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Also check out the new video of what not to do at and 1.5 quarts in action at Gun Blue

Gun Blue Instructions

Instructions, Tips, Hints, and Suggestions

CAUTIONS FIRST: This product contains acids keep off skin. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, and clothing. See cautions on label. Use according to directions. Keep out of reach of children. We recommend you wear vinyl/nitrile gloves to keep off the skin.

PURPOSE OF THIS PRODUCT - Necessary to succeed:

The purpose of this product is to be rugged and not magic, so it needs to react with the steel. So the surface atoms individually need to be available and on top of that reactive (not reacted already) is key, so penetration into the steel surface not powdered on the outside. Failure in any major respect will be failure to get the metal to cooperate with the rugged gun blue mixture. This product is about performance. For shiny end-result, make the metal shiny first.

Always wear gloves to protect the metal from reacting with your fingerprint contamination.

General: Degrease: This is step # 1. No oil or grease. The product in the kit is Alkaline.

Prepare the Metal mechanically is best and not contaminate in its process, oxide or rust. Metal Prep 1 and 2: chemistry for all steel with clear oxide, rust, and metal with mill scale. Mechanical prep by removal is the best e.g. abrasively scrub for all even the most brilliant polished Rockwell hardened steel. If Prep 1 is used where not needed, or incorrect time, the result will be gray and must be wet sanded off. In that case prevents full blue. Metal Prep # 2 is different, but only for brightly polished hardest steel. Metal Prep # 1 is designed as a chemical alternative to create a thicker black coating. Also to black immediately up to 1 hour for the surface to not have lost the prep. Make sure to use a non-phosphorus not-chlorine degreaser ahead of bluing, as if the degreaser or rust converter reacts with the metal after sanding, Metal Prep 1 or 2 when not needed, the resulting color wet will be as bad as light gray, not black.

  • Movies of the bluing including putter available online,

FIRST DEGREASE Oil and Grease Before Working on the metal: If this isn't Alkaline isn't enough, then make sure to degrease with the best petroleum solvents like lacquer thinner, nonchlorinated brake cleaner, clear PVC pipe cleaner, M.E.K., Acetone. Protective chlorinated grease and oil are tough to remove, and may require abrasive pad or sand blasting together with eat-the-oil degreasing. For rust in pits, a shinning stainless steel wheel on a "Dremel" or equivalent tool. You DON'T need to go to bare steel everywhere, no bluing remover needed. Just clean rust and contaminants including reacted polymers, Teflonä, etc, and don't let react longer than necessary. If there imperfections, then proper preparation before and after degreasing will be needed, as will not blue in pits or scratches without sanding them out stainless steel wheel high speed tool as Metal Prep of some sort. Caution: with contaminate that is the steel you will get silver or gray not black. NEVER long soaks in Isopropyl alcohol (it saturates with water.)

BLUING: Note: It will only work on carbon steel, hardened steel, iron, and most alloys, but only if electrically active, not for stainless. See tips. It does not fill in scratches. After your piece of metal is thoroughly degreased and completely clean (Includes cold water overflow rinsing non-completely removed degreasers leaving soap and powder behind), apply Bluing solution (2.5X Concentrate). Best to SOAK or by applying by something not contaminated. Example: brush. (Not  Cotton Swabs, paper towels and cloth will react with bluing. Pour a small amount of the Shooter Solutions' into a separate container to avoid contaminating the bottle. You can add up to 1.5X (60%) distilled water and it will still work. Hint: for using it as a dip do not dilute is more forgiving of contaminant even of metal, for commercial use diluted is "OK". You want to blue the base metal, not on top. See tips below. Dip brush or into the bluing or using spray keep area to be blued wet for 2-5 minutes for results or 10-15 minutes for best penetration. Increase time if diluted: twice as long 1.5X to 1. While  you should see the coating start instantly, up to 10-15 minutes or more on top of the above may be required when bluing through residual contaminate. Do not let it react longer than 30 minutes or so at full strength or the shine will be dulled and the metal will become dull. Grease for example. It will be done within the time it is not able to soak in any more any will start to overreact. With perfect preparation it will get black immediately through the liquid and then set-in over time. Note: moving metal or solution is required also. To do scratches, pits, and indentations, first file away protrusions and using a wire wheel or brush and/or the synthetic steel wool and water clean the inside, also old metal a course wire wheel followed by finer. But if it needs to become smooth, the metal around it must be removed instead. Brilliant wet sanded with water polished metal, bead blast, and sand blasted get the blackest.  Also, If it is not at the same level of shine, it will not work. Because the result looks best like a natural oxide (fine grain), the metal to be blued will not get darker than hot blue, see note. Do not remove existing factory blue or black-oxide on old stuff, since this can naturally match modern ones exactly, if the metal is in the same condition as original blue or black-oxide. Also, you need not be concerned with creating "ghost rings" and rust rings around the area. hint: the gentlest if you make it even more gentle acid-to-finish if you dilute it 1.5X to 1 to raise the pH. For restoration, steel wooling can be done after bluing to remove bluing. It removes bluing and metal though. When your metal is dark enough - note the liquid work combination should have movement if there is any residual metal requiring a longer time - to be strong, then remove the acid with water, an airless bottom-force-fed room-temp cold water pail is ideal for the same amount of time as bluing and then pat dry and immediately either force dry with hot air or safe oven or use a dewatering oil on it to displace the water and immediately prevent rust. If you are not going to clear coat or carnauba wax then Shooter Solutions dewatering oil is an excellent choice. If you want a marbled brown/blue look, like is very popular in construction, then rinse only the heavy acid off, as like 1 minute of rinse, and then shake the excess water off, and let it dry on its own horizontal to a degree of rust, and when it is bright orange enough, as it is not rustproof yet. Any wet-looking product including oil, wax, combination thereof or Clear acrylic will make it look black gun-blue look, exactly as the metal, with no tolerance change. Or just wipe down with a good gun oil or machine oil after the water is dried. Some oils may be incompatible with the finish, like 3-in-1 oil. Flat acrylic may look different from satin. You can finish the bluing with either standard oil for guns and machine shop. For architectural, indoor and outdoor art, golf, indoor


hardware and patio, abrasive if required, hot water or sponge rinse, pat dry, then top after completely dried out (if necessary) with Spray Lacquer. Satin Clear Coat looks like oiled. Also for protecting the blued/blackened/gun metal surface for long-term against the elements. NEITHER HEAT THE BLUING NOR METAL AND

DILUTE 1.5:1 for soft and prepared steel to keep from creating black from breaking down

A thin coat of quality wax or enamel clear coat will protect even from saltwater contact! It is tough enough to stand up to 100º saltwater and even fresh blood. Take a small amount of Automotive paste carnauba wax (a small amount goes a long ways) and buff onto your metal: do not allow automotive carnauba on wood finishes. Allow the wax to haze up and then buff off the haze with a soft cloth for shine. A damp cloth should provide dull for hunting. Checkering and engraving: brush with a toothbrush, since a cloth won't get into the sharp crevices. That's all there is to it. When taking a weapon into the field, apply another light coat to ensure the wax is performing at its peak. MolyFusionä is another product, details after instructions. For bigger items, or items not finished in oil, you can sponge excess bluing with water or steel wool, dry the water off and finish with as above.


User results will vary depending on the metal and if mechanical work is required. Let me explain. Heating the metal up luke warm (as with a hair dryer) will speed up the bluing process with some blues, but it is best to first try to make the metal surface reactive, since uniform color will NOT be possible. Commercial, in that it works the way it is supposed to: If agitation of clear oxide is not done when necessary the result of the job will be gray. If too much time lapses between preparation and bluing - that is, in some environments minutes of time - the result will be gray. Therefore for a production process it should never be used if it is never needed: some metal doesn't like "cold" blue. Parts, even long ones may be dipped as opposed to soaking on. If reusing, run the liquid through a coffee or similar filter to clean it and store in HDPE only, like rinsed Windshield wiper gallons that held the "blue" stuff, never rinsed LDPE water or milk jugs: too thin a plastic.

This bluing reacts to high ferrous (iron) metal only. It will not work on aluminum, powdered metals without the mentioned prep, and any surface that can't rust brown, some alloys without the prep, any electrically inactive metal, contaminated. Muriatic HCl acid and blue remover prep will leave a surface that may need to be course wire wheeled for the bluing to react to the metal to become proper.

Shine shows: Sandblast = dull. Pre-converted = gray; Glass beaded  = satin (Like parkerizing) Smooth = shiny

Ultra polished, achieved by progressive steps from less polished to super--polished = master blue look. Note after sanding it is critical to scrub away all residual metal as making that converted and gluing will NOT BE PART OF THE STEEL.

Do not use "Break Free" or metal polishes over any gun blue. They remove both metal and bluing. Bluing may be buffed with a piece of fine steel wool to brighten (# 0000) if Nec. Better is Synthetic Steel Wool of final finish is a new tip for finer polish and bluing since Synthetic won't react to the bluing. Keep in mind the conversion coating while incredibly strong is incredibly thin.

Also for larger round items: this is what was done for the large Restaurant furniture: getting it on by using a trigger sprayer and keeping it wet, but it does not bead up on non-oily metal. For flat objects, brushing can be considered. - the construction of the brush and short length of bristles not like applying paint being important. (Cut Acid brush for smaller than toothbrush use.) or with gloves, patches may work better than any brush, or (careful for eyes) with a sprayer.

Or for large jobs - again, use cold only, you can mist spray with use of a soft brush for keeping an area wet for 2-5 minutes of the metal prep and 10-15 minutes for the bluing. Extra: If 10-15 minutes is not long enough to be deep enough, depending on concentration go for more time or use hot water pre-rinse to get the metal to room temperature or warm, important to also rotate and move the piece(s) in the bluing like in the Scotty Cameron Putter Video so the bluing is uniform. A soft brush in the blue is handy to remove sanded residue. You will notice moving in the Gun Bluing the Putter video online. Don't attack it immediately like under a faucet: it will become stronger over time. Flowing into the bottom and out over the top of the container water rinses as a commercial process in between and after especially should be the same time to remove the excess acid to prevent acid salts. A separate set of directions will give the dark brown color on top of the bluing technique: as in a "warm marbled very rustic look or hot-rolled steel look." These directions supplement bottle directions but don't take the place of them.  There must be a complete and thorough rinse of water between any reactive degreaser or metal prep and the Bluing: the supplied degreaser, anything  that reacts to acids but not to metal - caution before anything overly reactive to the metal might need to be sanded away  - and nothing oil like lighter fluid or mineral spirits. For rinsing an overflow as you can see illustrated in the putter video for 5-10 minutes not mentioned, (overflowing, as if bottom fed with a clamped garden hose in container of water). One video at Do not contaminate any water-based chemical with any other chemical, even by accident, as in dragging chemistry, even degreaser. Feel free to call.

Dipping Container Ideas: Especially with the 45 degree tip, Very economical long-barrel trays would be a wallpaper tray, and/or using a pair of tin snips and making a plastic rain gutter to length for dipping and rinsing. For shorter barrel  the red drywall mud tray or other plastic containers: Such as like Hardware, Home Centers, Paint/Wallpaper Stores. Don't ever use aluminum or aluminum content (because it's deadly when "gassing").

Dipping Container Non-Brown Related: To avoid the easy-to-get "Warm Brown effect" special, Rinsing the liquid blue off of the metal via immersion bottom-fed rinsing tank to get the contamination removed so it won't be in the oil by accident, and not put on in layers for acid to be underneath, following not letting any acid OR water dry on its own before heat and clear coat or de-watering then oil or wax, then don't do it.

Also Manganese Parkerizing: Not another in a line of "home brew" formulas, does not shrink the parts as a normal rule of operation. Black and rugged. To meet the most modern Spec, a free pre-reacting to the metal product included as a matter-of-course, for old restoration, water is the pre-process.

For Stainless Steel: DIY for both 300 and 400 series Stainless steel but different preps.




   Gun Blue Supplement

Tips, Hints, and Suggestions Including Warm Brown Effect

· WARNING This product is an electrical phosphate conversion coating.



Just imagine if batteries, like all the coating gun blues were so powerful they were designed to (try to) work either work through corrosion or instantaneously. Too much! When installed in a non-corroded terminal, they would blow out the light bulb. Far fetched? Here is my justification: All chemistry takes time. All conversion coating taking minutes rather than seconds will be stronger due to a tighter grain. If there is so much energy, you MUST stay between the lines to keep from turning existing black oxide brown, it is going to be much harder to use than this one that does not require that. Too much acid is not a good thing, as that overpowers the circuit. So not only must the chemistry be correct, but all in the correct proportions for clean electrically active metal. The others mentioned are designed around instant rather than clean, electrically active metal. Instant is not as elegant as designed around non-damaging, any more than an over-voltage battery VS good.

BLACK< & the pH Paper illustration to the metal surface:

The reaction of the surface to the gun blue is like a strip of pH Paper to water. Let me explain. If we sold you pH paper I would not guarantee it will turn a particular color when you put a piece with any Swimming Pool water, even if you think you are adding acid first, for if you do not add enough, or it is not working, the pH paper will just tell the truth like the metal will with respect to color. And throwing the whole roll into the pool or heating up the paper won't help, any more than using up all the bluing when a drop will do. It takes two to tango. It the metal is not reacting the result will not be black - when wet that is. Heating up the bluing will not help. If the metal is not acting like metal it will not blue black. The result will be gray or almost black but not black. This occurs if a perfect job preparing the metal was done in the past: days before the bluing arrives, and has already reacted with the air. Or if an existing oxide was never removed, even if it was polished silver. Clear oxide is still oxide and will not blue. I mean gray or silver when wet or oiled, not when dry. The color of the coating this produces is NEVER black but ALWAYS gray, BUT when wet is BLACK, when it produces a dense gray coating. If only nearly all of the metal has reacted the result will not become black. I guarantee you this rugged gun blue is not magic, but is to create a commercial surface not a consumer surface.


It builds into the metal as opposed to on top, so tolerances are not affected. It can build up as deep into the metal as hot gun bluing can do: it does it via metal acids as opposed to a very high temperature caustic.


AND it is technically a well-refined COPPER-Phosphate-Nitrate Electric Conversion Surface that has wetting agents built-in so air is displaced by the wetting agent. As opposed to Oxide (Rust) of Iron, and therefore more corrosion resistant than black oxide, and has shown to take as many hours to sand off as black oxide.


However, while chemically different than black oxide, because they are both so ridiculously rugged, it is NOT recommended to sand off black-oxide where it is not necessary to sand off, as there is no net gain in ruggedness or color improvement: black and rugged is black and rugged. In other words it is not MORE RUGGED than at least the old factory blues!

It is however, not nearly as strong as to-black Shooter Solutions™' Industrial Manganese Nickel Parkerizing, since the metals in it are insanely better than copper. This, as a true conversion coating also requires the metal to be conductive.

It is also not nearly as strong as Moly-Fusion™ Extreme and Moly-Fusion™ Extreme Black, also nonstick a drawback in many cases, but a Molybdenum to nonstick electrical conversion coating, Molybdenum being much harder than Parkerizing and has been shown over the years to provide bullet rubbing resistance inside the barrel of a firearm and fouling reduction when a gray coating is achieved - but not in the chamber of high power centerfire, as full friction is needed in all power chambers.


  • >Remember to wear glove to protect the metal from your hands, not just your hands from the bluing.
  • >When removing oxide from metal, whether it is sandblasting for bluing (to look like Parkerizing - color-wise) or Parkerizing, or Moly-Fusion™, or fine bead blast for a satin finish for bluing, or 600 grit wet sanded for that look, to keep fingers off and react with the bluing, etc within an hour if possible as metal immediately - what it does - is reacting with oxygen and water vapor immediately: iron is that way.
  • >When viewing videos on the bluing process remember to check out the Scotty Cameron Video too, and the full length version of the video on the gun bluing the Ruger 10/22 barrel as referenced below, as it will include tips on which direction to sand (with the worked grain of the metal) getting all of the rust out of the inside of the pitting - I do this as reducing the thickness of the barrel presents something that is no longer factory, and the robustness of the design to blow up has been reduced.
  • Don't expect a single quart to do the work of a gallon>!> If you dilute it, it will do less metal than full strength. To make a dip last longer do not keep adding dilute, but keep recharging with full concentrate if possible, How long it will last will be determined if the excess metal and grease is cleaned off first. It has only so much active chemistry available to react.

 An interesting effect Extra Separate Use and Direction for warm black/>brown marbled look like black/>brown leather, or orange/black.

  1. Either use full strength for most fool-proof results or mix the Gun Blue 1.5 volume distilled water to 1 volume Blue for a soak. Use it in the sprayer or better yet an airless sprayer like the insecticide variety for quickest results. A much more dilute version might be needed depending on the results desired. Note: Metal Prep generally helps and hinders: helps for hot-rolled (Or you can grind it all off instead), hinders for cold-rolled and others. Therefore mechanical means of removing oxide is the most effective!
  2. Work from quart spray bottles with trigger variable sprayer tops, set at misting for odd shaped items and convenience. Protect eyes though.
  3. Prepare the metal to a sandblast finish just before first spray.
  4. For hot rolled steel spray first with Gun Blue Metal Prep keeping wet with misting spray for 1 minute plus or minus.
  5. Work only an area of surface that can be kept continuously wet like horizontal surfaces.
  6. Rinse with tap water for same amount of time.
  7. Spray the diluted "gun blue" material onto the metal and keep wet for the prescribed time.
  8. Spray water from a hose to eliminate the bulk of the acid, but lightly enough so there is still weak acid in the surface. Let dry on its own until rust is there, and if heated, draw brown up through the blue by patting with vinyl gloved finger to get dried soft brown on the blue. For maximum rust, let it air dry.
  9. Increase the orange content while dry or accelerate its effect by transferring loose rust from a rusted non-oiled metal: water-rinsed to get debris off first, by rubbing loose wet rust off and daubing onto the rust to brown further, let dry, and this will hopefully add 3-dimensional quality so it will present a warm mottled brown through flat clear-coat or lacquer - flat for maximum brown color but to enhance the black. You will note the brown is set in place when dry.
  10.  If insufficient results anywhere, sand to 150 grit or so and go back to step four and repeat.
  11.  If the above cannot produce enough brown contrast, some rust may need to be transferred directly to the thin, wet, lacquer. Also the orange may be less affected in light with completely flat clear coat - or less sheen.
  12.  Make sure the brown is protected enough to not rub off via rubbing action.
  13.  Follow cautions as to eye, skin, clothing protection, since no acid should ever contact eyes and skin, or be breathed in.
  14.  Spray bottles should be kept upright when using, to allow use and keep them from leaking liquid from the spray head.

For this, spray bottles, and sprayers are included, and a sample steel done per the directions above. Metal degreased before blasting. It is in the stage of the second daubing rust onto the metal surface, and times are estimates only based on this sample of hot-rolled steel, but it was sanded and not blasted. Only most of one surface was done, and the rest kept intact to show before sanding to 80 grit sandpaper followed by 150 grit for a while was hot-mill scale. Results will vary, but it should be possible to get great results with great artistry. Return digital pictures to e-mail address at bottom of every page. subject: pictures, of results with feedback/testimonials will be appreciated.

For more help, MSDS, etc. call: 360-988-6583

web:  - This update, 3-12-2012

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