Parkerizing is a phosphate etching process that produces a hard matte finish that's very durable and anti-reflective, so it provides excellent oil holding properties. Parkerizing can be performed on any type of mild or gun steel, however it is not for use on stainless steel or any type of aluminum. The process requires immersion in a solution heated to approximately 200°F. The dipping time needed varies depending on the hardness of the metal and the desired thickness of the coating.
The most common types used are Grey Oxide, the original WW2 type, and Black Manganese, which is still used by many military and civilian manufacturers on a wide variety of products. Grey Oxide parkerizing typically results in a light to dark grey finish, while Black Manganese almost always produces a finish in the charcoal to black category.
Parkerizing will offer much more protection from harsh weather than bluing. Because parkerizing leaves a matte finish, parts do not need to be polished, but can be acid-dipped, sanded, bead-blasted or sandblasted. In fact, minor knicks and scratches that would show up on a blued item will not show at all after parkerizing.
We are LCW Certified Duracoat® Finishers. DuraCoat is a two part chemical coating. Unlike other firearm finishes, DuraCoat was created specifically for firearms. It's ideal for use on all parts of a firearm, including ferrous metals, alloys, synthetics and wood. DuraCoat is applied by airbrush, conventional spray gun, or HVLP spray gun. It is resistant to lubricants, cutting oils and bore solvents.
Bluing is most commonly used by gun manufacturers, gunsmiths and gun owners to improve the cosmetic appearance of, and provide a measure of corrosion resistance to, their firearms. Bluing also helps to maintain the metal finish by resisting tangential scratching, and also helps to reduce glare to the eyes of the shooter when looking down the barrel of the gun. All blued parts still need to be properly oiled to prevent rust. Bluing, being a chemical conversion coating, is not as robust against wear and corrosion resistance as plated coatings, and is typically no thicker than 2.5 micrometers (0.0001 inches). For this reason, it is considered not to add any appreciable thickness to precisely-machined gun parts.
Bluing only works on steel or stainless steel parts for protecting against corrosion. Because it changes the Fe into Fe3O4, it does not work on non-ferrous material. Aluminum and polymer parts are largely unaffected by bluing; no protection against corrosion is provided by bluing processes on them, although uneven staining of the aluminum and polymer parts can be caused by attempts at bluing. Holster wear will remove hot bluing over long periods of use; it will remove cold bluing over relatively short periods of use, from any wear areas that are "touched up" with a cold bluing solution.
We have the capability to do both cold hot and cold bluing. We also carry a large variety of cold bluing products for the Do-It-Yourself person.