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Home gun bluing

max2005max2005 Member Posts: 96 ✭✭
edited March 2009 in Ask the Experts
I have an old Springfield Jr. .22 rifle that is functional, but beat to heck! Thought I'd try my hand at home refinishing. Birchwood Casey stock kit looks to be the one for the stock (good reviews if you follow directions - which I can!), but home bluing is another matter.

After extensive internet searching, the two that seem to hold the most promise is Val's Instand Gun Blue (claims same type of results as hot bluing, as process is the same, just milder?), or the Blue Wonder kit - this one looks promising, as heat is used (via torch) to apply (YouTube video demo was impressive).

Your experiences and comments would be very much appreciated Gents!



  • Wehrmacht_45Wehrmacht_45 Member Posts: 3,377
    edited November -1
    Both are not genuine bluing and neither one will hold up. I messed with all the cold blues in the world, and eventually just got set up to do hot water and rust bluing.

    I use Vans for touch ups though.
  • Bill DeShivsBill DeShivs Member Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Wehrmacht is correct. Plus there is a lot more to bluing a gun than wiping on some cold blue. My suggestion is to spray paint it with Krylon lacquer. It's easy to touch up or remove, and it will do no harm to the gun like cold bluing will.
  • rhmc24rhmc24 Member Posts: 1,984 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have used a lot of cold blue attempts and endorse above info. An effective home hot water based blue that works for me is Belgian Blue. Available from Frownell's (and maybe others), problem is that it is expensive to buy it for one cheap gun reblue job. Same cost comments about Blue Wonder, except in several attempts it was disappointing every time.

    edit Sorry, Brownell's, only course I flunked in hischool was typing.
  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,750 ******
    edited November -1
    as above, best 'home' finish is brownell's (not frownell's [:D]) bake on finish (gun cote), comes in several colors and is VERY tough.
  • iwannausernameiwannausername Member Posts: 7,131
    edited November -1
    You could home parkerize them, and then apply a paint finish on top
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Van's is very nice for touchup.

    But its just not the same as a "real" hot-blued finish.

    Of course it can't be. . .if it were possible to get the same results with a low cost cold blue product then nobody would ever use the real McCoy!

    And I agree with the direction several of the other posters are going in. Bluing is pretty "old school". It makes a nice-LOOKING finish, but even a professional hot-bluing job isn't particularly durable. (If it were, why would everyone be refinishing and touching up all the time? [;)])

    Nowadays there are many better modern finishes you can try, from various enamels to the the epoxy-based finishes (eg Duracoat), that will give you any color you like (including one that looks like bluing), but with less hassle and far better durability.

    That's where I would go.

    FYI, naval jelly available at any hardware store can be used to strip old bluing, though Birchwood Casey does make a specialty product for doing that too.
  • spasmcreekspasmcreek Member Posts: 38,925
    edited November -1
    have used brownells oxpho-bue a lot & have had good results....90% of results are in the prep & application...clean, clean, clean & apply multiple doses often with fine steel wool till satisfied...sometimes though type of steel just wont work out quite same color as another part...have used bake on types with good results on certain pistols like american arms 1911 look alike...& found new use for toaster oven
  • max2005max2005 Member Posts: 96 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I knew I could count on you Gents for good info! Since I'm going to the trouble of doing a nice job on the stock, and prep on the barrel, I'll just shop around locally for someone who will do it the "right" way the first time.

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