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I have a used 1911 made in all stainless, but it has a two-tone look to it, with a blackened slide, along with several other parts on the pistol.

I'd like to know how this blackening is done. I cannot find any method that can be used on stainless in the Brownells catalog.

The reason for this is: my slide has both "matte" and "polished" areas on it, and not in a pleasing way. For example, on the left slide flat, the front 2/3 is a matte texture, with part of the rear area of the slide serrations and back is polished. The top of the slide has matte from the front up to the ejection port, then the entire rear of the top is polished. I'd like to know if this can be made all even - either all matte, or all polished - and without damaging the factory finish (ie: burning through it). I'd just like to be able to improve the cosmetics of the pistol - but without spending $300+ to do it.

My slide also has numerous small scratches on the left side, on the flat, right in the middle. I do not believe that the scratches go all the way through the "coating" or finish, and I like to know if these can be polished out some way.

If the factory finish cannot be saved, can anyone tell me how it was done in the first place? Can it be done again? What are viable alternatives that won't change the dimensions of the slide and other parts? I'd prefer to be able to do this myself if possible (I am experienced working on firearms, and with metal and wood, but I would not presume to call myself a "gunsmith"). I can, and have, refinished carbon steel and aluminum alloy firearms in the past, but I've not done stainless blackening yet.

Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.
 

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It can be done. I have heard it called "black oxide" and know that Kimber uses a similar process but I have no idea if any small shops do it. I'd suggest Accurate Plating & Weapony as a possibility.
 

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Brownell's sells a stainless "bluing" compuond called Oxynate #84. I've seen where one or two custom 'smiths offer the treatment (about $250 US) for a long gun. I think more if you want a polished finish. I have no information as to how durable a finish it is, though.

There are a few varieties of titanium nitride finishes that can be applied. They come in different colors, depending on which one. Titanium Aluminum Nitride (TiAlN) is charcoal gray, and Titanium Carbon Nitride (TiCN) comes out black. These coatings don't add significantly to the dimensions of coated parts, and they are reported to slick things up very nicely--eliminating the tendecy of stainless-on-stainless contact to cause galling. Great wear properties but no significant rust resistance (not so much of an issue with stainless guns, anyway). I haven't been able to locate anyone who does it on firearms. It's rumored to be an expensive proposition (requires a vacuum chamber for the chemical vapor deposition), which may be why it's only normally done on tactical knives, drill bits, dental tools, and such-like.

I really hate the look of stainless guns and I'd be interested if anyone has info on the TiN coatings for firearms.
 

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Robar still offers this service for stainless steel firearms. (Note: This is not one of their spray and bake finishes.)
 
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