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I've used those cold bluing kits for years. They are OK - but don't give as durable of a blue finish as a hot bluing. I've always found the cold blue finish shallow - no matter how I've applied it. They are fine for a knock about firearm, but if you have a firearm that you want to preserve for a lifetime - have it hot blued by a good gunsmith.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've used those cold bluing kits for years. They are OK - but don't give as durable of a blue finish as a hot bluing. I've always found the cold blue finish shallow - no matter how I've applied it. They are fine for a knock about firearm, but if you have a firearm that you want to preserve for a lifetime - have it hot blued by a good gunsmith.
Ty
 

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Has anyone used the Birchwood Casey cold blueing kits.
I'm interested in trying this product was wondering if it was a good product to use
Ty
What is the gun you are going to do?.
Cold blue is for touch ups only it will not last and unless you have done many guns you will end up with a uneven and blotchy finish.
To have your gun done right (If the gun is worth it) have it hot blued the cost starts around $175.00 and is worth it.
 

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I was trying to redo my ph 30-06 which is more sentimental then anything. How blotchy are we talking?
Then it is worth the $175.00 to have it done right. Cold blue will not last and will rub off and if you have never done it then real blotchy and uneven.
Cold blue only reacts to the surface it does not get into the metal hot blue is done at 295 degrees and gets into the steel it is not just a surface color like cold blue.
Remember the prepping of the steel is the most important part of doing and restoring.
 

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I have similar way at looking at cold blue. It’s for guns no worth base price of hot blue. But one should consider does their gun really need refinished? Yea, you can make it look new with hot blue and stock refinish. I have several expensive guns that don’t look new but they aren’t pitted or rusty and have sound wood. Refinishing them would detract from their value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Then it is worth the $175.00 to have it done right. Cold blue will not last and will rub off and if you have never done it then real blotchy and uneven.
Cold blue only reacts to the surface it does not get into the metal hot blue is done at 295 degrees and gets into the steel it is not just a surface color like cold blue.
Remember the prepping of the steel is the most important part of doing and restoring.
Ty
You are correct it's should be hot blued.
 

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As previously mentioned cold blue is in no way as durable or long lasting as a quality hot blue job however, with a little additional prep work such as a VERY GOOD sanding of the metal to a very fine, even texture, cleaning and degreasing of the metal and heating the part up evenly in a dry heated manner cold blue can be made to look very nice - and dang near that of an 'average' hot blue job.

I have done it several times with various gun parts and a couple kit muzzleloader barrels.
 

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Like Mistered said , with time and a lot of effort cold blue can do a very good job . The key is a heat gun , tons of progressively finer sandpaper and steel wool and a whole lot of patience. Dont forget the degreaser . Surprisingly enough good old alcohol works well . I have several that I have done that loos almost factory .
 

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Like Mistered said , with time and a lot of effort cold blue can do a very good job . The key is a heat gun , tons of progressively finer sandpaper and steel wool and a whole lot of patience. Dont forget the degreaser . Surprisingly enough good old alcohol works well . I have several that I have done that loos almost factory .
Everybody has a "secret recipe" for making cold bluing look fantastic-and I'm sure they actually think it does.
But-anyone reasonably familiar with firearms finishes can spot (and smell!) it from across the room.
Even if the finish actually looked good, it doesn't wear well at all, and it provides absolutely no rust protection. More damage has been done with cold blue than repairs.
 

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Thats why I try to keep my prices as low as I can so it is almost affordable for all to get it done.
We appreciate that!

Stinks and looks terrible. I'd rather have rust.
I did a hot rust finish on a Hawken rifle kit once. It turned out beautiful, especially after soaking up some good oil. I've also got all I need to do a Parkerized finish, and color case hardening. I just haven't got around to actually doing either! Heck, I've got a heat treatment oven (automatic, programmable) on the porch that has never been plugged in for lack of any 240V outlets here. Must get around to that one of these days...
 

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Stinks and looks terrible. I'd rather have rust.
Actually, rust if done correctly, makes a good long lasting finish. Gun makers used slow rust blueing for centuries before hot blueing was invented.
 

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Cold blue is like kissing your cousin. Better than no kiss at all, but not much. Proper metal prep and degreasing will help, but it is a far different result from a good hot blue, a hot water blue or a rust blue. Later today I am taking a J frame S&W to my local smith. Needs a polish and blue- just age, handling and wear. He does a very decent polish and hot blue for a reasonable price. Birchwood Casey makes a decent cold blue- for touch ups. Have also used Blue Wonder and Vann's 44-40. Still kissing that cousin.

Several years ago I acquired a Colt 1903 with NO bluing on one side- owner had kept it in his desk drawer- and it slid every time he opened/ closed drawer. Just to see if I could, detail stripped, polished it ending with white rouge. made up my own bluing salts from lab grade ammonium nitrate and sodium hydroxide, degreased with 1,1,1 trichlor, blued- and got that deep BLACK that Colt once had as their bluing. I don't want to think the time I put in being careful to not round over edges, wallow out screw holes or damage lettering- and I do not want to do another- but it was MARVELOUS.
 
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