APT Blog » Benefits of Tacti-black® Electroless Nickel Over Traditional Firearm Finishes

Benefits of Tacti-black® Electroless Nickel Over Traditional Firearm Finishes

When it comes to selecting a coating for your firearm or firearm components there are several key features you need to consider. When going through options you need to ensure your firearm finish can meet several key characteristics such as the ability to hold tight tolerances, provide enhanced lubricity, wear resistance, corrosion protection, and, of course, provide a uniform and consistent black appearance.

Advanced Plating Technologies has worked hand-in-hand with numerous firearm OEMs throughout the years to provide a superior black finish that meets all the above requirements. Tacti-black® HP+ was developed in response to feedback received from numerous firearm OEMs that needed a finish that could meet all of the above requirements on a range of materials including steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Why Choose Tacti-Black®?


A Firearm Finish for Any Base Material tactical black firearm finish for Lower Receiver

Unlike common firearm coatings such as black oxide, nitriding, anodizing, and QPQ, Tacti-black® HP+ is “material blind” meaning it can be plated onto any metal material. This tactical firearm finish is perfect for a large array of firearm components like custom lower receivers, trigger sears, hammers, and stamped magazines.

APT can provide this proprietary tactical firearm finish to most any metallic substrate from CNC firearm components to 3D printed and MIM alloy components with a density of over 90%.

Superior Corrosion Resistance for Your Firearm & Its Components

black plated trigger components

Having a tactical firearm and gun component finish that provides not only enhanced lubricity, but high corrosion resistance is paramount. Tacti-black® HP+ is available in both medium phosphorus and high phosphorus versions and can be engineered to meet application-specific corrosion demands.

Medium phosphorous Tacti-black® HP+ can achieve up to 96-hrs salt-spray per ASTM B177; however, high phosphorous Tacti-black® HP+ can withstand over 500-hour salt-spray for the most aggressive environments. Unlike traditional Parkerizing (phosphates), nitriding, or black oxide, Tacti-black® HP+ can be engineered to meet an application-specific corrosion requirement.

Corrosion Resistance of Tacti-Black® HP+

Uniform Firearm Finish that Resists Fouling

Advantages of Tacti-black® HP+ for Trigger Sear Engagement

Consistency is Key! Tacti-black® HP+ is recommended throughout the firearm industry because of its consistent black finish. Many firearms can consist of different base materials, so a consistent and uniform black color is needed irrespective of the material finished.

This tactical black firearm finish is perfect for firearms that have MIM or 3D printed components. Unlike basic black finishes, Tacti-black® HP+ can hold consistent black throughout separate substrates.

Utilizing our HP+ molecular sealer applied to the finish our proprietary finish helps repel sand, dirt, and water making it an ideal finish for tactical applications. In addition, the sealer helps resist carbon fouling, facilitates cleanup, and is compatible with all CLP products.

Coating Hardness Without Affecting Base Hardness

Increased hardness to your firearm and components means increased part life. With the increase in hardness, you will also get a more reliable firearm for years to come. As-plated the hardness of Tacti-Black® is between 50-56Rc.  Tacti-Black is plated at a ‘cool’ temperature below 200F which, unlike Nitriding or QPQ, will not alter the hardness or temper of base materials.

If you need a harder finish, Tacti-black® can be heat treated which in return can transition the deposit which will increase the deposit hardness to ~ 69Rc which is near the hardness of hard chrome. This hardness allows for a high wear coating for your tactical firearm finish.

Hardness Properties of Tacti-black® HP+


Benefits of Tacti-black® HP+

With future firearms and components being pushed to the extremes due to higher pressures, more corrosive environments, and demand for higher precision performance, the need for more durable, lubricious coatings will only increase. APT’s Tacti-Black HP+ is our fastest growing finish ever.

Tacti-Black HP+ electroless nickel offers the outstanding uniformity, lubricity, corrosion resistance and hardness of electroless nickel with a tactical black color  making it ideal for tight tolerance fire control applications including magazines, triggers, sears, actuators, bolts and hammers. Check out our TACTI-BLACK® HP+ page to learn more about our capabilities, finishing process, and how we can help with your upcoming firearm finish application or project.


Reach out to a member of our Technical Sales staff for more information on how we can help with your application. 

Blog Authored by Luke Copp, Sales & Marketing Associate 


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