Case Hardening Guns

case hardening guns

A steel heat treatment service such as case hardening can help you authentically restore a firearm, uniquely color action parts or improve and upgrade gun components.

The dynamic process of case hardening guns offers several benefits and can be used to create truly unique firearms. Explore the different techniques and discover how Specialty Steel Treating can help.

What Is Case Hardening?

In the past, gun components were made of low-grade or low-carbon steel. These components didn’t have the durable surface and weather protection needed for quality guns. Case hardening solved this issue.

Case hardened steel adds carbon just to the surface of the workpiece. This creates a thin layer of metal that is protected from surface wear, while the rest of the piece doesn’t suffer from the brittleness of the surface layer.

The end result isn’t visible, but dramatically alters the basic properties of the steel. Unlike creating a new alloy, which affects the entirety of the steel, case hardening creates an exterior layer that has different properties than the rest of the workpiece.

Why Use This Process for Guns?

Action pieces for firearms need to have a unique blend of features. First, they need to stay firm and avoid surface wear as they move quickly and rub against each other. Next, they need to withstand extreme shock and impact. Finally, they need to be malleable enough to not fracture while in use.

Case hardening offers all of these features. Now that modern steel heat treatment processes allow for steel to have uniform amounts of carbon, not all firearms require this service. However, any manufacturers still choose this option to keep the inner metal soft and malleable while just the surface is hardened. It’s also a popular option for firearm restoration, since this process was used for firearms throughout the 1700s and 1800s.

Whether you’re looking for a reliable firearm or a historically accurate recreation, consider using case hardening for your guns or your firearm manufacturing services. A quality steel treating company can provide your firearm manufacturing company with the streamlined, precise services you need that you may not be able to handle in house.

What Is Color Case Hardening?

Color case hardening uses similar techniques to achieve similar results. The difference between color case hardening and case hardening is the carbon compound uses. Color case hardening services use bone charcoal to heat the steel to approximately 950 degrees Celsius before quenching the steel.

The distinct coloring of color case hardening comes from uneven quenching. If the steel is moved in a jerking motion, the bath is agitated with air bubbles or potassium nitrate is added to the bath, the steel surface has distinct discoloration. The surface is speckled with bursts of blue, yellow and orange in unique patterns and shapes.

This process is common for firearm case hardening for two reasons. First, the innate beauty of the process gives your firearm a one-of-a-kind look and vibrant coloring. Second, this process was used historically to verify that steel had been case hardened.

Standard case hardening isn’t visible. Upon inspection, it’s not immediately apparent whether a particular firing mechanism has been hardened or not. By using color case hardening, firearm manufacturers proved to their customers that they used genuine hardening techniques. Modern firearm enthusiasts love the unique look and use it to restore antique guns.

Why Choose Specialty Steel Treating?

As a global leader in case hardening and pack hardening services, Specialty Steel Treating has the precise equipment and expertise you need. Request a quote today from a leading heat treating company with over 60 years of experience in the industry.

Find out how we can offer you genuine, affordable and long-lasting color case hardening services for a single firearm or a bulk order of manufactured components.

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