Customizing an Interarms Firestar M-40

Discussion in 'Engraving & Refinishing' started by Conner85, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Conner85

    Conner85 New Member

    11
    0
    0
    I just bought an Interarms Star Firestar M-40 in .40 cal a week ago from a friend. It's in good shape, but I want to polish the trigger, hammer, barrel, guide rod, safety, slide stop, magazine floorplate and the grip screws. The barrel and guide rod look like they're blued, but the rest look like they're parkerized or something. They're kind of a dark gray color. I already know distilled white vinegar will take the blue off. But what about the other small parts?

    Also, I plan to strip the blue on the frame and slide and parkerize them. I'm not much of a fan of bluing. I just want a nice matte black finish on them. Would parkerizing achieve this? Or would I just have to duracoat them? And would I have to strip before duracoating? Or maybe just strip, parkerize and then duracoat? I saw someone on youtube saying he swears by parkerizing and then using duracoat for double protection.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

    850
    1
    18
    The dark grey parts are probably "Starvel," Star's electroless nickel plating. It's much more durable than bluing or Parkerizing, and you can't strip it off with vinegar.
    If you polish the parts, they will be bare steel and will rust quickly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014

  3. Conner85

    Conner85 New Member

    11
    0
    0
    That kind of ruins what I want to do with the gun. Unless Star made some stainless parts for their stainless looking model. But I'd imagine they'd be hard to find like the rest of their stuff. Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

    850
    1
    18
    Star made no stainless guns or parts.
     
  5. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,380
    1
    0
    Polishing up a Star is like putting 22" rims on a Neon. It is a serviceable tool and no more. Shoot it. Enjoy it.
     
  6. Conner85

    Conner85 New Member

    11
    0
    0
    I have seen some M-40 models that are in a stainless or what looks to be in a stainless finish. I'll go ahead and call it their "shiny" M-40. I figure if I can get the parts from that version, I can polish the barrel and guide rod, then put a matte black finish on the frame and slide and be done with it. Whether a star is top of the line or not, it's all I have to work with at the moment and it's kind of a personal preference thing. More like something I want to do just to do it. Pass time maybe? Make it look better than what it does. It's not a prize piece but it's mine and I just came here to get help from anyone who has experience.
     
  7. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

    850
    1
    18
    Customizing guns is great. It's usually done to improve them.
    What you want to do is put on an inferior finish.
     
  8. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

    11,488
    0
    0
    Quoted for truth. I'd recommend some more knowledge, experience and firearms in the safe before you go messing up what you have.

    better judged by twelve than carried by six.
     
  9. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

    850
    1
    18
    Perhaps a picture would help us help you.
    I can nickel plate your small parts if you want them shiny.
     
  10. Conner85

    Conner85 New Member

    11
    0
    0
    I never really thought of refinishing guns as messing them up. The blue is wearing and I want to refinish it to cover the bare metal. It's due for an overhaul and I don't see a problem putting a new finish on it. Unless I'm missing something. Is there anything unsafe about it? You're right though. I'm new to firearms and I need to gain more knowledge and experience. But wouldn't this be a learning experience? I'm asking experts for advice to learn about what I can and can't do. I'm not trying to start a debate or argue a point. You guys are obviously more experienced than I am. Which is the reason I came here.


    BillDeShivs,
    I was talking to the owner of Mag Tactical Systems and he said that would probably be my only option to nickel plate them. He offers the service but I'm not really sure how busy his plating business is. How much would you charge?

    If the images show up multiple times or kind of messed up its because I'm on my iphone and not a computer.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Conner85

    Conner85 New Member

    11
    0
    0
    For some reason it's only allowing me to attach one pic per post.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Conner85

    Conner85 New Member

    11
    0
    0
    Last pic...........
     

    Attached Files:

  13. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

    850
    1
    18
    OK-the gun is blued. It certainly is not in bad enough shape to refinish. You could touch up the edges with cold blue if it bothers you. I doubt that you have the skill and equipment to properly refinish the gun. Cold bluing an entire gun gives awful results. Parkerizing (and Duracoat) require bead/sand blasting for proper application. Parkerizing is not much more durable than bluing. Duracoat is paint. Both will wear off on sharp edges quickly-just like the bluing has done.
    Honestly, I understand wanting to customize your gun. But it doesn't NEED a refinish-which will definitely devalue it. The Star is a good gun, BTW. If you insist on plating the small parts contact me through billdeshivs.com .
    Perhaps putting a set of custom grips on the gun would satisfy your customization desire. I'm not sure who makes custom grips for the Star.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  14. Conner85

    Conner85 New Member

    11
    0
    0
    I never said I had the equipment or the skill to refinish a gun. Which is why I came here for help. I guess I should have asked these questions..

    1. Is it possible to properly refinish this gun in matte black?
    2. Is it possible to find someone to properly plate my small parts in nickel?
    3. Is it possible to properly polish the barrel and guide rod?

    Whether or not I have the skill level to accomplish this, that's not the question. If I think it's beyond my ability to accomplish, I'll have someone do it professionally.

    I don't see how anyone has the ability to learn about things with responses like "you don't have the skill level or equipment to properly do this". Maybe I want to learn how to do this properly and what equipment I need to do it.
     
  15. kytowboater

    kytowboater Active Member

    7,180
    3
    38
    Dura coat matte black. Done.


    .-- .. .-.. .-.. + .-- --- .-. -.- + ..-. --- .-. + -... . . .-.
     
  16. kytowboater

    kytowboater Active Member

    7,180
    3
    38
    Can't answer about barrel and guide rod. By polish, I assume you mean make shiny? Not sure about how to go abou it. It will rust faster though.

    Contact local chrome plate outfit and ask about Nickle plating services. Google is your friend.


    .-- .. .-.. .-.. + .-- --- .-. -.- + ..-. --- .-. + -... . . .-.
     
  17. Conner85

    Conner85 New Member

    11
    0
    0
    Thanks kytowboater. Will do.
     
  18. kytowboater

    kytowboater Active Member

    7,180
    3
    38
    There are a few "Shake and bake" finishes available that I'm going to try as well. Dura coat has one, creakote and I think brownells has a version.

    Disassemble, degrease very well, sandblast or however you want to prep the metal if you choose, and spray on thin even coats.

    Bake in oven at specified instructions and your good to go.


    .-- .. .-.. .-.. + .-- --- .-. -.- + ..-. --- .-. + -... . . .-.
     
  19. Conner85

    Conner85 New Member

    11
    0
    0
    I was thinking about going with Duracoat, but a lot of people have been trashing it and saying it's just paint and you might as well go with the high heat rustoleum paint. That's pretty much why I came here to see what everyone else is doing and what works. I haven't ruled out Duracoat. Just seeing if there's anything better.
     
  20. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

    850
    1
    18
    Learning refinishing on a good gun is probably not a good idea. It's best to practice on junk and scrap metal.
    Now, without getting into a treatise on how to refinish guns, you could probably get your gun blasted and Ion-Bond coated for under $300. This is about the toughest black finish there is.
    Any professional refinish is going to cost almost as much as the gun is worth, so you might as well get the best. Contact Chad Buie at Club Customs 336-596-0045.
    I'm not saying you have limited skills, but refinishing requires buffers, belt grinders, sandpaper, rotary tools, a blasting cabinet, air compressor, and cleaning equipment. This is just for the metal prep. Then you have to be set up for Parkerizing or painting.
    It's just not cost-effective to refinish guns at home. I know that you see guys telling you how good their cold bluing job came out, but those home jobs can be spotted across the room. Almost any finish you can do at home will be substandard. Rust bluing is the exception-but you don't want bluing. Parkerizing can be done at home if you can do the metal prep, but it is no better than bluing.