View Full Version : Bluing Compounds and Methods

April 1, 2002, 09:31 PM
I just got around to tinkering around with rebluing, and I was wondering about the collective wisdom of the assembled masses. I picked up some Brownells Dicropan T-4 and TetraGun Liquid Blue. It appears that the T-4 gives a black finish very quickly and easily, and the TetraGun takes several applications for an even finish, but it's a bit more blue. What other easy to use products are there? I'm really not interested in getting into hot blue and tanks, etc., but rather kitchen sink kinds of processes. This is pretty new to me, other than the touch-up sticks, so be gentle. :)

April 1, 2002, 09:59 PM
Just a note to caution you about using that stuff in the kitchen or other public areas...they contain nasty, highly poisonous compounds

The best results you'll get is from a belgian blue, or rust blue, Brownells carrys the solutions...

April 2, 2002, 09:45 AM
I think you're starting to venture into the area of tanks and the like, I'm looking for something that's not going to require that kind of investment in time or training. I realize that I won't get the same results, just shooting for "decent". :)

April 2, 2002, 11:29 AM
Actually, belgian bluing is safe and can be accomplished with a big pot, boiling water, and can be done over the kitchen stove...I had a pot that wasn't big enough for doing a whole barrel, I boiled one half and blued that, then the other half...perfect blend, it is very forgiving because of the repetition involved...boil, blue, card off, boil, blue, card off...alternate each end and you'll have no problems

I have no real skills, but it was perfect, no splotches, beautiful color...

And I didn't poison my family with selenic acid leftovers :D

April 2, 2002, 06:12 PM
Most of the cold blues seem to be pretty much simular as to results. People get differing results, so it seems to be what ever works for you.
Brownell's carry most of the better brands, and they now own "44/40" brand which you might want to try.

The key is to get the parts really, really, clean, and warm them up before applying the blue. Warm, not hot. I use an old hair dryer.

April 2, 2002, 07:58 PM
Tell me more about belgian bluing. Better yet, is there a good book that would go into the various methods?

April 2, 2002, 10:36 PM
Brownell's offer some free info on their bluing materials. They also sell several books. One is "Firearm Bluing and Browning".

April 2, 2002, 10:46 PM
Belgian Bluing is a laborious method, but one that a practical guy with good hands can do a really good job at. The parts are first chemically cleaned of rust. The next step is emery polishing, or I've heard, bead blasting. Degreasing, dunking in clean boiling water (plug barrel and chamber) and application of solution follows. Soon a light coat of flash rust appears...when this is carded off (steel wool will do) the metal will appear blue...bluer, that is. Repeat degreasing, dunking and carding till desired depth of color is reached.

Brownells includes instructions with the solution, and they sell the bore and chamber plugs as well. Talk to their tech staff, they are excellent at answering questions.

Belgian Blue is not only gorgeous, it is tough as nails...

April 3, 2002, 09:30 AM
I think that sounds like a bit more work than I want to put into the process! :) However, I think I might look for a book or two on various processes and give the whole thing some additional thought.

April 3, 2002, 05:11 PM
It's really no more work than a proper stock refinishing...the results will last forever, and it's a really classy finish. Watch that scalding hot water, though...;)

Alex Johnson
April 4, 2002, 10:26 AM
My vote goes for belgium blueing, or better yet the slower, slow rust blue. The chemicals involved are still nasty, but probably not quite as bad as some of the alternatives. The one thing I would mention is to make sure you use eye protection, Harry Pope the late great barrelmaker, supposedly lost the use of one of his eyes when a bit of the belgium blueing solution spattered up and hit his eye.

April 6, 2002, 12:10 AM
"The chemicals involved are still nasty..."

Thanks for the clarification, Alex.

I just wanted to stress that cold blue chemicals have no place in the kitchen since any residue could end up being transferred to foodstuff...

April 6, 2002, 12:39 AM
Well, actually I use them in the laundry tub, and if it gets on my jeans, I doubt it'll have a significant effect. :D:D