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Spanish Model 93 Mauser 7x57 Part 8: Finishing the Metal Gun Parts

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Getting Started on the Metal Finishing
Cerama-Coat is not a very durable gun finish, but it is simple and fairly easy to use.

I sprayed the heads of these screws with Cerama-Coat, which left them rough and lumpy (top). After baking (bottom), the lumps became tiny craters. Subsequent coats went on much more smoothly.

Photo © Russ Chastain
I knew I was going to need to finish the metal on this Mauser. I've previously tried cold bluing (which later turned brown) and a now-discontinued spray-on product called Perma-Fin. I wasn't thrilled with either of those results.

I got my hands on some Cerama-Coat, which is a spray-and-bake finish that comes in a rattle-type aerosol can. I got two cans of the stuff, which turned out to be a good thing, as you will see. The cans are tiny and only contain four ounces of the stuff, and I disagree with their claim that one can will coat two guns. Besides the small size of the cans, you end up wasting the stuff when it doesn't spray properly.

The instructions said that the appearance of the finish, which turns out to be matte black, will be the same regardless of whether the metal to which it's applied is polished or rough - but that adhesion will be much greater if the surface is rougher. So, after thoroughly removing all rust and other crud, I sanded the surfaces to rough them up, and thoroughly degreased the parts.

I did not prep every part before I began finishing some of them; in other words, I would prep a couple parts and finish them, and start prepping other parts while those parts were cooking. I started small; first I did some screws.

I shook the can of Cerama-Coat very well, for a full minute - which is a long time to shake a can. When I attempted to spray the heads of the screws, the substance came out like silly string instead of spraying. (I'd read of this in user reviews on MidwayUSA's site.) I swapped nozzles with the other can, and had the same results.

So, I shook the second can for a minute and then used it. It sprayed, but it came out pretty lumpy-bumpy. I took some photos and allowed the parts to dry for the required 30 minutes, then applied another coat. 30 minutes later, I put them in the oven to bake for an hour at 350 degrees.

The bumpiness settled down and the finish became matte instead of glossy, as the photo above illustrates... but the finish had tiny craters in it, and later fell right off of the screws in several places, and I had to refinish them.

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