IonBond DLC vs Black Nitride

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by sidewaysil80, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. sidewaysil80

    sidewaysil80 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    957
    Jan 29, 2014
    It’s my understanding that these two finishes are pretty close but have slight differences. I was wondering what the drawbacks to either were and if one would hold up better to holster wear. The IonBond DLC is about $100 more than black nitride for what its worth. I have a Colt Rail Gun awaiting some work and want something more durable than cerakote for the finish, not to mention pricing is pretty comparable for all three.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
    Stogies likes this.
  2. Stogies

    Stogies One more please!

    Aug 22, 2015
    They are essentially the same thing.
    They both will hold up extremely well
     

  3. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Having talked to a few other Smiths extensively about this process, many of them will no longer offer this finish or try to talk you out of it for various reasons.. 1.) it's a one and done deal, hard as nails and if you ever want any other machining done to the gun, it would be very difficult.. 2.) DW Duty Treat. And they will only do this finish on a SS Pistol.. Now I am not completely informed when it comes to heat treating processes. But, the understanding I have of this process is that the temperatures of the metal has to be brought above that of normal heat treat temps, and therefore changes the metallurgy of the pistol, changes tolerances etc.. This in turn if improperly done can make the metal brittle.

    So, my thought is that DW uses one of the softest SS I have ever worked with, and I have to wonder if this is because it is better for the Duty Treat process, less stressful on the metal in other words.. Now, I do want you to know this. The gunsmiths that I have talked to concerning this process and this finish are some of the very top in the industry period. So, the discussion I had with these fine gentleman were for my informational purposes as an upcoming Smith, so I am armed with proper information concerning certain types of finishes. At this time one of the most recommended finishes I hear are Cerakote, PVD, DLC, Ionbond.. I know most want durability out of a carry gun, but lets face it, nothing last forever, and anything that is in and out of a holster repeatedly is eventually going to wear... My .02 for what it's worth, but is is at least .015 of some top industry guys opinion as well.
     
    Moad, FWoo45, Badabing11 and 2 others like this.
  4. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2018
    6 of one half a dozen of the other.... The process of "heat treat" as it commonly called is actually very complicated depending on metal, heat, vacuum and depth required. It is 100% dependent on the metal used and the condition it is in heat treat wise. With respect to rework or refinish it can be done but the hobby Smiths are not really up to speed on this be advised.

    Put it this way---the M45 USMC pistol is Ionbond on the 2nd generation. Really think the USMC would have gone to this finish from the bake on finish they specified initially (cerakote) because of the "supposed ease" of refinishing that failed miserably early without the ability to refinish? Answer is no. Need to use people that know what the hell they are doing. will pay you to do the due diligence up front.
     
  5. Stogies

    Stogies One more please!

    Aug 22, 2015
    Exactly
     
  6. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Well I would say the Smiths I spoke to wouldn't necessarily be considered Hobby Smiths. But, yes I understand that each particular field has it's specialist that know more than us smiths would ever know. However, when I am dealing with a product or handgun that belongs to someone else I would rather choose to err to the side of caution. I would bet that 90% of the people who send their guns out privately for refinish are not 100% informed of the process or the effect it has upon the metal. Not all of us are aerospace engineers. I would of needed a few more years of college for that for sure ;)
     
    Badabing11, FredZ and Busa Dave like this.
  7. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2018
    Steve---PLEASE do not think I was speaking of you because I was not. Just pointing out that the consumer needs to do the required due diligence not that some do not make the attempt. You have to know what your Smith knows :)!
     
    Badabing11, FredZ and Integrity Arms like this.
  8. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    No I understand, I wasn't trying to rebut, just meaning there is a ton to know on the subject and there is so much to the processes that it's hard to make a good informed decision. The guys I got this from know their stuff pretty good, one witnessed a hammer explode that was nitrided into about 600 pieces. Improperly done I am sure otherwise you would see it on every nitrided gun, but enough to make one think about the finish being used. I have had a few parts in here early one cause I am one of those guys that should of been from Missouri lol got to see it to believe it, and I was merely trying to remove the duty treat from a DW grip safety, and with a diamond wheel on a dremel and several hours of work, I just got through enough to get to soft metal. Alum ox media wouldn't touch it, didn't barely grey it lol. Crazy, crazy hard stuff and really into the metal for sure.
     
    Badabing11, FredZ and Busa Dave like this.
  9. retrieverman

    retrieverman Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2013
    I’ve got Blaser rifle barrels with a “melonite” finish and a Baer with black nitride finish, and I like both. Neither is showing any wear.
     
    Steve Owens likes this.
  10. sidewaysil80

    sidewaysil80 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    957
    Jan 29, 2014
    Here is a link to process for H&M coatings. It's my understanding they are one of the OEM providers for this service.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=144&v=AabpDN0Deo8

    Cliff notes:
    300 up 500 degrees prep
    1000 degrees process
    750 degrees quench

    I had a couple of Dan Wessons in Duty Treat and really liked how well that finish held up compared to cerakote. Frankly it was a no contest and cerakote is only $50 cheaper from a reputable/certified sprayer. But like you pointed out my concern is how well the steel will do with those temperatures. I certainly don't want to weaken anything, who cares how tough the finish is if the part shatters....
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
    Steve Owens likes this.
  11. ProCarryNAustin

    ProCarryNAustin Member

    24
    Sep 4, 2011
    Get the pistol how you like it and then have it nitrided, specially if it is a carry pistoll. Has to be right because they come back very hard. Have not had any scratches, dings or wear marks on mine after years of carry and thousands of rounds.
     
  12. Descartian

    Descartian Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    I read the thread title “Melonite vs Black Nitride” and I immediately thought.... DLC is the answer.
     
    Badabing11 and Stogies like this.
  13. Descartian

    Descartian Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    There was a 17k round count review of a STI Tactical recently and no wear or scratches or marks of any kind on the gun with a DLC finish. I love my DLC’d guns.
     
  14. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    It's my understanding that DLC, Ionbond, and PVD all involve some of the same processes as well.
     
    Badabing11 likes this.
  15. sidewaysil80

    sidewaysil80 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    957
    Jan 29, 2014
    DLC is what I meant, not melonite, thought they were the same.
     
  16. sidewaysil80

    sidewaysil80 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    957
    Jan 29, 2014
    Are they as extreme as the nitride process?
     
    Steve Owens likes this.
  17. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Yeah kind of like I said I know a guy who had problems with a DW duty treat and sent it back 3 times to have refinished. Each time going through the same process. I am unware of the particulars exactly but, I will tell you this that finish is nearly impossible to cut into even with carbide cutters, and a challenge even for diamond cutters. I have a couple duty treat pistols I just realize they are always aesthetically going to be just as they are.
     
  18. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Not to my knowledge. The PVD has been recommended by a few other smiths that I really trust and value their opinion. But, I also believe Cerakote can be pretty durable if applied properly. Most of it at times really does come down to 1.) application, and 2.) aftercare of the pistol. The nitride is probably going to be the most wear resistant you can get, but even it eventually will wear if carried and not properly cared for. There will be others who can give you a lot better insight into finishes, the reason I know about the nitride is finishes is one of my weakest areas, and I am currently in the learning and searching process myself.
     
  19. EvolutionArmory

    EvolutionArmory Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2011
    They are nothing like each other.

    One is a boiling molten hot salt bath and the other is a carbon coating done in a vacuum chamber.

    I was going back and forth between using black Nitride or Ionbond as my go to coating and Ionbond made more sense to me. It’s hard as hell and you don’t have to worry about changing the heat treat of your parts.
     
    Chris O, B81, gps man and 3 others like this.
  20. Descartian

    Descartian Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is the process, ionbond is the company that does PVD (like Coke, or Post It, or Kleenex), DLC (diamond like carbon) is the chemical composition of one of the numerous PVD coatings available.
     

You need 3 posts to add links to your posts! This is used to prevent spam.

Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted