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Thread: How does one "grey" stainless steel?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    How does one "grey" stainless steel?

    Howdy,
    I'd like to put a grey patina on a stainless firearm.
    Does anyone know how to chemically "blue" stainless steel to a grey color the way Ruger does on some of their firearms like their stainless 77/22 Mag rifles?
    Thanks, Andy

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Cast_outlaw's Avatar
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    You can’t blue stainless I think your talking about a brushed finish

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I bead blast them.. Stainless can be blued but it is a type of acid and there are only a few shops that do it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Surfaces should be polished to a 400-grit finish first, which increases the stainless ability to form a cohesive passive layer. Then bead blast with fine glass beads and light air pressure not more than 60 PSI pressure of dry air. Applying the beads in this way will not abrade the passive oxide layer but simply indent it, so that reflected light is scattered to result in a nice luster. For a dull, non-reflective finish resembling Parkerizing, vibratory polish with dry organic abrasive or grit blast and then etch the surface with hot ferric chloride pickle and then clean in boiling distilled water.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Paint it.

  6. #6
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    Ceracote.............any color you desire.

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    Winelover

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    If stainless is lightly bead blasted, and then run thru a normal caustic bluing bath, it will turn to a pale grey.

    I know a commercial bluer in the Portland area, he blues, chrome moly and several types of stainless.
    He has 3 differrent acid tanks each with a differrent concentraion of acid to etch the stainless depending on the alloy.
    If you see any of the Gerber, or Leatherman stainless knifes that are blued he is the one who did it.
    That also requires a differrent bluing tank and chemicals for the stainless

  8. #8
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    Caswell sells a stainless blackening kit which I used with mixed results on m1 garand gas cylinders. They are a cast stainless and depending on the manufacturer and lot they were cast, some came out good, some not at all, some spotted. I bead blasted them and soaked them in the solution. The ones that the solution didn't take, I tried again thinking maybe I didn't clean them good enough but no it didn't matter. I eventually just ceracoated those.
    You could always send the parts out for gas nitriding aka melonliting and they will be black, plus you would get absolute corrosion protection and zero parts wear.
    NRA High Master XTC
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  9. #9
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    I used a company in Florida years ago to blue a stainless rifle. Can't remember the name. It didn't really come out blue, more of a murky looking blue-grey. I didn't care for it. Never heard if the customer liked it or not, but that's what was ordered. Cerakote is probably your best route.
    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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  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Is Ruger's Target Gray finish a finishing technique or a coating?

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    Your guess is as good as anyone else's, since the Target Grey finish is a proprietary process Ruger developed, and has chosen not to divulge publically.

    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    Interesting info Guys!
    But I'm not interesting a brushed finish or a blue or black color.
    It's the method to get that Ruger grey that some of their polished stainless rifles come in that I'm interested about.
    Thank you,
    Andy

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    .

    Your guess is as good as anyone else's, since the Target Grey finish is a proprietary process Ruger developed, and has chosen not to divulge publically.

    .
    Well, Outpost75 may have divulged a bit of that trade secret back in post #4.......

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    Well, Outpost75 may have divulged a bit of that trade secret back in post #4.......
    Duh?
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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