Electroless Nickel » Tacti-Black® & Electroless Nickel Firearms Finishes

Tacti-Black® & Electroless Nickel Firearms Finishes

Tacti-Black® & Traditional Electroless Nickel Firearms Finishes

GB3_2791Advanced Plating Technologies offers Tacti-black® electroless nickel and traditional electroless nickel firearm finishes in both high and medium phosphorus varieties within the firearms and defense industries.  Tacti-black® black electroless nickel plating or traditional electroless nickel plating firearms finishes provide nearly perfect deposit uniformity and outstanding surface lubricity, making it an excellent choice for tight tolerance parts where fitment is a concern.

Advanced Plating Technologies has an active Federal Firearms License allowing for the processing of serialized firearm components such as slides or uppers.  APT is also ITAR registered for critical defense applications where control of documentation and processes is critical.  Our firearms finishing processes are forged around our ISO 9001:2008 quality management system, ensuring firearms finishing that meets specification and is consistent from lot to lot.

Black EN and EN UppersBlack firearm finishes are often necessary for tactical applications within the defense and firearms market.  There are numerous options for attaining black firearm finishes on steel components, including black oxide and Melonite processes.  However, Tacti-black® electroless nickel offers several marked improvements over other available black finishes as follows:

Corrosion Resistance:  Tacti-black® Electroless nickel can be applied in either a high phosphorus or medium phosphorus variety.  The deposit selection and thickness can be engineered to meet as high as 1000-hr salt spray performance if required.

Consistent Black Regardless of Substrate Material:  Often a consistent black finish is desired between dissimilar materials on a firearm.  For example, a firearm upper may be machined from 7000-series aluminum whereas a hammer may be MIM (metal injection molded) made from 4140 steel.  With traditional black coatings such as anodize or black oxide, there would be no way to attain a near match in color between the two components of dissimilar materials.

Black on Stainless Steels:  Tacti-black® electroless nickel can be applied to most metallic substrates found within the firearm market including stainless steels and MIM stainless steels.  Common materials coated include stainless steels, tool steels, aluminum and brass alloys.  The durability of the black is acceptable for most applications but cut-through of the black can occur in aggressive metal-on-metal wear applications.

Enhanced Lubricity:  Tacti-black® electroless nickel, like traditional electroless nickel, is a co-deposit of nickel and phosphorous.  The phosphorus in the deposit provides enhanced lubricity over traditional nickel plating processes, making it an excellent choice where deposit lubricity is a key design characteristic.

Tight Tolerances and Coverage Within Tubulars:  Since Tacti-black® electroless nickel is an “electroless” deposit, it is free from the nonuniformity common in electrolytic plating processes.  Tacti-black® electroless nickel plating can be applied to tubular products and will achieve full deposit thickness within the ID of the tubular.  Deposit thickness standard deviations of less than 0.00003” are common, making Tacti-black an excellent choice for extremely tight tolerance applications.

Ease of Cleaning:  Tacti-black® electroless nickel firearms finishes are extremely easy to clean and wipe off with just a standard rag in most applications. Fingerprinting of the deposit is minimal in all but the highest of luster applications, such as when deposited on a polished surface.

Military still lifeTraditional electroless nickel is an outstanding firearms finish, offering a uniform semi-bright finish in medium phosphorus or a uniform matte finish in high phosphorus varieties.  The growing use of electroless nickel as a firearm finish can be attributed to the following deposit characteristics:

Corrosion Resistance:  Electroless nickel can be applied to various thicknesses and can be engineered to meet as high as 1000-hr salt spray performance if required in the high phosphorus variety.

Hardness:  As-plated hardness of electroless nickel is between 500-600 HV100 (50-56Rc), with heat treatment hardness as high as 1000 HV100 (69Rc) being attainable.  This hardness is close to that of hard chrome and offers an outstanding high wear coating for demanding firearms finishing applications.

Enhanced Lubricity:  Traditional electroless nickel is a codeposit of nickel and phosphorous.  The phosphorus in the deposit provides enhanced lubricity over traditional nickel plating processes, black oxide or phosphating, making it an excellent choice where deposit lubricity is a key design characteristic.

Tight Tolerances and Coverage within Tubulars:  Since electroless nickel is an “electroless” deposit, it is free from the nonuniformity common in electrolytic plating processes.  Electroless nickel plating can be applied to tubular products and will achieve full deposit thickness within the ID of the tubular.  Deposit thickness standard deviations of less 0.00003” are common, making electroless nickel an excellent choice for extremely tight tolerance firearms finishes.

Ease of Cleaning:  Traditional electroless nickel firearms finishes are extremely easy to clean and wipe off with just a standard rag in most applications. Fingerprinting of the deposit is minimal in all but the highest of luster applications, such as when deposited on a polished surface.

GB3_2798Advanced Plating Technologies engineering group is continually researching new coating technologies for application within our family of firearms finishing.  We welcome your input regarding specific design considerations and requirements.  You can contact a member of our technical sales team to further discuss your specific design.  Please note that APT does not deal with personal firearm needs but welcomes any commercial production application.