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Thread: i want to blue a pistol...what with?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    i want to blue a pistol...what with?

    i did one with potassium nitrate, and i really liked the color ...but hated the crystallization that occured...aka "the clean up"
    as it cooled there was crystal formation in all the crevices , holes...everywhere.

    cold bluing is too blotchy looking.

    so what do i use to get a nice dark blue color (chemically) without the intensive clean up?

    i'm not looking to use a rust cabinet either.

    thanks, mike

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I'd send it out to be done.

    For all the where-with-all it takes to do a really good bluing job like the factories do--
    I've never known anyone to beat the system and do anything in their garage that even comes close.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


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    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master RKJ's Avatar
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    Take a look at Brownells, they have a very good cold blue. I don't recall the name right now but I don't expect it would be hard to find.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    You do not need to use a Rust Cabinet with Slow Rust Bluing.
    I just hang my parts in a bathroom that has been steamed up from the shower.
    The steam does not have to be constant.
    Steam up the room , hang the parts and shut the door for a few hours with the shower turned Off.
    I leave my parts over night and boil them in the morning.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've blued a lot of guns with the hot blue method, never did I have a problem with cleanup when the guns were properly boiled after the cold rinse. If you don't boil them, then yes, for sure you'll have salts leaching out of crevices forever. Brownells has a solution that neutralizes the salts, I never used it as I had no need to.

    If you don't want to rust blue, and you don't like cold blue, your choices become kinda slim.......send it out, or paint it. I never tried potassium nitrate on it's own, curious as to the color and depth you get with it.

  6. #6
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    Brownells Oxpho Blue has been the best cold blue I’ve used. I redid a Remington 788 with it and it came out pretty good. No blotchyness and dark blue.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKJ View Post
    Take a look at Brownells, they have a very good cold blue. I don't recall the name right now but I don't expect it would be hard to find.
    You're probably trying to think of Oxpho Blue. Some nice jobs have been done with it with a little care.

    Another option is Belgian Bluing. You'd need one cold tank and one hot tank, but since it's a pistol the tanks could be small.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master RKJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    You're probably trying to think of Oxpho Blue. Some nice jobs have been done with it with a little care.

    Another option is Belgian Bluing. You'd need one cold tank and one hot tank, but since it's a pistol the tanks could be small.
    That is it. I did a Smith M28 that turned out nice.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    I found that if the part is not completely clean and free of oil, a cold blue will be blotchy. I clean with a hot detergent solution and rinse well. For a small, solid part, a scrubbing with lacquer thinners works to get oil off, but it should then be cleaned to be sure of no residue. The main thing is to never touch the metal with greasy fingers, or dirty gloves.

    I also soak steel wool in the thinners as it's usually coated with oil and will destroy a cold, or hot rust blue job.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozeppa View Post
    i did one with potassium nitrate, and i really liked the color ...but hated the crystallization that occured...aka "the clean up"
    as it cooled there was crystal formation in all the crevices , holes...everywhere.

    cold bluing is too blotchy looking.

    so what do i use to get a nice dark blue color (chemically) without the intensive clean up?

    i'm not looking to use a rust cabinet either.

    thanks, mike
    To get rid of the crystallization, drop it in some Mountain Dew, scrub with a toothbrush, rinse, dry, oil.
    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.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    I use Vans instant gun blue. I thoroughly clean using carb and choke cleaner to remove oils then boil in soap and water then use boiling distilled water for rinse. then fully dip into solution while still hot. Then rinse in boiling distilled water again blow dry then oil and polish with Birchwood Casey's Sheath.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Not sure of the cleanup issues either. Clean thoroughly, boil in potassium nitrate and sodium hydroxide blend for 15 min, then dip in clean motor oil. Clean with a bit of water and paper towel (its like 4000 grit paper), comes out looking like Ruger Black. I put the blueing solution back in an old kerosene jug and it keeps for a long time.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Tokarev's Avatar
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    If one is Okay with the pitch-black "blueing" then you can dump the parts into any soda drink that says "orthophosphoric acid" on the label, for a week or two.
    The stainless or alloy steel obtains the "parkerized" greenish tint, while carbon steel becomes pitch-black.
    Experiment on a piece of scrap material before you go ahead with the real parts!!!

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold Metrobluing's Avatar
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    Have you ever considered Brownells Dicropan IM hot water bluing chemical? Hot water bluing is simple to do and has an awesome finish. Great for refinishing a pistol.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    If one is Okay with the pitch-black "blueing" then you can dump the parts into any soda drink that says "orthophosphoric acid" on the label, for a week or two.
    The stainless or alloy steel obtains the "parkerized" greenish tint, while carbon steel becomes pitch-black.
    Experiment on a piece of scrap material before you go ahead with the real parts!!!
    Does that really work?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Tokarev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brstevns View Post
    Does that really work?
    What is this question supposed to mean?
    If you are questioning my integrity and credibility, go buy a bottle of soda (remember to read the label as many of them nowadays come with no orthophosphoric acid required for this to work), degrease a piece of scrap metal, and give it a try. Post back after a week.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    What is this question supposed to mean?
    If you are questioning my integrity and credibility, go buy a bottle of soda (remember to read the label as many of them nowadays come with no orthophosphoric acid required for this to work), degrease a piece of scrap metal, and give it a try. Post back after a week.
    Please forgive me I was not questioning your integrity or credibility. I was just so surprised that something this simple was never put forth before. I was just trying to express my delight that something so simple works.
    and wanted to say I am glad you posted the information. The problem with the written word is that it does not always come out the way a person wishes. I should have just said WOW! Great information that I was not aware of and I plan on giving it a try. Once again, please forgive me for any misunderstanding. We are a family here.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Tokarev's Avatar
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    No offense taken then! This is the folly of one-liners.
    This simple method does work, although, like I said, it takes time and patience because it is slower than other methods.
    Oh, I almost forgot! Let the bottle sit open for some time, shaking it every once in a while. You want all CO2 to escape as otherwise it might form bubbles on the part and you get a funny pattern.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Mark Lees rust blueing is the best and quickest I have found. No special equipment needed. I boil the parts to degrease them after I clean them with a degreaser, and heat the part with a heat gun, apply the blue, boil it and if it needs more, repeat the procedure. I have gotten satisfactory results, with one application. The heat gun heating the parts is what makes it work. When you apply the oil, is when you see how dark it is

  20. #20
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    No offense taken then! This is the folly of one-liners.
    This simple method does work, although, like I said, it takes time and patience because it is slower than other methods.
    Oh, I almost forgot! Let the bottle sit open for some time, shaking it every once in a while. You want all CO2 to escape as otherwise it might form bubbles on the part and you get a funny pattern.
    Thank you for your understanding.
    Now a question, should the container with the part be left in a warm area? or does it seem to make a difference?

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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