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Man I wish someone would create black stainless steel.

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by PlayboyPenguin, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I know that sounds a bit silly, but I do wish that someone could invent a stainless steel that was black. You think with modern technologies we could create such a steel though some molecular process or another. I do not mean coated black. I mean black all the way through. If you sanded it down it would still be black. It wouldn't have to be a deep black. Just black-ish.

    The reason is I love the look of black and blued guns. I know everyone thinks I love stainless because of how it looks but that is not true. I prefer a nice blued gun as far as looks go. It would be so nice to have a black gun that could be maintained as easily as stainless.

    The reason I only buy stainless has nothing to do with appearance. It is about durability and repairability. Growing up very poor I was always made to realize how important it was to maintain things you owned. We could not afford replacements. I also seldom had anything new and when I did I tried to keep it that way. As a consequence I have a weird thing about keeping my things in like new condition. Stainless allows me to do that. What would be a simple wear mark on a blued gun for someone else would be a glaring reminder that the gun is now imperfect for my screwed up brain.
     
  2. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Just wear sunglasses! They work even better at night. Joking aside Parkerizing and be done to a very black finish it's just not commonly seen like gray is. That's the best you can do for now.
     
  3. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I actually have a current question regarding this issue myself. Maybe the forum can help. My Sig P229 has the Stainless slide that has a black oxide type finish. After 10 years of carry the finish shows the carry time. I'm considering selling the Sig and being how I can't have it blued was wondering if I had someone take it back down to raw stainless would it look like a polished type stainless or would this just make things worse?
     
  4. doobee8

    doobee8 Salem, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I heard from a gunsmith co-worker of mine that at trying to BLUE stainless steel is gunsmith black magic. Remington once produced their magnum BDLs in the 60s with a hardended stainless steel Blued barrel due to fears that the steel used in standard calibers would not hold up. He told me that you could try to blue it three times and maybe the fourth time it would take. Remington somehow had it down though way back when.
     
  5. asiparks

    asiparks PDX Active Member

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    melonite/isonite or Ionbond is about the closest you'll get other than for the "sandable" bit.
    Melonite /isonite/E-treat is a treatment, not a coating. It does indeed alter the steel at the molecular level making it much, much harder to the point where it is virtually unscratchable. The color can be varied from dark charcoal to deep black to almost blue.
    The surface luster or shine is dependent on the metal prep work, if it's highly polished the resultant finish will be shiny, if it's media blasted, it'll be accordingly dull.
    It is insanely more scratch resistant, rust resistant and easier to clean than stainless steel and it can be applied to either carbon or stainless.

    I have 18K rounds and 2 1/2 years of carrying my melonited stainless CBOB and it shows neglible wear outside or on the rails.

    Ionbond is a PVD coating but it is similarly hardwearing, with the advantage that it can be applied to aluminium and other alloys
     
  6. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Just have the finish bead blasted off.
     
  7. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    make sure to read my original post clearly. I am not wanting blued stainless steel. I am wanting a stainless steel that is inherently black in color. if you got a ding you could shape it out and sand it down and still have a black gun.
     
  8. asiparks

    asiparks PDX Active Member

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    you cannot "ding" a melonite treated gun unless you're intending going about it, viciously, with a ball peen hammer
    The surface is too hard. Really.
    I've kicked mine over gravel and cement , any "scratches" can be rubbed off with a wet finger or steel wool leaving the finish undisturbed. Did mess up the grips but there ya go.

    I did read your post, I daftly thought you were looking for an actual answer.
    By all means you can wish for magic dust and unicorns and black stainless steel, but if you are seriously looking for a viable solution, ie the inherent servicability of stainless steel but in a black finish, then melonite is pretty much the state of the science right now.
     
  9. coctailer

    coctailer Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA I run with scissors.

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    This is as close as it gets.
    http://www.northwestfirearms.com/forum/showthread.php?p=81317

    This is now my carry gun.

    The mechanical and tribological properties of DLC films (friction coefficient around 0.1 in air, hardness up to about 80 GPa, and elastic modulus approaching 600 GPa) are very close to those of diamond. Moreover, these films are chemically inert in most aggressive environments, and may be deposited with densities approaching that of diamond. However, differently to CVD diamond, DLC films are routinely produced at room temperature, which makes them particularly attractive for applications where the substrate cannot experience elevated temperatures.

    DLC simply means Diamond Like Carbon (coatings). It is harder than Ti coatings and MUCH hard than chrome or chromium nitrides.

    DLC thin-film is produced in the high-vacumn environment inside the a machine's chamber by a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process. During the PVD process, benzene is disassociated and ionized by a DC arc discharge (plasma). The resulting ions migrate towards the blade to be coated which is negatively biased relative to the plasma. Collisions between ions in the gas phase result in the formation of both SP2 and SP3 bonded carbon structures which are then deposited on the substrate surface. As this is a PVD process, no chemistry takes place on the substrate surface and, thus, the substrate temperature can be less than 200 degrees Celcius.

    DLC thin-film has an amorphous structure which is lacking in crystal grains. DLC has a much smoother surface than TiN. DLC has an average roughness of 7 angstroms whereas a typical TiN film has an average roughness of 110 angstroms. This exceptional smoothness, along with hardness, results in DLC's superior tribological properties as well as other properties such as wear-resistance, chemical inertness, build-up resistance, and low friction coefficient.

    http://www.nanotec-jp.com/www_nanotec/IMAGE/Parkdlc.gif
    The above is a AST scan of the surface of a DLC coating.
    Below is a TiN coating scan.
    http://www.nanotec-jp.com/www_nanotec/IMAGE/Parktin.gif
    As you can see DLC is MUCH smoother.

    The results of a ball-on-disk tribology test is shown below. This test measures the friction coefficient between the ball and coated disk as well as the diameter of the wear spot on the ball. The test consists of rotating a disk which has been coated with the thin-film to be tested under a stationary ball with a given load applied. An aluminum ball was used in this test. The materials tested included WC-Co (uncoated), DLC, TiN, CrN, TiCN, TiAlN thin-films. As shown below, the DLC thin-film out-performed the other materials for both friction coefficient and ball wear.
    http://www.nanotec-jp.com/www_nanotec/IMAGE/Ball1.gif
     
  10. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I do not think I am asking too much. If man can create transparent aluminum they can surely create black stainless. :)
     
  11. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    This is a good question that really needs to be asked of a metallurgist, I work in the large scale casting industry and though I've given this some thought overnight I can't come up with anything that with make a metal dark that isn't just a surface condition. The test I keep coming back to in my head is what color will the (dark) metal be if you cut into it? and I keep going back to silver regardless of the alloy.
     
  12. bnr32gtr

    bnr32gtr Vancouver, WA Member

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  13. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    I think what you are looking for could better be archived with today's technology with synthetics. The only reason we see metal and plastics as the two main materials in gun MFG is the cost of materials and cost of MFG, take away cost and you can have metal like durability, weight savings. Look at Carbon brakes on race cars we're talking some WOW specs at WTF prices. Ceramics would also lend themselves well to the firearm MFG but again at a WTF cost.



    brakes1.jpg
     
  14. ovonflue

    ovonflue Oregon New Member

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    I have a tungsten carbide wedding band that after 15-years of hard wear looks like the day it came out of the jeweler's cabinet. It looks a lot like stainless, but darker. I don't know if guns could be made from it, or at what cost, but the material is unbelievable.
     
  15. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Where did you have this done? It looks great!
     
  16. Mr. Black

    Mr. Black Zigzag, OR Member

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    +1

    I love how it looks... :thumbup:
     
  17. e28rusty

    e28rusty Newberg Member

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    I have a tungsten band too, it rocks, but I've managed to break two of them so far (2 years...) Tungsten is very hard which is why it won't scratch, but it is also very brittle so it will shatter easily... A tungsten gun would look pretty mean though I love the onyx look.
     
  18. smithmax

    smithmax here Member

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    I imagine products like Tungsten and ceramics would not be desirable in guns. Don't you want to have some amount of flexibility?
     
  19. asiparks

    asiparks PDX Active Member

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    Thankyou !

    It was done by Drake at Drake's gun works, but as there are only a couple of large industrial facilities that can perform the process, I'm guessing he likely sent it out to Coal Creek Armory.

    I posted a 14K round teardown about a year ago right here, but the pics are rather helpfully not there anymore....:eek:


    My NH has Ionbond on it...and the watch in the picture is ceramic ( zirconian oxide ). It's just slightly less hard than a diamond, but it has zero elastic properties. If I drop it from a decent height onto a hard surface, there's a good chance it will splinter, perhaps shatter... not so good for guns....
     
  20. jordanka16

    jordanka16 Albany, OR Active Member

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    Tungsten carbide is far too brittle to be used in a gun, it would shatter too easily.

    I think if you alloyed the steel with anything to make it black, it would change it's properties too much to be used in a gun. I deal with the same problem PBP, I love how easy it is to maintain my stainless guns, but the blued ones look so much better.