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TexasPOff
08-13-2011, 21:17
Well I am just about finished fitting and installing all the parts I wanted to replace on my STI. I will shortly be sending it off for one of these two finishes. This pistol will serve along side my G19 as an alternate on and off duty pistol so I would like the best finish possible. I looked into the melonite as well. I am a bit put off, like others about having my pistol put in 1k temps for the finishing process. So at this point Melonite, QPQ Isonite etc are on the back burner. Price wise it looks like they are within $50 dollars of each other once its all said and done. I need some recommendations and pictures if you have some. Years ago it was an easy choice, Hard Chrome and your done. I would like to keep this pistol Black so HC isn't even a consideration. Thanks in advance, also I will post up some shots with the new parts installed prior to being sent off. Then the good ones when it gets back. TXPO

up1911fan
08-13-2011, 23:08
I would go with IonBond, probably a coin toss though.

knedrgr
08-13-2011, 23:59
Hard Hat is aka Melonite.

carguy2244
08-14-2011, 05:13
The Melonite process shouldn't disturb you?
If the salt nitride is boiling when the gun is submerged, they say the weapon doesn't feel a thing.
:rofl:

Quack
08-14-2011, 05:32
how about http://blacknitride.com/

skdmrklcy
08-14-2011, 05:54
I am looking at the same sort of choice. I am leaning toward IonBond myself, since they can do the trigger as well in it.

GJ1981
08-14-2011, 06:26
After owning both, if it were me I'd go for something else honestly, something basic like Parkerizing or a paint finish and reapply when needed. My reasoning is I've played around with the "wonder" finishes/treatments and feel a K.I.S.S approach is best.

My reasons - both WILL show wear, not that that should matter on any carry pistol, but I know some people choose these finishes since the do wear better than others. IME to date, Ionbond has worn better than my Melonite pistol despite some claims I've read.

The temps you mentioned are a concern to me in the long run and would be a mark against the Melonite type treatments. I've been told of possible issues with high round counts down the road from weakened components due to the heat, warped breachfaces, etc. This is one area where IB wouldn't be a concern.

Ionbond does NOT have great corrosion resistance, most of the paint finishes exceed it here.

If you go with Melonite, there is no going back. IB can be removed...something to consider.



Here are pics of my Melonite and Ionbond 1911's for visual comparison.


Melonite
http://i319.photobucket.com/albums/mm441/gj1981/Drake%20Custom%201911/DSC01248.jpg
http://i319.photobucket.com/albums/mm441/gj1981/Drake%20Custom%201911/DSC01246.jpg

Ionbond
http://i319.photobucket.com/albums/mm441/gj1981/Nighthawk%20Enforcer/DSC00320.jpg
http://i319.photobucket.com/albums/mm441/gj1981/Nighthawk%20Enforcer/DSC00321.jpg

http://i319.photobucket.com/albums/mm441/gj1981/Drake%20Custom%201911/DSC01247.jpg

MD357
08-14-2011, 07:36
I'm going to agree with GJ here, my preferences nowdays are HC or Robar after seeing examples of use after 15 years.

I was told that they lay a layer of HC down under Ionbond when applying due to it's porous nature? Someone can verify?

lsbbigdog
08-14-2011, 07:45
I'm a little bias but I like Cerakote. It has more colors than just black, it's pretty tough in it's own right and offers lubricity.
Turn around time (my shop less than 2 weeks) and it's cheaper. A lot of other smiths & Semi custom shops use it.
http://www.businessendcustoms.com/images/albums/NewAlbum_36a00/tn_1200_DSC00655.JPG.jpg
http://www.businessendcustoms.com/images/albums/NewAlbum_36a00/tn_1200_DSC00052a.jpg.jpg
http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll287/lsbbigdog/DSC00168.jpg?t=1308684126

TexasPOff
08-14-2011, 09:28
Thats why I ask you guys over here. I know polymer but have been out of the steel game for a while. I wasn't sure what the hard hat stuff was, but I was wondering if it was a type of meloniting. I have a local guy here that has done a few Glock slides for me in Norrel Moly resin. He is a big Ed Brown nut himself, so he has a bit of background in 1911's. If I decided to go the IonBond way, who out there offers it other than Springer Precision. TXPO

ProCarryNAustin
08-14-2011, 10:22
http://berryhillguns.com/ does IONBond and Melonite and is Round Rock, just north of Austin.

I'm curious about the comment that HardHat is Melonite. The finish does not look like any melonite I have ever seen and Severns has stated on several occasions that his process is not melonite.

knedrgr,
Is there a source for this information about Hard Hat being Melonite?

GJ1981,
What was your experience with the corrosion resistance of Hard Hat vs Melonite?

Daniel

GJ1981
08-14-2011, 10:44
GJ1981,
What was your experience with the corrosion resistance of Hard Hat vs Melonite?


I've never had a pistol in HH. I've read from a few sources about Ionbond not being comparable to most paint finishes, let alone Melonite for corrosion resistance. IB compares their corrosion resistance to untreated metal, which doesn't say much. I've heard they use hard chrome underneath but don't think it is standard - http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:QNpztItKZC0J:www.jabuie.com/_fileCabinet/Club_Brochure.pdf+ionbond+rust&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESh22FTjupFbVEGiZ5MK1rF4uPIn2J7QzIPCq0pnODsj1ZSfusdFfUWmvtvy68QvKPrrrVHOSmPPcu_cckVANQNnA4 kJmpc5r9_Jvhm8Y0oS_sBe2ndM91rp2YfyXT-rnYkp0usZ&sig=AHIEtbQkhL4CSjYTsUWa1KBRpgQFnYDznQ

Oddly, I have found slight rust on my Melonite 1911 and a M&P after leaving it in my basement for a few days. My basement is pretty damp so maybe there was more to the cause?? The rust did wipe off and hasn't come back. It wasn't a test or anything so I don't plan to do the same with my IB pistols. Just something I noticed...

bac1023
08-14-2011, 10:54
I really like the melonite finish on my Guncrafter.


http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu81/ollituc/009-9.jpg

asiparks
08-14-2011, 11:28
Well I am just about finished fitting and installing all the parts I wanted to replace on my STI. I will shortly be sending it off for one of these two finishes. This pistol will serve along side my G19 as an alternate on and off duty pistol so I would like the best finish possible. I looked into the melonite as well. I am a bit put off, like others about having my pistol put in 1k temps for the finishing process. So at this point Melonite, QPQ Isonite etc are on the back burner. Price wise it looks like they are within $50 dollars of each other once its all said and done. I need some recommendations and pictures if you have some. Years ago it was an easy choice, Hard Chrome and your done. I would like to keep this pistol Black so HC isn't even a consideration. Thanks in advance, also I will post up some shots with the new parts installed prior to being sent off. Then the good ones when it gets back. TXPO

your Glock's tennifer finish is pretty much melonite.... Durferrit, owns the patents to both trade named processes. So if you're confident your Glock is OK, your 1911 will be too....Dan Wesson "Duty Treat" is also melonite and S&W offer Melonite as a factory finish too.

Hard hat is salt bath nitriding aka nitrocarburizing aka melonite aka isonite. If you have your gun Hard Hatted, then it's going through the same chemical and same temperature process as melonite.
If Mr Severns has invented a whole new way to finish firearms in a way that so closely imitates melonite, but isn't, then he will be a multimillionaire very shortly, especially as he's not incurring the overheads that those massive chemical engineering conglomerates had to, what with paying scientists and all..... :tongueout:

Melonite beats IonBond in just about every metric other than range of suitable substrates. The melonite process actually hardens the metal. Ionbond is also incredibly hard in of itself , but it's still a micron thin coating. It resists abrasion well, but not impact. Imagine wrapping a tomato in a very thin layer of titanium. The titanium is very hard, but it won't take much of an impact to mash the tomato regardless...

My Nighthawk does not appear to have HC under the IonBond, but it's an older gun and the process may have been refined some....

I have guns in both, including a very pretty Ionbonded Valor, but I'd take melonite over it any day of the week.....especially as it can be done for $200 or so.

Texas Bulldog
08-14-2011, 12:01
Cerakote and IonBond is a total tossup for me, they are both amazing IMO.

dp509
08-14-2011, 12:09
What finishes are available for aluminum frame guns ?

I have a Kimber Tactial Custom II.

It has the aluminum frame.

The finish is starting to show small nicks and dings.

Gun is great :supergrin:

NO PROBLEMS !!!

faawrenchbndr
08-14-2011, 12:13
What finishes are available for aluminum frame guns ?




+1........getting ready to start a LW frame project.

Sarge43
08-14-2011, 12:21
I've got more than one pistol in each the IonBond and the HardHat, and am sold on the HardHat. I've actually rubbed against a nail accidentally with the HH metal treatment and looked to find a scratch. After the obligatory berating myself for my stupidity, I got home and to my amazement the scratch just wiped away with some solvent. NO noticeable change to the HH in the area at all. On my Beastbob, I had Dave HH it and then return the slide sides to stainless. The HH makes the surface so hard, that it took him four hours to grind through it and get back to stainless. He said it was the first time he'd tried it, and would be the last. I don't pretend to know anything at all about metallurgy or it's nuances, but I do know that in reality and daily use, the HH is dang near impervious to anything I've run into and still looks like it did the day it arrived.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
Sarge
Ionbond
http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh281/sarge43_pics/004-48.jpg
http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh281/sarge43_pics/grips%202/IMG_4266.jpg
Hard Hat
http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh281/sarge43_pics/grips%202/IMG_5019.jpg
http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh281/sarge43_pics/grips%202/grips%203/IMG_6207.jpg

KillStick
08-14-2011, 12:22
My vote would be for Hard Hat, It is blacker than black and seems to be holding up pretty well.:wavey:


http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g462/Killstick/IMAG0067.jpg?t=1313345669

Sarge43
08-14-2011, 12:25
Oh, if it makes a difference - the HH is a deeper black than the IB on my pistols.
Sarge

asiparks
08-14-2011, 12:51
+1........getting ready to start a LW frame project.

Ionbond. Hard hat?melonite etc will not work on aluminum

faawrenchbndr
08-14-2011, 13:04
That's what I was thinking,......there's always CeraCoat

TexasPOff
08-14-2011, 13:37
I will admit the pics of the HH guns look really nice. All thing being equal, due to ionbond and its minimum corrosion resistance, I am going to have to rule it out. This will be carried on and off duty and exposed to all the elements. I'm going to throw melonite back into the mix. Between these two cost becomes a deciding factor. HH is going to be $400 give or take. Melonite loosk to be in the $200 to $300 hundred range. Gesh I'm just about ready to flip a coin on this one. I was hoping to send this out with my shipments tommorrow.

asiparks
08-14-2011, 14:37
I will admit the pics of the HH guns look really nice. All thing being equal, due to ionbond and its minimum corrosion resistance, I am going to have to rule it out. This will be carried on and off duty and exposed to all the elements. I'm going to throw melonite back into the mix. Between these two cost becomes a deciding factor. HH is going to be $400 give or take. Melonite loosk to be in the $200 to $300 hundred range. Gesh I'm just about ready to flip a coin on this one. I was hoping to send this out with my shipments tommorrow.

just to be clear, melonite and Hard hat are effectively the same , offering exactly the same features. They are both nitro carburizing processes. As are E Treat, Isonite, Duty treat and Tenifer.

As far as one being "blacker" then any other, the color comes from adding a coat of black oxide after the melonite/hard hat is done. The blackness will be dependent on the brand and application of the oxide salts, some brands are blacker, some are more "blue".

awpk03s
08-14-2011, 16:52
I have several guns in Diamond Black IonBond. Here are some pictures:

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/mba656/guns/DSC03195.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/mba656/guns/DSC03116.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/mba656/guns/DSC03118.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/mba656/guns/DSC03113.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/mba656/guns/DSC02684.jpg

awpk03s
08-14-2011, 16:55
This Smith & Wesson is finished in Melonite:

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/mba656/guns/DSC03216.jpg

This Dan Wesson CBOB was done in Hard Hat by Severns Custom:

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/mba656/guns/DSC02579.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/mba656/guns/DSC02580.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/mba656/guns/DSC02581.jpg

I didn't really like the way the Hard Hat turned out. There were several swirl marks and permanent smudges (not visible in these photos) that kind of ruined it for me given the coin I dropped on it.

98_1LE
08-14-2011, 17:15
I'm going to agree with GJ here, my preferences nowdays are HC or Robar after seeing examples of use after 15 years.

I was told that they lay a layer of HC down under Ionbond when applying due to it's porous nature? Someone can verify?

I have never heard this before, but have thought about that being the perfect end solution, albeit expensive. And considering HC costs about the same as IB, I have a hard time thinking you are getting two for one.

polizei1
08-14-2011, 18:09
I like Ionbond, but I don't have any experience with HH. I have an aluminum frame so I went with IB for obvious reasons. I like it!

MD357
08-14-2011, 19:08
That's what I was thinking,......there's always CeraCoat

I did HC on mine, turned out great. :supergrin: I would also say Robar NP3+ over Ceracoat after owning both. :cool:

MD357
08-14-2011, 19:16
I have never heard this before, but have thought about that being the perfect end solution, albeit expensive. And considering HC costs about the same as IB, I have a hard time thinking you are getting two for one.

That's what I read over on LTW words once but I've drank a few beers since then hence my "?" :cool: I DO know it's somewhat porous so you'd want to lay something down IMO.

20South
08-14-2011, 20:35
how about http://blacknitride.com/

This.

asiparks
08-14-2011, 20:53
This.

which is nitrocarburizing, which is melonite which is Isonite which is Hard Hat which is.......

ProCarryNAustin
08-15-2011, 17:56
which is nitrocarburizing, which is melonite which is Isonite which is Hard Hat which is.......

I have not seen a detailed description of what Hard Hat is or is not. Do you have a link to some information that allowed you to reach the conclusion that Hard Hat = Melonite?

Not trying to insinuate anything. Just trying to learn.

Daniel

TexasPOff
08-15-2011, 18:12
Well at this point after all the reading and phone calls, I have decided on Melonite. I like the hard hat treatment from the pics I have seen. I like the look of Melonite from the examples I have handled locally. The Melonite finish plus a few other things I am having done is going to run me $100 less than the HH treatment. My pistol will be heading to Berryhill customs before the weeks end. I have had some excellent communication with Mr. Berryhill and that is a big deal with me. Comminucation is everything in the smithing industry. Doesn't hurt him being here locally in Texas either. He is replacing the rear Heinie slant that I have now with a Ledge and refinishing in Melonite. Turn around time he says will be about 4 weeks. I will post up a few shots of the pistol before, and of course again when it gets back. TXPO

zdpilot
09-25-2012, 20:33
Now i'm new to this so go easy on me, but as I understand it, the hard hating is a metal treatment, and the ion-bond is a outer layer coating. So is there a way to do both and get the best of both worlds?

Jim Watson
09-26-2012, 01:23
I am like FAA, I was scoping out an aluminum framed project and cannot get a concensus on the finish. I have had anodizing, coating, and plating recommended. You can also Ionbond aluminum but one source says "don't".

I won't sink the price of a new custom gun with no better background than that.

R0CKETMAN
09-26-2012, 04:17
HH

http://imageshack.us/a/img502/3026/002mfk.jpg

fnfalman
09-26-2012, 08:27
The temps you mentioned are a concern to me in the long run and would be a mark against the Melonite type treatments. I've been told of possible issues with high round counts down the road from weakened components due to the heat, warped breachfaces, etc. This is one area where IB wouldn't be a concern.


Consider that Melonite is a finish specified directly from the factory of at least two brands of guns, you don't think that the design engineers had thought about possible impacts on the gun's metallurgy?

MoNsTeR
09-27-2012, 21:26
Salt bath finishes (Melonite, HH, QPQ, etc.) > PVD finishes (IonBond, Infinicoat, anything TiN-based, etc.)

I have a PVD-finished gun and it looks nice, but it'll rust, and it's not as durable as the marketing would have you believe. The salt bath processes are just better.

Cerakote is just paint, let's not kid ourselves here. It's more durable and corrosion-resistant than bluing, and easy to strip if you want to do work on the gun later, but that's all that can be said for it.

wrx04
09-27-2012, 22:02
HH

http://imageshack.us/a/img502/3026/002mfk.jpg

Man, that gun is just flat out awesome.

fnfalman
09-27-2012, 23:25
Salt bath finishes (Melonite, HH, QPQ, etc.) > PVD finishes (IonBond, Infinicoat, anything TiN-based, etc.)

I have a PVD-finished gun and it looks nice, but it'll rust, and it's not as durable as the marketing would have you believe. The salt bath processes are just better.

It's not the PVD process but the chemical/physical characteristics of the coatings themselves that determine corrosion resistance.

PVD process may be the "hip" thing in wristwatches and firearms coating but it's ancient tech in the microprocessor industry. However, it is a lot better technique than salt bath or any sort of bath.

Cerakote is just paint, let's not kid ourselves here. It's more durable and corrosion-resistant than bluing, and easy to strip if you want to do work on the gun later, but that's all that can be said for it.

None of these coatings are magical in nature. Get a stainless steel gun if you want true corrosion resistance throughout.

faawrenchbndr
09-28-2012, 02:25
.......



None of these coatings are magical in nature. Get a stainless steel gun if you want true corrosion resistance throughout.


Simply NOT true!
I've seen several stainless steel pistols & revolvers with corrosion.
Proper maintenance & storage is the ONLY true way to resist corrosion.

Rinspeed
09-28-2012, 05:53
Get a stainless steel gun if you want true corrosion resistance throughout.





Not even close. :upeyes:

Jim Watson
09-28-2012, 08:46
I had a new stainless gun come out of the box in the store with flecks of rust. I accepted it, it was one of the last Springfield Ultra Compact 9mms, discontinued in favor of the more expensive EMP. It cleaned up ok and has not shown any rust since then, exposed to my sweat and powder fouling. Maybe the SA packer had something really hot for lunch and didn't wash his hands.

After my house burned, my S&W Plastic M&P was recovered from the ruins, it had been out of the safe. It had been smoked and steamed but not burnt. Its Melonite over stainless barrel and slide were very rusty. They cleaned up pretty well with some loss of blackening but were not much pitted. Still fully functional.

fnfalman
09-28-2012, 13:02
Not even close. :upeyes:

What happens when you chip through one of these magical finishes?

What happens when you chip a stainless steel piece? Nothing.

fnfalman
09-28-2012, 13:05
Simply NOT true!
I've seen several stainless steel pistols & revolvers with corrosion.

That's why it's stain-LESS and not stain-PROOF. However, stainless steel is stainless steel throughout. It doesn't require a coating for corrosion resistance. Chip a magic coating and your gun will start rusting most ricky tick.


Proper maintenance & storage is the ONLY true way to resist corrosion.

Can't dispute this. That's why I don't lose sweat over frou frou magical coatings. My 100+ years old guns with half the bluing gone aren't rusted thanks to the miracle of "gun oil".

Angry Fist
09-28-2012, 13:17
Anyone have a gun with Roguard? The OP did say he wants to keep it black.


http://www.robarguns.com/roguard.htm

MoNsTeR
09-30-2012, 22:35
It's not the PVD process but the chemical/physical characteristics of the coatings themselves that determine corrosion resistance.

PVD process may be the "hip" thing in wristwatches and firearms coating but it's ancient tech in the microprocessor industry. However, it is a lot better technique than salt bath or any sort of bath.



None of these coatings are magical in nature. Get a stainless steel gun if you want true corrosion resistance throughout.

You're partially right, it's not the PVD process that's the issue, it's the fact that it's a coating. Salt bath nitriding chemically transforms the metal at the surface.

You're wrong in that all the PVD processes used on guns are essentially the same. They all deposit some form of Titanium Nitride, usually modified by Aluminum and/or Carbon. Each plater's results differ slightly, but they will all wear, and they will all rust.

fnfalman
10-01-2012, 08:50
You're wrong in that all the PVD processes used on guns are essentially the same. They all deposit some form of Titanium Nitride, usually modified by Aluminum and/or Carbon. Each plater's results differ slightly, but they will all wear, and they will all rust.

The PVD process is the same. The process is just the process. The chemicals that they deliver are different. You can PVD with titanium nitride or you can PVD with gold, silver, lead, whatever.

My graduate thesis was on titanium nitride chemical vapor deposition (a more advanced process than PVD) for integrated circuit application.