View Full Version : Looking for the ultimate pistol finish...

August 25, 2006, 01:59 AM
I have a 1911 that I bought stock GI, and I've slowly built it into das ubergun. I figure that one of the last steps I should take is having it hard chromed (or some other excellent finish). I already know about Cobra chrome from Tripp, and the NP3 finish from Robar. I've also heard of a Black-T finish from W.E. Birdsong, but haven't been able to find much info on it. I'm just looking for something completely functional and sexy as well, that hopefully won't break the bank, so feel free to post recommendations, pictures of your baby, and pertinent links. Thanks!


Hunter Customs
August 25, 2006, 09:47 AM
The most durable finish from the ones you mentioned would be hardchrome. Hardchrome should rockwell around 72 so it holds up well to a lot of use.
For a black finish Diamond Coat was the best it rockwells in the 90's however at the time I don't believe anyone is offering it anymore as a finish on guns.
Bob Hunter

August 25, 2006, 11:45 AM
EGW has a 'new' process out called "E-treat". Supposedly, it's very tough.


Bill DeShivs
August 25, 2006, 01:17 PM
If you can find someone to do a titanium nitride finish you would have the ultimate, IMO.

August 25, 2006, 01:22 PM
Currently, hard chrome is STILL the best all-around gun finish.
It's combination of hardness, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, thinness of the coating, and options of appearance are the best.

It's HARD.
Actually harder than a Swiss jewelers file.
The "slick" hard chrome prevents fouling from sticking to the surface, so cleaning is much easier.
The slick finish actually improves the trigger pull and operation of the mechanism, and extends the life of the parts due to the hard, wear resistant coating.

Corrosion resistance is very good, and it's proof against all solvents, sweat, most acids, and moisture.

Wear resistance is great.
It's so tough, it's one of the few coatings that's considered to be a genuine "life time" finish.
Since it's molecularly bonded directly to the steel, it can't crack, chip, or peel.
Scrapes that will scratch or break through most other coatings will only leave a shiny scratch on hard chrome.

Hard chrome is one of the thinnest coatings, so you don't have to worry about tolerances being changed by a thick coating.

Appearance can range from a dull pearl-gray, to a near nickel plate-look.
Each plater offers differences in cost and appearance options.

Here's the top platers doing gun plating:






September 4, 2006, 08:12 AM
I have a hardchromed gun (thank you Mr. Cogan www.apwcogan.com) and one NP3 gun (thank you folks at www.robarguns.com).

NP3, based on electroless nickel, is hard enough, and it just won't rust.
Hardchrome can rust.

My HC gun has over 30K, the NP3 gun over 15K.

And my next 'finish' will be gold-looking from AP&W

September 4, 2006, 11:09 AM
Titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN) is super hard, dark, extremely corrosion resistant, durable and great looking. Finding someone to do it on a gun isn't easy. I would talk to Bob Cogan at Accurate Plating and Weaponry about it, cost vs benefit, where to get it coated, etc.

E-coat is another finish I am very interested in. It basically is a LOT like the tenifer used on Glocks, and we all know how well they resist corrosion while being very hard and durable.

My current hard use guns are hard chromed by both AP&W and Tripp. I really like everything about hard chrome besides the color. If I could get it in black or a dark color without sacrificing the properties I would have my ultimate finish.

September 9, 2006, 11:46 AM
WESHOOT2, chromium doesn't rust, it's the steel beneath that rusts...the chromium plating is slightly porous, so it will never be as protective of the steel as e-less nickel.

If you don't mind paying more for the coating than the gun, there are many other industrial coatings out there that are superior to either hard chrome or e-less nickel.

Bill DeShivs
September 9, 2006, 05:41 PM
If "hard" chrome is applied thick enough it is no longer porous, and will protect even better than electroless nickel.

September 10, 2006, 05:04 AM
Very much a personal preferance. The one I like best is "Armorize" which gives a mocroscopic orange peel effect and is somewhat less reflective.
www.armoloyofohio.com It also wouks great on bullet moulds.