Many of us have seen pictures of heads of state touting gold-covered guns as a show of power, wealth, and military might. But gold-plated guns aren’t just for the world’s elites. Gold plating firearms has become a popular trend, with people plating all or parts of their guns.
(Freeimages / Carlos Reyes)
The gold finish adds a regal look to firearms. It allows owners to imprint their guns with a signature style and set them apart from other firearms. But the benefits of gold plating extends well beyond aesthetics; the plating process can protect the surface of the gun and make it corrosion-resistant.
There are a couple of things to take into consideration if you want to gold plate a gun:
1) What is your firearm made of?
Your gun may be made of aluminum, steel, stainless steel, zinc alloys, plastic, or a combination of these materials. The gold plating will vary based on the surface material of your gun. For example, steel gun parts come coated with a dark finish often referred to as “bluing.” You will need to remove this finish and get down to the bare steel before you can gold plate your gun. Note that many people coat their steel guns in nickel before applying gold. That way, if the gold plating wears off, the steel will be protected by the nickel barrier.
If your gun is aluminum, you cannot plate directly onto the surface. You will need to take the gun to a professional who can perform specialized bath plating to give it a bright nickel finish. Once the nickel finish has been applied, you can add the gold plating.
Make sure to identify the surface material of your gun and do your research to make sure that it is ready for plating. Contact us if you need help identifying the proper process for preparing your gun for gold plating.
2) Which gold plating process is best?
The primary gold plating methods are bath and brush plating. Here’s a look at the advantages of each:
- Lower initial cost (about half the price of bath plating)
- Works for guns of any size
- Works for localized plating (if you don’t want to plate the whole gun)
- Can’t control the thickness of the plating
- More time-consuming
- More difficult to apply evenly
For a brush gold plating kit, we highly recommend the Universal Plater Kit.
- Allows you to put an entire item (or multiple items) in a beaker for coating
- Faster than brush plating
- Easy to apply evenly
- Plating can “throw” into nooks and crannies that can’t be accessed through brush plating
- Doesn’t allow plating of specific gun parts (all or nothing)
- Doesn’t allow for coating of items too large to fit into the beaker
For a fast, efficient, reliable bath plating kit, we recommend our JewelMaster Pro HD kit.
You can add some glitz to your gun and protect it from the elements for years to come with the addition of gold plating.