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Stainless Steel Blackener Gel on firearms

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  • Stainless Steel Blackener Gel on firearms

    Looking to blacken a stainless slide but I am concerend that the blackening process will diminish the natural rust resistance of stainless since it this appears to essentially rust the stainless in a similar fashion as traditional bluing. Can anyone comment on the rust resitance properties of stainless after this chemical process has been applied? Specifically, I am dealing with 416 stainless for the slide and 400 stainless for magazines.


  • #2
    Re: Stainless Steel Blackener Gel on firearms

    I bought the Stainless Steel Blackener gel kit. I've tried it on my Springfield stainless 1911 slide and Wilson Combat stainless mag well. It did absolutely nothing to either. I hope someone can jump in here with the trick to get this stuff to work.


    • #3
      Re: Stainless Steel Blackener Gel on firearms

      I have the Stainless Steel Blackener that is the blue liquid. It has been about a year since I used it, but this is what I did on some small stainless screws.

      1. Sand whatever you can with wet 600-1200-2000 paper. This is to cut the gunk off the surface. Stainless is a bear to get clean. Contrary to popular belief, stainless is not really that hard, it has a tactile surface that likes to move around rather than scuff off. I hate machining the ****. Most steels on guns are heat treated and this only adds to the grief with stainless.

      2. Scrub with SoftScrub cleaner using a gray Scotchbrite pad using only distilled water. Rinse thouroughly about three times as much as you think it will need. Yes, it will scratch it up a little, but this is the price one must pay to get it clean. Another bath in Dawn dishwashing liquid will not hurt. Make sure it passes the water break test.

      3. Heat the part up to 150-160 deg and dip the part in a 30% sulfuric acid solution (straight battery acid) for 30 seconds - no more.

      4. Spray rinse with a distilled water spray and dunk in the blackener until you get the color you want (if any at all). Wash in distilled water - wash in distilled water - and again. Get it clean. Just to be on the safe side, make up a bath of 1 gal distilled water and 1/2 lb. of Arm & Hammer (no cheap bargin brand) baking soda and imerse the parts for no less than 15 minutes to kill the acids. Wash well.

      5. Heat the part back up to 150-160 deg. and dip in the sealer that Caswell sells with the black oxide kit. If you do not seal it, the black will eventually rub off.

      I have had varying results with this process, but the acid is absolutely necessary to activate the stainless surface. I tried muratic acid and it was of no use. Do not be surprised if the finished has the appearance of a speckeled pup. I finish guns for a living and I have not found a suitable chemical blackener for stainless pistols yet - but I never give up. Tomorrow is another day and another experiment.

      Good luck,