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Finish for stainless steel.

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by GuyWithGun, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. GuyWithGun

    GuyWithGun

    115
    0
    Dec 6, 2006
    Anchorage, AK
    Considering a SS p226 for wear and tear over aluminum frame, but hate shiny stainless steel look. What are the best coatings for SS autoloaders (polymer or ceramic) and why? Looking for flat colors- black, tan, green... Whatever.
     
  2. cciman

    cciman

    3,583
    117
    Jan 19, 2009
    SW Ohio
    None of those finishes will stand up to "wear and tear".

    Does not the Sig 226 already have a Nitron finish on SS?
     


  3. GuyWithGun

    GuyWithGun

    115
    0
    Dec 6, 2006
    Anchorage, AK
    Dont think so. Looking at Elite stainless. Think the only stainless frame they have has no tint. If they do, would save me some headache.

    Just out of curiosity, what makes you say the aftermarket finishes don't hold up?
     
  4. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR

    464
    0
    Aug 24, 2003
    Lakewood, CO
    Ultimately all the "polymer" and "ceramic" coatings are just paint. Fancy high-tech paint, sure, but paint all the same. Stick it in a holster enough times and it will wear down.

    If you want a durable dark finish over SS it has to be a PVD TiN variant (e.g. IonBond) or a salt-bath nitride type finish (e.g. Melonite).
     
  5. cciman

    cciman

    3,583
    117
    Jan 19, 2009
    SW Ohio
    I thought you meant the slide.

    Any colored "coating" on SS will eventually show wear, or chip. The beauty of bare SS is that is is hard, and with a brushed finish, it is hard to see wear or scratches. Blackening or a oxidizing finish to SS is one option, but being darker, will show scratches and wear over time.

    Be careful choosing chemical treatments for SS. Some processes that work with steel ("tenifer" or "melonite" for example) do not work with SS, and actually revert the SS to worse corrosion and hardness characteristics than baseline. Good for marketing though.



     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  6. cciman

    cciman

    3,583
    117
    Jan 19, 2009
    SW Ohio
    correction: they may improve surface hardness, but negatively affect corrosion resistance for SS.

    Low temp plasma nitriding may be the option for achieving the "tennifer" effect on stainless, but I think it depends on the stainless composition. If you find a good metallurgist, they probably will be able to differentiate the details.

    The cost might make you consider forgetting about it. Just buy a new gun when it wears out.
     
  7. I prefer a Glass Bead Blasted finish on stainless guns.
    Nice matt finish that has no "shine" and can be re-done if it becomes rubbed to the point of having a shine or looking worn.
    Other than that I would Hard Chrome a stainless gun in satin or brushed.