Saturday, January 23, 2010

What's The Diff

What is "case color" T-Bolt. Ok, ok, I sorta made that up, confused it. It's a type of metallic finish that you can achieve by case hardening the gun, traditionally. Smith calls is "Color Case," and they might achieve it by some method other than the traditional for all I know. It's really sort of a bare metal finish with tempering colors making it look nice. It's probably not as corrosion resistant as blueing, and certainly not as reistance as chrome or nickel plate. But it looks pretty.

There are other finishes to make a firearm corrosion resistant. Get it Parkerized with manganese phosphate, coat it with enamel like Para does, or you can even gold plate it like a Deagle (ick).

Here are example of Blue/Case/Nickel, just for your edification.



Color Case:



And I have to say, after handling a model 40... I'd prefer it, maybe, even with the grip safety and the old grip, to the alloy 642, and lock-cursed 640.

I do like the look of case hardening, But not on that pistol with a blued barrel.


Jim said...

There was a fad for home "case hardening" in the 70s, probably stemming from the muzzle-loader kit craze. The DIYer played a torch over the metal surface until he got a sort of mottled light blue effect. I wouldn't care to shoot anything so treated.

A similar dodge was used on cheap maple to produce a striped effect. Bubba saturated a rope in tar, wrapped it around the nearly finished stock and lit it off.

Old NFO said...

I'm a blued guy... Got spoiled by the finish on Pythons...

Bob said...

Wikipedia has a good entry on case hardening, but sums it up thus:

Firearms were a common item case hardened in the past, as they required precision machining best done on low carbon alloys, yet needed the hardness and wear resistance of a higher carbon alloy.

So what you had was gun steel that was easy to grind/machine, then given a finish that hardened the outer surface, much like the crust of a loaf of French bread. It's one reason why you should never do amateur gunsmithing on old guns: once you penetrate the hardened outer surface, the inner steel is soft and wears quickly.