AR15.Com Archives
 Cerakote vs. IonBond vs. Melonite vs. Park
Trumpet  [Team Member]
1/24/2011 8:20:54 PM
Alright,
I also posted this in rimfires, but there's more traffic here...So I'm formulating my next .22 in my head. If I go the "Ruger-route" (probably a 5.5" stainless 22/45RP) I was going to get it threaded, get Volq internals, and lose the LCI. I was then thinking of a refinish. How do the various "black" finishes stack up? I know about Melonite and IonBond (and of course, parkerizing), but I know very little about Cerakote. When doing a not-too-in-depth interweb search I found that CeraKote doesn't really cost much less than IonBond or Melonite. What do you all recommend?
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X02Wyvern  [Member]
1/24/2011 8:54:12 PM
don't know about the others, but melonite and stainless arn't the best of friends.
WIZZO_ARAKM14  [Team Member]
1/24/2011 9:07:24 PM
I haven't been real impressed with the Melonite job Coal Creek did to my 1911. Kydex rubbed some of it down to steel in 3 days.
America-first  [Team Member]
1/25/2011 8:07:01 AM
This full size M&P .40 has been carried in a horsehide Super Tuck virtually every day for the past 3 years in the Florida heat.

The M&P 9c; less than 10% as much.



Melonite finish on stainless steel; neither pistol looks like it's been carried.

I've been wiping all of my guns down with G-96 Gun Treatment Spray for over 40 years, they are all rust free and their finishes have held up extremely well.

Smith and Wesson had an early batch of M&P pistols whose Melonite finish was poorly done and they rusted easily ( there might have been a problem with the stainless steel in that production run as well).

But if done correctly on good metal, I believe that Melonite is a fine finish.

WIZZO_ARAKM14  [Team Member]
1/25/2011 9:47:36 AM
Originally Posted By America-first:
Smith and Wesson had an early batch of M&P pistols whose Melonite finish was poorly done and they rusted easily ( there might have been a problem with the stainless steel in that production run as well).

But if done correctly on good metal, I believe that Melonite is a fine finish.



From what I've read and been told, Meloniting brings some of the carbon in the steel to the outer surface of the metal. With Stainless, it's more sensitive than regular steel to this, and the Melonite can actually cause the Stainless to rust (when it wouldn't have if left without a finish).

That's why M&P's rusted bad when Smith had a run of bad finishes. You don't ever hear of Glocks having bad rust problems like that because they use a carbon steel slide instead (since the finish is the same).

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Gregory_K  [Team Member]
1/25/2011 10:16:06 AM
Just because the finsh is the same, does not equal the same quailty of finish.
BB  [Member]
1/25/2011 3:53:17 PM
Melonite doesn't blacken the metal, its a hardening process. The black is something else; usually black oxide/phosphate.
Spook410  [Member]
1/25/2011 4:16:17 PM
Melonite is Tenifer and is what you see on many S&W's and Glocks. It's a metal treatment so it's actually embeds to some depth in the metal. Tough stuff if done right. S&W had early problems with finish on M&P's that got worked out. Costs about $200 from Coal Creek Armory (they call it Isonite). You typically can't do small parts because there is quite a bit of heat involved.

IonBond is the company. DLC is their coating. Very thin and very hard. Looks nice too (re: BHP below). Once you get through the coating by dropping or scratching, there is no additional protection to the base metal. I have seen folks say getting through the coating isn't all that tough but that hasn't been my experience. It's a diamond hard coating made to resist abrasion like in and out of a holster and moving part to moving part. They use it on machine tools. You can do small parts. Costs about $300 through Springer gunsmithing (not sure the full name) or through your gunsmith to Springer.

CeraKote is a ceramic coating. Most people seem to consider this the best of this type. Not as tough as the other two but works pretty well and costs (I think) about $150 if you have someone who knows what they are doing apply it. Looks nice (re: 2009 Dan Wesson Valor) and protects the gun pretty well until you get through the finish. Of course, you could do this twice for the price of IonBond DLC.

IonBond DLC (note: this is a color photo)


CeraKote:

Coy_Greer  [Team Member]
1/25/2011 7:02:43 PM
I have a Sig 239 done in Matte Black Cerakote, and for a Spray and Bake finish, it is the toughest I have seen. I don't baby this gun, its get slammed in and out of kydex 150 Times weekly at least, plus bumping into shit, rubbing against stuff etc. The finish has only burninshed a little, but is still very much there and working. No chips, no peels. For a cost vs benefit finish on a working gun, I think a correctly applied cerakote finish is the way to go. ETA: Our very own member here, Atwell Tactical, will hook you right on up if you decide on Cerakote. Andrew is one of the good guys, I highly recommend him.
Cozmacozmy  [Team Member]
1/26/2011 4:36:04 PM

Originally Posted By Spook410:
Melonite is Tenifer and is what you see on many S&W's and Glocks. It's a metal treatment so it's actually embeds to some depth in the metal. Tough stuff if done right. S&W had early problems with finish on M&P's that got worked out. Costs about $200 from Coal Creek Armory (they call it Isonite). You typically can't do small parts because there is quite a bit of heat involved.

IonBond is the company. DLC is their coating. Very thin and very hard. Looks nice too (re: BHP below). Once you get through the coating by dropping or scratching, there is no additional protection to the base metal. I have seen folks say getting through the coating isn't all that tough but that hasn't been my experience. It's a diamond hard coating made to resist abrasion like in and out of a holster and moving part to moving part. They use it on machine tools. You can do small parts. Costs about $300 through Springer gunsmithing (not sure the full name) or through your gunsmith to Springer.

CeraKote is a ceramic coating. Most people seem to consider this the best of this type. Not as tough as the other two but works pretty well and costs (I think) about $150 if you have someone who knows what they are doing apply it. Looks nice (re: 2009 Dan Wesson Valor) and protects the gun pretty well until you get through the finish. Of course, you could do this twice for the price of IonBond DLC.

IonBond DLC (note: this is a color photo)
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Bl5moDtqPQM/S29PqhFfYjI/AAAAAAAAAyM/0xwbVJDUT0o/s640/IMGP0812.JPG

CeraKote:
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Bl5moDtqPQM/S3iNXFsJ3iI/AAAAAAAAA0s/wUMrcPGpMhc/s640/IMGP0909.JPG

Spook410,
Do you have more pics of the CeraKote coated one? What color is that also?

Blitz_308  [Team Member]
1/26/2011 11:03:32 PM
Originally Posted By Cozmacozmy:

Originally Posted By Spook410:
Melonite is Tenifer and is what you see on many S&W's and Glocks. It's a metal treatment so it's actually embeds to some depth in the metal. Tough stuff if done right. S&W had early problems with finish on M&P's that got worked out. Costs about $200 from Coal Creek Armory (they call it Isonite). You typically can't do small parts because there is quite a bit of heat involved.

IonBond is the company. DLC is their coating. Very thin and very hard. Looks nice too (re: BHP below). Once you get through the coating by dropping or scratching, there is no additional protection to the base metal. I have seen folks say getting through the coating isn't all that tough but that hasn't been my experience. It's a diamond hard coating made to resist abrasion like in and out of a holster and moving part to moving part. They use it on machine tools. You can do small parts. Costs about $300 through Springer gunsmithing (not sure the full name) or through your gunsmith to Springer.

CeraKote is a ceramic coating. Most people seem to consider this the best of this type. Not as tough as the other two but works pretty well and costs (I think) about $150 if you have someone who knows what they are doing apply it. Looks nice (re: 2009 Dan Wesson Valor) and protects the gun pretty well until you get through the finish. Of course, you could do this twice for the price of IonBond DLC.

IonBond DLC (note: this is a color photo)
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Bl5moDtqPQM/S29PqhFfYjI/AAAAAAAAAyM/0xwbVJDUT0o/s640/IMGP0812.JPG

CeraKote:
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Bl5moDtqPQM/S3iNXFsJ3iI/AAAAAAAAA0s/wUMrcPGpMhc/s640/IMGP0909.JPG

Spook410,
Do you have more pics of the CeraKote coated one? What color is that also?



The CeraKote coated one is the '09 DW Valor and the color is black.

The Cerakote on my 09' DW Valor already has holster wear areas that have worn through the finish after roughly a year of carry in a leather holster. I don't mind the look so much since it is a tool and is stainless under the coat but may eventually have it redone with one of the metal treatment options.

It seems like there are better options out there right now than Cerakote. Just depends on how much you want to spend. FWIW, DW dropped that coating for the 2010 Valors and VBobs in favor of their more durable Duty Treatment. I've also heard great things about Black-T, HardHat treatment from Dave Severns and Black Nitride.
Cozmacozmy  [Team Member]
1/27/2011 2:10:06 AM
Seems to be so many different reviews on the different coatings. I had my hopes up for CeraKote. One has worn through in a year, and others are reporting no wear at all... Is it possible that the problems are with who and how good it's applied.
I'm sure brand X auto paint would look a lot better if Chip Foose sprayed it then I did and last longer...
Cozmacozmy  [Team Member]
1/27/2011 2:16:24 AM
Blitz_308, can you show a pic of the wear on your DW?

Those Valor's look great!
Blitz_308  [Team Member]
1/27/2011 9:57:11 AM
Originally Posted By Cozmacozmy:
Blitz_308, can you show a pic of the wear on your DW?

Those Valor's look great!


Sorry for the crappy pics. I just snapped some here at my desk at work with my phone.

The wear isn't horrible but if CeraKote is just a coating and doesn't actually treat the metal I would think that corrosion protection might be an issue unless you've got SS underneath like the Valor does.





Trumpet  [Team Member]
1/27/2011 10:28:19 AM
Originally Posted By Blitz_308:
Originally Posted By Cozmacozmy:

Originally Posted By Spook410:
Melonite is Tenifer and is what you see on many S&W's and Glocks. It's a metal treatment so it's actually embeds to some depth in the metal. Tough stuff if done right. S&W had early problems with finish on M&P's that got worked out. Costs about $200 from Coal Creek Armory (they call it Isonite). You typically can't do small parts because there is quite a bit of heat involved.

IonBond is the company. DLC is their coating. Very thin and very hard. Looks nice too (re: BHP below). Once you get through the coating by dropping or scratching, there is no additional protection to the base metal. I have seen folks say getting through the coating isn't all that tough but that hasn't been my experience. It's a diamond hard coating made to resist abrasion like in and out of a holster and moving part to moving part. They use it on machine tools. You can do small parts. Costs about $300 through Springer gunsmithing (not sure the full name) or through your gunsmith to Springer.

CeraKote is a ceramic coating. Most people seem to consider this the best of this type. Not as tough as the other two but works pretty well and costs (I think) about $150 if you have someone who knows what they are doing apply it. Looks nice (re: 2009 Dan Wesson Valor) and protects the gun pretty well until you get through the finish. Of course, you could do this twice for the price of IonBond DLC.

IonBond DLC (note: this is a color photo)
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Bl5moDtqPQM/S29PqhFfYjI/AAAAAAAAAyM/0xwbVJDUT0o/s640/IMGP0812.JPG

CeraKote:
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Bl5moDtqPQM/S3iNXFsJ3iI/AAAAAAAAA0s/wUMrcPGpMhc/s640/IMGP0909.JPG

Spook410,
Do you have more pics of the CeraKote coated one? What color is that also?



The CeraKote coated one is the '09 DW Valor and the color is black.

The Cerakote on my 09' DW Valor already has holster wear areas that have worn through the finish after roughly a year of carry in a leather holster. I don't mind the look so much since it is a tool and is stainless under the coat but may eventually have it redone with one of the metal treatment options.

It seems like there are better options out there right now than Cerakote. Just depends on how much you want to spend. FWIW, DW dropped that coating for the 2010 Valors and VBobs in favor of their more durable Duty Treatment. I've also heard great things about Black-T, HardHat treatment from Dave Severns and Black Nitride.


Interesting. Considering that Cerakote doesn't cost that much less than the others, that might just rule it out.

Cozmacozmy  [Team Member]
1/27/2011 12:06:30 PM

Originally Posted By Blitz_308:
Originally Posted By Cozmacozmy:
Blitz_308, can you show a pic of the wear on your DW?

Those Valor's look great!


Sorry for the crappy pics. I just snapped some here at my desk at work with my phone.

The wear isn't horrible but if CeraKote is just a coating and doesn't actually treat the metal I would think that corrosion protection might be an issue unless you've got SS underneath like the Valor does.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v602/nascar3n8fan/IMG_0248.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v602/nascar3n8fan/IMG_0249.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v602/nascar3n8fan/IMG_0250.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v602/nascar3n8fan/IMG_0251.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v602/nascar3n8fan/IMG_0252.jpg

Thanks Blitz_308, after seeing the acid tests I had my mind set on CeraKote, looks like I have to keep looking.


Spook410  [Member]
1/27/2011 1:57:47 PM
Actually, the wear on the CeraKote doesn't look all that bad. I would think it would be several years before you would need to take any action on it.

The $150 for CeraKote from a proper smith was based on the only price list I could find for this. I would check prices independently and not use that as a guide since it was only a single data point. Of course if you figure materials cost $40, a couple of hours of labor to do the job doesn't seem unreasonable.

The Melonite and IonBond DLC prices are more reliable.
army_eod  [Team Member]
1/27/2011 7:29:51 PM
for what it's worth, here is my STAINLESS Colt with Coal Creek melonite...but I don't carry it or holster it..



KimberTLE45  [Team Member]
1/28/2011 8:43:19 AM
My TRP had (Sold it) ionbond on it whch I found to be incredibly hard a difficult to wear/scratch.
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