Everything You Need To Produce Beautiful Color Case Hardening

Make your guns the envy of your friends with a unique custom look

At last, a convenient, easy-to-use process to help the gunsmith create beautiful, genuine color case hardening. Color case parts with their subtle shades of blue, gray and straw really give a gun a true custom look. For a modern firearm, color case hardening can create a unique, one-of-a-kind gun. Plus, renewed interest in the old west has brought many old and well used guns out of retirement that need to have faded color case hardening restored. 

Our detailed instructions take the mystery and witchcraft out of the process. You’ll want to experiment with the ratio of wood charcoal to bone charcoal to get just the right mix of colors. We have assembled two, easy-to-set-up systems with all the essential items to immediately begin creating those wonderful case hardened colors found on many older guns. 

Our Premier Kit brings together our large capacity heat treat furnace, with our crucible and tongs, plus two types of charcoal and all the supplies necessary to set up a complete color case hardening system. 

Our Standard Kit has the same, large capacity crucible charcoal and supplies, only without the furnace. We offer this kit for those who may already have their own heat source capable of heating the crucible to 1450° F.

To Get the Color Case Hardening Kit CLICK HERE

Our kits provide everything you need (except a quenching tub) to set up a color case hardening operation, and at a substantial savings. Compare the cost of the Premier Kit to purchasing each item separately and you'll see a nice savings.
EXTRA LARGE HEAT TREAT FURNACE - 3.6 cubic foot capacity to hold our large crucible. (Premier kit only.)
COLOR CASE HARDENING CRUCIBLE - Large 11" x 4" cylinder is big enough to hold a rifle action.
CRUCIBLE TONGS - The really correct way to safely handle the hot crucible. 30" long for handling ease and safety.
HI-TEMP KEVLAR GLOVES - Gives your hands extra protection from high temperatures.
FULL FACE SHIELD - Prevents hot water and ash or charcoal dust from splashing into your eyes, necessary when dumping crucible.
WOOD CHARCOAL - 10 pounds, high carbon content, just the right sieve size for crucible packing.
BONE CHARCOAL - 25 pounds, high carbon content, free of wax and fillers.
DISPOSABLE FILTER MASKS - Keeps harmful charcoal dust out of your lungs.
LONG SHOP APRON - Protects you, and your clothes, from splashes.
INSTRUCTIONS - Full explanation of color case hardening.


Case Hardening Explained

Case hardening or surface hardening is the process of hardening the surface of a metal, often a low carbon steel, by infusing elements into the material's surface, forming a thin layer of a harder alloy. Case hardening is usually done after the part in question has been formed into its final shape, but can also be done to increase the hardening element content of bars to be used in a pattern welding or similar process. The term face hardening is also used to describe this technique, when discussing modern armour.

Early iron melting made use of bloomeries, which produced two layers of metal: one with a very low carbon content that is worked into wrought iron, and the rest a high carbon cast iron. Since the high carbon iron is hot short, meaning it fractures and crumbles when forged, it was not useful without more smelting. The wrought iron, with nearly no carbon in it, was very malleable and ductile, but not very hard.
Case hardening involves packing the low-carbon iron within a substance high in carbon, then heating this pack to encourage carbon migration into the surface of the iron. This forms a thin surface layer of higher carbon steel, with the carbon content gradually decreasing deeper from the surface. The resulting product combines much of the toughness of a low-carbon steel core, with the hardness and wear resistance of the outer high-carbon steel.
The traditional method of applying the carbon to the surface of the iron involved packing the iron in a mixture of ground bone and charcoal, or a combination of leatherhoovessalt and urine, all inside a well-sealed box. This carburizing package is then heated to a high temperature, but still under the melting point of the iron, and left at that temperature for a length of time. The longer the package is held at the high temperature, the deeper the carbon will diffuse into the surface. Different depths of hardening is desirable for different purposes: sharp tools need deep hardening to allow grinding and resharpening without exposing the soft core, while machine parts like gears might need only shallow hardening for increased wear resistance.
The resulting case hardened part may show distinct surface discoloration. The steel darkens significantly, and shows a mottled pattern of black, blue and purple, caused by the various compounds formed from impurities in the bone and charcoal. This oxide surface works similar to bluing, providing a degree of corrosion resistance, as well as an attractive finish. Case coloring refers to this pattern and is commonly encountered as a decorative finish on replica historic firearms.
With modern steelworking techniques, it is possible to make homogeneous steels of low to high carbon content, removing much of the original motivation for case hardening. However, the heterogeneous nature of case hardened steel may still be desirable, as it can combine both extreme hardness and extreme toughness, something which is not readily matched by homogeneous alloy