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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone considered sending a stainless Fort Smith PPK to a gunsmith for hot bluing? There's definitely a demand for a blued finish as opposed to the new black melonite. I've been thinking about getting a new stainless PPK, which would allow me to sand down the notorious rough edges and maybe even reducing the beavertail so it's a little closer to the classic design. Then if I could get it professionally blued, I think it would be a perfect-looking pistol.

Does anyone have any experience and/or recommendations for professionally hot bluing a stainless weapon?
 

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Stainless steel will not blue using conventional methods.
 

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I've seen gunsmiths online offering stainless bluing using a variety of methods.
I'd like to know who and how. Neither stainless or aluminum will accept rust bluing. There are coatings and platings that can be applied. Is this what you were referring to?
 

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Especially with the almost mirror like ground finish on the sides of the slides, and the polishing on the internals. I am about to get my Mauser build Cerakote finished in their E-110 Midnight Elite Blue. Sort of a matte bluing. But it is a ceramic polymer coating, and could add a few tenths of a thousandth where you DON’T want anything added on.
 

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I can't speak for Cerakote, but all the other baked on finishes I've applied require a roughened surface for good adherence. Otherwise they tend to peel right off.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'd like to know who and how. Neither stainless or aluminum will accept rust bluing. There are coatings and platings that can be applied. Is this what you were referring to?
under the section "Stainless Steel Bluing"

And Brownell's makes a hot blue chemical called Oxynate 84 which is used on stainless steel.
 

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I've not tried hot bluing stainless steel, but my understanding is there is a risk of uneven coloring and limited durability. Good luck with your project.
 

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Nitriding is the way to go ( or melonite, may trade names here) not only will it change the looks but it will also decrease the friction on internals and have a harder finish( more difficult to scratch). I won't chip or peel like ceracoat over time either. It's tough enough to be replacing chrome in rifle barrels for a while now.
You would have to ask an expert( someone who actually does the work) but I believe it won't change the basic dimensions of your gun either , the finish goes into the surface, not on top.

Also from what I understand and my PPQ slide is already nitrided.
So maybe swap with someone who has the black gun theme already.

Or you could just go with blue, aqua marine, even your own camo pattern ( what ever color or combination) What good is a pricey modification if nobody notices( absolutely nothing I say) ? Live large, life is short! People would notice that more I think.
 

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I'm not sure Melonite, Tenifer, and similar ferritic nitrocarburizing processes are used as a final finish. I think they are (or were) used to provide surface hardening and a rust resistant shell. I base this on old information, so perhaps it has changed or my memory is wrong. What I do recall when I went through the Glock armorer's course nearly three decades ago was the instructor describing how they embedded their ultra thin Tenifer coating into the metal, forming an extremely hard protective shell. They then added a Parkarized finish over it. He demonstrated this by scratching the Parkarized surface of a Glock with his pocket knife and wiping off the residue. He then tried to scratch the metal. We saw residue building up on the knife, but he informed us this was actually metal being removed from the knife blade by the Tenifer coating. It could not penetrate the Tenifer shell, despite it being only .002" deep. My understanding is Glock changed to another case hardening process around 2010, wherein they now use a gaseous injection technique (I presume their original process involved using a salt bath). Perhaps this new process produces a surface oxidation that the old process did not. I only suggest this because I'm told Glocks made in the last decade have a darker finish than the earlier grey guns.
 

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ya know , I have been thinking.
I have a suggestion, take the money and go shoot more. You will have a lot more fun.
I suggest a round of sporting clay. It is a whole lot of fun busting up flying clay. Much more satisfaction than staring a new version of imagined blue perfection. I just started recently, if you have never tired it you should, it is improving my shooting overall, instinctive shooting is the way to go. I shot much better with my pistol last time at the range. Hitting a perfect shot and watching the clay go to dusty cloud is an indescribably satisfying experience. It Beats staring at a blued gun any day.
 

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People modify guns all the time.
I am very guilty of this. I buy newer modular guns and tinker all the time. Factory parts don’t last long on some guns I own. AR, 1911, 10/22, I think the only thing factory are the roll marks and frames.

I get that. My thoughts are that if you want to buy a brand new gun but want to make it look and feel like and old gun, just buy an old gun.
I have to agree with lwh8 on this one. I have my C&R license looking for a shooter Luger, bit even ”Franken-Pistole’s” cost an arm and a leg anymore. Almost cheaper to buy parts and assemble one. But, I digress. Nah, buy new and do you. Freedom, right?
 

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Good point Jimbo. I used to worship my father’s gun collection growing up. Then I started tinkering in my own smithing. Small projects, thread a barrel here, drill and tap a receiver for a Picatinny Rail mounting. Basic stuff. Then one day he told me something I have kept at back of my mind ever since. ”Aside from a few heirlooms... These are machines, just like the ones you used to modify them. Keep them cleaned, oiled, and in good knick and you’ll be good to go. They are only worth what you think they are worth. Others may not think so. That is ok, to each their own.”

Only bear in my logic is that it is illogical for the fact that I have been on the lookout for a shooter Luger, and I don’t want to shell out an arm and a leg for one, but I am pretty sure I would value one at said arm and leg, you know?? Hahah
 
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