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View Poll Results: Which is the best firearms finish?
Cerakote 4 22.22%
Cerama-Coat 0 0%
DuraCoat 1 5.56%
Gun-Kote 7 38.89%
Moly Resin 1 5.56%
Parkerizing 2 11.11%
Other (Please Specify in Post) 3 16.67%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 30, 2010, 05:36 PM   #1
Gary L. Griffiths
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What's the Best, Most Durable Firearms Finish?

I've recently acquired a couple of old shotguns and a handgun that need refinishing. I'm converting the shotguns into HD shotguns, and plan to use the handgun as one of my main carry pieces. I've been researching firearms finishes (searched here and elsewhere) and have pretty much narrowed it down to either Cerakote http://www.nicindustries.com/firearm...bKII5j2WIDX6m5 or Moly Resin http://www.johnnorrellarms.com/molyresin_about.asp

I was initially looking at DuraCoat http://www.duracoat-firearm-finishes.com/ and Gun-Kote http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1...RE__GUN_FINISH, but the comparison tests on the Cerakote web site fairly convincingly demonstrates Cerakote to be far tougher and more corrosion resistant.

One other product, Cerama-Coat http://www.battenfeldtechnologies.co...atte-Black-4oz seems worth a look, but I'm skeptical of anything that's just spray on from a can and bake.

I would greatly value the members opinions of the best of these finishes to use. I know that meticulous preparation is the key to obtaining a good result with just about any of them.
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Old October 30, 2010, 08:12 PM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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Nitriding, in one of it's many forms is the most durable.
Industrial hard chrome would be second.
Electroless nickel third.
All of the items you posted would be way down the list.
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Old October 31, 2010, 10:06 AM   #3
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For a painted finish, friends of mine have had Walter Birsong's Black-T finish put on and generally feel they're very good and perhaps the best of the painted finishes for a combination of protection and dry lubrication. They eventually get small points of holster wear at the edges of carry guns that they practice presentations with, but all the painted-on finishes do that in the long run. So do black oxide, bluing, or Parkerizing for that matter.

If you don't want any wear you are going to have to get one of the finishes Bill suggested, and they limit your color choices. When nitriding, a plasma oxidation final step gives a black finish that adds corrosion resistance same as black oxide or bluing does. You want to examine samples of any process for appearance before deciding.
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Old November 1, 2010, 11:46 AM   #4
Gary L. Griffiths
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Perhaps I should have been more specific in the op. I'm looking for a finish that I can apply in my small shop. I don't want to spend $350 sending off a $100 shotgun for a nitride finish, then turn around and sell the gun for $250.

Understood, nitride, hard chrome and electroless nickel are the gold standard, but I don't usually have a lot of gold to spare!
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Old November 2, 2010, 10:53 AM   #5
Unclenick
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Within those limitations you've probably identified what is good. Gun Kote and some others really adhere best to non-stainless steel after first zinc phosphating (e.g., Parkerizing) it to provide it with a well-bonded and porous base to hang onto. Check the instructions that Ten Ring has for applying Gun Kote (they sell it as TR Gun Kote) to get a better idea of what is involved. I have no idea whether the test samples tested for Cerakote included that level of preparation or not. It also adds another layer of work to the process, which you may find discouraging.

Cerakote certainly looks good in its own test results. I have no idea how it does for surface friction, though. They don't boast of lubricity as the moly-containing coatings do.

I'm simply unfamiliar with John Norrell's product.
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Old November 2, 2010, 11:08 AM   #6
Scorch
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For "cheap and tough", it's hard to beat the Brownells Bake-On Finish. It's tough as nails once it's on, and you're going to have to sandblast it if you want to take it off.
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1...BAKING_LACQUER

FWIW, Cerakote is hard but not tough, and it is a pain to apply. The finishing shops I use asked me to never bring them another job requiring Cerakote. For my money, GunKote is the best; tough enough, good-looking, and pretty good rust protection. And it goes on easy.
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Old November 3, 2010, 10:59 PM   #7
David Hineline
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Hard Chrome is good, TIN is good, the Boron Carbide being marketed as Melonite seems to be holding up well on my M&P handgun.
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Old November 3, 2010, 11:07 PM   #8
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the bake on stuff from Brownell's as mentioned above is good. I did a 1911A1
in it and it's still chugging. Still have a slide that is beginning to have spots come off(nothing major.) but not bad after ten years of being carried everyday
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