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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed that several pistol smiths are on this user list and a fair number of afficianados and I have some questions on finishes to throw out to the group.
Specifically, Two to three times per year on average I travel to remote locations that are always very climate and weather nasty (jungles, rain forest, seemingly anywhere that has alot of bugs, mud and or sand, once-twenty days off scuba etc). and I am required to remain armed with at least a sidearm at all times) has anyone used a finish that does not wear off and rust or gall then rust on contact surface areas?
I'm being serious, I have used Black T, armor coat, black, grey, green, brown, epoxy in an endless number of names, hardchrome from four different platers, nickel, bearcoat, poly coat, marine epoxy (once in a pinch, even camo spray paint too, long story)and I should note that I have come to rely on either tenifer (Glock with bare spots and sentry cloth and a lot reapplication) or plain stainless steel with fine steel wool in the evenings with flitz
followed by sentry again and CLP at break points.
The problem is always internal rusting on high wear areas, springs, firing pin channel on my 1911's and with Black T -areas where the slide has been gauged or scraped heavily.
Interesting side note, I took along kydex holsters last year on a 10 day hiking trip through the country side in Guiana and the contact points between holster-debris-and finish acted like abrasive polishing rouge, taking my holster off to rinse it frequently grew old fast, you would think being rained on every day would help.
Any ideas/feedback would be appreciated.
 

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Sounds like you have used every finish/coating/plating currently known to man! My only suggestion would be continued elbow grease, applied several times daily.

OR - I see that you have a government contracting job - is there anyway that you could "write-off" your guns as a "business expense" every couple months ? :wink:
 

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Interesting post David. People have been looking for the Holy Grail of finishes for a while now. I don't think there is one yet. They all seem to be a series of trade off.

I recall Dane had built a pistol for a Hawaiian customer that was a stainless base gun that was hardchromed and then Black-T'ed. There is definitely a skill involved in hardchroming. The better the vendor is at setup, the more complete the coverage is. Metaloy seems to be the best of all the hardchrome offerings. You can also hard chrome over nickel to gain the superior corrosion resistance of nickel, and add the abrassion resistance of hardchrome. I have a 30 year old Swenson that is chrome over nickel and it looks as perfect as the day it came from Armand's shop.

There is some promise with the vapor deposit technologies, but it is not an easy answer either. Some of those require higher temperature applications and that leads us to other problems. Ruger utilized such a finish on their .454 Casull Redhawk, but some people didn't like the aesthetics of the gray finish.

I use a Sentry Marine Tuff cloth a lot. Mostly for my sweaty condition. I don't have many rusts problem, but then I live in a very dry environment. I did have a stainless Kimber bull barrel start to rust last year. I suspected it had something to do with the level to which the factory polished it.

It really sounds like you are doing a great job being diligent with your maintenance. I am not sure you can do much beter than what you are doing. Interesting observation on the Kydex.

Anyone seen OZ yet? He might be able to add something usefull to this discussion.

DD


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-03-31 10:01 ]</font>
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Desert Dog,
I had not thought of Stainless, Hardchrome, then black T.
It does make a lot of sense, I honestly believe it also about hardening the metal
surface as well as covering it(I once fell 60 feet onto and through multiple rocks and vegetation, I was broken and everything tied to me was broken but my Glock 21 had a broken Trijicon sight, a large scrape but no dent in the slide. I believe this is why the Glock Tenifer wears off, but rust spots do not appear, even on the high friction areas.
 

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The pistol shown below is a stainless Kimber that Dane first hardchromed and then applied Black-T over the top of.



Burns Custom Pistols Black GhosT

Here is a more detailed explanation of the Tenifer finish courtesy of The Glock FAQ:

What is the tenifer finish?

Surface hardening of steel and iron (to improve wear resistance) can be done by either allowing the surface of metals to react with either Nitrogen (nitriding), Carbon (carburizing), Boron (boriding), etc. TENIFER is termed for a chemical bath nitriding process whereby nitrogen is chemically released and introduced into the surface at a suitable high temperature to allow the chemical process to take place.

Using the liquid bath techniques, the temperature requires to activate the reaction is about 550 to 580 Celsius. The bath is peformed in a molten, nitrogen-bearing liquid containing either cyanides or cyanates. However, cyanide-free liquid has also been used to release Nitrogen and then allow it to react chemically with steel (iron)at the surface (modern techniques).

Interestingly, when using the cyanide-free liquid, Tenifer is actually the salt bath nitro-carburing technique because it starts (first reaction) with Carbon-Nitride (CN) and allows it to react with Oxygen (0)to produce Nitro-carbon-dioxide byproduct plus Nitrogen. The simultaneous second reaction takes place when nitrogen (N) is in contact with Iron (Fe) to form FeN (iron-nidride). The tenifer coating "composition" of Glock's steel slide is essentially that of FeN.

It is interesting to note that FeN coating is used mainly to increase the surface wear resistance to against galling and wear. The corrosion resistance is also better for iron and conventional steel that are NOT stainless steel. Most stainless steels need not to be nitrided. The reason is stainless steel has chrominum to fight against corrosion and rust (this is why we call these material stainless). However, nitriding a stainless steel will almost always lower the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel. This is because the nitrogen will also react with some of the chrominum (Cr) at the surface of stainless steel to form Chrominum-nitride (CrN).

Obviously, gas-nitriding is a simpler process (but not neccessary cheaper) to form a tough wear resistance coating. In this case, pure Nitrogen gas is chemically reacted with the metal such as iron (Fe) by holding the metal in the Nitrogen gas environment at high temperature allowing the chemical reaction to take place.

The true FeN (tenifer) coating has a dull-gray color surface. Definitely, never lack. In some applications, FeN coatings can also be polished to give a bright metal finish appearance. [SIGlock]

DD


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-03-31 12:07 ]</font>
 

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As I understand it, the Tenifer process is a propriatary one. The process is not used exclusively on Glocks, but the only purveyors I have seen are European. Anyone know of an Amercian company licensing this process?

I found a little more info on the H-K List that Street Smart Professional Equipment sponsors.

This is an excerpt from a post by John ??? (sorry, I didn't see a last name):

"IMHO, the HE finish is inferior to Glock's Tenifer surface treatment, which is also a carbo-nitrate process -- but Glock's process oxygen-enriches the steel, thus sealing up the pores. This has two major effects: first, it theorectically makes the steel impervious to oxidation; and secondly, it hardens the surface of the steel down to 3 microns below the surface. This hardening is just less than diamond on the Rockwell scale (although some engineers insist that Rockwell is a bad measure for such applications and that Tenifer-treated steel is nowhere near as hard as real diamond). The outside black color on the Glock is a phosphate finish (parkerizing) on top of the Tenifer-treated steel. So even if the outside finish wears off down to "white steel," it doesn't lose any corrosion resistance down to 3 microns. Glock also treats their barrels with Tenifer -- HK barrels are untreated. I believe that Walther and Steyr are using similar processes to Tenifer on their new pistols."

DD

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-03-31 13:08 ]</font>
 

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IIRC I read someplace that the Tennifer preocess is disallowed by the EPA in the United States, but don't take that as gospel. Just something I read.
 

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On 2001-03-31 13:23, MPower wrote:
IIRC I read someplace that the Tennifer preocess is disallowed by the EPA in the United States, but don't take that as gospel. Just something I read.
I have also heard this. If your Glock ever needs to be refinished with the Tennifer process, it must be shipped overseas. I will try to find the source where I heard/read this information.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys, it would appear that it is possible that a US smith could or might be doing the Glock finish (let me know?).
Desert Dog, I am happily suprised at the amount of info you found in a short time.
I am going to the Uk in June and I could bring my pistol with me for treatment if a UK smith is doing this(anyone know of one?).
A second thought does Glock provide this service in Austria?
 

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On 2001-03-31 18:49, ddifabio wrote:

A second thought does Glock provide this service in Austria?
I believe this is the ONLY place that does the Tennifer process - still trying to find where I read this....
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Isn't Melonite a similar process to Tenifer? I believe the former process is offered commercially in the US.

On the topic of Tenifer and the EPA, I suspect the issue is that Glock does not want to deal with the costs of dealing with the waste products. Nitrogen wastes which leech into the water table lead to algae blooms and fish kills.
 

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David,

The search engine Google can make anyone look resourceful. :smile: I did a quick search there for Tenifer and found sources for the trademark process in Denmark, Germany and France. If your work allows you the luxury of taking guns abroad, then this may be worth exploring for you. Let us know if you do manage to get a 1911 finished with the Tenifer process.

I do suspect the EPA is the problem with us getting it done domesticaly. At least that is what the several sources intimated. Still, with as many related nitride type finishes that are done here, you would think it would at least be possible. But then again, most of those are done by vapor deposit methods. Maybe it is just that the EPA regs make it cost prohibative?

DD


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-04-01 01:49 ]</font>
 

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There is a smith here in S. KA that does Melonite and claims that it's the same process as Tenifer. I've seen some samples of the finish in both matte and polished. It does appear to be the same on the surface. Perhaps you can give them a call for some more Q & A regarding this finish. Here's their website:

http://www.egsw.com
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
On 2001-04-01 17:18, Mute wrote:
There is a smith here in S. KA that does Melonite and claims that it's the same process as Tenifer. I've seen some samples of the finish in both matte and polished. It does appear to be the same on the surface. Perhaps you can give them a call for some more Q & A regarding this finish. Here's their website:

http://www.egsw.com
Is this the right link? It appears to be a California gunshop not Kansas.
Thanks,
David
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am suprised at California needing to be Kaliforinia, I lived there (SanDiego) for two years and loved it has it become that bad?
Anyway, thanks for the info, as to NP3 I have
a Beretta 96 PA State Police issue contract that I wore down to bare steel and it became quite shiny and the finish did nothing to protect the gun from nicks and scratches I believe the lubricating properties remained but I much prefer a matte finish carry pistol, especially in the sight plain area and you must clean the gun with Isopropyl alchohol as several commercial cleaner can attack the finish.
I have contacted several companies that list titanium nitride finishes.
I will keep everyone posted on my results and I should have pictures toward the end of this week.
 

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Be very careful with the titanium nitrade finish. It seems that there are some companies claiming to do TiN but are really just doing a surface coating and it is definitely NOT titanium nitrade. You can check with Dane Burns on this one.

As for my reference, yes in Kalifornia :wink:. San Diego is one of the few counties here in Kali still worth living in. Good luck.
 

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DD

You have been keeping your knowledge hidden for a long time.... No one knew that you were a world class chemist! Great information!

Haven't seen Oz here but I'm sure he will arrive anytime. When I visited him in PR his feelings were that the only thing that would last is a Glock and kydex. But then Oz could tear up a steel I beam with a rubber hammer!

Great forum. Let's keep it that way.

Rob
 
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