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Stainless Steel?
Parkerizing?
Any Others...

Which are the most durable finishes/materials and which are best suited for use in Extreme Climates? Pros/Cons of each? Care of each?

What do you Alaskan boys recommend?

The way I look at it, a firearm is an investment and one that you'd possibly like to keep in the family for generations.
 

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Finishes!

My .35 Whelen is blued and after 4 years here has only some slight rust. I oil it well before I leave on trips and wipe it down well on return. My 870 has a non-reflective finish and I have to watch that constantly. My stainless AMT 22 does Ok except the sights are blued, they rust.

My next firearm will be stainless!!!! I have not used any other coatings so I can not comment on them.

A trick that I heard of was to remove the gun form the stock and spray the metal parts with laquer. re-assemble and hunt. At the end of the season, use a little nail polish remover or thinner and remove the laquer. Seems to work and is easier than constantly cleaning the rifles.

There are people up here that claim all sorts of their finishes work. One friend had his done by an Alaskan gunsmith and the firearm had to be stripped and completely re-blued.
 

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stainless is great

I'm slold on stainless though there are a number of good finishes out there. If you are around saltwater a lot I'd especially recommend stainless and composite stocks.
 

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I just can't stand the looks of the stainless synthetic rifles. All of mine are blued steel and walnut. To make this combo work, it takes a little extra attention, but none of my guns have any rust and none change the POI. It's important the rifles have the stocks properly bedded and the wood must be sealed so that it doesn't expand or contract in the changing conditions. I've used my rifles in the sheep mountains, down to the moose bogs, to the caribou hills, to islands in the Sound - week after week and never had any problems.

Funny, as much hunting as Bob Hagel did up here, Jack O'Connor and their like, none of them used stainless or parkerized guns and they all seemed to use their rifles forever and another day.

Take care of a blued steel and walnut stocked rifle and it'll last many lifetimes.

Just my opinion,
YJ
 

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finishes

I took my teflon coated rifle to Alaska not a problem with rust. just my 2c
 

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My blued rifles always worked fine, but thats because I always took the rust off with Steel Wool. Sooner or later they rust up. Didn't have a problem when it was cold, but when it was raining for 7 days straight, that caused some problems. Now I'm using a Winchester SS Classic in 338. I've ordered a new custom laminate stock for it. Only 5 layers of laminated wood, should be pretty nice. Went with Bastonge Walnut. I don't like the synthetic stocks. Just don't feel right.
 

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When I was up there Kayaking I carried a Ruger all weather in .338 straped on the deck it was always wet, no problems.Lp.
 

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Stainless/synthetic here on Kodiak...

...is really the only "safe" way to go. We get sooo much rain (nice salt rain, courtesy of the ocean!) each year, that having a non-stainless rifle is ridiculous, in my opinion. I prefer synthetic, but a nice laminated wood stock works well, too.
 

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Kayaking with the .338 with Leadpot paddling

Hey Leadpot! Where do you kayak with the rifle and are you doing it to hunt? Sounds like a real silent way to cruise the shore line for bears.

Just wondering if you have something different going on.
 

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Almost three decades on a Remington 660-350 mag and two on my 8mm Rem. mag. both blued and I have kayaked south east and Kodiak with both as well, lots of wd-40 and hoppes they both still look 85-90%.
 

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WD-40

Regular cleaning and maintenance will keep corrosion at bay, no matter the finish, but can become real work. Stainless is easier to maintain, but still requires attention. Wax works well and is longer lasting than oil, especially for blued finishes. I've parkerized several rifles, then sprayed a polymer finish on top of that. Works great, even after a solid week of being drenched at the Hinchenbrook proving grounds. GunKote is one of the better protective finishes available today. Affordable and tough. Easy to apply too.

:( Don't drench your weapon in, nor spray your cartridges with, WD40 (or any other lubricant for that matter) and you won't have a problem with dead primers.

Semper Fi
 

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Rocky's right on

I agree with Rocky. A lot of folks don't like stainless but it sure beats blueing on the maintenance end. Blued's fine but you really have to work at it to keep from rusting. I was on a hunt from **** on Montague Island in PW Sound in 2000. Tent hunting in Genie Cove. Had bears in the camp 2 nights, 1 night one of the bears ripped our tent vestibule and chewed on my waders. I yelled and they ran away. We also had 35-55 knot winds, rained for 5 days straight (with the wind), couldn't hunt for the majority of the hunt. Had a Browning BLR 358 Winchester blued. I wiped that thing down every night with a silicone cloth and WD40 and a barrel snake, still got some surface rust on the receiver. Stainless would have been a lot better on that hunt. Also consider hard chroming with Checkmate Inc in Florida. I hear teflon finishes aren't as durable and wear off after a few years of hard use. Stainless or hard chroming works great for maintenance.
 
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