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Old October 12, 2018, 06:45 AM   #1
Auto5
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Laser engraving?

I have this idea to dress up an FN 1910/55 pistol. I wanted to add some engraved embellishments, high quality re-blue and new grips (aged ivory or antique pearl). Ideally, I'd like to find FN logo grip medallions, but haven't found a source. I don't want to engrave the whole gun, just select areas, in the style of the designs found on my Belgium made A5 shotgun. Although cost isn't really the issue, the laser engravers seem to be cheaper and, more importantly, have quicker turnaround times. Some of the traditional engravers I've looked at have backlogs of up to one year. Is laser engraving suitable for this kind of project? How does it compare with other forms? Any other thoughts or suggestions are welcome.
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Old October 12, 2018, 07:34 AM   #2
jaguarxk120
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Some gun makers use laser engraving, BUT that engraving is just a start.
After the laser does it's job the engraved areas are gone over by a engraving tool
to finish.

I've seen some laser engraving done on a single action, yes engraved, but was just on the surface. Not cut into the metal like the regulator engraving. I did not care for it, It looked cheap.
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Old October 13, 2018, 12:51 AM   #3
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Not all laser engravers work the same. A fiber laser will leave a mark on the surface like a matte line, shows OK, but it is not deep. CO2 lasers can get up to .050" into the metal. Cost of the engraver is a major issue, fiber lasers cost significantly less than CO2 lasers. A good CO2 laser machine capable of engraving a firearm can run $30-$50K, a fiber laser engraver about $10-$15K.
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Old October 13, 2018, 01:05 PM   #4
Bill DeShivs
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Scorch has fiber and CO2 lasers confused.
Fiber lasers cut metal-CO2 doesn't.
Traditionally, laser engraving would look like s-it on a gun like the Browning-which was available factory HAND engraved in various patterns.
Rebluing/engraving the gun will likely decrease it's value (depending on current condition.)
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Old October 13, 2018, 03:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Scorch has fiber and CO2 lasers confused.
As if that was the first time I got anything confused . .
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Old October 14, 2018, 07:39 AM   #6
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I was going to correct it but Bill beat me. At any rate, I have a co2 laser. It does great with many tasks but it's not so great for others. I have seen a couple of fiber laser engraved firearms, usually glock slides. It looked ok considering it was a glock and the design was gaudy (most custom glocks are imo, but To each their own). I would not dream of laser engraving that FN. Hand engraved only by someone with a national reputation for such work.
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Old October 14, 2018, 08:49 AM   #7
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I do recall Browning guns offered with different levels of engraving, but the only images I could find of factory engraved 1910s were the highest "Renaissance" grade, which is more ornate than I want to go. I'm looking for something a little more subtle. I would have thought that the factory engraving on my A5 was rolled. My little FN was not particularly rare or expensive, so I am not really worried about collector value. I'm hoping it becomes a family heirloom. The reason for my original question is that some laser engravers touted their services as being indistinguishable from hand engraving. It doesn't sound like that's true.
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Old October 14, 2018, 09:01 AM   #8
Jim Watson
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S&W laser "engraving" looks pretty hokey.
A guy here had a Uberti with laser "engraving" that was not unattractive but would not be mistaken for cut engraving.

I would consider a nice blue job and fancy grips with maybe your name or a family motto laser marked. The lasers do very neat alphanumerics, but scroll and bird dog portraits not so well.
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Old October 14, 2018, 01:26 PM   #9
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The single action I have seen was a Pietta in 45, one look and I told the
counter person to put it back into the display case, that bad of laser engraving.

I have some o/u shotguns that are roll engraved and that's better than nothing.

Remington used roll engraving on my 870 Wingmaster and it looks OK.
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Old October 15, 2018, 10:51 AM   #10
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All the laser engraving I've seen is hideous to my eye. Your gun, do what you want.
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Old October 16, 2018, 07:20 AM   #11
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Don't laser engrave your eye.

Engraving with a sharp tool treats the metal surface so differently from a laser that it's unreasonable to expect the results to resemble one another closely. Turn a hand-engraved piece in sunlight and you will pick up the light from the work at angles that have the flat groove walls reflecting the sun in your direction. I've not observed a laser cut that would do that, which is part of what I credit with the difference in appearance.
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