View Full Version : Van's Instant Gun Blue?

September 4, 2005, 04:34 PM
I saw this stuff advertised as some sort of miracle product at http://www.rb-treasures.com/MPI_Products/VanBlue.html

I am pretty skeptical but, then again, I felt the same way when I saw ballistol advertised for sale... and thats the best CLP i've ever used.

Does anyone have any experience with this product? There is medium sized spot of bare steel on the inside of my Mosin Nagants foregrip that I want to reblue...

September 4, 2005, 04:56 PM
Its still gonna be cold blue


sleeping dog
September 4, 2005, 09:38 PM
Van's comes out sort of blue colored. The Mosin is more black, right? Brownells Oxpho-blue might be a better match on a Mosin.

September 4, 2005, 10:22 PM
Van's and Brownells Oxpho-blue are basically the same thing. Both are a very dark blue/gray phosphatizing treatment—a kind of thin, dark cold Parkerizing. Neither gives the darkest blue among cold blues. What they do provide is a far better than average corrosion protection for a cold blue.

I did an experiment in which I used a variety of cold blues on some music wire rod (small safety flag stems). I degreased each one and applied the cold blue. I then wetted them with Formula 409 to neutralize the acid completely and rinsed them in hot water. I left them all unoiled and sitting in my home office for a month. At the end of that time all but the Van's and Oxpho blue had significant surface corrosion. The worst were those blued in product containing hydrochloric acid; they were heavily pitted.

I have more recently acquired some Blue Wonder. I put some on the same metal. It gets darker than either the Van's or the Oxpho blue, but like Dichropan IM, you have to apply some heat because it isn't a rapid reactor. The complete process is a bit more complex, involving the addition of a developer for greates effectiveness, but it shows great promise. No corrosion at the the three week point. The original sample of Van's and Oxpho are now four months old and are starting to show some rust. Were they oiled, I don't thing there would be any, but I have let them go for the sake of the experiment.

Blue Wonder is now available in either Black or Blue. Check their web site (http://www.bluewonder.us/Products.html). Gander Mountain used to carry this product but now has only their gun cleaner (also good) at my local branch. I think Sinclair International sells it.


September 4, 2005, 10:26 PM
Yep, the gun is pretty much black. But it doesn't matter as it's on the inside of the foregrip, on the barrel. It looks like a gunsmith already tried to apply rebluing to the spot only to have rust eat it away.

This stuff seems to claim it is more than cold blue, and I have read some pretty good reviews about it... hmm.

EDIT: Thanks for the info uncle nick. After 4 months there was rust present? hmm... I think I might forget about it.

What can I do to stop worrying about rust for good? At the moment, I put some CLP(ballistol) on the spot and rub it in, then wipe it away. Did this last in february and upon checking it today, there was absolutely no rust. I hate having to scratch the hell out of the stock by pulling the bands off the rifle just to check that damn spot! What shall I do? Forget about it?

September 5, 2005, 02:27 PM
Don't get overly excited by the 4 month rust. Remember this thing has never been oiled and has been sitting without lubrication that whole time. I should add that it has spent this time in my basement during the most humid part of the year. That is a rust friendly environment.

What happens with all the phosphates coatings, including Parkerizing, is that some porosity is present which needs to be filled with oil. Absent any oil at all, phosphate coatings will eventually develop rust just because they leave some microscopic spots unprotected at the bottom of the pores. There is also a certain amount of free iron in the phosphate matrix that has converted to the phosphate form, and it can oxidize, too.

What my experiment was about was to see how much the acids in cold blue processes actually promoted rusting? I concluded that Van’s and Oxpho-blue do so only very slightly if at all. Most of the darker cold blues use nitric acid as one of their constituents. My hypothesis was that this over-activates steel in the process of growing the blue selenious coating on it. Surface rust or so-called rust-through develops very easily if you aren't very proactive about preventing it on an activated surface.

Hydrochloric acid was in one very old bottle of Outers cold blue, and that not only activates the surface but leaves some ferric chloride in its wake. Ferric chloride, in the presence of water, will etch and activate iron by itself. Drop a nail in some ferric chloride circuit board etching solution sometime and watch gradually disappear.

Rust-free use of the nitric and hydrochloric acid-based cold blues requires that you neutralize the acid (Formula 409 cleaner does this well), rinse them thoroughly, then boil them for 10 minutes in distilled water then get them straight into a water displacing oil for an overnight soak. Brownells Water Displacing Oil is the best I've tried, but WD-40 will do in a pinch. Just be sure you replace it with rust inhibiting oil later. After all this, the cold-blued areas have to be kept oiled, greased, or waxed. Otherwise they eventually develop rust. This is probably what happened to your gun; incautious or uninformed use of a nitric acid cold blue.

Both Van's and Brownells Oxpho-blue can be applied, washed in 409, then simply rinsed in hot water and dried and oiled with a rust inhibiting oil (LPS-2 or 3, Birchwood Casey Sheath, Amerlene Seal). A soak in water displacing oil might not hurt, but isn’t required if you get them dry. They are also more rugged than the other cold blues. I don't yet know how rugged Blue Wonder cold blue and Blue Wonder cold black are? I haven’t tried any rub-away experiments with them.