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Posted: 1/16/2006 8:21:58 PM EDT
My Kimber is almost 10 years old. Great pistol, but it's showing its age. I need to have it refinished. Anyone have any knowledge about this? Where's the best place and the best finish to get done? Some people have said "Robar" and it's NP3 finish, anyone know of that? Thanks! Also, what's people's opinions of color? Two-tone, one tone? Green, Black, etc.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 7:24:34 AM EDT
bump for the day crew
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 7:48:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2006 7:51:52 AM EDT by ken_mays]
There are a good number of finishes available. They are listed below in approximate order of abrasion / corrosion resistance and price.

Conversion:

Bluing
Parkerizing

Coa­ting:

Roguard
Black-T
Gunkote
Norrell moly resin / Armor-tuff

Plating

Nickel
NP3
Hard chrome

These are the most common aftermarket finishes. Which one to recommend really depends on your taste, budget, and the intended purpose of the pistol.

Personally I find bluing to be the most attractive on pistols, and it's also one of the least expensive finishes to apply and re-apply. Much the same can be said of Parkerizing.

Coatings work well if the gun will be exposed to the elements on a regular basis. They will show wear over time, however, and the coating must be blasted off and recoated to refinish.

Nickel and NP3 (a form of nickel) plating hold up better, but they will eventually show wear too. Hard chrome plating is about the ultimate finish for wear and corrosion resistance. It tends to be the most expensive as well, but it is nearly impervious to holster wear that will eventually mar all other finishes.

There are other finishes out there -- boron carbide, titanium nitride, etc. -- but they are not really widely available.

Regarding color: my personal thoughts are that the OD/black "CQB wannabe" color scheme is currently overdone. I am also not overly fond of two-tone guns, though I have seen some nicely done. A common thing to do on a fancier grade of gun is to blue the slide and chrome the frame. Ultimately the color choice is entirely up to you, since you are spending the money and you will have to live with it.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 10:58:05 AM EDT
I just refinished my Warrior and my old Clackmas Kimbers with manganese phosphate. The oly problems I found were surprise stainless parts. The warrior had a stainless mainspring housing, thumb safe, plunger tube ane ejector. The Clackmas had a stainless slide stop and thumb safe but these were warranty replacements due to failures of the early design. I would bet the originals are steel.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 1:04:18 PM EDT
My favorite: Master blued (high polish) slide with harchromed frame with polished flats.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 1:07:34 PM EDT
Hard chrome (preferably matte) would be my choice for durability.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 5:36:05 PM EDT
If I were in your shoes, I'd send it off to Tripp Research for a hard chrome treatment. Hard chrome is very durable and also attractive in my opinion.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 6:14:30 PM EDT
Black-T for a working gun. Though hardchrome is durable, it is not corrosion resistant. NP3 is slippery. I'll stick to Black-T, thank you.

damian@adcofirearms.com
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 1:01:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 1:09:31 AM EDT by MEH92]
I recently had my Premier-II hard chromed by Virgil Tripp. His prices are excellent, his crastsmanship is top-notch, and his turn-around time is outstanding. If you don't mind a "silver" colored gun (brushed or bead blasted... looks just like stainless steel) then look no further than Tripp. His shops also does the complete gambit of 1911 pistolsmithing and has an excellent reputation.

trippresearch.com
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