By "laser etching" I mean this gold/silverish finish that an ever increasing number of newer arms are having.
This is an example:
Are those letters etched before or after blueing the gun?
In other words, is the metal's surface permanently "burned" by the laser beam so that subsequent hot/cold blueing treatments will not ruin the lettering?
Blueing will not remove the etching but will likely remove/cover the yellow/gold color that is there now.
What you could do if you want the color in the etching would be to color fill or basically go back over the etching with a color of your choosing. It's up to you everything can be the same color (lettering etc will still be there but less obvious) or you can redo the lettering etc with whatever color you want.
I don't need No stinking signature.
I'd be interested to hear from someone who has done this or seen it done. That etching is very very shallow. My guess would be that it would be gone for good. I freely admit that is only a guess. That is why the the BATF has rules about how the serial numbers are put on guns.
Just walking on the edge of of my grave.
The way I understand the procedure during etching the laser beam is engraving a very accurate groove which is shallow - much shallower than the usual mechanical engraving the traditional abrasive rotary tools or stamping perform.
So the factory procedure might be something like this:
1. The gun is hot blued as usual.
2. The lettering, emblems, etc are laser etched.
3. Some kind of paint is smeared on the engraved surface.
4. The excess die is wiped away and the coloring stays only in the grooves.
So my questions to those who know are:
1. If I chemically remove the factory blueing, do I remove those shallow laser grooves too?
2. If I cold blue, without previously removing the blueing, do I cover the laser grooves?
3. What kind of paint do I have to use to refill those grooves?
4. How do I apply this paint? Brush? Airbrush? Smear it in with a cloth/cotton swab?