Is it the same as Parkerizing?

To ask if Parkerize is the same as Stealth-Tech™, is like asking if a 22 caliber rifle is the same as a 300 Winchester Mag. Parkerize is a trade name for various phosphate conversion coatings available through Parker Chemical Corporation. Parkerize is available in zinc phosphate (Green) and Iron Phosphate (Dark Gray). Parker also has a manganese phosphate solution (Park-O-Lubrite) and a heavy manganese phosphate (Park-O-Lubrite II) solution that is available for commercial applications where extra corrosion resistance and dry film lubrication is required. Manganese phosphate solutions and processes are available from a number of manufacturers, some better than others.

For the first phase of the Stealth-Tech™ process, we have elected to use the same commercial grade Manganese Phosphate solution that is specified on various reciprocating aircraft engine internal parts to fight corrosion, reduce friction and provide additional lubricity. We utilize a number of electrically heated and controlled, custom made 14 inch diameter 42 inches deep stainless steel tanks and process the parts in accordance with the manufacturers strict recommendations.

The resulting finish is better than the traditional Parkerize finish offered by the local gunsmiths. After the manganese phosphate conversion coating is applied, a molybdenum polymer coating is applied which provides a corrosion resistance that is far superior to any of the phosphate conversion coatings.

Is Stealth-Tech™ the same as Teflon, Molykoat or TR Gun Kote?

All of the above coatings are polymer coatings, not a process. Just like paint, the results depend on the metal preparations and application method. If you apply paint to steel it will not adhere, even if you sand it and ruff up the finish prior to application. This is why you have to prime the metal before you paint it. The paint has to have something to stick to. The problem is that with any painted surface, if you prime it and paint it, it is too thick for most gun applications. If you breach the paint, the metal beneath starts to rust, the rust runs under the paint and the paint blisters and peals off. This is why Stealth-Tech™ is a process rather than a product.

We use several products, but the method of application makes the difference. To obtain optimum adherence of the polymer coating, the metal has to be cleaned and phosphate coated prior to the application of the polymer coating. After the application of the coating, the coating has to be cured. Some polymer coatings will cure at room temperature, but the more durable coatings require an oven to heat cure. Anything less will reduce the adhesion and durability of the polymer coating.

If the manufacturer of a polymer coating says it can be applied without phosphate coating, and I have had good success without the phosphate coating, why not buy a can of Gun Kote and do it myself. Or better still, have a gunsmith do it?

Even though the manufacturers of “finish in a can” products say to blast the part with aluminum oxide, and then heat the part up and paint it, there are three basic problems.

You can only coat what you can see. You are unable to coat holes and blind areas, leaving them subject to corrosion.

The coating is too thick to apply to close tolerance areas. As a result, you will have a corrosion problem or you will have material build-up causing interference between parts.

Without the underlying phosphate conversion coating, if the polymer coating is breached, the metal will rust and the coating will start to blister and peal off.

Why is the polymer coating required when phosphate coating provides adequate corrosion resistance?

It depends on what you consider adequate corrosion resistance. If we rate corrosion resistance from 1 to 1000, a factory-blued gun will have a rating of about 2. A parkerized gun will have a rating of about 100. Not bad. However, the Stealth-Tech™ processed gun will have a rating of 1000. In addition, the polymer coating provides a uniform, low luster, flat black finish which will not glitter and scare away game.

Can aluminum parts be processed?

Yes. Even though we can not provide the durability and adhesion that we can provide on carbon steel parts, we can apply the polymer coating to the parts after they have been blasted, cleaned and alodined. The polymer coating is applied and backed on, providing a uniform color for all of the parts, both steel and aluminum.

What about non-metallic parts?

Do not send plastic or non-metal parts, as they will be destroyed during processing.

Will Top-Gun Enterprises disassemble and assemble my gun?

At the present time, our prices and turnaround are based on metal finishing only. If you cannot disassemble or assemble your gun, we have a list of gunsmiths who are willing to assist you for a nominal fee. Several of these gunsmiths are within our area, so pickup and delivery directly to the gunsmith can reduce delays in shipping

How far should I tear the gun down?

100%. Remove all screws, pins and springs. A detailed teardown is critical to the surface preparation of the parts.

How thick is the finished product?

Depending on the area, the finish will be from .0004 inch down to non-measurable. The exterior and internal visible surfaces will have the phosphate conversion coating in addition to the dry film lubricant application. The resulting finish is approximately .0004 inch thick. For blind and close tolerance areas, the phosphate conversion coating with a special corrosion resistant oil will be applied. The results are almost non-measurable as the phosphate coating is not an additive coating and goes into the metal rather than build up on top.

Can the bore be processed?

Unlike most polymer coatings which state “do not process the bores”, we are able to provide corrosion resistance within the bore. The phosphate coating is a tank process and anything that it touches, will be treated. Even though my shotgun has eight years of use, the bore has a self-lubricating surface that protects against the stell shot and subsequent corrosion.

Will accuracy be affected?

If the accuracy is affected, it is negligable. My Browning A Bolt II Boss shoots a Winchester 300 Mag and has had the Stealth-Tech™ bore process. The last three times shooting a target at 100 yards, two of the bullets went in the same hole and the third was off .25 inch. The phosphate coating provides a dry film lubricant that is impregnated into the metal and reduces friction between moving metal parts. The bullet will come out of the barrel faster resulting in improved accuracy. Is a Teflon coated bullet more accurate that a standard? The same principle applies.

Does Stainless Steel rust and will it out perform Stealth-Tech™?

Most stainless steel guns are made of 400 series stainless steel which has the poorest corrosion resistance of the Stainless Steels. Based on our 1 to 1000 corrosion resistance scale, is has a rating of about 10. When subjecting a stainless steel gun and a chrome-moly Stealth-Tech™ processed gun to a salt water corrosion test, the Stealth-Tech™ processed gun out performed the stainless gun every time. We do not process stainless steel parts at this time, other than to provide the polymer coating for appearance. Like aluminum, it will not be as durable as it will be on carbon steel.

What do Customers have to say!

I just recently had your coating process done to my Knight MK85 in-line Muzzle-loader & would like to give you a brief feed back on how it has done so far. Went to the range after putting everything back together mid-November; .50cal using a plastic sabotted .44cal X 244 Gr steel jacketed HP. Same load as before coating with 100gr Pyrodex premium pellets No change in rifle accuracy, initial loading was slightly tougher to ram & seat the round, but returned to normal after first time on range & regular clean-up afterwards Response to time in the field exposed to the elements; rough handling of aggressive hunting tactics through the “rough cover” & damp, wet conditions:

Excellent, the finish did not scuff or scratch off such as the “painted on looking coatings” of my Co-hearts rifles; the rifle was exposed to long hours of pouring rain, sleet, snow & foggy misty conditions with out showing any signs of weathering. The upper scope mount brackets were not sent for coating with the rifle & had the typical blueing style coating.

They began showing the effects of the weather rapidly, but the coated parts came through an entire week of being near constantly damp to soaking (water running off the end of the barrel in a steady stream) with out showing the first sign of weathering when wiped down & cleaned. (Yuppers you keep the barrel down at all times in the type of weather we seem to have had this year. If you would have leaned the rifle on a tree during some of the weather we had you’d been pouring water out of the barrel).

The rifle heads out again for some more of the same yet this year so hopefully the first impression of the coatings performance will carry true. Indiana’s Muzzle-loader season has always been good for a couple of days of nasty weather, but this year it has been more like a only couple of days of fair weather, having the rifle this well protected from the weather has made it much more tolerable.

From the re-action of those I hunt with I’d say you can probably expect a few more rifles from my “Hunting Camp”, if this performance stays true. When you know where the big bucks like to bed, there’s no better weather to hunt them in than the nastiest combination of weather conditions Indiana can throw at you! Having a weapon in your hand that can take that weather gives you just that much more of an edge of confidence.

I’d have sent you some pictures of the rifle in the elements as well as a couple of the “bucks so far” from our group, but you see the zip lock bag & “water resistant” pack I had my camera in failed & there will be no pictures from last week! Bummer! Er. a. nhummm. do you coat video & digital cameras?
Mark Jordan (The Squatch)
Greenfield, IN