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Production Expense - Blued v Stainless

Lucky4597 Lucky4597 Member Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

I shoot what I buy - but like all of us I have my "jam"- and that is chunky revolvers. So as I set about buying up some new Pythons, Anaconda, 6×× s/w's - you can't help but notice there are waaaay more stainless guns than blue these days. If I'm recalling correctly - 70's/80's/90's it was the stainless guns that commanded the premium. Now it could just be the "new arrival to market" gouge - but sure seems like blued versions of these guns are now getting the needless-markup.

So - which process actually costs the manufacturers more to produce?


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    MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,825 ✭✭✭✭

    In 'the old days' SS was more difficult to machine than non-SS. With newer technology and machining processes, I'm not sure if this is factor.

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    chris8X57chris8X57 Member Posts: 1,237 ✭✭✭✭

    Take for instance Nickle Pentrate- used these bluing salts back in the 70-80s. A 55 gallon drum of it will set you back more than a thousand dollars, then factor in Haz-Mat shipping and handling. Operating at more than 300 degrees F, they are extremely caustic and pose a significant risk to the user. The tank life is limited, and then you have to factor in hazardous waste disposal.

    And historically, it usually takes a little more hand finishing to achieve a nice finish on a blue gun as opposed to a stainless gun.

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    GrasshopperGrasshopper Member Posts: 16,780 ✭✭✭✭

    As above. Imagine the polishing of a Colt Python in todays world and who is there to do it. The bluing that Chris mentions although I can't prove it , with the EPA and all the save the planet laws is 99% likely that is the new way it will be.

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    waltermoewaltermoe Member Posts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 8

    Stainless steel use to be harder to machine and stainless steel was more expensive than chrome moly steel. Stainless steel it self really has a flat finish to it, so in order to achieve a brighter more appealing look the parts are finished in some type of chemical bath. I believe it is an electrolytic etching solution, I’m pretty sure that it is not only toxic from the chlorine it produces but is also extremely flammable as the process creates hydrogen gas. Myself I believe another factor is do in part by demand. People don’t want to have to worry as much about rust and finish loss, and that makes for less cleaning some people feel. And with the durable finish’s anymore, either spray on, or powder coating, people can have stainless as well as a dark finish on their gun.

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    yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 21,197 ✭✭✭✭

    Blame Rick Grimes for the new SS snakes. Also there's too much work for "Blues" and there ain't many folks to do that job.

    Say are the SS tumble finish or are they polished?

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