June 28th, 2013

Firearm Finish Comparison Testing in Salt Chamber

When evaluating firearm finishes, one should consider hardness, chemical resistance, lubricity, abrasion resistance, and color. However, none of these factors are as critical as corrosion protection. The average firearm owner deals with corrosion more than any other finish-related problem. Accordingly, when selecting an exterior finish for the metal components of your guns, you should look for a product with superior corrosion resistance. Thanks to Cerakote, we now have some science to help you make that decision….

How well do various firearm finishes resist corrosion?
Watch the video below to find out.

Eight Gun Finishes Tested — With Surprising Results
Eight (8) various finishes are tested, including Blueing, Cerakote, DuraCoat, FailZero, Ion Bond, KG Gun Kote, NiBX, and Phosphate (Parkerizing). Eight metal firearm components (each with a different finish) are placed into the salt chamber to see how long it takes for each finish to show initial signs of corrosion. To provide a baseline for comparison, a “naked” 416 stainless steel barrel was also placed inside the test chamber. The test was started, and for each coating, the time was recorded when corrosion started to appear. FYI, if you thought “stainless steel” can’t rust, think again. The stainless barrel sample (along with the blued metal sample) showed visible corrosion after just 24 hours!

After 24 Hours in Salt Chamber
Cerakote salt chamber corrosion test accurateshooter.com

After 48 Hours in Salt Chamber
Cerakote salt chamber corrosion test accurateshooter.com

After 172 Hours in Salt Chamber
Cerakote salt chamber corrosion test accurateshooter.com

Salt Chamber Testing — 5% Salt Concentration at 95°F
According to ASTM B117-03, the Corrosion Test provides a controlled corrosive environment which has been utilized to produce relative corrosion resistance information for specimens of metals and coated metals exposed in a given test chamber. The salt chamber is set to a temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit with a 5% salt concentration. Salt Chamber testing is used to draw a comparison between metals and finishes and does not correlate to a specific number of hours of real world use.

Cerakote salt chamber corrosion test accurateshooter.com

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 20th, 2009

Videos Show How to Apply Spray-On, Heat-Cured Gun Finishes

In recent years, spray-on finishes have become a popular alternative to traditional blueing for chrome-moly barrels and receivers, plus other gun parts. Spray-on finishes provide excellent rust-proofing, some degree of abrasion resistance, and many of the finishes also provide increased lubricity for moving parts. (Be aware, however, that these finishes go on thin, and the finish can wear through on high-abrasion areas, such as slide rails on pistols.)

Matte spray-on products work well for hunters looking for a dull, non-glossy finish that blends into the background. A bake-on polymer-type finish is a very good choice for a shotgun or rifle used in the winter or in damp environments (such as duck blinds).

Brownells Gun-Kote

Brownells has created a Six-part series of videos that explain, step by step, how to apply a spray-on finish to gun parts. In Parts I & II, Brownells gunsmith Dave Bennetts explains the basics of spray-on finishes, then shows how to properly prep metal parts for finishing.

In the next four videos, Bennetts provides specific application instructions for four different spray-on gun finish products. Bennetts explains the strengths and weaknesses of each product for particular firearm types. Click the links below to watch the specific product videos:

Spray-on Finish – Chapter 3 – Baking Lacquer
Spray-on Finish – Chapter 4 – Gun-Kote
Spray-on Finish – Chapter 5 – Teflon-Moly
Spray-on Finish – Chapter 6 – Aluma-Hyde II

Of the four featured products, Gun-Kote, sold by Brownells under license from KG Industries, offers superior corrosion resistance, and is probably the most popular of the four products for use on rifles. Gun-Kote was originally developed for the military and was first used by Navy SEALS. Gun-Kote is an “oven-cure” finish applied to pre-heated metal. Though it goes on thin, Gun Kote cures to a hard coating that resists abrasion and won’t wear through as easily as bluing or chemically blackened surface treatments. Brownells Gun-Kote is offered in a wide variety of colors, shown below.

Brownells Gun-Kote

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