Black Oxide Gun Finish
When Eliphalet Remington built his first rifle in 1816, James Madison was president of the country. Now, nearly 200 years and 37 presidents later, the Remington Arms Co. is one of the most successful and largest firearms manufacturers in the world. Although Remington is known for its high quality of its firearms, itCase Study From: 5/1/1997 Modern Machine Shop
When Eliphalet Remington built his first rifle in 1816, James Madison was president of the country. Now, nearly 200 years and 37 presidents later, the Remington Arms Co. is one of the most successful and largest firearms manufacturers in the world.
Although Remington is known for its high quality of its firearms, it is also known for the high quality finish on the rifles and shotguns. Warren Hoffman, company chemist, says, "We compare the finish on our parts to that of jewelry. It must be perfect, with no blemishes or defects."
For this reason, the company recently installed two black oxide finishing lines (manufactured by Napco, Inc., in Terryville, Connecticut). The previous line looked as though it had been around since the early days of the company, but that was the least of its problems. Not only was it massive, but utility costs were high and maintenance costs were upwards of a million dollars a year.
The larger of the two lines installed by Napco is used to black oxide large parts such as receivers and gun barrels. Small parts are finished on the smaller line, which has the capability to color heat-treated parts. The larger system is capable of running 7, 000 parts in a 24-hour period and presently it is treating 5500 to 6, 000 parts per day.
Prior to receiving the black oxide finish, steel parts are polished in one of three ways. Most parts are polished in a vibratory finishing system using ceramic media and then shot blasted with steel shot to produce a matte finish. Higher degree work is hand polished and then polished with ceramic media in the vibratory finisher. Others are only hand polished. The type of polishing depends on the final finish desired.
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