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Cynanide process vs bone charcoal process and durability
Unread 04-18-2018, 08:39 PM   #1
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Default Cynanide process vs bone charcoal process and durability

What is the difference between these two processes for case coloring? And is one process more durable than the other. About 10 yrs ago, i had DelGregos re case color and restock my late grandfathers 16 ga vh. The stock was worn out totally as were the original colors on this 1920's vintage VH. DelGregos used the cynanide process. I had to return it for some corrective work that i need not go into. But suffice to say that the colors on the base plate and sides have lost much of their colors from minimal handling and no use of cleaning solvents. Im having Bachelders re case it with their bone charcoal process. A vhe that Brad recased for me and one that i shoot weekly has held its colors extremely well. Others in this forum are well educated and experienced with tbese 2 processes and i would be interested in hearing their views on same. Thanking all in advance. Oh, this 16 ga vh goes to my oldest grandson when im dust.
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Unread 04-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #2
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In general bone charcoal hardening is more durable than the cyanide process in my experience.
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Unread 04-19-2018, 11:59 AM   #3
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Thanks kevin.
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Unread 04-19-2018, 12:51 PM   #4
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Allen, Oscar Gaddy (now deceased) published an exhaustive study and description of the case coloring of firearms in a 4-part series in the Double Gun Journal. (See Vol. 7, Issue 4 and Vol. 8, Issues 1,2, and 3. Much of his work centered on the esoteria of the molecular structure of metals, their properties of elasticity, hardness or softness, sentitivity to temperature ranges during the case coloring process, and the resulting appearances rendered by these various processes. I have always viewed the case coloring of firearms using the cyanide process analogous to that of coloring Easter eggs - too much or too little dye misses the desired hue, while the vagaries of temperature ranges can produce too much or not enough of the proper color.

Case coloring by the bone charcoal method began as basic alchemy (eye of weasel, toe of newt) but was refined over the centuries until the interested parties "got it right", so to speak, depending on the style and vogue of firearms finishing at the time of production. That is, bright shiny, showy colors vs. the very subdued and mottled patterns. Nowadays, more than a few (here meaning more than 3) outfits engaged in case coloring guns come very close to mimicking original factory colors (of either bone charcoal or cyanide) and continue to produce some beautiful work. Oscar struggled but persevered as the dedicated scientist he was, seeking perfection with the bone charcoal method, and the longer he persisted, the better the results. Unfortunately, he died about the time he was doing his best work. His better examples are truly lovely and some of our members are fortunate enough to own them.
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Unread 04-19-2018, 08:40 PM   #5
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Thank you Kevin
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