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Case Hardening or Coin Finish on Guns & Rifles.

A Westley Richards .600 Sidelock Rifle just prior to Case Colour Hardening. 

The decision on whether to leave case colour hardening on a gun or not, is occasionally not such an easy call. I think I am correct in saying that we are the only remaining gunmaker who case colour hardens ALL our shotguns and rifles, be they destined to be coin finished or not. Most of the other makers have opted in the main for the cheaper route of chemical case hardening, which, in my opinion is just that, a cheaper option. The gun will not have the nice traditional tell tale signs of colour left on the inside of the forend iron, the action flats and trigger plate, details which many might not care about but is very nice to retain.  The colour of the coin finish on the less expensive method is also too bright and shiny, lacking the much less severe characteristic of the brushed off case colour, which leaves a more grey tone to the steel.

Our guns all, without exception, take the 400 yard trip up the road to the workshops of St. Ledger's who have been serving the gun trade now for many years with this service.

This rifle is a new .600 NE Sidelock which has been engraved by Vince Crowley and looks great in the bright Finish (The photographs were taken just prior to the rifle going to hardening.) but it also looks very good with the case colour hardening on now that we have it back. Case colour hardening is not an exact science so colour will vary from piece to piece and I think this particular one has come out very well.

So for this particular rifle I am not yet sure, to brush off or not brush off, that is the question!

westley richards, 600, double rifle,nitro express rifle, The same rifle after Case Colour Hardening.

westley richards, 600, double rifle,nitro express rifle,

westley richards, 600, double rifle,nitro express rifle, westley richards, 600, double rifle,nitro express rifle,


  • Greig Campbell on October 29, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Looks good to me. Very understated colouring which will improve with age. (in my opinion)

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