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Old August 17, 2002, 03:15 AM   #1
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How can I darken stainless steel?

Is it possible to refinish a stainless steel slide either in black oxide or some kind of "Tuff Coat"? Are there other processes that can darken stainless steel?

I'm looking for something more permanent than paint. (Thanks for the paint replies, gents.)

Thank you.

Last edited by moredes; August 17, 2002 at 11:01 AM.
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Old August 17, 2002, 04:24 AM   #2
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For example:
Some Czechian Arms are simply painted with an oilproof lacquer.
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Old August 17, 2002, 04:59 AM   #3
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blacken s.s.sights

I took black electricians tape around barrel and frame leaving the top surface of the revolver visible, cleaned with acetone and spray painted it flat black. easy to touch-up.
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Old August 17, 2002, 02:44 PM   #4
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I believe it can be blued...

I am looking to duplicate the finish found on a Ruger 77 Target on my Winchester SA .308- an iron matte grey stainless- I'm told the guns are dipped in Rugers standard bluing tanks for chrome moly...

Other than that, there are a number of high tech finishes available like Birdsong, Black T, etc
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Old August 17, 2002, 03:21 PM   #5
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There are a number of stainless finishes ranging from a stainless blackening chemical process, black chrome plating, to the various coating finishes.

Most of the coatings are polymer type "paints". Not really paint, but applied like a paint and baked on. These are tougher than any real paint.

The Ruger finish is the "Terhune" finish, named after a Ruger Exec.
This is apparenty some kind of chemical dip process.

Standard gun bluing processes WILL NOT have any effect on standard gun-type stainless steels.

I'd suggest looking in the back pages of The American Handgunner magazine. The better gun refinisher's advertise there.
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Old August 18, 2002, 01:58 AM   #6
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Proper black stainless involves chemically converting the chrome in the stainless to chromium sulfate. I have done this in the lab at work.

The process involves immersion in a molten dichromate salt bath at about 750 degrees F. Very nasty process. Good results. This is how the M1 Garand gas cylinders were blackened years ago, it is a very durable finish.

Of course it might be best to leave it to the professionals:
NRA Certified Pistol & Personal Protection Instructor
Gunsite 250/350/499
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