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Refinishing an aluminum frame?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by GearGuru, May 25, 2010.

  1. GearGuru

    GearGuru

    195
    0
    Nov 19, 2005
    Metro Atlanta GA
    I've been pondering the best method for refinishing a SW 1911PD with scandium alloy frame. While the slide can be HC'd or hold most any other finish, the kydex holsters seem to continue to do a job on the finish of my other coated pistols as they are worn daily at work.

    What would be a good compliment to a HC's slide that will hold up reasonably to locking Kydex holsters? I haven't had good luck with some of the more common bake on finishes.
     
  2. RobarGuns

    RobarGuns

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    Apr 17, 2010
    First off, as you know kydex is very abrasive and so is tough on any finish!

    If done properly, I believe the aluminum/scandium alloy frame could be plated with electroless nickel or our NP3 nickel/PTFE. The key here is "done properly" - the preparation, cleaning & activation processes must be correct for the alloy frame and the plating being applied. Also, it should be possible to anodize it like an aluminum part as the scandium & aluminum actually share many properties from a metallurgy standpoint.
     

  3. cbryant

    cbryant

    1
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    Jun 13, 2010
    RobarGuns, I thought Robar finishes couldn't be applied to S&W Scandium frames? If they now can be applied to scandium, that would be great news.
     
  4. RobarGuns

    RobarGuns

    54
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    Apr 17, 2010
    cbryant,

    Actually, we had kind of lumped scandium in with titanium as not able to be plated with our processes, but in doing some research we recently determined scandium will not present a problem for our nickel & NP3. So yes, we can NP3 scandium alloy frames. Also, we have never had a problem applying Roguard to scandium or titanium so that is an option for those metals, too.
     
  5. revel8

    revel8 hedgehog

    1,445
    0
    Jun 17, 2008
    Florida
    I have a somewhat related question. I have the springfield emp (stainless steel slide) I was interested in having the slide refinished in black to match the frame, I was told they coulod not, they stated nothing will adhere well to stainless, how much truth is there to this statement?


    If it isn't a good idea, can the black (aluminum) frame be made to match the slide? Or be close in appearance though a process such a bead-blasting? This will be a daily carry in mainly kydex holsters so durability is important to me, thank you
     
  6. RobarGuns

    RobarGuns

    54
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    Apr 17, 2010
    revel8,

    There are black finishes that will adhere just fine to stainless steel. That said, the kydex holster will be very hard on any finish and will likely cause high spot wear pretty quickly.

    Unfortunately there is no finish that will be a perfect match for stainless steel. NP3 would be pretty close, or if you really want the frame & slide to match have both plated with NP3 of a similar plating, which will also hold up much better to the kydex holster.
     
  7. revel8

    revel8 hedgehog

    1,445
    0
    Jun 17, 2008
    Florida
    Will a kydex holster wear a finish faster? I seem to be hearing different opinion on whether leather or kydx is more abrasive, but the kydex ctac is thinner then any leather holster I've seen.
     
  8. RobarGuns

    RobarGuns

    54
    0
    Apr 17, 2010
    In my experience most kydex holsters will wear a finish MUCH faster than a properly made leather holster.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  9. Max1775

    Max1775 Marine Infidel

    636
    0
    Oct 1, 2009
    Helotes, Texas
    Definitely. I love my Supertuck for it's comfort, but Kydex is extremely hard on the finish of any weapon. Leather is much more forgiving.
     
  10. revel8

    revel8 hedgehog

    1,445
    0
    Jun 17, 2008
    Florida
    Have you guys heard of a chemical process called "superblack" ?
     
  11. RobarGuns

    RobarGuns

    54
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    Apr 17, 2010
    There is a Birchwood-Casey finish touch up pen called superblack, is that what you're asking about?
     
  12. ontarget1911@gmail.c

    ontarget1911@gmail.c

    9
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    Aug 1, 2008
    I have done many S&W Scandium commander bobtails and used a hardchrome slide and Duracoat on the frames with very good success. That being said I am also not a fan of Kydex if you want to preserve the finish at all.

    Jess
    OnTarget Custom Gunworks
     
  13. cfec2008

    cfec2008

    386
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    May 2, 2010
    look at cerakote. nicindustries.com ...also look at cerakote on youtube and look for the p225 cerakote on youtube,....
     
  14. pezzulli

    pezzulli

    49
    0
    Jan 16, 2007
    New York
    Not sure about Scandium, but Metalife hard chromes aluminum frames. They first plate the frame with electroless nickel and then hard chrome it. They have been in business for years and have a good reputation.

    HTH,
    John