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Thread: Melonite vs. Ionbond DLC

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  1. #1

    Melonite vs. Ionbond DLC

    I have a parkerized carbon steel springfield loaded 1911 and want to get it refinished. While many of the spray on finishes such as Wilson's Armor Tuff or Birdsong's Black T seem great, I have narrowed my choices down to either Melonite or Ionbond DLC mainly because of the supposed durability of both treatments (and Iím not a big fan of the look of a spray on finish as it begins to wear). I am not as much concerned about the finish eventually wearing off because I know that itís inevitable. However, what I do desire in a finish is its durability even after the finish begins to wear and the underlying metal is exposed. Both Melonite and Ionbond DLC have initially interested me because of the surface hardening treatment and its alleged durability to abrasions and corrosion resistance even after the black finish wears off.

    Some of the similarities that I have found between the 2 finishes include the hardness of the steel after the application (about a 70 Rockwell rating), durability of the finish, and durabilty to abrasions.

    Some of the differences I have found is the temperatures at which the treatments are applied (~1000F for Melonite and ~400F for Ionbond DLC), the labor intensiveness of customoizing a pistol after the application of Melonite, the slight ballooning effect of a pistol after the application of Melonite making it difficult to reassemble.

    I saw many claims that Melonite is extremely resistant to corrosion but have not seen any salt water spray or submersion tests. I have also read that Ionbond DLC is resistant to corrosion with a claimed 48 hour resistance to salt water but did not read it anywhere officially documented (just saw it through internet talk).

    Here is how I prioritized what I desire in a finish:
    1. Corrosion resistance even after the finish wears off.
    2. Durability to resist abrasions/scratches.
    3. Durability of finish (holster wear resistance)

    If anybody can shed any light on either of the finishes that would be greatly appreciated and helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    9th May 2008
    Location
    Republic of Texas
    Posts
    2,180
    Quote Originally Posted by brianjs82
    While many of the spray on finishes such as Wilson's Armor Tuff or Birdsong's Black T seem great, I have narrowed my choices down to either Melonite or Ionbond DLC mainly because of the supposed durability of both treatments (and Iím not a big fan of the look of a spray on finish as it begins to wear).
    I was wondering about the different finishes too Brian , I've asked in several threads about the difference between Melonite and Nighthawks Black Diamond finish but never got an answer . Someone has probably done a comparison of all the different available finishes but if so I haven't seen it . Maybe we'll find out now .
    Focus on the positive while dealing positively with the negative.
    Hawkmoon - 19th August 2008

  3. #3
    There is a thread at the Louder than Words Forum on this. John Harrison is quite fond of this finish and several others provided info as well. Good luck (I'm also looking at Ion BOND DLC for a project).
    EBK
    "...there's one in every crowd for cryin' out loud, but why was it always turning out to be me?" --- W. Jennings

  4. #4
    Join Date
    17th January 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    5,090
    Quote Originally Posted by EchoBravoKilo
    There is a thread at the Louder than Words Forum on this. John Harrison is quite fond of this finish and several others provided info as well. Good luck (I'm also looking at Ion BOND DLC for a project).

    John did a pistol of mine in IonBond. This is what it looked like when I got it back from him:


    Here it is after 2,000 rounds. Notice there is no discernible wear on the barrel at the ejection port. Pretty amazing, actually.


    Don't know much about melonite, but I do know this IonBond is a winner. I am having another pistol built for me right now with this same finish - look for pictures in about a year!!!

    DD

  5. #5
    Ionbond doesn't require a routing through a gunsmith - you can send your gun to them directly, or at least as of April you could. A nice guy named Ryan runs their custom job coating services and he can coat most anything that'll conduct electricity in either gloss, satin, or matte black. There's a whole schedule of pricing that I've got in one of my paper piles here somewhere but off the top of my head the price for a complete pistol was $300. at the last time I knew, in April.


    contact: Ryan Flynn - r.flynn@us.ionbond.com

    336-665-0005 ext 1340 was it Greensboro, NC? I really don't recall.

    http://www.ionbond.com/

  6. #6
    DD, do you know if that one is the satin or the matte?

    oh,wait...............why don't you just give it to me and I'll find out for myself?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    17th January 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    5,090
    Quote Originally Posted by Hill
    DD, do you know if that one is the satin or the matte?

    oh,wait...............why don't you just give it to me and I'll find out for myself?
    Matte, I would imagine. I originally wanted to polish the flats but the gun had a very rough matte steel profile, so instead of risking losing any rollmark definition all I could do was "satin" it up a bit with a low pressure bead blast.
    DD

  8. #8
    that finish looks awesome. was there a reason you went with ionbond? so far the pistols i have seen finished in ionbond or melonite look pretty amazing. i've still been trying to research which finish has the superior edge in regards to corrosion, abrasion and wear resistance. i'll let you guys know if i find anything.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dogdollar
    Matte, I would imagine. I originally wanted to polish the flats but the gun had a very rough matte steel profile, so instead of risking losing any rollmark definition all I could do was "satin" it up a bit with a low pressure bead blast.
    DD
    I think it's better with an all over texture although I've seen several posts in which experienced people, seems like one of them was John Harrison, have said that the gloss Ionbond is hard to tell from a finely polished blue job.

    Even so, in general it's my opinion that uniform finish over a nice gun looks best as it makes the fitting the focus instead of the gloss.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Hill
    Even so, in general it's my opinion that uniform finish over a nice gun looks best as it makes the fitting the focus instead of the gloss.
    I definitely agree. By the way, does anyone know which of the 2 treatments produces a darker black overall finish?

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