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Old April 1, 2014, 10:08 PM   #1
ZVP
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Favorite finish?

Shiney, Blued, or in the case of semi-autos, colored?
I go for Nickled first, Stainless second. and blued third.
I can't yet warm-up to colored finishes.
How bout you folks?
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Old April 2, 2014, 02:45 AM   #2
rock185
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Stainless for me. No finish to wear off, rust resistant, and easy to refinish when it does get dinged, scratched, scraped, etc...ymmv
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Old April 2, 2014, 08:37 AM   #3
marine6680
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So many look so good though.

Hard to choose, but it really comes down to the intended use of the firearm.


I prefer dark matte finishes usually, if it's unfinished stainless I also prefer matte over polished. But there is something about a nice polished deep blue/black blued colt 1911.

For hard use a dark matte and durable finish is best for me. The nitride type finishes are good examples. A two tone in OD green and black looks nice as well.


I currently own a two tone CZ75 that has a matte black slide (it is a type of blued finish CZ did that they no longer offer) the frame is satin nickel, it has a slight yellow tint.

I also have a Sig 226 Scorpion, FDE with a mottled green and FDE G10 grips.

I have owned a two tone stainless and black XD, a matte stainless CZ clone, matte black officer model 1911. Have my dads blued Winchester shotgun sitting around as well.

My AR is black with OD green furniture.


My fiancé has an all nickel CZ75, a two tone matte stainless and black SCCY, and a standard black SR22 pistol. Her 10/22 is all black and her AR is black with FDE furniture.


As you can see, a wide variety of finishes.

I like/love them all... Hard to choose a favorite.

As I said, I find it hard to beat a matte black finish of some type for general all around needs and appearance.
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Old April 2, 2014, 09:28 AM   #4
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I prefer matte Stainless over anything else.

Second would be a nitron/some other coating. That way I do not feel bad if it gets scratched and it is easier to repair these finishes than true bluing.
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Old April 2, 2014, 12:18 PM   #5
gyvel
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I'm very partial to Parkerizing.
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Old April 2, 2014, 01:19 PM   #6
BigJimP
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Stainless on my semi-autos .....Nickel on my older revolvers...is what I prefer ( no colors for me )....although I do have a few blued guns.
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Old April 2, 2014, 01:22 PM   #7
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Stainless. I can and have restored some pretty beat up stainless guns back to like new condition for dirt cheap. Wet-Dry sandpaper to take out dings and scratches, given they are not too deep, and to finish up you can either give it a high polish, brushing, or bead blasting.

With that being said, I really hate the look of two tone stainless over a blued/black frame. If the gun is not stainless all the way through, I would rather have it all blued/black.
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Old April 2, 2014, 01:26 PM   #8
40-82
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My favorite is a combination of blued and color case hardened, but if I cannot exactly warm to it, I use stainless steel often in rough conditions. A few years ago I lucked into an electroless nickle series '70 1911, and I have a growing affection for it.
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Old April 2, 2014, 03:49 PM   #9
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It depends on the gun. Some, like a classic S&W or Colt revolver look best blued to me. Common utility shooters I like stainless. Like mentioned above, they can be cleaned up easily, either matte finish or polished. Plus you don't have to worry much about rust.
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:05 PM   #10
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Matte or satin SS for me. Just because it seems to last a lot longer with a minimum of care.
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:45 PM   #11
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it ain't (ever) about "looks"

After owning guns with numerous (and one 'experimental') finishes, I much prefer Robar's proprietary NP3.

It, to me, remains the perfect 'finish'.
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Old April 2, 2014, 05:15 PM   #12
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Depends on the gun and what its for.

For a working/carry gun, hard chrome or tenifer/melonite. So far, they have held up to hard use the best.

SS is OK, but its soft and the surface is easily damaged/scratched. Still prone to rust too.

I like parkerizing on a lot of guns, both long guns and handguns, but its really not all that rust resistant, and tends to wear pretty quick. Not all park jobs are the same either. Some are heavy and almost quartzy, while some look like nothing more than a weak wash.

Bluing all depends on the gun and the blue. A properly preped gun, and a good blue job, is about the prettiest thing going, is usually pretty tough, to a point, but my sweat and blued guns dont get on well at all, and need the most and constant attention.
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Old April 2, 2014, 05:19 PM   #13
Dragline45
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Quote:
SS is OK, but its soft and the surface is easily damaged/scratched. Still prone to rust too.
While it's true that stainless steel is softer than carbon steel, I never noticed any appreciable difference in scratches or dings on my stainless guns over carbon steel. IMO it's not a deal breaker.
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Old April 2, 2014, 05:45 PM   #14
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I suppose it depends on what youre doing with it. For medium to hard use, they show wear pretty quick, and quicker than pretty much anything else Ive used.

I picked this Commander up for cheap, and it was pretty beat up on the outside, like new inside. It originally had polished "flats", that were badly scratched, as was most of the outside of the gun. I bead blasted it with glass beads and it came out like you see here. I had to do it again after once more before selling it, and that was just from being used as a spare range gun.



If you have the equipment, its easy to clean/touch up, but it if youre picky about what things look like, and you use it, youre going to have some conflict in your head.
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Old April 2, 2014, 05:57 PM   #15
Dragline45
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As far as light surface scratches I agree they do show up on stainless alot easier than blued/black guns, especially polished stainless. When I used to carry a 640 I polished the crap out of that thing, and about once a month I would end up repolishing it as those little surface scratches would reappear in no time. That's just the nature of the beast though. I have had a 22/45 in the white for about 2 years now as I never got around to having it refinished, and even being carbon steel it will show those same light surface scratches just as easy as any stainless gun I have had. That reminds me, I need to get that thing refinished soon.
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:19 PM   #16
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Its kind of hard to see here, but this Commander was hard chromed, and then used daily for over 10 years. It rode in a kydex holster for most of those years, and you can see where the contact points were. The black streaks are actually a mirror polished chrome, and not black. The rest of the gun shows very little wear or markings, except for some very light, "dusty" rust, around the left grip where it was against my body.




The above gun was originally a nice Colt blue when it came out of the box, and didnt last a year in a couple of Galco Royal Guards before it was badly rusted in a couple of places.

The only other guns Ive had that didnt rust at some level like it, were my later SIG's with SS/Nitron slides and my Glocks (although the slide stop on a couple of my Glocks have slightly rusted where the finish on them wore off).

Next to a good finish, as far as rust goes, the next best thing to sliced light bread is kydex!
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:33 PM   #17
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I prefer a good blue and then stainless. The rest make up a distant third.
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:37 PM   #18
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Parkerized. It's what I always seem to come back to. . . . though I have been considering doing something with one of those newfangled finishes.
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Old April 2, 2014, 07:43 PM   #19
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Gotta go with bead blasted stainless for aesthetics, myself. For function, though, it's hard to beat Tenifer-type nitrocarburizing.
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Old April 3, 2014, 04:29 AM   #20
Waspinator
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Ruger's matte stainless found on the SP101/GP100 series. Very durable and it hides holster wear and scratches well.
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Old April 3, 2014, 05:12 AM   #21
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Depends on the gun. Some models i think look better with stainless, some blued.
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Old April 3, 2014, 09:06 AM   #22
pete2
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Polished blue as in old Colt or S&W, nice wood handles while you're at it.
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Old April 3, 2014, 09:15 AM   #23
geetarman
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I like the stainless steels being used today. There is a lot to be said for the great bluing on the early Smith and Wesson model 27 and 29. I have seen nothing that really compares to the bluing on a Colt Python. They were and are works of art.
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Old April 3, 2014, 09:37 AM   #24
biohazard313
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i like my duracoated zombie green semi pistol
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Old April 3, 2014, 09:44 AM   #25
Skans
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First is high-polished, glossy deep blue
Second is factory hard chrome - way more scratch resistant than stainless steel, and just as corrosion resistant
Third is polished or polished and then finely brushed stainless steel
Fourth - I like some case hardening; some I don't like.

Last edited by Skans; April 3, 2014 at 09:57 AM.
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