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Blued Gun Wear

Bluing Gun Wear 1911 Dryfire.
MSH is blued.

I took these photos a little while back. You see the wear on the magwell and mainspring housing? That is from just over a week’s worth of dry-fire and manipulation practice.

It’s way more wear now. 

Granted I tend to practice more than the average cat, but I’m not the T-1000 Terminator either. Just a guy. 

My point? This is normal. Traditional bluing is a very weak finish. But back in the day, our options were limited. 

Bluing was dark, inexpensive, easily replaced, but weak. 

Stainless wasn’t proven and could gall.

Nickel wasn’t cheap and would start to flake badly. 

Parkerizing was probably the best professional grade finish. 

Bluing Gun Wear 1911 Dryfire.
Up close view. In the old days, entire guns were finished like this.

So what was the hotness back then? The really, really cool kids were playing (and paying for) something called hard chrome. And it was durable. But you had to be careful. It could really mess with your gun’s tolerances causing fit and function issues. 

And no matter what the marketing said, it could fail. Once you had corrosion penetrate that fancy finish? It was like unstoppable gun cancer requiring major surgery to remove and reapply. Most real world users of firearms didn’t have the money, or firearm down-time, to dick with it. 

Bluing Gun Wear 1911 Dryfire.
Ed Brown 9mm 1911. Executive Target.

Finish options today. Even on cheap guns. Would have been something straight out of Star Wars in the 1980’s. DLC, QPQ, Nitride, titanium, Tennifer, Cerakote’s, Duracots, colors, patterns, images, etc. 

We have it so good today. Hell! Some finishes are self-healing and lubricating! Imagine what that last sentence would sound like to someone in the 1950’s, 60’s, or 70’s?






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