View Full Version : steel in white (rust prevention through treatment)

May 8, 2007, 11:43 AM
I'm exploring the options for rust preventative treatment for a grip cap and butt plate that will come in the white.

please let me know what I am missing

hot blueing
case coloring
nitre blueing

I'm outright omitting coatings like plating and enamels.

I'm leaning toward nitre blueing right now and considering doing it at home with a lead melter (don't have one yet, need to search garage sales).

May 8, 2007, 02:01 PM
The older bluing methods like nitre bluing are not particularly durable, and tend to wear off quickly.
Due to the very smooth finish, it doesn't hold lube well and tends to rust.

Color case hardening is also surprisingly delicate, and that's why many makers used to apply a protective coat of a varnish to delay wear.
Apparently, even prolonged exposure to sunlight caused the finish to fade.

I personally don't care for browning, but when it's done really RIGHT and has that very smooth satin gloss finish it does look good. The typical home-done buck skinner's browning job that is rough and just looks like oiled rust is ugly and not too durable.

The most durable of your listed finishes is modern hot-salts bluing.

Another option is a black parkerized finish. This is a rough finish from the bead blasting, and that roughness holds rust preventing lube quite well. Properly soaked in lube or a wax, it's more durable than any of the listed finishes, but rough textured.

James K
May 8, 2007, 02:12 PM
You don't mention the finish on the rest of the gun, or even what kind of gun it is. I think you would want to match the rest of the gun. If it is a muzzle loader, done in plum brown, you would want to match that or perhaps match a case colored lockplate.

If it is a modern rifle action, I will go along with Dfariswheel on hot tank bluing. I would use browning or case color only if it fits into some kind of theme and other parts are finished the same way.

Another possibility is black nickel, which is very durable, but expensive and again may not fit in with the rest of the gun.


May 8, 2007, 02:36 PM
Jim, I'd like to find a plum colored Ruger #1, but it will probably be traditional blue as those plum receivers tend to stay with their owners (I've considered case coloring, but I can't justify the expense now). I think a few pieces of metal in fire blue (nitre blue) would serve as a nice accent. Turnbull has a case colored SAA with a nitre blue screw. It looks really nice. That's where I got the idea. I received the wood for this project yesterday. I'm letting it acclimate to my humidity in plastic bag with a small vent. It's a burl butt stock with straight grain at the grip. This rifle will wear a full mannlicher style forearm. I will hunt with this rifle.

May 8, 2007, 02:40 PM
Here's an image I'm trying to duplicate with a few variations.