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Old 03-10-2009, 06:43 PM
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Blueing a gun barrel.

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I want to learn how to blue a gun barrel. Have taken an old steven/savage mod 51 .410 for my first experiment. Started the stock. Looks not bad for the first time.
Now the blueing. Have knocked down old blueing using sand paper and a couple coats of MAAS. Steel looks good and shiney. Now What! Can anyone give me advice on the blueing of a gun. Have been on youtube and other websites. Many look good but they are paid to look good. Just learning and could you the easiest to hardest of advice. I am sure many of you have different thoughts on what to do...thanks in advance.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:11 PM
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The various Cold Blues work pretty well. I've used both the liquid and paste by Birchwood Casey. I prefer the liquid for large jobs and paste for touchups.

Short of building or buying a $600 hot tank, leave that stuff to professionals.
Buy American, it may be your own job you are saving.
UTU, TY&E Service, BNSF
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:23 PM
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Go to you tube and type Larry Potterfield in the search window. He owns Midway and has a great video on gun bluing with cold blue
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:47 PM
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The cold blues look OK, but don't really last.

If you REALLY feel like experimenting, get some Pilkington's and try rust bluing. It's not terribly expensive, looks GREAT, and performs very well.

Good Luck!!
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:28 AM
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Oxpho Blue from Brownells makes a very tough finish. With some practice you can get a good looking finish with it. Rust bluing is labor intensive and makes a softer looking blue than most people like (or expect) but it's a really traditional finish and requires very little in the way of equipment. Several of the bake-on finishes are very tough but don't look as traditional.
Sion ap Rhys
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:14 AM
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Personally, I would only recommend cold blue for repair work, touch-up.
Hot, dip blueing is fine in many cases but I have never done it at home. Rust blue I have done and I highly recommend Pilkington's. It is labor intensive but I prefer the finish, though it is not for every gun.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:33 PM
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It depends

The best cold blue I have ever used is G96 paste and it lasts a long time. I use it to touch up small areas and to blue entire guns. They have a website and the local gun shop carries the product. All the best...
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:20 PM
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I've seen several "cold blues" that looked good. None of those "looked better" than a good "hot blue" though. Prepairtion of the metal is "the key" to both.

I can't report that I know of a "cold blue" that is superior too a "hot blue" in duribility though.

"Purdy guns" allways make me suspicious at gun shows in that regard. Is it real, or is it a good "cold blue job"?

Cheap and fast has no value to me.

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Old 03-11-2009, 05:38 PM
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Over the years I've found Brownell's Oxpho-blue the best cold blue on the market. It was designed for gunsmiths whom didn't want to invest the two grand setting up a hot blue system. Read about it here. It's the only cold blue on the market that works thru oil that I know of.

Like was said above the prep is the key. It's like painting a car you get out of it what you put in it. I'm polishing out a rifle right now to be blued. Oxpho blued the last rifle, but this one is going into a friends hot tank. If your not going to polish it out with buffing wheels and compound for a glossy surface it's a good idea to bead blast the surface. Gives a nice mat blue finish.
Bob from Idaho
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:14 PM
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I used to do a cold rust blue that was attributed to O.A. Zischang. This consists to sulphuric acid, nitric acid with iron nails. Not a good thing for most people to work with.

I've since changed to using Brownells Dircropan IM.

This process results in a gray/black finish that is very durable, but does require immersing the barrel (or whatever you are blueing) in boiling water.

It still is a lot easier than hot salt blue.

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Old 03-11-2009, 07:18 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. I am going to do a little research on all the different materials and websites. Any other thoughts please keep them coming. Have a good one and thanks again.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:07 PM
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Check out the descriptions of the various methods at Brownells. They also have several articles on bluing methods in their GunTech section as well as instructions for the different chemicals.
Sion ap Rhys
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:23 AM
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Rust blueing isn't difficult, can be done cheaply, and looks better than any cold blue concoction on the market. I don't even consider it labor intensive, since most of the time involved is just waiting for rust to form. I don't sit around and watch paint dry, either.
Here's a Noble Model 20 single shot .22 I refinished, including rust blueing.
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