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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks, I'm doing a restoration on a Perazzi Mirage skeet gun. The previous owner had a new lock installed, so were good to go action wise.

We have a local stock maker that is a legend in these parts.
He stripped all of the wood bare, to make their were no surprises. He was so impressed he re checkered every line on the gun, and the finish is immaculate.

He even went over the vented rib & removed any dings, and cold blued it. I had planned on stopping there, but this gun deserves to have the color case hardening redone.

I need some recommendations from people that had their guns re colored. The only ones I have dealt with is Briley. They have been perfect in their workmanship on porting, back boring, etc.
I have seen none of their metal refinishing, so I'm pretty much open to suggestions.

I'm way ahead of the game on this restoration. The case is new, and the Kolar sub gage tubes are like new. It's the first gun I have owned that had an adjustable stock, and predictably my score improved at once. Depending on the cost,
I'm inclined to have all the metal redone. I don't know if I would lose the gold "Mirage" inlay during a refinish. I would be great if that could be saved, as it sets the gun off nicely.

The barrel is not threaded, and I really see no reason having it threaded, since the pattern is perfect for skeet. I rarely shoot trap or sporting clays, but have a Beretta with every extended choke Briley makes.

Advice is welcomed, and a rough idea on cost would be nice so I don't get "sticker shock".

Thanks

Gene
 

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Doug does complete restorations of guns if desired or just certain parts. Doug learned a lot working in his Father's (Terry Turnbull's Creekside Gunshop) gunshop and studdied a lot to learn the methods of the past masters. As I said, you will find others cheaper, but I doubt any as good. Best of luck with the project.
 

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The three mentioned have good reputations for redoing case colors. I had a very bad experience using a local gunsmith who redid a Fox sxs for me. The colors were beautiful. Unfortunately the frame also split in two not long afterwards. I had no proof the casehardening was done improperly but that will always be my belief. I sincerely doubt I will ever have another gun recasehardened but if I should it will probably be Turnbull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the contacts. I haven't been skeet shooting that long, and the cracked frame, possibly caused by new case coloring sure got my attention. Since I have no clue of the process used to refurbish the color, I'm totally paranoid now.

Is this a common occurrence? If I had to replace the frame, that would ruin the economics of the restoration. Maybe I should just forget it. Coloring on a fine gun really sets them apart from the rest, but It doesn't hit any more birds.

Opinions?
 

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Gene,

Perazzi's are not my line, but I believe that most Italian shotguns are casehardened using the cyanide process, not
bone charcoal. Turnbull does only bone charcoal hardening.

The success of the project would depend wholly on what
the carbon content of the base steel is. I would think that
your Perazzi frame could be successfully hardened using either
technique.

Hope this helps.

Dan

www.classicgunstocks.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dan May said:
Gene,

Perazzi's are not my line, but I believe that most Italian shotguns are casehardened using the cyanide process, not
bone charcoal. Turnbull does only bone charcoal hardening.

The success of the project would depend wholly on what
the carbon content of the base steel is. I would think that
your Perazzi frame could be successfully hardened using either
technique.

Hope this helps.

Dan

www.classicgunstocks.com
That info does help Dan. I think I should ask the gunsmith to halt the project if he has any concerns, and pay him for his time. I would rather lose $100 or so to get a qualified opinion than have a catastrophic failure.
 

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Lets suppose you wanted a fiddle, and you lived in Italy several centuries ago, and there was this guy named Stradivarious who had a shop down the street. Doug Turnball is that famous, for doing color case hardening. His reputation is that good.

Turnball isn't going to mess up your gun. It's going to look right. There's others who can do that, too, but he's the most famous, by far.
 

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I recently had Briley redo the color case hardening on my Perazzi receiver. Briley did not do the work. They sent the receiver to Color Case Company in New Springfield, OH, which did a beautiful job.

Case Hardening is a form of carburizing, a process that applies a thin carbon skin to the surface of low-carbon steel objects to make their surface more wear resistant. The carbon skin is achieved by:
(a) applying carbon bearing materials (usually in the form of powdered charcoal, bone, leather, or a commercial preparation such as "Casenite" or other similar materials) to the surface of the steel object;
(b) wrapping the whole thing to keep the powder in direct contact with the steel and to keep air (oxygen) away from the surface;
(c) heating the entire mass to "red heat" which causes the carbon to be absorbed at the surface of the steel, forming a thin skin of "high carbon" steel; and then
(d) Quenching the part by plunging the red-hot mass into cold water to harden the carburized skin.

This results is a slightly mottled, gray-colored finish that is "glass hard" and brittle for a few thousandths of an inch in thickness, but leaves the body of the steel object tough, strong, and ductile.

"Color Case Hardening" adds steps to the above process, such as bubbling the water, or packing the part in loose carbon material in an airtight box prior to heating, and then dumping the contents of red hot box into the cooling water. This causes almost random contact of air, gases from the heated carbon material, the steel object, and water producing a pleasing mottled blue/purple/ gray, brown/ red colored surface in addition to the hard, wear resistance surface. Experience is required to consistently produce nice looking surfaces.
 

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I recently had Briley redo the color case hardening on my Perazzi receiver. Briley did not do the work. They sent the receiver to Color Case Company in New Springfield, OH, which did a beautiful job.

Case Hardening is a form of carburizing, a process that applies a thin carbon skin to the surface of low-carbon steel objects to make their surface more wear resistant. The carbon skin is achieved by:
(a) applying carbon bearing materials (usually in the form of powdered charcoal, bone, leather, or a commercial preparation such as "Casenite" or other similar materials) to the surface of the steel object;
(b) wrapping the whole thing to keep the powder in direct contact with the steel and to keep air (oxygen) away from the surface;
(c) heating the entire mass to "red heat" which causes the carbon to be absorbed at the surface of the steel, forming a thin skin of "high carbon" steel; and then
(d) Quenching the part by plunging the red-hot mass into cold water to harden the carburized skin.

This results is a slightly mottled, gray-colored finish that is "glass hard" and brittle for a few thousandths of an inch in thickness, but leaves the body of the steel object tough, strong, and ductile.

"Color Case Hardening" adds steps to the above process, such as bubbling the water, or packing the part in loose carbon material in an airtight box prior to heating, and then dumping the contents of red hot box into the cooling water. This causes almost random contact of air, gases from the heated carbon material, the steel object, and water producing a pleasing mottled blue/purple/ gray, brown/ red colored surface in addition to the hard, wear resistance surface. Experience is required to consistently produce nice looking surfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Elsy, thanks for that great info. I've only seen case hardening on a couple of the shooting shows on TV. I think I would actually be better off to have the procedure done.

Several of the Club elders, that always seem to have a refinishing job going told me that Briley farmed out their work.
I haven't seen any of those guys lately, so I learned 2 things from your post.

I have seen some of the work that "Briley" did, and it was outstanding. The colors look like they are changing before your eyes. Those guys don't let just anyone work on their side by sides. To me, Perazzi is high end shotgun, but it is no where near as valuable as those side by side guns!

I feel confident in Doug Turnbull or Color Case Company, and will go with the one that has the best schedule.

I want to thank all of you for your information. When the project is done, I will post pictures.

Now I can work on my next project, a gun safe that will hold all
of my loaded ammo & bags of shot. I think they are about equal in value.
 

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When talking about color casing a modern gun, it pays to remember that many of them have receivers made of a through hardening medium carbon alloy steel like 4140. This makes it impossible to color case harden in the traditional manner because the procedure for proper heat treating of 4140 is not compatible with heating and quenching process used to produce the old style color case finish.

Fortunately, all the temper colors in a color case finish can be produced at temps below about 600F. Since this is below the tempering temperature used to heat treat 4140(typically 800F or above), heating and quenching at temps below 650F can be done without degrading the original heat treat condition of the steel as it left factory. However, even though the colors are there, there is no hard case since the critical temp for the steel was never reached.

RWO
 
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