Finish for a pistol?

Shadowrider

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As far as sitting LEFT ALONE in a B117 salt bath spray, yes np3 and most every other soft coating including Cerakote will littlest any PVD that I'm aware of. But PVD has the ability to soak up and retain oil, providing a near impenetrable barrier against corrosion. And what happens when you scratch a soft coating, exactly how much corrosion resistance will that coating provide?

I was simply stating(to a man seeking better scratch/wear resistance) that PVDs fill that role better, in the real world, where people actually maintain their firearm and don't plan on leaving it submerged in 120° salt water for 3.5 years and expect it to run afterwards.

Also, there are many different "DLC" formulas, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, though comparable in composition. "We" don't have a proprietary anything as "We" aren't buying a $5m PVD machine anytime soon. However the company that performs that service for us does have their own formula, and my research indicates that it is the most ideal for the task.
The numbers I was"throwing around" were being used to educate those unfamiliar with the coatings on the potential gains in scratch resistance alone and as long as the numbers are correct there shouldn't be an issue "throwing them around". After all "numbers" are the only reason you know NP3 Plus offers better corrosion resistance. Heck, "numbers" are the only reason that corrosion test exists in the first place!

NP3+ is a phenomenal coating which is brought to you by one of the most successful Vet-Owned manufactures in the industry, and I'm a huge fan, but to those that may be seeking a black scratch resistant coating, I know if none better than the aforementioned.

I've seen several guns that had a PVD finish that was worn all to hell. Kydex is "static'y", and that attracts dust. Dust particles are UUGELY larger than the coating's thickness. All it takes if for that dust particle to dig under that micron thickness coating and there you go. Scratched. These coatings are engineered for surface abrasion applications where "like" components are sliding or rolling on each other in controlled (generally not open to the atmosphere) conditions. They have been used for over 30 years as cutting tool coatings and only "relatively recently" on machine components.

Also if the coating is porous and diamond hard, that just means that the pores that fill up and hold oil leave a pathway for moisture to get in. That oil isn't an "impenetrable barrier" by any stretch so in the pores themselves there is no hardness. FYI, I personally ran a ASTM B117 salt fog cabinet 24/7/365 for several years. I have years of experience with various engineered coatings in the aerospace and oilfield industries. All these coatings are great for their various purposes (usually wear resistance) but keeping guns looking pretty isn't what they excel at or are even developed for. Real world is different when you start drawing from a holster, if you leave it in the safe and take it out to look at it once a year to look at it, then yes, they are all fabulous. I'm not saying to ignore the specs and testing, but just keep this in mind when looking at them. There's a chit TON of marketing behind them.
 

Dave70968

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Aww, Buffer. Did we just become best friends??? And yes, I most definitely am.


I have noticed this. I kept thinking I somehow kept getting anomaly after anomaly in customers. I always go through so much effort to effectively communicate the differences in triggers, barrels, handguards, coatings and services to my customers to enable them to make an informed decision as to what they think would best fit their purpose for the gun, and 75% of the time I get the exact same answer worded differently, "I don't know, you pick and just tell me how much it is" which has always boggled my mind. Thanks for this Buffer, it has put things into perspective for me more than you know.

Mike
Some of us like data, some don't. I'm with you--show me the source.
 

APH Tactical

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Just spend their money for them in a manner you feel is right. That’s the recipie for success.
Thanks Brutha, always do.

I've seen several guns that had a PVD finish that was worn all to hell. Kydex is "static'y", and that attracts dust. Dust particles are UUGELY larger than the coating's thickness. All it takes if for that dust particle to dig under that micron thickness coating and there you go. Scratched. These coatings are engineered for surface abrasion applications where "like" components are sliding or rolling on each other in controlled (generally not open to the atmosphere) conditions. They have been used for over 30 years as cutting tool coatings and only "relatively recently" on machine components.

Also if the coating is porous and diamond hard, that just means that the pores that fill up and hold oil leave a pathway for moisture to get in. That oil isn't an "impenetrable barrier" by any stretch so in the pores themselves there is no hardness. FYI, I personally ran a ASTM B117 salt fog cabinet 24/7/365 for several years. I have years of experience with various engineered coatings in the aerospace and oilfield industries. All these coatings are great for their various purposes (usually wear resistance) but keeping guns looking pretty isn't what they excel at or are even developed for. Real world is different when you start drawing from a holster, if you leave it in the safe and take it out to look at it once a year to look at it, then yes, they are all fabulous. I'm not saying to ignore the specs and testing, but just keep this in mind when looking at them. There's a chit TON of marketing behind them.
Thanks Shadow, seeing your experience on this topic I have a TON of questions for you and may PM a few of them one day if it's ok, because I love gathering as much information as possible on these matters but hate digging through engineering reports and college studies to try to find them.
But I will ask you one that is very relevant to this discussion, and one relevant to your B117 knowledge.
1. In your opinion, if a person is primarily with scratch resistance than corrosion, what are the best coatings for that.
2. Several PVD coatings last 250-350hrs in B117 testing before showing initial signs of corrosion. In my research I can't seem to find ANY agreements to how the time in that test coorelates with the "Real World" time. Can you give us your opinion of how long say 100hrs of testing relates to daily use, and routine maintenance?

Thanks,
Mike

Some of us like data, some don't. I'm with you--show me the source.
Lol, they say great minds think alike!
 

Shadowrider

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For scratch resistance/wear only I'd agree with Gunbuffer in post #11. And I'd add salt bath nitride (Melonite, Tenifer, etc.) as a #2. The black coloring on the surface can be scratched away, but the treated surface extends several thousandths deep which is the main thing. It has great corrosion protection too.

As to B117 there really isn't a way to correlate to "real world" time. I can tell you that ASTM B117 (5% NaCl) is a pretty ruthless test. It's done at basically 100% humidity and 95 degrees F minimum. We ran 2024 and 7050 aluminum control samples with chromate conversion and chromic acid anodized samples for process verification. The controls weren't coated or protected in any way. They would be corroding in a couple of hours while the coated went over a full week (192 hours) with no corrosion signs at all. Yes aluminum will corrode. Err...Alloyed aluminum will. Pure clad aluminum sheet usually didn't but wasn't real pretty afterward.
 

sumoj275

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Thanks for all the input thus far. I am looking for longevity of finish on the pistol as I oil and clean my firearms on a regular basis. From what I can tell the NP3 isn't that tough, or am I interpreting stuff wrong?
 

APH Tactical

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Thanks for all the input thus far. I am looking for longevity of finish on the pistol as I oil and clean my firearms on a regular basis. From what I can tell the NP3 isn't that tough, or am I interpreting stuff wrong?
NP3 Plus is a solid coating, and I don't think that a single person that knows what they are talking about will tell you otherwise.
Each coating has its distinctive advantages and disadvantages and every coating subjected to the right conditions will begin to corrode, but it's fixable if caught before it goes too far, and even then...
As an example, I took in a 1969-74 Glenfield(Marlin) 75, completely covered in corrosion(pics don't do the extent of it justice)... Sand blasted like crazy and Cerakoted in Graphite Black and now it looks like a brand new rifle.

Point being, you might as well go with whichever coating you think looks the best, knowing that someday, be it 5 years or 35, you may need to pull it off and coat it in whatever you think looks best at that time.

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Shadowrider

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Thanks for all the input thus far. I am looking for longevity of finish on the pistol as I oil and clean my firearms on a regular basis. From what I can tell the NP3 isn't that tough, or am I interpreting stuff wrong?
It's electroless nickel plating that has teflon in it. Not as hard as the PVD processes but far thicker. Not a bad coating at all. Being nickel I'd be leery of using any solvents with ammonia in them.
 
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