As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to cause rust on a variety of finishes or materials that most consider to be quite rust resistant.
Last year I finally found a finish that would resist the attack of my sweat – electroless nickel. However, because I got tired of an all-silver firearm, I recently decided to see what else was out there, and found Cerakote.
Though I’m normally the type to do it myself, the price was definitely right – about $60 for everything but the frame, including return shipping. I also wanted to make sure that the application and curing processes were done right.
That they were, for I was quite impressed with the finished product (frame retains satin electroless nickel done by me):
The real test came when I carried the pistol, and it passed with flying colors. Over several months, in both leather and kydex holsters, not a speck of rust has appeared on any of the Cerakoted parts (or the frame, for that matter).
As I expected, it has shown wear – as has the nickel – but this has not affected the corrosion resistance of those parts, as far as I can tell. Frankly, it’s not showing as much wear as I thought it would, so that’s a pleasant surprise – though I’ve only put 800 rounds through it. I wiped it down several times along the way, mainly because I don’t like getting carbon all over my hands just because I picked up a firearm. I noticed that the Cerakote was easier to clean than the electroless nickel. Neither was difficult to clean – the nickel just took a little extra pressure and a few extra passes with a rag to remove carbon.
What was greater than originally expected was frame to slide fit. It was exceptionally tight at first, but to be fair, Jim at Cerakoter.com only had one of the two major components to work with. I worked the two parts back and forth by hand several hundred times before I fired a round through it – and haven’t had a single failure of any kind, so that’s definitely no longer an issue. If anything, the action feels “slicker” than it did before, or when comparing this 1911 to other 1911s I own. However, I don’t have any issues with the slide being too slick to manipulate, even when sweaty or wearing gloves.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the work Jim did. I would like to note that I sent it to him without identifying myself as a “blogger” or telling him that I was going to do a review. This is representative of the work he did for a “regular customer.” I don’t think he could have done better.