View Full Version : Technical: Parkerizing- how to get dark

USMC 0341
October 27, 2000, 07:55
I have owned and seen a lot of different shades of Parkerized steel but I have always liked the darker grey or almost black color finishes. How can I parkerize steel to give that dark shade? Isn't there some particular chemical that I can use to get this finish?

[ August 12, 2001: Message edited by: EMDII ]

[ August 14, 2001: Message edited by: EMDII ]

October 27, 2000, 10:06
It sounds stupid, but black dye, applied right after parkerizing rinse, is absorbed and doesn't rub off. I had a re-parked rifle that had lt. gray park and immediately colored with black shoe dye - gave dull black park that was very pleasant to look at. After applying dye, then apply your oil or cosmolene to "seal" the surface. This rifle was used for years (before I finally sold it) and never rubbed off, was affected by solvents or faded - it stayed almost jet black.

October 27, 2000, 10:55
I think Manganese Phosphate Parkerizing is the black/charcoal grey finish and if I'm not mistaken, Zinc Parkerizing is the light grey.

While were on the subject, Who/What does the dark green parkerizing? I have a Garand that is that color and I want it redone in that shade.


October 27, 2000, 15:48

My understanding is that the green color is a result of the guns being coated in cosmoline and stored in a very hot environment. Gunplumber can replicate this finish with his Metacol III Classic Patina:

"Classic Patina results from a special curing process and exactly matches the World War II gray/green/brown color originally caused by long term storage in Cosmoline. This special process has the added advantage of being an even color throughout and hiding areas of different hardness that standard Parkerizing would highlight, such as weld marks."


Mike in GA
October 27, 2000, 17:38
JimmieZ - Great tip! So what do you do -rub the shoe polish on the piece after the parking?

More important - are you going to come to the next GA FALer shoot? People like you - who really know their stuff - help us ALL! ( Plus add to the fun!)\

October 27, 2000, 18:04
We used to acid dip the parts in anti-scale, an HCL based cleaner, before putting in the park tank, We wouldn't rinse, just dropped in right in. We would get a real thick black park. Real rough, but would hold the oil.


The Bill of Rights: Void Where Prohibited by Law

USMC 0341
October 27, 2000, 23:44
Next time I'm in Phoenix I'll check out this theory on the green Parkerizing idea. My M1A has been caked in military cosmoline and sitting in a safe at outside temperature in Phoenix since 1993. Hadn't heard this before so I hadn't thought about this.

Hey IDHunt, Exactly what is this anti-scale? Where can I get it? I would guess that it has a commercial name (?) or are there are a number of products that are essentially the same thing? I appreciate the info and would like to know as much as I can before I start.

October 28, 2000, 01:45
the latest gunsmithing tips from brownells has the solution for green parkerizing, after hot rinse, set the parts in clean motor oil to cool. The gunplummer 'classic patina' green shade, if I remember correctly, when your teflon/moly coatings were overbaked, they turned green - is this the 'special process'?

October 28, 2000, 18:12
I haven't seen GP's work, so I can't comment on it. Just saw it on his site and thought I'd pass the information on...


October 28, 2000, 18:19

There are two types of parkerizing... manganese phoshate which is a dark charcoal, almost black... and zinc phoshate which is a lighter gray. Both of these
were applied to garands are one time or another. I know of no phoshating that will give a green color right out of the bath. To get the green/gray something
has to be done to contaiminate the phoshate. This, as stated in other postings, most likly was Cosmoline, plus long hot storage, on orginial garands. Due to
different metals and their hardness, different pieces and different types of weapons will be greener than others. The M-3 "greasegun" has more green in it
than most others I've worked on, but it isn't much more than a glorified tail pipe. Is the green/gray orginial? Well not in the strictist sense, but I think
collectors have no problem with the green/gray finish.

October 29, 2000, 13:24
USMC 0341,
Anti-scale is an acid based product used to remove scale build up on sinks and windows. We where using some that I think was HF based to remove bluing off of some parts. It could have been HCL based but HF sticks out in my head. We had been rinsing the parts before we stuck them into the park tanks. I don't know who did it, but someone put on in the park without rinsing the anti-scale off, but it came out black, real black. I had an AK that I was parking for myself and did the gas tube and RPK muzzle brake in this thick black park and it really held the oil. I know Brownells had/has something that you pre-dip you parts in to get a black finish. Dunno if this helps.


The Bill of Rights: Void Where Prohibited by Law

[This message has been edited by IDHunt (edited October 29, 2000).]

October 30, 2000, 00:18
I've seen green parkerizing on US military M-14s and Italian army BM-59s.The replacement Belgian FAL flash hiders are only parked without paint and these also have the green park.The replacement Belgian barrels have paint over park and are grey/black. The FN and Beretta green parkerizing looks thinner or glossier than the US green parkerizing.As far as I know these parts are always oiled after being parkerized.The FN and Beretta parts all have what appears to be "runs" or "streaks" in the finish.They do store these parts in some type of cosmoline-like substance.When I buy new FN parts they still have a coating on them normally.Also FN wood comes in either shiny or dull finish.I've seen both new from FN.

Cut the blue wire! Erik

August 11, 2001, 22:11
moved to FAQ