Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Bead Blast or Not?

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by Cougfan2, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,792
    Likes Received:
    597
    I have two main carry pieces. One is a Ruger SP101 that has been tuned, ported, and had a bead blast job done on it. The other is a DW CBOB that is stock from the factory with the exception of some different grips.

    The DW has some little surface scratches on the polished flats on the side of the slide. I've been thinking about trying to polish them out, but then again, it's a carry gun, not a safe queen.

    I love the bead blast finish on the Ruger and was thinking about doing this on the DW. Does anyone know if the bead blast finish will hold up better and not show any little scratches as bad? My Ruger so far looks fine except where the cylinder is etched by being turned, but you expect that on any revolver. Also, I don't carry it as much as the DW.
     
  2. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,792
    Likes Received:
    597
    Mods, please move this thread to general discussions if you think it is more appropriate there.
     
  3. Huntbear

    Huntbear Ellensburg, Wa. Member

    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bead blasting will work just fine. I have a Redhawk, I blasted it because, I hate shiny guns, and it goes hunting with me. It really is up to you and what you want. Since it is a tool, not a safe queen, make it look how you want it to look.
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Aurora, OR Active Member

    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    32
    I've had an SP101 for years. I'd love to see a picture of yours bead blasted.
     
  5. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,650
    Likes Received:
    2,374
    The bead blasting will show nicks and scratches as bright spots on a dull surface rather than as dull spots on a polished surface. I bead blasted my S&W model 66 a few years ago. It shows some wear and scratches, but I'd still rather look at worn bead-blast than worn polish.
     
  6. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    22
    Bead blasted guns may actually show scratches more than a "polish" finish. Blasting peens and "raises" the surface to a degree, presenting the metal as tiny hills and dimples.
    The "hills" are less supported by surrounding metal and easier to distort, cut, scar and damage in general.
    Of course, most of this concern is moot if you use sufficiently fine (and clean) glass beads, or plastic or organic media.

    Saying that, I prefer a glass-beaded surface on SS carry guns because... scratches on blasted surfaces don't get me as distressed as scratches on a highly polished surface, and... if I do scratch up a blasted surface, it's quick and easy to disassemble, block out the offending scar and re-glass bead.
    I have a large, industrial glass-beading cabinet in my shop, so this process is convenient for me.

    I know a few custom 'smiths that like to play with the various media to achive different finishes... variable reflective properties etc etc.
    A very course media finish for example, followed by a polymer coating makes for a nice, grippy-textured gun frame finish.

    C
     
  7. Goober

    Goober Portland New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    The bead blast is very porous, the minute you slide it in a holster it is marked,
    looks great at first...but if you dont finish it once its blasted it will look like crap in no time....unless it just sits in your safe.
     
  8. cyclesurvival

    cyclesurvival Vancouver Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    52
    I sand blast then wire wheel (.0025 thick wire) the shiny high spots off leaves a very smooth satin finnish. I then blue, but with stainless should wear very nice and no shine.
     
  9. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,792
    Likes Received:
    597
    Thanks all. Still haven't decided what I want to do, but knowing the pluses and minuses helps.

    Andy, I'll try to send you some pics of my SP101 bead blasted. I like it a lot better than the factory finish.
     
  10. Andy

    Andy Aurora, OR Active Member

    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    32
    Any chance of getting those pics? I'm thinking of finding a project pistol and have it blasted.
     
  11. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,792
    Likes Received:
    597
    Andy, sorry I didn't respond sooner. I have the pics on my computer at home. I'll try to e-mail them to you tonight.
     
  12. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    8
    You might want to consider in stead of blue on top of your bead blasting, parkerizing for a very durable finish. The color ends up a light grey
     
  13. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,650
    Likes Received:
    2,374
    Examples of what a bead-blast finish looks like on a S&W model 66. It had been used for well over a year between when it was last blasted and the photo was taken. The finish is not near as delicate as some people seem to think. It will show marks, but no more than parkerizing or polished finishes.

    009.jpg
     
  14. Andy

    Andy Aurora, OR Active Member

    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    32
    Going to refinish a GP100 soon. Got a good deal on a sandblasting cabinet. Anyone know where to get a compressor and glass bead at a decent price?
     
  15. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,792
    Likes Received:
    597
    Here are some images of my SP101 bead blasted and de-horned.

    DSCN0756.jpg

    DSCN0758.jpg

    DSCN0757.jpg

    DSCN0756.jpg

    DSCN0758.jpg

    DSCN0757.jpg
     
  16. Andy

    Andy Aurora, OR Active Member

    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    32
    Very nice!

    Never seen compensation like that. Is there any kick at all? :)
     
  17. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,792
    Likes Received:
    597
    .357 mag loads feel about like .38 spl +P. .38 spl range loads are really mild. It's called Hybra Porting. It's a system that Mark Morganti of Gemini Customs bought exclusive rights to from the original creator. He did the work on my SP101. His web site is:

    http://www.geminicustoms.com/

    What he really specializes in is custom 1911 work, but the work he does on revolvers is excellent. Not cheap, but first rate quality and a great guy to deal with. I highly recommend him! :thumbup: