Manufactures gun finishes question..

Discussion in 'Engraving & Refinishing' started by TheOldMan, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    Been a while since I've posted in this forum since I've been very busy doing restoration work (guns). I'm in the process now of restoring the finish on a fella's Mod. 36 S&W. This gun is the reason for this thread..

    Before I got started, I noticed that the finsih seemed to be "flaking" off in one spot. The issue with this gun was that the client had been keeping the gun in the bathroom of his house so that if needed, he or his wife could get to it. Given that this was not the best of places to keep a nicely finished blued handgun, it was no surprise to see the flash pitting that had occured to this handgun.

    What's got me confused is the flaking that I saw. The original finish is a high gloss blue but I'm beginning to think that it was sprayed with some sort of a laqure as part of the finishing process. The flaking appeared to be the laqure pealing away from the handguns finish.. Am I correct in my assumption?

    I've basically had to remove all or most of the original finish to make the new finish match up. I'm hand polishing the gun now to a mirror finish before I reblue it. the only thing I'm not messing with is the cylinder. I'll post pictures later to show what I was talking about..
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Have been carrying a S&W is some form since the mid 60s- have never seen one with a "lacquered" finish. The blued guns are given a high polish (usually rouge) and hot caustic blued, oiled, shipped.

    Maybe overspray from the lady's hair spray? :)

    Did once see a fellow that decided to protect his revolver from rust by giving it a coat of varnish. No, it does not work.
     

  3. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

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    Flaked

    Some times it's in the handling before the bluing process. One using bare hands and transferring oil and salts will do this to the finnish over a period of time. Iv'e heard of people that use Clear Coat to seal out Moisture. Good Luck!!
     
  4. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    Thanks guys... I would not have thought S&W would apply something like that to their guns but the flaking is what caused me to wonder.. Pretty much all the old finish is gone now and like I said before, I'm just working up the shine before I apply the new finish.

    Pictures forthcoming..
     
  5. birdzman

    birdzman New Member

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    Is the fellow your doing the gun for the original owner? If not maybe the seller was trying to enhance the looks for the sale, with a nice shiny lacquer finish.

    John
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  6. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    Not the original owner.. It's his wifes fathers gun originally.
     
  7. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    Pictures as promised of the Mod. 36

    Two pictures showing the finish issues. Check the first image for the flaking I was talking about at teh top of the side plate near the hammer.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    That almost looks like the spray on finish from GunKote. They have a high gloss blue and if the handgun was not prepped correctly, flaking can and will occur.
    Were the flakes the same color on both sides?
     
  9. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    Yes, both sides looked the same but to a lesser degree on the other side (not shown)..
     
  10. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    The gun is blued. The bluing has been damaged by some caustic substance. It's not flaking off.
     
  11. gooose

    gooose New Member

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    "gun in the bathroom"

    Exposed to some kind of bathroom cleaner or ahem someone did a hair dye job.
     
  12. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I did not know that bluing would flake. Bluing itself is a form of corrosion of the metal. I've seen it allow rust, but never flake.
     
  13. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    Photo's that show the flaking better.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  14. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    In each of the photo's you should be able to see where the flaking is occuring. This was the reason for my original post. I've only encountered this sort of thing with older milsurp handguns and rifles that did actually get painted finishes applied to them.
     
  15. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    "Flaking" denotes that the finish is coming off in pieces. Your finish is not flaking. "Spotting" would be a better term. The spots are caused by moisture or a caustic substance contacting that area. Bluing will do that if it's not taken care of.
     
  16. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Just a stray thought- if that was clearcoated with something, spotting will start where moisture can get under, and spread from there. Notice a few spots that it seems to start from an edge- which would be point of entry. Backstrap looks rather pitted. Shame. Got a Model 36 from the early 70s that looks much better- good guns if you give them minimal care.
     
  17. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    One more time. The gun is finished in a black oxide coating, normally called bluing. It is not clear coated, painted, anodized, plated, nitrided, or anything else. The spots you see could have easily been caused by simple water. This is a very common occurrence with blued steel firearms. Why are you guys making this out to be something it's not? The little raised areas are simple rust.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  18. rodent.22

    rodent.22 New Member

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    X2, yep plain RUST caused by high humidity levels in the bathroom.:D
     
  19. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    LL.. ok guys, thank you. Plain rust it is. Just looked flaky to me..

    On a side note, I purchased another buffer over the weekend and will be putting the final polish on the Mod 36. I'll post pictures of the process ASAP..