If you want to restore an old firearm or touch up wear spots on your favorite gun, these home bluing kits are the way to go.
Put simply, bluing is a process that partially protects steel against oxidation by creating a black oxide coating on ferrous metals. It's one of the most common and inexpensive finishes found on the steel parts of firearms today.
What is Gun Bluing?
What's actually going on is an electrochemical conversion coating that results from the oxidizing chemical reaction with the iron on the surface of the steel that selectively forms magnetite, which is the black oxide of iron. Rust, for example, is the red oxide of iron, which easily flakes off. Black oxide provides protection against corrosion. The thin coatings of black oxide are what's often called gun bluing, even if it's not applied to a firearm.
There are also several types of bluing processes.
Cold bluing is a selenium dioxide compound that colors steel a deep blue-black finish.
This is the most common type of bluing that is done by people at home. A lot of people shy away from doing it because if you're inexperienced, it's difficult to apply the bluing evenly. Most of the time, folks aren't bluing a whole gun at home, but rather using it to touch-up spots where factory bluing has worn off over time.
Gun companies will use a hot bluing process, which is done at a temperature between 275 and 311 degrees F. Ruse Bluing and Fume Bluing provide the best rust and corrosion resistance.
Before using any of the kits listed below, make sure you remove any visible rust from the surface. This can usually be accomplished with a brass brush, but for serious rust, you may have to use some fine steel wool. Just go easy and slow.
Our Picks: The Best Home Gun Bluing Kits
Here are the best home gun bluing kits you can buy:
This fast-acting liquid provides a non-streaky and uniform blue-black finish. The Birchwood Casey Gun Blue Finishing Kit is a great tool to touch up or even completely reblue most firearms. You can choose from the liquid gun blue kit or a deep and dense paste gun blue kit. Beware, this kit WILL NOT blue stainless steel, aluminum, or non-ferrous metals.
The kit includes a 3 oz. bottle of Perma Blue Liquid Gun Blue, a 3 oz Cleaner-Degreaser, blue remover and rust remover, plus blueing applicators, sponge, service cloth, and Barricade Rust Protection Gun Wipes and a complete instruction guide.
This product was originally made for someone who does occasional bluing but isn't equipped to completely polish a gun before bluing the entire thing. Oxpho Blue is easy to apply and yields superior results. It has since become a favorite of pro gunsmiths.
When you apply Oxpho-Blue with a piece of cotton cloth, the chemical goes through any oil on the gun, removes thin rust, and blues the steel beneath.
Unlike most cold bluing products that require painting coats on the metal, Van's Instant Gun Blue soaks into the metal and reacts like "hot blue." The metal is truly blued rather than coated.