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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently acquired a Colt pistol with a black nitride finish on stainless steel 'everything' but the barrel & was told Richter Precision did the job for Colt. I am super impressed by it, to me it could be the best finish for wear and looks good too. Probably, IMHO the best wearing for hard use I've ever seen on a firearm. I say this because its an extremely HARD surface treatment & from experience trying to dimple a black nitride rifle barrel. I had to prepare the surface with a diamond tip dremel tool prior to drilling my little 5/32" dimple with a cobalt bit (bit was good for only two dimples).

I've seen that a few 1911 makers offer this finish, but what are the differences in the 'process' for nitriding a complete gun? If I were going to custom finish any of my pistols this would be IT black nitride. I've read Richter Precision will finish your gun sent to them from an FFL.

Does anyone else tout great work/ reputation in nitride, black nitride finished guns? I think the finishing process is important because of how a solvent or other chemical might affect a guns finish. I recently saw a very popular maker used gun's finish that had some sort of liquid damage. So evidently there are different processes for this type of finish. I want a complete finish that is impervious to solvent/chemicals, if there is such in a black nitride gun finish.

Who does a black nitride the best? Do you have experience with the 1911 in this finish, how does it wear in kydex, corrosion resistance? Discuss.

TXGuns
 

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I only have experience for black nitride guns done by Nighthawk (actually their finish source).... and I've been pleased with all of them.
 

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Are you sure your Colt is Nitride and not PVD? I've used Richter Precision (I'll never use them again but that's another story) and I'm pretty sure they only offer PVD coatings. My 'smith has used H&M successfully for many years, though he has now gravitated towards PVD unless customer requests it. I don't think there's any magic to the prep work, it just happens to not interact well with certain cleaning chemicals.
 

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Of the three big 1911 makers who offer ferritic nitrocarburizing standard (Dan Wesson, Nighthawk and Guncrafter), the only one I'm not aware of requiring special cleaning and lubing care, nor has had reports of the hazing problem with some solvents, is Nighthawk.

Yes, there are different approaches to nitriding yielding different results, including what solvents they can stand up to.

That said, it isn't really difficult to avoid certain solvents. What's important is going through an outfit that knows about nitriding firearms specifically, and so for that I'd go through one of the three manufactures mentioned.

Use a place that nitride's but hasn't had a lot of experience nitriding firearms and you might end up disappointed.

It can be a tough unto not-advised process for small parts, too, and better make sure you firearm's in the configuration you'd like to keep it because after nitriding modifications to the metal are challenging, as you discovered dimpling.

Read around here, there are varying opinions on nitriding for firearms, with some prominent 'smiths taking a dim view of it.
 

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Are you sure your Colt is Nitride and not PVD? I've used Richter Precision (I'll never use them again but that's another story) and I'm pretty sure they only offer PVD coatings..
I was wondering, too, as I'm not aware of any stock Colts nitrided and I assumed OP's was done aftermarket. Colt has indeed offered several PVD (aka DLC aka IonBond) models.

OP, if we're talking an IonBond Colt here, totally different. For that, I'd go through our very own Evolution Armory.
 

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NH recommends using Gibbs lube and cleaners with their black nitride to prevent discoloration
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
In answer to the question about my Colt gun finish. Yes it is a black nitride finish specified & sent out by CCS. Probably the only model Colt has ever done in that finish to my knowledge. I was told Richter Precision did the job, but unless I contact the colt custom shop to verify it who knows. But one thing is for certain 'black nitride' is on the box label from Colt and there is a HARD finish on my pistol. I own a CCS pistol IonBond (smoked grey) finish too and its nothing like the black nitride.

Also, I could understand 'why' some smiths may be biased against this surface hardening finish.

I started the post because I wanted another gun done up in the exact same finish. I like it that much.
 

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For a long time WD-40 was recommended as a cleaner on black nitride. That's what my friends at Novak's advised me to use on one of my full-house guns from them, and so far seems like good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For a long time WD-40 was recommended as a cleaner on black nitride. That's what my friends at Novak's advised me to use on one of my full-house guns from them, and so far seems like good advice.
Your comment has brought cleaning & lube for black nitride finishes to my attention. What is recommended, Gibbs spray bottle?

I have Slip 2000 & Ballistol, are either of these okay to use on a nitride finish? At least until I can get some Gibbs?

Thanks
 

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Never had any issues with Slip 2000 as a lube on my Novak black nitride. Also use a dab of SlideGlide light grease on the frame rails and barrel lugs. No signs of wear/change in color/etc. Just stay away from any chlorinated spray cleaners.
 

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Slightly off topic.... How well does black nitride hold up to holster wear?
 

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Slightly off topic.... How well does black nitride hold up to holster wear?
Properly done nitriding is incredibly resistant to abrasion. You can get holster wear, but it takes work. And because nitriding is a metal treatment that changes the surface hardness and chemical composition of the metal, corrosion protection remains even after wear occurs.
 
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