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Old October 29, 2007, 06:03 PM   #1
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Revolver refinish - most durable for field use?

I have a blued GP100. I think I should have bought the stainless version. I would like to have a finish that would be more tolerant of the elements when I backpack.

What would be a good finish I could have applied to the gun?

Any recommendations of the best person to go to?
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Old October 29, 2007, 06:28 PM   #2
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I have a blued Redhawk that I have taken out in the snow and rain of Arizona (yes, we get snow and rain).

The holster has gotten soaked, the gun has gotten soaked, the internal springs and trigger assembly have gotten soaked. The cylinder chambers have gotten water between the cartridges and the cylinder walls, and green funk has grown on my cartridges.

I give it the same care that I would give to a stainless gun: I blow out the guts of it with WD-40 (water displacement formula #40) if it gets wet, then clean it and re-oil it.

The only noticeable wearing to the bluing is in 2 places:
1. The cylinder, where the indexing notch drags. You'll see this on stainless guns too.
2. The grip backstrap. This is exposed on a Redhawk, but not on a GP100. Not a problem for you.

There is some minor wear to the bluing where the gun rubs against the leather of my holster, but for the most part it holds up admirably.

I think the finish is a non-issue unless you intend to truly abuse your gun. As long as you dry it and clean it within a day or two of hard use in adverse conditions, it will treat you fine.

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Old October 29, 2007, 06:32 PM   #3
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Are you having problems with it now? I honestly have never had a problem with a field gun rusting and most of them are blued.

If you are having a problem with it, you just about can't beat some sort of industrial hard chrome. Some platers have their own "brand" like Metalife and SSKhrome. It's tough stuff and more impervious to corrosion than stainless. The added surface hardness can actually make the action feel a little slicker.

Nice Redhawk az! Is that Hogue tulipwood?
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Old October 29, 2007, 06:45 PM   #4
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Yep, that's hogue tulipwood. I thought it was downright purdy when I saw it online, and it should go well with a nice blued handgun.

I'm very happy with the combined results.
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Old October 29, 2007, 06:56 PM   #5
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I like tulipwood too. I originally had one on a S&W 648 and it went well with the stainless. It now resides on a M18 and looks good on it too.
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Old October 29, 2007, 07:52 PM   #6
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To answer the original question, probably the best all-around gun finish is hard chrome.

It's HARD, actually harder than a Swiss needle file.
It's proof against all common solvents, and many acids.
It's highly rust resistant, and dirt and fouling won't stick to the "slick" chrome.
The hard, slick coating when applied to the action, gives the gun a "action job" and it works much better.
It's one of the few gun finishes that's considered to really be a life-time finish.

There are a number of very good platers who do gun work.
Each has different pricing, and offer different options as to how the finish will look when done.
One or two will even plate the inside of the barrel and chambers.
The final finish ranges from the original satin Pearl-Gray, to a brushed stainless steel look, to a mirror-bright look. Very good rep. Very good rep. Possibly the best. One of the top best.
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Old October 29, 2007, 08:35 PM   #7
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I would think that blued guns were used quite alot in the field in history and I suppose the only risk to the finish is neglect, besides holster wear etc. If you keep it dry and wipe it off with a silicone cloth or something on a regular basis, it ought to survive, although I prefer stainless guns nowadays just to avoid worrying about fingerprints etc. Besides the extra care you have to give it might help reduce the risk of malfunctions due to unforseen circumstances.
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Old October 31, 2007, 04:22 AM   #8
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Hard-use finishes

I own seven stainless steel wheels; they all rust.

I own one 1911 finished by Robar using their proprietary NP3 finish; electroless nickel (a hard finish) impregnated with Teflon.
Awesome; zero rust, no real wear.
Recommend most highly.

I have a hardchromed gun, too.
It has the highest rd-ct of any of my guns at over 40K. But it rusts. No wear, though.

NP3 =

Hardchrome =
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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