Traditional Coatings

Hot Salt Blue


  • Salt blueing (also known as hot blue, caustic blue or black oxide), is a process where properly prepared steel parts are suspended in a boiling bath of salts. The oxidation that forms on the surface of the steel is known as blueing and acts as a medium for oil to penetrate and prevent rust. The color of the blue will be a shade of black (from flat black to glossy black) depending on the degree of polish. Craftguard makes our own blueing salts solution. All polishes are available. Finish protected with Birchwood Casey’s “Sheath”. Meets military specifications Mil-C-13924C. 

Rust Blue


  • Our rust blue process involves placing properly prepared steel parts in boiling distilled water to bring the metal surfaces up to temperature. We apply a thin coat of rust blueing solution on the dry hot metal surface and suspend the part back in the hot water to harden the rust blue. Craftguard then uses a carding method which removes all rust blueing solution not adhering to the metal. We place a minimum of eight coats on every part. Rust blueing will not harm soft solder or precious metals such as gold or silver. Craftguard rust blues all soft soldered double barrels. If Craftguard can not determine if the firearm is soft soldered or silver soldered, the weapon is rust blued. Deluxe polish is the highest luster Craftguard will polish on Rust blueing. The finish is protected with Birchwood Casey’s “Sheath”. 



  • Parkerizing (gray, black, gray/green):  Originally developed by the Parker Company for the military, parkerizing is a process where properly prepared parts are submerged in a warm phosphate solution for a period of time ranging from five to twenty-five minutes. Parkerizing will etch the surface of the metal and produce a coarse build-up. Bore and chamber are protected and not parkerized. Only carbon steel and cast iron can be parkerized. We can apply a bake-on product on non-steel parts that will closely match our parkerizing in color, texture and durability. Hunter polish is the only polish available for parkerizing. The finish is protected with Birchwood Casey’s “Dry Touch Plus”. Meets military specifications Mil-P-16232.   

Damascus Rust Blue


  • This finish is recommended on all Damascus barrels. This finish is designed to truly show and bring out the Damascus pattern. It will be uneven in color and is similar to the Rust Gray process. The finish is protected with Birchwood Casey’s “Sheath”.  

Nitre Blue


  • Nitre Blue produces a variety of colors depending on the temperature of the bath. The most common colors are "Fire Blue" and "Straw Color."   
  • This is a process of blueing that will color virtually all carbon steel. Unlike conventional hot salt blueing, NitreBlue can produce a wide variety of colors from a “straw” color to a deep black blue. The most common appearance of NitreBlue is to achieve a “bright peacock” or “fire” blue. It can be used to closely match the blue on Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers of the 1850’s through the 1930’s. This finish can be applied to a complete firearm, however, the finish is usually more uniform in appearance (steel density creates different colors) when applied to smaller parts such as triggers, hammers, screws, etc.