Your opinion of best cold blue product?

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Larry (Omaha)

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I am in the process of making a half stock, underhammer. I have browned several barrels, but never blued a barrel and receiver. Since there are so many products to use, I would appreciate some recommendations on products that your experience proves to be a good one. Please, no opinions on what you have read, or Joe your brother said was good. This post only applies to anyone who has had first hand experience, with cold bluing products.
Thanks
Larry
 

Ajgall

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I’ve used both super blue and oxpho blue. I like oxpho better, but the results are pretty close the key is prep. I like to spray anything I’m going to cold blue with an alcohol based spray like carburetor cleaner and then wipe with a clean cloth as necessary to get the piece super dry, free of oil and clean.
 

SDSmlf

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Have found Brownells Oxpho-Blue to work the best, but only use on small parts or screw heads. Like other cold blue products, it wears relatively fast, and would only use on barrel or receiver if I was looking for that well worn look. Much prefer rust bluing, but that’s not what you inquired about.
 

rchas

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Oxpho-Blue used according to directions has worked better for me than Super-Blue. Great for small parts and touch up. I too would question using it on a barrel but I guess it depends on what you are hoping for. It will eventually wear off to a grey finish.
 

rich pierce

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Mike Lee Express Blue is not a cold blue but is easy to apply. I really like it. Apply to a very warm barrel - 150 degrees or over but not sizzling. Then boil in water briefly. Card with a fine wire wheel. It’s fabulous.
 

vintovka

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I went to oxpho after seriously disappointing results with Birchwood Casey. Was taught how to heat blue small parts with a propane torch and his "special" oil quench, Latter depends on the steel quality and skill.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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Have found Brownells Oxpho-Blue to work the best, but only use on small parts or screw heads. Like other cold blue products, it wears relatively fast, and would only use on barrel or receiver if I was looking for that well worn look. Much prefer rust bluing, but that’s not what you inquired about.
You turned my head with rust bluing! Would you expound on that please?
 

Larry (Omaha)

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Mike Lee Express Blue is not a cold blue but is easy to apply. I really like it. Apply to a very warm barrel - 150 degrees or over but not sizzling. Then boil in water briefly. Card with a fine wire wheel. It’s fabulous.
Rich,
How is it for durability?
 

martin9

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I do rust bluing with LMF browning solution. I just let them rust up good then boil the barrel and parts. The result is a tough black textured finish. Very durable.. There are other options but I've not tried them I've seen a rust blue finish that was not rough but shiny and very pretty. It was finished with a soft wire wheel from brownells after the boiling. Prepped to a high polish also.

I don't actually boil the barrel as I don't have a pot that big:>). I just boil two pots of water and scald the barrel. Looks the same as the smaller parts I actually did boil
 

BV

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Mike Lee Express Blue is not a cold blue but is easy to apply. I really like it. Apply to a very warm barrel - 150 degrees or over but not sizzling. Then boil in water briefly. Card with a fine wire wheel. It’s fabulous.
I used this on the barrel of the first rifle I built and had great results. Even with no real idea of what I was doing.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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I used this on the barrel of the first rifle I built and had great results. Even with no real idea of what I was doing.
Wow oh wow! That is the one for me! Most of the time I have no idea what I am doing 😂
 

SDSmlf

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You turned my head with rust bluing! Would you expound on that please?
As others have mentioned, LMF browning solution is a good opinion. Doesn’t take much ‘equipment’. A piece of PVC with a way to hang a barrel or whatever you are rust bluing, and a steam source. Provides a much tougher finish than any cold blue I have tried, although the Mike Lee Express Blue that @rich pierce mentioned with the heating of the metal to 200°F, along with boiling it in water, should get you a tougher finish than regular cold blue. And for what it is worth, Rich is usually spot on with his recommendations.
 
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I HAVE NEVER BEEN SATISIFIED WITH ANY 'COLD BLUE PRODUCT'...
However, I have recently tried a "warm process blue product".

BLUE WONDER requires some heat to work.
Boiling and carding are NOT a part of the process....
It is vaguely similar to "Titanium Nitride" in the fact that heat and chemicals are involved.
BLUE WONDER is fairly easy to do.... looks good, when properly done,
and actually works well.
Blue Wonder might even give color and improved protection to some Stainless Steels.

The key to a consistent and NOT blotchy finished result is SURFACE PREPARATION.... and consistent heating and application.
 

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