Who knows about parkerizing?

Joined: January 18th, 2016, 7:27 pm

March 4th, 2018, 5:10 am #1

I've got a couple old M-14 mags that I lucked out and picked up at a surplus store for $15 apiece. -If- you can find them elsewhere, normal prices are $25 to $55 per mag depending on the source. On top of that they're 20-rounders, and when you live in a high-cap ban state and can't buy new mags even if you wanted to...

To dive away from the political argument...Being surplus mags, they're worn and beat and I'd love to get them looking like the one mag I got new with the rifle. On top of the worn appearance, they've got issues with feeding ammo, but that's a follower/spring problem that's solved by replacement parts for $15 a mag. So. To finally get to my question.

Does anyone have experience with parkerizing steel? I live in an apartment, so the preference is to send the mag bodies off to a company who does good work, even if it's going to cost a few extra bucks compared to me doing a slapdash job on the cheap.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 4th, 2018, 6:44 am #2

There's three ways to do it: One, you pick up all the materials and brew up a DIY formula. Two, buy premade/premixed chemicals and follow the instructions. And three, send 'em off to a professional shop.

I would only recommend the first one if you're the DIY type that wants to say you did it yourself. It's not any particularly huge savings over the other methods, and can be rife with problems- if you look around, you'll find any number of stories about people ruining parts, or even just not being able to get good results.

The second one is a lot easier, and can be cheaper than sending it off to a pro, although when it's all said and done, not by a great deal. Living in an apartment, keep in mind the process smells a bit, and involves weak acids.

I'd recommend sending them off to a shop. I can't recommend one, as I've never had anything Parkerized myself. Find a local gun store and/or gunsmith and ask their recommendation, or if you live in a big enough city, check Google, or even the Yellow Pages, to see if there's somebody local.

A fourth tangent option is see if anyone locally does Cerakoting, or one of the variations like Durabake or Ceramacoating. I know that Cera has colors available that look very much like Parkerizing, and you might be able to find a local shop that can do that for you inexpensively.

Doc.
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Joined: February 2nd, 2017, 2:27 pm

March 5th, 2018, 1:48 am #3

I've got a couple old M-14 mags that I lucked out and picked up at a surplus store for $15 apiece. -If- you can find them elsewhere, normal prices are $25 to $55 per mag depending on the source. On top of that they're 20-rounders, and when you live in a high-cap ban state and can't buy new mags even if you wanted to...

To dive away from the political argument...Being surplus mags, they're worn and beat and I'd love to get them looking like the one mag I got new with the rifle. On top of the worn appearance, they've got issues with feeding ammo, but that's a follower/spring problem that's solved by replacement parts for $15 a mag. So. To finally get to my question.

Does anyone have experience with parkerizing steel? I live in an apartment, so the preference is to send the mag bodies off to a company who does good work, even if it's going to cost a few extra bucks compared to me doing a slapdash job on the cheap.
...some shopkeepers are playing "legal eagle" and turning people in for even asking. I put notice on my shop site that I don't accept firearms related work until the legal-dust settles. I have a friend back east that lost everything when a simple "can you make a --" turned into a legal clusterfarfignewton. Basically he modified a gun oh so slightly and the gun was stolen from the owner... then used in a crime... then the legal-ace prosecutor went after the gun company the ammo company and tracked down who did all the mods and custom work and went after each shop individually.

Now I am to understand this is both common and uncommon, it's going to depend on the person pushing the case and the general mood of the state you live in... I live in a state where such a thing would be unheard of. In fact this state is fairly pro-responsible-firearm. Other states I've been in, if you try to buy a toy gun for your kid you get put on a watch list.

...ah well. If you decide to do it yourself can you post pictures of the process? Always fun to see that sort of thing.
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Joined: September 19th, 2014, 6:28 am

March 5th, 2018, 8:23 pm #4

Don't get me wrong, hot bluing has the same issues, but the comparison can be summed up as "Blueing involves boiling bases, Parkerizing involves boiling acids"

It would probably be wise to research chemical lab safety and have some procedures ready for when you do the parkerizing.

Here is a page on how to parkerize your own parts. It is pretty straightforward but you will want to put quite a bit of effort into preparing the surfaces.

https://m1-garand-rifle.com/parkerizing/
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Joined: April 27th, 2015, 3:26 pm

March 6th, 2018, 7:02 pm #5

If you do decide to try it yourself, I can supply a good bit of Manganese Dioxide to color the process, if you want the darker surface finish.

I started down this path myself, but have never actually run a batch yet as I lost access to the sand blast cabinet to do the aluminum oxide surface prep blast on the parts I wanted to refinish.
During the "collect all the bits and pieces" phase, I ended up with ~20 pounds of Manganese Dioxide, since the best source was from pottery supply house.
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Joined: January 18th, 2016, 7:27 pm

March 13th, 2018, 9:57 pm #6

LongIslandNippleTwister wrote:
I've got a couple old M-14 mags that I lucked out and picked up at a surplus store for $15 apiece.  -If- you can find them elsewhere, normal prices are $25 to $55 per mag depending on the source.  On top of that they're 20-rounders, and when you live in a high-cap ban state and can't buy new mags even if you wanted to...

To dive away from the political argument...Being surplus mags, they're worn and beat and I'd love to get them looking like the one mag I got new with the rifle.  On top of the worn appearance, they've got issues with feeding ammo, but that's a follower/spring problem that's solved by replacement parts for $15 a mag.  So.  To finally get to my question.

Does anyone have experience with parkerizing steel?  I live in an apartment, so the preference is to send the mag bodies off to a company who does good work, even if it's going to cost a few extra bucks compared to me doing a slapdash job on the cheap.
...some shopkeepers are playing "legal eagle" and turning people in for even asking.   I put notice on my shop site that I don't accept firearms related work until the legal-dust settles.   I have a friend back east that lost everything when a simple "can you make a --" turned into a legal clusterfarfignewton.   Basically he modified a gun oh so slightly and the gun was stolen from the owner... then used in a crime...  then the legal-ace prosecutor went after the gun company the ammo company and tracked down who did all the mods and custom work and went after each shop individually.

Now I am to understand this is both common and uncommon,  it's going to depend on the person pushing the case and the general mood of the state you live in...  I live in a state where such a thing would be unheard of.    In fact this state is fairly pro-responsible-firearm.    Other states I've been in,  if you try to buy a toy gun for your kid you get put on a watch list.

...ah well.   If you decide to do it yourself can you post pictures of the process?   Always fun to see that sort of thing.
On the legal side, because I owned them prior to a certain date, I'm allowed to keep them.  The point is more so that I don't have the option of buying new, so I'm looking at going this route instead.  If I start asking and no one wants to touch them, then that's that and I'll have to live with well-used aesthetics.

And I live in a student apartment (not owned by the college, so I'm A-OK with my rifles and such in a safe at home) which means zero room and even less ventilation.  If I was going to even attempt this myself, step one would be having to find a space with light and power to do so.  Thus, I'm hoping for ideas towards people's experience with companies who do metal refinishing.
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