Caring for a Parkerized finish

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Caring for a Parkerized finish

Postby Bob » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:08 am

Caring for a Parkerized finish

I am posting this because I was asked an obvious question today.
It was one of those that make you think, “You mean everyone doesn’t know this?”
A younger guy where I worked was complaining to anyone who would listen that his Parkerized pistol had rusted.
He was saying the finish was crap and he would never own another Parkerized firearm.
Not only did it rust, there’s a problem with dark spots on the finish when wiping it off.
When he said that I knew what the problem was.

I told him Parkerizing has been around longer than even me, works really well and that his problem was operator error.
He never seasoned the Parkerizing and was not caring for it properly.
He thought Parkerizing was supposed to be a dry finish because that is how it came out of the box.
Consequently he was giving it a quick wipe like you would a blued finish.
This is not enough oil for a Parkerized finish.
Parkerizing provides some inherent protection but what really makes it work is its porosity.
It holds oil really well and that is what really keeps the metal from rusting.
If you do not have the pores filled with oil they can and will fill with sweat and skin acids.

A new gun or a newly done Parkerizing job should be seasoned by saturating it with your favorite gun oil.
I mean really put the oil to it, there should be liquid oil sitting on the surface.
Let this sit for a half an hour or so, if there is still oil on the surface lightly wipe it off.
If it has all been absorbed apply more.
You will need to field strip most firearms so as to get at all the surfaces.

This will work best when the gun and oil are warm.
You don’t need to put it in the oven but don’t do it in an unheated shop during the winter.
The oil will be thinner and the pores will be more open so you will get better absorption.
After seasoning you should re-oil the finish after each cleaning.
The solvents you use to clean the bore will remove the oil.
Use an oily rag or some oil on your paw and apply enough oil to see.
Let it sit a bit then wipe it dry and you are good to go.

The reason Parkerizing works so well for the military is new Parkerized weapons are packed in Cosmoline which is basically a brown waxy grease.
The Cosmoline finds it’s way into the pores of the Parkerizing seasoning it and sometimes giving it a greenish patina.
If you use strong degreasers to remove Cosmoline from a surplus gun don’t forget to
season the finish.


Remember, Parkerizing is a thirsty finish, while you don’t want oil dripping off it without enough oil it will rust.
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Re: Caring for a Parkerized finish

Postby CavWarrior » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:27 pm

I love a good Parkerized finish. Simply keep it wet.
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