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Thread: Blueing, Browning or paint?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Blueing, Browning or paint?

    I have a 50-70 barrel in the white mounted on a Martini Henry action. The barrel is new. I want a protective finish CHEAP but effective. Laurel Mnt browning has been recomended. I am not above a good paint if one is out there, like on turkey guns. Any suggestions or advice is welcome. thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Bluing or browning are more traditional. Bluing looks nice but it is one of the least effective finishes in terms of protection.
    Paint would not be my choice and once you go down that path, you're pretty much destined to stay on that path absent a major re-finish.

    Your requirement for CHEAP but effective (and I assume because cheap is capitalized that's the primary criteria) is a bit limiting. I've used Brownell's Gun Kote with excellent results. That is a spray on, bake on; finish. However fitting a barreled action in a stove will be tough.

    I don't think any cold blue will be effective. Hot bluing gives a better finish but that's probably not going to be cheap.

    Have you thought about Parkerizing ?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    What are the "baking requirements for Gun Kote? i.e. how long at what temp?

    Tell me about Parkerizsing please.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    My vote would be for the browning finish. I haven't used the Laurel Mnt. brand but have used the
    Birchwood Casey brand browning many times and have had good results. Just follow the instructions closely and it's quick, cheap, and durable.

    Jedman

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Another recommendation for Laurel Mnt forge, doesn’t get much cheaper. Best thing is the rust bluing process is the best protection you can do at home. Way better than hot blues much less cold blue. Paint is for houses.

    And you will learn a new and useful skill.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master
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    From Brownell's web site on Gun Kote, "....Prepare, clean and pre-heat your part to 100°, spray on Brownells GUN-KOTE and allow the part to dry. Bake the part in an oven at 325° for one hour and you’re done....."

    I've used that product on smaller items and pistol frames. It works well.

    Parkerizing involves making a solution and heating it. The parts are submerged in the solution for a few minutes to achieve the finish. The temperatures are lower (just below the boiling point of water) and the process is fairly inexpensive. The solution is a one shot deal and cannot be re-used.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Ezoxx will prevent rust, and the "in the white" finish is traditional and looks good.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Brownell’s Aluma-Hyde is a cheap, easily applied epoxy paint finish. I did my Remington 1100 turkey gun about 20 years ago and it has held up remarkably well. Degrease well and heat the metal before applying and let cure near heat( I kept it near the wood stove for a week).

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I do hot bluing, Parkerizing, rust bluing and browning. In my experience the last 37 years, rust bluing and browning, are hands down the best finishes for wear their is. I was looking at a ML that browned 30+years ago, and the finish has held up extremely well. When I killed it, I used baking soda and boiling hot water, and while the barrel was nearly to hot to touch, I rubbed in a good coat of Linspeed oil, and let it dry for 3 days. It has held up extremely well. This is per the instructions, on the Laurel Mtn Forge browning, and I have done about 60 guns with it over the years, with no issues.

  10. #10
    I've got to say that browning is hard to beat from the cheap standpoint. I've just used an extra oven for the heat source and BC browning solution on the 4 or so barrels I've done with it.
    Parkerizing can be done on the cheap if you have access to a bead blast cabinet. That's the big hurdle, it needs a clean rough surface to bite and form the oxide layer. Other than that you need a couple of wallpaper tubs or window planer tubs or even a stick of pvc capped on one end. I bent up a SS sheet metal tank for barrels so I can maintain a consistent heat over my blueing tank burners. I mix my own solution and it's beyond cheap. The most expensive part is buying distilled water to mix it. If you want to try, I'd gladly share the recipe. But it takes a bit of tinkering to dial in the ratio for your own set up. I had to re blast and repark a few parts on my first run.
    I can't speak to the paint standpoint because I've never used it.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    From Brownell's web site on Gun Kote, "....Prepare, clean and pre-heat your part to 100°, spray on Brownells GUN-KOTE and allow the part to dry. Bake the part in an oven at 325° for one hour and you’re done....."

    I've used that product on smaller items and pistol frames. It works well.

    Parkerizing involves making a solution and heating it. The parts are submerged in the solution for a few minutes to achieve the finish. The temperatures are lower (just below the boiling point of water) and the process is fairly inexpensive. The solution is a one shot deal and cannot be re-used.
    That is incorrect about the Parkerizing.
    Perhaps you had a cheap or home brew solution that may be true for.
    I have used the same batch for over 15 years and it is still good.
    I am getting ready to redo the Parkerizing on my homemade 50BMG due to some modifications I made to it.
    I will use the same solution but I may need to add to it because of the larger tank I now have that will hold the whole receiver.
    Following is what I have used. Been a long time so don't know if this is still available.
    Guardian Gun Care Products
    A Division of Allegheny Arsenal, Inc.
    Box 133
    Custer City, PA 16725

  12. #12
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    Years ago a buddy built a kit muzzle loader.

    For the browning, he cut a deal with a kid working at a restaurant that had a big Hobart oven for bread or pizzas.
    It came out great.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 04-24-2020 at 10:12 PM.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    I have a 45-70 Marlin from the eighties, that had a long and hard life. A lot of the bluing was worn off and unfortunately, rust pitting got to a couple spots when it was stored. I took it all down, thinking I might cold blue it one day. I used a product like Naval Jelly and its now blue/grey. I keep it oiled and often use it for plinking. I don’t know if I’ll ever blue it now. If you don’t mind the color, it’s probably one of the least expensive ways to protect a gun. It has the advantage of being easy to touch up, if needed.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I'm sure you're correct. I've always been told that once you got the solution hot, you had to use it and it wasn't suitable after that.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascast View Post
    I have a 50-70 barrel in the white mounted on a Martini Henry action. The barrel is new. I want a protective finish CHEAP but effective. Laurel Mnt browning has been recomended. I am not above a good paint if one is out there, like on turkey guns. Any suggestions or advice is welcome. thanks in advance.
    Laurel Mnt is good stuff. I just ordered a bottle of it for a project I'm working on. Rust blue is cheap and simple to do, but does take a bit more work than other kinds of finish. Not a lot of work, but it's not just spray and forget. Follow the directions closely and you'll be golden. Rust blue is a reasonably durable finish. Definitely better than cold blue by a considerable degree.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    The Mark Lee rust blue and a heat gun would be my choice

  17. #17
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Another option since you might consider paint is a catalyzed spray-on blue from Caswell (the plating outfit). I do both hot blue and rust blue (not often at all, just a hobby) and I would have cringed at the thought of paint on any of my guns! However after seeing that sprayed on finish from Caswell a short time ago I kind of have to re-think my position, that stuff does indeed look like real bluing and is totally rust proof, after all it's paint. Times change I suppose and so do products, rust blue has been my favorite process although I use the hot tanks for pistols and even rifles when going for a gloss finish but honestly that paint rivals either process for looks and is far more durable than either.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    For what it's worth I've used Duplicolor DH1602 ceramic based high temp paint. Available from most autoparts stores. After cleaning and degreasing metal parts spray even coat and bake out at 375*-400* for 1-2 hrs. Hard as nails and solvent proof.
    BTW, I use a gas grill to bake it in.

    Here are a few rifles I've done.


    Last edited by tbx-4; 04-27-2020 at 08:16 AM.

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