View Full Version : Tips on bead blasting

June 1, 2002, 08:24 PM
I'd like to put a bead blasted finish on my GP100 (stainless), I have access to a bead blaster.
How's the best way to keep the beads out of places you don't want them? Thought about plugging the barrel and cylinder chambers with corks or cleaning patches.
Does one avoid the forcing cone area or will it hurt it to get cleaned up?
Thought I'd do the trigger guard but leave the trigger and hammer alone.
Any hints & tips would be appreciated!

Joe Portale
June 1, 2002, 10:01 PM
Use a small jet of bead blast. Masking tape off the areas you want to avoid, besure to make sure the edges are really down so the air/beads don;t lift the tape. You can pack the forcing cone and other such areas with Playdo or some other type of modeling clay. GO SLOW AND STEADY.

June 1, 2002, 10:29 PM
I's disassemble the gun completly. Then degrease and throughly wash afterwards. Re-lube and assemble.


June 2, 2002, 09:41 AM
If using tape to mask off the gun youmay need to degrease it well afterwards. I use coleman fuel (white gas) evaporates quick and leaves no residue. Use it outside and DO NOT SMOKE. Unless of course you want to try the human fireball trick.

June 2, 2002, 11:45 AM
Is there a particular size or grade of glass bead that works best? I've not checked around locally to see what's available - I want to start with new stuff, no telling who's cleaned what in the cabinet I'm going to use.

June 2, 2002, 07:37 PM
I second CR Sam. Any gun I have ever bead blasted, I have first dissassemble everything. That is absolutely the only way for a good job (there is no way to keep out the glass shot). All you want to do is blast the bear frame and try not to spray any inside surfaces. Then, wash and brush extremely well with water and a toothbrush. Wash and brush everywhere, even where you did not directly blast. Then blow off really good with compressed air. I have done my SP-101, 10/22, S&W 22s and others with pleasing results.

Don't worry about overblasting, but be sure you get all the grit out before reassembly.

I would only bead blast your GP-100 if the finish is worn. Although it is SS, it has a factory coating that keeps it looking good.

I am not a gunsmith, but do have vast knowledge of metals and machining.

June 3, 2002, 02:56 PM
Duct tape is MUCH better than masking tape. :) You should be able to avoid the frame window entirely with good technique, but fill it in as best you can with wads of tape. As to the frame, I'd wrap tape around some pieces of popsicle sticks until they could be wedged into place snugly. Use modeling clay to pack in the frame pin holes until it bottoms-out against the sticks. Cork the forcing cone and make sure the tape covers the cork and edges of the cone. I'd tap a nice hard cast bullet into the crown with a brass hammer until it's just firmly seated, no further. Use a flexible nylon cleaning rod or plastic dowel and tap it out from the forcing cone when you are done.

Hold the nozzle as far away from the part as you can to achieve the desired effect. The closer you get, the the heavier it abrades. You want to angle the nozzle away from the frame windows and crevices, then work it backward right up to the edge of those areas. You should be able to get them matted nicely without too much overspray into unwanted areas. Work slowly, and methodically. Remove the frame from the tank when you think you are done. Blow off all the bead residue, but do not remove your protective packing and tape. Examine it under strong light, and don't be surprised if there is an area or two you either missed, or that simply needs a little more grit to blend-in well.:)

June 6, 2002, 08:42 PM
Take the gun completely apart before bead blasting. If I took my gun to a smith to have that kind of work done and I found out later that he had taped off rather than dissassempled, I'd find a new smith. If you are unsure how to take it apart, take it to a smith and have it broken down, then when you are thru, take it back for reassembly.
Mask the areas on the individual parts that you don't want to blast, bead blast, clean in hot soapy water, rinse with water to hot to touch, air dry, reassemble & you are good to go!