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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really want to get a Wilson CQB but am turned off by the horror stories about the finish 's total lack of durability.What other finishes are available from Wilson's?Has anyone had good words for Armor-tuff"

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139 Posts
Hi, Gunorthopod

I took delivery of my new CQB two weeks ago. It is used for IDPA, and USPSA shoots. I also use it for CCW. I have seen no finish wear as yet and will keep everyone posted. I carry the gun daily in a Kramer Vertical Scabbard. Wilson's stand behind their products and will refinish the gun if you are not happy. They also offer Parkerizing and Hard Chrome. They will put either of these on your CQB. Hope this helps.

Long live the 1911

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I have had Armor Tuff on several guns and have done many for customers. I have yet to see a "horror" story on any of them.

All the synthetic coatings wear. Armor Tuff is one of the top two. Black T being the other. I wouldn't bat an eye to either on my own guns.

Ken Hackathorn uses his guns HARD. I have examined his personal gun when I have had a chance to talk with him or take a class. Guns looked OK to me.

Better yet either Birdsong or Wilson's will certainly take care of you without question if you have a problem with the finish. Or the gun for that matter from Wilson's

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You might want to talk to Terry Peters regarding armor scuff. He and his customers have a lot of experience with it in hot n' sweaty country. Bottom line is that it is very good at preventing corrosion, even when it appears to have worn off. Your gun won't be pretty, but it won't rust.

My personal opinion is that if you are picky about the way your gun looks AND you want to carry it, get HC. Nothing is as tough in my experience.

I have an armor tough'd CQB and the finish does flake off around the ejection port and wherever you have holster rubs. So will blue and park. But when blue and park come off the rust can start (heck you can rust through blue before it comes off).

Armor tuff is not all that pretty, and IMO doesn't even look all that good (kinda rough and sandy lookin') but it is functional. Haven't personally owned Black-T but I've heard similar things about its corrosion protection properties and IMO it looks a better than Armor tuff - more smooth and satin-y.

BTW my CQB is a compact and it sure runs good. Wilson has the important stuff worked out - the guns run and if they don't they'll fix it ASAP. They do Armor tuff because it's relatively inexpensive and useful. Just order one with HC if you think you'll have a problem

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JiminCA on 2001-08-13 14:39 ]</font>

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140 Posts
I have a CQB with Amor Tuff. It is about 8 months old and looks really bad. The finnish is worn on all surfaces that contact either my hand or the holster. I bought the gun and took it straight to a four day class and shot 1,000 rounds in the class. The finnish immediately began to wear and looked several years old in my opinion after the class. I could send it back for a recoat, but why if I get the same thing? I have to pay to send it back. Why invest another $35.00 in it? I love the gun, but I do not want this finnish again. I would like to post a picture of it, but I just got a camera and have not figured that out yet. A pic says a thousand words. One look at my gun and you will believe all the negative talk you have read about this finnish.

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Robe, I congratulate you for doing the Advanced Beta-Testing on Armor-Tuff. I'm not sure of the chemical properties of Tennessee White Lightning, but how it reacts with Armor-Tuff in that environment makes me shudder. I can happily report that Armor-Tuff resists immersion in BBQ-sauce better than anything I've found, including me. I suggest that you refrain from stirring the moonshine with your CQB...

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140 Posts
Well, I had the best of intentions to make it scientific and keep up with ph level, time of exposure,etc. My mistake was deciding to include a taste test. The next thing I know somebody took off all my clothes and tried to strip the finnish off of my CQB.
I tried to blame it all on the high temp/humidity here in TN and on holster wear...but I guess it didn't work.

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893 Posts
Am I correct that Armor-Tuff, like Black-T, keeps in corrosion fighting properties after the finish wears, because it's also a metal treatment?

If that is true, why not go with it? Then when the finish has worn, refinish with something more durable. That way you'll get the corrosion resistant properties along with a durable finish. Kinda like when Dane had done one customers gun with Black-T over hardchrome.

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I don't own a Wilson, but my good friend has a CQB. He uses his pistol, it isn't an art piece. After every day duty use, off-duty carry, regular practice and dry-practice from the holster and three 1000+ round courses in a year, he sent it back for a re-finish. As I understand it, it only cost him the shipping. Never saw any rust on it. I don't think there's a finish out there that will stand up to that w/out wear.

I don't know, but it sounds reasonable to me to expect it to wear a lot if you use it. I have a teflon-based finish on my 1911, and the investment was not a tremendous one. I figure when it wears off from use, I'll have it re-done. I rather consider it like brakes on a car, or an oil change, just something that's going to wear and need maintaining if you're going to use it. As long as it's not peeling away just sitting in the safe, I figure it's doing it's job. Besides, I like the look of a slightly worn finish, it shows character. :smile:


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: emclain on 2001-08-14 15:03 ]</font>

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Dane, you know it isn't so much that the Armor-Tuff finish seems to wear faster than other finishes as such as it is the promises Wilson was making in promoting the finish. Here is their promotion:

ARMOR-TUFF® is the hardest, most durable, chemical and heat resistant thermally cured finish available. It will permanently bond to the surface to form a barrier to acids, oils, paint remover, powder solvents, bore cleaners and other strong industrial solvents. The extremely low curing temperature (300 degrees F) prevents possible damage to parts during the curing process. ARMOR-TUFF® was developed specifically for firearms use to provide a surface finish with optimum corrosion protection, abrasion resistance and lubricity." - http://www.wilsoncombat.com/armor_tuff.htm

I now see where they have the disclaimer that it has wear comparable to parkerizing. It has been my experience that the armor tuff started wearing off the first time I put it in the holster. After the first day of shooting (about 150 rounds), I noticed the finish off the muzzle end edges of the slide. The wear has gotten progressively worse from there. Hitting bare metal on the first day and even before the gun has "broken in" with its 500 rounds, that was just amazing.

Armor Tuff isn't armor and it isn't tuff. It may be better than bluing, but not worth the expense, IMHO and based on my experience with my CQB.

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Well I finally got back to the forum after a couple of weeks and see nothing has changed with the "how much a finish should wear argument and how it is advertised."

First, I apologize as I have had little time to work the forum as my other full-time job has been pretty busy with about two or three hours overtime every night. and lately I start off with this.

Email stinks as communication many times it becomes miscommunication. What one says meant as informative and instructive, is taken as demeaning and insulting to another.

No offense is intended so please do not take any.

I do not want to get a picture posting contest here or what wears to what point or a numbers of guns with rounds and wear or amount of guns with all of the wonder finishers that pass through my retail operation. Of about 600 custom 1911's (my operation) and about 8000 production guns of all kinds (the guy I work for here in Texas) that have been the customers comments.

From all of the finishes out there this is from customers and plenty of them with all of the teflon poly wonder finishs out there.

Almost none to include the armor tuff report the excessive wear as described.

Those few that have reported what the owner SHOWED was excessive wear to the coating agency when the gun was sent back to the refinisher the gun was redone/refinished or whatever. Without a question. This applied to all of the finishes.

Hence the problem if there was one with the finish in the first place was taken car of in the refinish.

This applies to Wilson's Armortuff, Baercoat, Birdsong's Black T, Rogard, NP3, Kimber's Kimpro and SIG's K-Kote.

If the arguement or problem is the advertising please read the Robar catalog, or the Baer Catalog or any of the others. All say basically the same. Best stuff on earth in so many words bar none.

That has been my customers retail experience.

The below is from an old post drawn from the buyers talking to me and I believe still applies. (I edited slightly) I cut and paste it as I am lazy, and also have another full time job to go to and any of you that know me can relate.

Begin of cut and paste:

First forget any of the magazine hype on any of these so called "wonder" finishes.

All of these finishes are trade off between slickness and toughness.

The finishes are a teflon/polymer mix. (One of you chemists out there jump in here and say what it really is)

Teflon is the slick
Polymer is the tough.

Of all of the finishes the Armortuff is the hardest and softest is the first version of Bearcoat.

This oberservation is drawn from seeing and listening to how the guns wear from use.

Remember this observation is from the guns that have passed through my retail operation over about 9 years when this stuff first started to get to the gun buying public and what I have owned and used.

I am no expert and do not claim to be.

Softest and slickest to hardest and less slick. (forgive the lack of technical terminalogy)

Bearcoat (new formula kicks it up one)
Black T

Now remember the tougher the less forgiving when the "shooter" is lazy and doesn't clean and lubricate for function.

I owned Les Baer Tactical Defense Pistol with the Bearcoat and used to shoot it regular with my dirty cast bullet reloads and rarely if ever cleaned it. This was part of demo to sell Baer (demo for 18 months). I would put my finger in the ramp and I would come out black for the potential buyer. The finish was worn off the slide, barrel hood, and the bushing contact point on the barrel.

The Wilson armortuff CQB I have (had now) for a demo (lasted 12 months until bought from my holster) was the same way. Both guns look worn but both did extremely well with the lack of attention on my part.

The Black T Novak Spec Ops Highpower I took in trade was used the same way for a year until it was bought out from my holster. Gun looked like a well used gun but function was without a doubt great.

Baer originally used Black T than change to Bob Ford from Rocky Mountain for Bearcoat

Wilson originally used Bearcoat and some guns were Black T's I think and than changed to whatever version of armortuff they use now and continue to modify.

Bearcoat is its own company and does the stuff on its own. Bob Ford is great to deal with if you ever decide to get something else done. I have the number if you want it ask off line

None and I repeat NONE of the guns that have passed through with wear rust were the finish
was worn off mand not below the surface of the metal. Something in the coating bonds with the surface metal to prevent it. I sold a lot of guns in humid climates like Houston and Beaumont (add salt from the coast there) and get no gripe from rust but the usual complaint that the finish will wear with use.

Well, all finishes, IF the gun is carried and used, will wear. I have rubbed through the metal NP3 on my SIG228. This is a metal finish with teflon. Some finishes are more prone to it than others.

I add this two small JPEG's on my WORN through back up SIG P228. Yes, that is rust where there is wear below the surface not at the surface. I have a high salt and acid content in my system and can corrode paint.

I used an email feature to save band width and space as this post is long.

I hope this helps to understand the limits of the so called "wonderfinishes."

The finishes on Glock and H&K are metal treatment and not coatings. Therefore the were will be different. That is a subject for another thread

Be safe and keep the brass flying

Terry Peters

End of cut and paste

I hope this helps in the overall "perspective" of things and keeps all at at least twenty paces.

Be safe guys and the crazies are out there.

Be safe and keep the brass flying,
Terry Peters formerly known as PT-Partners

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Terry Peters on 2001-08-18 21:51 ]</font>

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I have had varying results with Armor-Tuf, Rogard, and Black-T. I think it really depends on the type of weapon that it is applied to, as well as how well it was applied. I've seen my share of Friday afternoon finish jobs :smile: .

I have had problems with Glocks rusting from sweat, but as long as all interior surfaces are coated with CLP and maintained often, all is well. I've never had any problems with the exterior of a Glock rusting.

The one thing that I hate to see is a firearm, or a type of finish being promoted as rustproof. There really is no such thing. All guns have parts that will rust, and all finishes will wear off and expose those surfaces to the elements.

Don't fall for manufacturer's claims or b.s. articles by the "popular gun press". PM is the key :grin: .

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Clay on 2001-08-20 20:09 ]</font>
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