Using Sand Blasting To Refinish And Parkerize Your Firearms

Posted on: 28 October 2016

Whether you collect antiques or simply like to keep your firearms in mint condition, there are few ways to get a spotless finish and years of protection like Parkerization. This process exposes the gun to phosphoric acid and other chemicals to create a strong, corrosion-resistant chemical coating. But before a gun can be Parkerized, it must first be stripped and the metal surfaces exposed. Perhaps the fastest and most effective way to accomplish this prep-work is through sand blasting with fine media.

Choosing the Right Media

Before you make plans to sand blast your gun, you should be aware of your options in media and the best choices for your firearm. Coarser media can lead to pock-marks and blur any inscriptions in the metal, which is why many gun owners choose glass beads or a similarly fine material to work with. These tiny beads still leave enough grip for a new finish to adhere to, without being noticeable to the naked eye. Talk to your sand blasting company about the finish you're looking for to get their recommendations and learn what suitable media they have on hand.

Breaking Down the Gun

Sand blasting is only intended for whole pieces of metal, so your gun must be broken down beforehand. In all likelihood, you will be able to accomplish this on your own if you have cleaned or worked with your firearms in the past. All moving and non-metallic parts must be stripped and stored safely, though larger metal pieces like the slide are often eligible for blasting themselves. 

Putting in the Final Touches

Once your gun is ready, it will be placed in a blasting chamber and pelted with tiny media until the surface is worn to a bright new finish. After this, you should inspect the gun for any minor blemishes or scuffs left behind by the sandblasting process. These can usually be buffed out with fine sandpaper and a razor blade, though you should leave this work to professionals if you aren't confident in your precision or expertise.

Parkerizing Your Firearm

Sand blasting removes the grime and rust that can interfere with the Parkerization process, meaning your gun should be ready for treatment as soon as it leaves the blasting chamber. By combining your new finish with a long-lasting chemical seal and maintaining them periodically, you can ensure that your firearm will stand up to decades of use without suffering the indignities of rust or stubborn grease stains. Schedule a session with your local sand blasting service to start renovating your guns to last. 

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