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Nitride coating a 1911 BE gun ?

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Nitride coating a 1911 BE gun ? Empty Nitride coating a 1911 BE gun ?

Post by hengehold 3/27/2023, 1:13 am

I would like to have a 1911 BE gun nitride coated with the exception of the bushing and barrel. Is there any reason why this is a bad idea for a BE gun?

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Post by Wobbley 3/27/2023, 1:31 am

It’s been done.  I wouldn’t do it to a fitted area like the slide rails.  The coating is about .0005 thick.  Here is one place that does it.  https://www.titaniumgun.com/
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Post by hengehold 3/27/2023, 6:44 am

Thanks for the link. That was helpful.

From what I have read it appears that nitride coating is not thicker than parkerizing. Parkerizing is used for bullseye guns by KC Customs and does not appear to be an issue with the tight fitting frame/slide fitting. This leads me to conclude that the Nitride coating should work also. Just seems like I don’t see many BE guns with nitride coating so wondering if this is just due to cost or some other reason.
Thanks,
-Trevor

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Post by 10sandxs 3/27/2023, 7:59 am

Which nitride? There are several, and they are applied by very different processes.

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Post by hengehold 3/27/2023, 9:31 am

10sandxs wrote:Which nitride? There are several, and they are applied by very different processes.

Good question. Do you have any suggestions about which nitride type/process is best suited for this application? 

The more I read about this I feel like I need to be an amateur chemist to make an informed decision. I am definitely NOT interested in having a golden BE gun so not going to pursue anything that can not provide a somewhat natural color such a a dark grey/black/stainless etc. 

Initial considerations have been the following:

1. DUSK or CPII at the following site. 

https://www.ccrrefinishing.com/information.html

2. Black Nitride at the following site.

https://jagerwerks.com/coating/

3. Diamond Like Carbon (DLC).

https://www.titaniumgun.com/guidelines

These are just some sites I am aware of at the moment but am still in the information gathering stage. 

Thanks,
-TH

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Post by DA/SA 3/27/2023, 9:41 am

I was considering Black Nitride and went with DLC, although it also adds a couple tenths in thickness. 

I have seen where the comparatively elevated temp used in the Nitride process ruined some parts in a different application through slight deformation.
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Post by NukeMMC 3/27/2023, 10:14 am

I had a 38super Caspian hi-cap that had been built in the early 90s.  It was very well done, possibly by Behlert or Gray.  The frame and slide had been hard-chromed (or nickel).  This was no standard anesthetic chrome but the correct, industrial-style chrome with the media-blast look you find on pump shafts and bearing races.  I shot about 5,000 rounds+ per year for 3 years with that pistol and it never showed the wear at all.  Slide ran like it was a linear bearing.
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Post by shanneba 3/27/2023, 10:59 am

NukeMMC wrote:I had a 38super Caspian hi-cap that had been built in the early 90s.  It was very well done, possibly by Behlert or Gray.  The frame and slide had been hard-chromed (or nickel).  This was no standard anesthetic chrome but the correct, industrial-style chrome with the media-blast look you find on pump shafts and bearing races.  I shot about 5,000 rounds+ per year for 3 years with that pistol and it never showed the wear at all.  Slide ran like it was a linear bearing.

Sounds like maybe it was an Armaloy finnish- that was a popular firearm finish back in the 80s-90s

Armoloy TDC®: The Foundation of the Big 7 - Armoloy of Illinois (armoloy-il.com)
Typically applied at a deposit of .0001/.0003" (2.5/7.5 microns), Armoloy TDC is effective at deposits as low as .00005" (1 micron). 
  • Hardness up to 78 Rc
  • Coefficient of friction as low as .12
  • Corrosion resistance equivalent to 440C stainless steel
  • Wear values exceeding 1.2 TWI limits established within AMS 2438



More info-
Armoloy Coating, Protective Metallic Coatings | Metal Surface Treatment & Finishing (armoloy-il.com)

Firearms pricing from Armaloy of Ft. Worth-
Protect your firearm with Armoloy® TDC - Armoloy of Fort Worth, Texas (armoloyfw.com)


Last edited by shanneba on 3/27/2023, 11:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by toddcfii 3/27/2023, 11:10 am

I have a Titanium Nitride coated PPC 1911. Love it. It has a very slight gold sheen to it.
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Post by 10sandxs 3/27/2023, 11:57 am

to clarify, the CPII is ceracoat, got a fancy name and "nano" buzzwords in it, but pigment, polymer, thermally cured all scream "paint".

"black nitride" is typially salt bath nitride which is also called tenifer by glock and has lots of other trade names.

other "nitrides" are vacuum deposited finishes and there are numerous ones. NONE of them are thick enough to impact the clearances we have in bullseye guns. I've been using CrN, AlTiN,ZrN and other coatings for many years on cutting tools and guns. they perform well in all applications as they were designed for much more demanding environments than we use. Kimber uses them a lot on thier higher end guns. if you've seen the "rainbow" colors, that is effectivly a poorly controlled vapor deposition process that results in non uniform thin layers that refract different wavelengths of light to get the rainbow or irridescent effect.

these vacuum processes are also called CVD (chemical vapor deposition) or PVD (Physical vapor deposition) there are lots of subsets in these such as ALD (atomic layer deposition), Plasma, Sputtering, argon beam, and others. 

colors are highly dependant on process conditions and stoichiometry but here are some reasonable overviews.
TiN - Gold
ZrN - Pale yellow
CrN - Silver/Grey
TiCN - Dark blue - close to traditional bluing
DLC - (diamond like carbon) Black black.

if you want colors this is one way to get them.  if you want silver, I'd suggest hard chrome plate, but it's getting harder to find good platers with the increasing reglatory restrictions on plating operators. I've got several CrN guns but haven't been impressed with the appearance. coating performs well, but astetically, not great.

one thing to note, vapor deposited coatings are "conformal" which means they conform to the surface exactly. so if you process a mirror finish, you get mirror, if you process bead blast, that's what you get. 

All are processed at elevated temperatures, but typically not high enough to cause any issues for gun steels.

here's a few companys I've used in the past. 
https://techmetals.com/
https://www.richterprecision.com/
https://www.clubcustomguns.com/ - they prep for Ion Bond which is leader in PVC coatings.

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Post by hengehold 3/27/2023, 9:48 pm

10sandxs wrote:to clarify, the CPII is ceracoat, got a fancy name and "nano" buzzwords in it, but pigment, polymer, thermally cured all scream "paint".

"black nitride" is typially salt bath nitride which is also called tenifer by glock and has lots of other trade names.

other "nitrides" are vacuum deposited finishes and there are numerous ones. NONE of them are thick enough to impact the clearances we have in bullseye guns. I've been using CrN, AlTiN,ZrN and other coatings for many years on cutting tools and guns. they perform well in all applications as they were designed for much more demanding environments than we use. Kimber uses them a lot on thier higher end guns. if you've seen the "rainbow" colors, that is effectivly a poorly controlled vapor deposition process that results in non uniform thin layers that refract different wavelengths of light to get the rainbow or irridescent effect.

these vacuum processes are also called CVD (chemical vapor deposition) or PVD (Physical vapor deposition) there are lots of subsets in these such as ALD (atomic layer deposition), Plasma, Sputtering, argon beam, and others. 

colors are highly dependant on process conditions and stoichiometry but here are some reasonable overviews.
TiN - Gold
ZrN - Pale yellow
CrN - Silver/Grey
TiCN - Dark blue - close to traditional bluing
DLC - (diamond like carbon) Black black.

if you want colors this is one way to get them.  if you want silver, I'd suggest hard chrome plate, but it's getting harder to find good platers with the increasing reglatory restrictions on plating operators. I've got several CrN guns but haven't been impressed with the appearance. coating performs well, but astetically, not great.

one thing to note, vapor deposited coatings are "conformal" which means they conform to the surface exactly. so if you process a mirror finish, you get mirror, if you process bead blast, that's what you get. 

All are processed at elevated temperatures, but typically not high enough to cause any issues for gun steels.

here's a few companys I've used in the past. 
https://techmetals.com/
https://www.richterprecision.com/
https://www.clubcustomguns.com/ - they prep for Ion Bond which is leader in PVC coatings.
Thank you for the great info and details. Looks like lots of research to do. I have seen some of the mirror polish guns and they look really sexy. I’ll start by looking into that. Maybe something like a vapor deposited TiCN to give a mirror bluing type of look.

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Post by John Dervis 3/28/2023, 10:27 pm

I could be wrong but I think Rock River tried this finish when they started building 1911s again.  Whatever it was it was described to me as sort of a candy coating around the metal. They discovered that the coating does in fact affect the slide to frame fit. They had to work on mine to get it to function properly and knew exactly what I was talking about when I called them with the concern.  Seems they had to work on other guns as well so knew what areas needed to be polished.  It was a fairly painless operation but something that had to be done none the less.  I’m pretty sure they stopped using this coating and now their guns are back to traditional blueing.  
It is a bulletproof finish so I have no worries about getting the gun wet or wiping my hand oils off after every use but the function issue was a real thing.

John

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Post by 10sandxs 3/29/2023, 8:12 am

I'd be surprised if it was PVD/CVD coatings. The thickness that they go on at is something that most people can't afford equipment to measure. Typical PVD/CVD coatings go on at 1-5 microns thick. There are 25.4 microns in 0.001 inches. The resolution on good quality calipers is .0005 and accuracy is more like .001 inches. These coatings are less than 1/5th of that.  Rock River builds tight guns, but not that tight.

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Post by rich.tullo 3/31/2023, 1:27 pm

I had a Nelson Conversion Built on a Foster Frame I Black Nitride. I do not think it will make a difference, Some are concerned about the heat treating. If money is not an object do it the gun will last forever and always look awesome.
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Post by Sc0 3/31/2023, 4:33 pm

Was looking into it sometime back, if you find a good company to do it that has experience, and not a third party, then go for it.  It was between QPQ nitride vs Metaloy, read about some of the changes in dimensions that "can" occur during the process like warping, and gunsmiths not liking working on a gun after one has been treated.  Was looking into it for pistol and a few lever action rifles, never did send anything out...

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Post by Chase Turner 3/31/2023, 5:59 pm

John Dervis wrote:I could be wrong but I think Rock River tried this finish when they started building 1911s again.  Whatever it was it was described to me as sort of a candy coating around the metal. They discovered that the coating does in fact affect the slide to frame fit. They had to work on mine to get it to function properly and knew exactly what I was talking about when I called them with the concern.  Seems they had to work on other guns as well so knew what areas needed to be polished.  It was a fairly painless operation but something that had to be done none the less.  I’m pretty sure they stopped using this coating and now their guns are back to traditional blueing.  
It is a bulletproof finish so I have no worries about getting the gun wet or wiping my hand oils off after every use but the function issue was a real thing.

John

As an aside, Rock River will Parkerize if you ask for it. I had them do so on a 9MM for me, and I'm very happy with it.

The very best Parkerizing I've ever seen on a pistol was done by KC. No idea what magic he possesses, but I've yet to see anything close to it in my travels, however limited.

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Post by rich.tullo 4/1/2023, 3:28 pm

Chase Turner wrote:
John Dervis wrote:I could be wrong but I think Rock River tried this finish when they started building 1911s again.  Whatever it was it was described to me as sort of a candy coating around the metal. They discovered that the coating does in fact affect the slide to frame fit. They had to work on mine to get it to function properly and knew exactly what I was talking about when I called them with the concern.  Seems they had to work on other guns as well so knew what areas needed to be polished.  It was a fairly painless operation but something that had to be done none the less.  I’m pretty sure they stopped using this coating and now their guns are back to traditional blueing.  
It is a bulletproof finish so I have no worries about getting the gun wet or wiping my hand oils off after every use but the function issue was a real thing.

John

As an aside, Rock River will Parkerize if you ask for it. I had them do so on a 9MM for me, and I'm very happy with it.

The very best Parkerizing I've ever seen on a pistol was done by KC. No idea what magic he possesses, but I've yet to see anything close to it in my travels, however limited.
H&M did my Black Nitride , +1 on the KC Park.
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Post by rich.tullo 4/1/2023, 3:31 pm

DLC is not Black Nitride , I used these guys because it their work is good enough for the a 100mm fighter Jet it is good enough for me and they will do all the parts but make sure you love your trigger job because you will not be able to prep the  parts after you do Black Nitride.
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