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Thread: Case colored

  1. #1
    tschmittel's Avatar
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    Case colored

    I have seen blued, stainless, and case colored revolvers. How is the case color applied or rendered? Are there plusses the this type of finish other than cosmetic?

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    Baldy's Avatar
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    Case coloring is done by heat treating and you relly got to know what you are doing. You can wrap a frame in a heart beat. Now there's a way to do it with acid but I have no idea how that works. You have to take good care of a case harden gun as it will rust up fairly quick. That's the way it has happen with the few I have had.

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    The case hardening makes the outside of the metal harder and more durable. The pretty colors are just an extra benifit. Its applied by packing the metal parts in charcoal and other chemicals/stuff and heating it in a furnace. Its not very do-it-yourself friendly.

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    Post Case coloring vs Case Hardening

    Case hardening is a chemical process of heat treating the metal so that the surface is resistant to wear and the inner part is not brittle so that it doesn't stress break. There are several ways to do it. And it isn't user friendly, like the man said earlier. Case Coloring, on the other hand, is qucik and easy...but it doesn't treat the metal. It will also wear off the surface pretty quickly. I have done it in past projects on small parts which are not fricton surfaces. I used a pencil torch and a small amount of gun oil. Alternating flashing the torch across the surface with rubbing the oil in with a fingertip, the trick being not to get the metal so hot you can't touch it without a burn. If you see a firearm offering case "coloring" just be aware that you aren't getting case "hardening". Regards; Al
    Last edited by aryfrosty; 05-17-2008 at 12:23 PM. Reason: addition

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    Sample of True Case Hardening...

    Here's a picture of my old (1977) Colt .45 LC SAA. A well engineered and finished revolver with extraordinary handing and shooting characteristics:





    As the old Texas Ranger once said, ...."she'll do to ride the river."

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    Crestliner, that's pure Class.

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    They are beautiful. I was just curious how it was done, I wasn't going to attempt it. Thanks for the info guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tschmittel View Post
    They are beautiful. I was just curious how it was done, I wasn't going to attempt it. Thanks for the info guys.
    The traditional way is to pack the parts to be hardened in a mixture of ground bone, charcoal, and urine. You then heat it to a high temperature, but still under the melting point and leave it for some time. The longer it is left the thicker the layer of harder carbon steel formed.

    That's all I really know, the specifics could easily be found out with some research.

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    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    Bear in mind there is Case hardeneing, and case COLORING.

    Case hardening was done to surface harden the steel of the day, current steels and tempering make the surface hardening unnecessary. However, it is a handsome finish and highly desirable to some, I among those.

    The clones of the Colt are truly case hardened. The case coloring done by Doug Turnbull is a fire applied coloring that duplicates the color but does not surface harden the steel. The coloring used by Ruger on the Vaquero models is an applied finish, using a dye process.




    A couple of my Ruger Super Blackhawks from Doug Turnbull.


    Bob Wright

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