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topic 4597

What is "pre-dip blackener" made of?


Hi, several companies make a "Pre-dip blackener" used in the firearms industry to give a "black" finish to Manganese Phosphate coated weapons.

I know a few companies sell this product (Mount labs', Brownells [linked by editor to Brownells website]). But what exactly is this stuff?

You dip the long arm in the pre-dip blackener solution then into your phosphate bath for processing. The result is a truly "black" phosphate coating that won't come off as opposed to the charcoal to dark grey we normally see.

What exactly is this stuff? Antimony Trichloride?


Any help is appreciated. -Russ

R.B. Rogers
- Tampa, Florida USA


Russ - Manganese (and zinc) phosphate blackening pre-dips are an acidic antimony compound. Some are better than others for color consistency.

Dan Brewer
chemical process supplier - Gurnee, Illinois


Does the Tenifer finish of Glocks pose a problem for getting a good even finish with the pre-dip blackener and phosphate finishes? Is it necessary to strip the existing phosphate off prior to refinishing? Could scratches to an existing phosphate finish be touched up with pre-dip blackener and the phosphate finish or is it necessary to totally refinish for a good match?

- melbourne, florida

Ed. note: full name next time, please, Marty.

August 10, 2009

Tenifer is a proprietary process that is similar to QPQ or Melonite. I do not believe you can phosphate this already plated part, but would have to strip it. Its not an easy coating to remove, due to its high surface hardness.

Jeff O'Brien
- Tucson, Arizona

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