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Old February 15, 2009, 03:55 PM   #1
Thud
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Parkerizing: Protect the rifling or not?

I'm plannig to start parkerizing guns, I have some deactivated ones for practicing, but the question is: Is it necessary to protect the rifling due to acid attack of the parkerizing solution or not? Thanks beforehand, THUD.-
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Old February 15, 2009, 05:42 PM   #2
HiBC
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Probably one of those things folks argue about.
Myself,I hate to mess up the fine work of a barrelmaker.

You can take a piece of threaded rod that will be about 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 in longer than the bbl.It can be brass with threaded ends,or you can cover it with plastic or brass tubing,soda straws,or something to protect the bore from damage from the rod.

Make some handles to screw on the rods,like tool handles.Blind tap them to accept the rod ends.

You can make o-ring grooves concentric with the bore,or gaskets,or turn teflon washers.for seal on each end of the barrel

If you have been practicing with junk,practice again to make sure the end seals don't leak ,and the whole thing works for you.Beware what materials you use,some plastics relax and leak,maybe aluminum spoils salts.

I use this method to protect bore when browning or rust bluing in a boiling water tank.

I prefer not to recomend trapping the ends of any vessel that will go into 300something degree bluing salts .The danger of a high pressure steam explosion in the salts is obvious.
My suggestion is for hot water processes only.
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Old February 15, 2009, 09:56 PM   #3
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Keeping the solution out of the barrel doesn't take anything special. Put an empty case with a spent primer in the chamber and tap a cast bullet into the muzzle(just enough to keep it there).
The 'acid' isn't terribly harsh. It's phosphoric acid(the active ingredient in Naval Jelly for rust removal) that just degreases the steel. Fairly tame stuff as acids go, but don't get it in your eyes or on your hide.
Had my .243 Lube-Rited(black phosphate. Same idea with different chemicals) long ago. Didn't have a cast bullet of the right size. The inside of the barrel got done. Didn't make any difference at all.
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Old February 15, 2009, 10:12 PM   #4
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Commercial refinishers don't bother. I thought of using rubber stoppers or wood plugs but have not been doing barrels, anyway. Some said the heated air inside the barrel would blow out stoppers. Well the solution does not have to be boiling, it can work at like 160 degrees. I always use a thermometer and try to keep the solution between 160 to 175 and regulate the heat. I can see stoppers surviving 10-15 min. in that hot of water/park. solution. Just wonder if the seal is good enough with stoppers to keep out the solution anyway. Any kind of more durable substance you use as a stopper, is gonna be hard to remove afterwards.
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Old February 15, 2009, 10:57 PM   #5
James K
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Boy do some people make simple stuff complicated!

Cut a couple of wooden plugs from dowel rod or just pieces of wood, taper them to fit the barrel and chamber and drive them in. Make the plugs long enough to use them to hang the barrelled action on hooks in the tank and for use as handles. If bluing, put the plugs in before polishing so you can use them to handle the polished work.

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Old February 15, 2009, 11:04 PM   #6
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I haven't parked anything & maybe I never will but the previous post seems to present a very good answer.
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Old February 17, 2009, 01:50 AM   #7
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I Parkerize quite a bit here in the shop including a lot of barrels and I don't plug the barrels for that part of the process. (They are plugged for most of the other stages) When they come out of the tank, they're rinsed and the bore cleaned.

The Parkerizing does not "take" on the insides of barrels because the bores have not been abrasive blasted. Parkerizing does "not like" un-abrasive blasted metal.

The acid is relatively mild as far as acids go. If it get's on your skin, it burns right away because it's hot. It takes a while for a chemical burn to start. (The eye is a whole different story!!! That's why I have an eye wash station at the sink)

Truth be told, I have on several occasions wondered if the bore gets cleaner from the Parkerizing bath. I have cleaned a rifle bore and then Parkerized it. Afterwards, I cleaned it again and it's even cleaner now and brighter. My guess is that the built up lead and assorted other gunk is getting disolved by the acid. Keep yer powder dry, Mac.

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Old February 18, 2009, 11:30 AM   #8
Thud
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Thanks for the replies, guys. Cheers, THUD.-
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Old February 18, 2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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I suspect the phosphoric acid can clean copper out of a barrel. I don't know whether enough copper would affect the Park solution or not? I've always plugged bores. Un-abraded metal will get a thin phosphate coating if it is clean and degreased. It won't be a lot. Perhaps a ten thousandth or so. It's not as thin as bluing. It won't wear for very long in the barrel except where it is protected in deep tool marks. My main reason for keeping it out is the gut feeling that getting even a patchy layer of something in the bore might affect the time it takes for the barrel to settle in? I've not attempted to prove that one way or the other.

I've purchased a number of Parkerized new Garand barrels in the past. I've never seen one that didn't have a shiny clean bore, so perhaps the barrel makers have the same notion?
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Old February 19, 2009, 12:54 AM   #10
Mac's!
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Yes, enough copper in the tank will start to tint the Parkerizing a reddish orange but I know it takes a long time with many many parts gone thru it. Brass contamination happens much faster.

The point that I was making regarding not plugging barrel tubes while Parkerizing, is that it doesn't seem to make any difference. If there is ANY inside the bore, it wipes right out during cleaning like un-aged Park solution. Besides, the distributor of the solution that I use (Brownell's) specifically states: "Do not plug the barrels. When the air trapped in the barrel gets hot enough and expands enough, it can blow the plugs out which can cause a violent eruption of the solution". (Acid) Keep yer powder dry, Mac.

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Old February 19, 2009, 03:49 AM   #11
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We never plugged the bores, and had great results.
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Old February 19, 2009, 02:09 PM   #12
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Mac,

I saw the warning, too, but wound up turning a PVC block that screws onto the barrel and presses an O-ring up against the barrel shoulder at the chamber end. It has a metal vent tube that stays above the top of the tank to allow expanding air to equalize its pressure and doubles as a hanger hook. I didn't want the chamber or feed ramp Parkerized, either.

For a Mauser barrel you just get a neoprene chemist's stopper with a hole in the middle and put a piece of tubing in it. A PVC double hose barb from Autozone or a Nylon one from Lowe's pushed into the stopper and engaged on the other side by a length of rubber automotive vacuum tubing that goes out over the top of the tank will let pressure equalize. You can bend it 90° or keep it short and extend it with . Personally, I prefer to heat and bend a steel tube so you can use it as a hanger, somewhat analogous to what Jim suggested.
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Last edited by Unclenick; February 19, 2009 at 02:15 PM.
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