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Do it yourself "Touch up Bluing Kits" Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by Warthog, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Warthog

    Warthog Turner, OR Active Member

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    Do it yourself "Touch up Bluing Kits" Is it Worth it?

    I have a Ruger P94 that has a blued slide. When I purchased the gun, it had some holster wear. So I set out to find a touch up kit. I have since purchased a kit (by BlueWonder) at Warehouse Sports, but have not tried to use it. I am a little worried about the finished product and weather or not it will do more harm then good. Have any of our members used these kits with great success, and do you have any advice on the process to make sure its successful. I am curious about the other finishes you can do yourself, ceramics, KG Gun Kote, etc. Do they effect the value of the firearm positively or negatively. I'd like to protect the metal, but I'd also like to protect the value of the firearm. Any help or advice on this subject would be great.


  2. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Ruger will polish and reblue the whole dang gun for you for $80 + $30 return shipping, believe it or not. For another $35 they'll reassemble it for you.

    I don't know what they'd charge for just the slide, but it's worth checking out.

    Link to Ruger service fees.

    Sorry, I've never tried your product. I'd like to hear from those who have, too.
  3. shibbershabber

    shibbershabber Vancouver Well-Known Member

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    I have used a rebluing kit before, I would recommend doing the entire slide.

    I had a Makarov with kind of a deep scratch on the slide. I sanded it down and it looked pretty good. I reblued the sanded area only and when all was said and done, I was happy with it but if you looked at it right you could see that it had been touched up.

    I have also used spray & bake finishes with some success, never on a handgun though.
    I used a $5 can of Dupli-color high heat paint to refinish magazines, rifles & parts. Its really been trial & error with it but I think that I have it down now.

    I use:
    metal coat hanger
    can of break cleaner
    Silicone spray
    propane torch
    duplicolor high heat paint
    Oven, or even a toaster oven

    completely disassemble the slide, clean with solvent, dry

    undo the hanger and make hooks on both ends, hang the slide on one end
    and use the other end to hang it up

    heat the slide slowly and evenly with the torch
    spray with brake cleaner to remove oils & grease, air dry

    spray once more with the break cleaner to be sure the grease is gone, air dry

    heat the slide with the torch, then apply an even coat with a 'misting' action from 8" away, allow to dry a few hours, although overnight is preferable.

    heat in oven, following the instructions on the can. (I leave it overnight again, but you could do a second coat as soon as you can handle the slide with your bare hands)

    Apply second coat, heat in oven again.

    leave overnight, spray way too much silicone spray all over it and rub it with a soft cloth (I use a red shop towel).

    And thats it. It holds up pretty good. I have never done a pistol so Im not sure how it holds up to holster wear. My magazines got scratched up though... but when I go to the range, I throw all my mags together in one bag. The rifles I have done held up pretty well.

    Ive done:
    Mosin Nagant M44
    Marlin 60
    Ruger 10/22
    NEF 12ga
    several different mags & misc parts
  4. ktd

    ktd nw Member

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    I used the blue wonder kit, and it seemed to work okay, better than cold blue I suppose.

    There are a lot of newer finishing products that people seem to have good success with, like Gun-kote, Alumahyde, Duracoat, etc. They all require varing degrees of prep and process (some need bead blasting, oven heating, etc). KG Gun-Kote and Duracoat seems to be the finishes of choice for the home finisher. I have some guns in cerahyde, but that requires sending it in. These will generally provide a paint-like or service grade finish rather than blueing. The trick is to complete disassemble, clean, and follow the instructions. Search for tips on a particular product to help ensure it comes out right, like the previous post.

    To be honest, I would not worry too much about the value of the Ruger, its value lies mostly in its utility than maintaining factory condition. Putting a well-done good hard black finish on the slide will probably not really affect value, and personally would increase the value to me as a working gun.
  5. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of things that can be reasonably well done by a layman in their garage. AR-15's, 10/22's, and several other guns are great for garage tinkering. Refinishing a gun, in my opinion is something that should be left to a pro, whether that means shipping to the factory, or taking to a gunsmith. You can use the spray on finishes, but I've never found any of the aerosol can finishes that turn out or last much longer than a can of Krylon.

    Specifically, the home bluing kits are not really worth the money. If you want to refinish a gun yourself, get a can of Krylon and expect to redo it often as it wears...
  6. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Northern Idaho Member

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    I have found that the best "cold blue" kit is only about half as good as a professional hot blue. Most cold blue kits are even less effective. I have tried the blue wonder kit and it turned out okay but it really comes down to metal preparation. If the surface under the bluing looks bad, so will the finished product.
  7. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    The cream or paste cold blue seems to work better than the liquids. The preparation makes a big difference.
  8. hotbluer

    hotbluer Virginia New Member

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  9. BillGabby1

    BillGabby1 Southern Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Which bluing product wears the best over time, anybody?
  10. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Cold bue works fine for appearance initially
    The right ones (oxpho blue for instance) will even prevent corrosion to some degree.
    What they aren't good at is abrasion resistance.
    If you want a finish that will survive regular holster carry, get something else.
  11. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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  12. BillGabby1

    BillGabby1 Southern Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Tough stuff for sure, but I'm looking for the more traditional look of bluing, I did get some of the RustOleum appliance finish which is reportedly pretty hard even according to the label on the can. I'm only going to use it on the aluminum grip frame of my HS Longhorn.
    I'll use BC Perma Blue on the steel parts, mainly because that is what I have on hand. Too tight to spend any more if I don't have to. LOL
    Thanks for the replies and continue to add to the list of treatments here.
    Who knows it may be just what someone else is looking for that stumbles across this thread.
    GOG likes this.
  13. BillGabby1

    BillGabby1 Southern Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Collector value is always a matter of orriginal finishes. They want the real McCoy. Often they want it completely undisturbed. Just as coin collectors do they want the orriginal patina as a result of its years of use, either that or a pristine item never used. That is both ends of the sectrum. Once you strip off the orriginal finish and re do it, you will have lost perhaps hundreds and even thousands of dollars of value.
    So the first thing is to research the item you have and get it appraised before you do anything more than a normal cleaning and oiling. Keeping in mind if it's rusted and crusty wait till after the appraisal it may actually add value!
    Better safe than sorry.
    jrprich likes this.
  14. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Brownell's sells a bluing solution called Dicropan t-4 it works great. I know Ive used it to spot reblue parts on $2000 Pythons and you cannot see where its been touched!
    Degrease, heat gun, or hairdryer, and apply with a large cotton blotter. Then wipe it off and use an oily rag to see what the bluing depth looks like. degrease and reapply if it needs to be a beeper shade of blue to blend in.

    I build and repair upwards of 350 firearms a year. So I have learned a few tricks, and I am happy to share!
    Dicropan is sold in a small 4oz bottle.