it a little? I want to make my stainless Ruger 77/357 look like it was blued. Real dark, inky blue-black. I'm not worried about extreme durability, because it generally never goes more than a ridge away from the house and there's a lot more mud than rocks. Getting the color/texture right is the most important part. I've used Norrell's Moly Resin and Duracoat before. The Duracoat looks a little too much like paint to me (probably because it is ), but I won't rule it out; it's been at least ten years since I used it and maybe the formulations have changed? I think Cerakote has a Midnight that looks pretty close to what I want, but I haven't tried it yet.

    Are Ruger stainless guns too "shiny" (that is, need sandblasting) to apply a finish after degreasing? I don't need an absolutely "flat" finish.

    I'm guessing there are other people who want to make their stainless/synthetic rifles look more traditional and have maybe solved the "bluing" problem?

    A walnut stock will come after the "bluing" as well. Thoughts?
    "I love the smell of Xlox in the morning. Smells like...Xlox!"

  17. #17
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer


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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven66 View Post
    I know this is an old thread, so perhaps no one will mind if I drift it a little? I want to make my stainless Ruger 77/357 look like it was blued. Real dark, inky blue-black. I'm not worried about extreme durability, because it generally never goes more than a ridge away from the house and there's a lot more mud than rocks. Getting the color/texture right is the most important part. I've used Norrell's Moly Resin and Duracoat before. The Duracoat looks a little too much like paint to me (probably because it is ), but I won't rule it out; it's been at least ten years since I used it and maybe the formulations have changed? I think Cerakote has a Midnight that looks pretty close to what I want, but I haven't tried it yet.

    Are Ruger stainless guns too "shiny" (that is, need sandblasting) to apply a finish after degreasing? I don't need an absolutely "flat" finish.

    I'm guessing there are other people who want to make their stainless/synthetic rifles look more traditional and have maybe solved the "bluing" problem?

    A walnut stock will come after the "bluing" as well. Thoughts?
    Do some Googling, there used to be a company in Florida that could blue stainless rifles.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Check with Lauer DuraCoat. They have a gun blue shade of their paint now. I've used Duracoat and it works on Stainless.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I checked my copy of "Gunsmithing" by Bubba (LOL) and he recommends BBG paint. Used it myself once on a recovered 03A3 drill rifle and it really does work. After spraying pass a propane torch over it and the finish will turn from shiny to a dull black. On the old rifle I did it took a lot of use and abuse and was still going when I sold it off. Have also seen it in gray, there may be other colors as well. If I had a gun that needed a good, durable, weather resistant finish and was not heirloom/collectible would use it again. Some foreign military rifles were first parked and then a coat of paint applied to further protect the metal.

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Check with Lauer DuraCoat. They have a gun blue shade of their paint now. I've used Duracoat and it works on Stainless.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Lauer's DuraBlue blue-black product looks pretty good (right color & texture). If I coat the inside of the receiver, I wonder whether the finish thickness will slow down bolt cycling? I could leave the inside uncoated, but that would look pretty hinky.
    "I love the smell of Xlox in the morning. Smells like...Xlox!"

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check