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Unread 07-04-2002, 04:39 PM   #1
Jimbo
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Post KRIEGHOFF quality vs. age?

Hi all,

Those beautiful KRIEGHOFF photos reminded me of something I have been wondering about. Is there a difference in fit/finish quality between various years of KRIEGHOFFs or were they consistent?

I ask because my early Mausers, the G-date and 1936 seem to be better polished and finished than my 1939 and especially my byf/41, which is rough compared with my G-date.

Are the G-date and S-code KRIEGHOFFs similarly of better finish than the mid 40s specimens, or did KRIEGHOFF have excellent quality right through 1945.

More than curious, as if I decide to buy a KRIEGHOFF, I would want to attempt to buy one from an era of highest quality.

Thanks all. But CURSE YOU Mr. Ebbink for all the drool accumulating on my keyboard and for placing KRIEGHOFF lust in my heart.

Have a happy 4th of July. I am off to Holister to watch the animals in the zoo!
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Unread 07-04-2002, 05:22 PM   #2
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Hi Jimbo...

Actually - it's a terrific question... Overall, the quality of polishing (before bluing) and blue were comparatively higher from Krieghoff then from other manufacturers (military production). However, from the late serial 1942 military contract period on (with the exception of the 1944 production, which is interesting for its own reasons), even HK polish and bluing degenerated a bit. In latter years, it's not uncommon to find a reddish hue to some HK examples. Mr. Gibson theorizes that either HK was trying to extend the life of the chemicals (scarcity), or the baths were not a temperature, or even perhaps that the time of immersion could have been varied. I'm not sure anyone really knows for sure.

For overall finish, many believe that the early military contract and early commercials (early "P-Codes") offer a bit higher standard and consistency, however.

Hope this helps!
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Unread 07-04-2002, 06:20 PM   #3
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Would the reddish hue be connected to the red frame on the same time period P38s?

RK
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Unread 07-04-2002, 06:26 PM   #4
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Hi RK..!

I'm hoping that Orv, G.T., Marvin, Thor or one of the many other P-38 experts can jump in on this one - as I'm not sure..? Great question..!!!!
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Unread 07-04-2002, 06:36 PM   #5
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Afternoon, sir. There was a discusson last week on the P38 forum reference the red P38 slides, was only during a specific time period and mostly limited to a particular series, (I think). Orv had some good photos, little cross checking on who supplied the steel for that time period of production would be interesting.

RK
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Unread 07-05-2002, 07:34 AM   #6
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Roadkill,

The reddish parts are from a time/temperature and chemical control in the bluing bath. What makes the reddish hue is probably from the hardness of the steel and the time/temperature of the bluing bath not being exact for that particular steel hardness.

Now, the steel hardness on some parts is probably from the plants were being pushed to produce parts as fast as possible, the speed/feed of the cutting tools was creating heat in the part and the cooling water for the tool actually hardened the surface of the part (another possibility could be a small change in the steel composition too), and the bluing bath was not adjusted for this slight change. As you have noticed, the ejector is one part that is most likely to have a very red hue to it. This is because that part is a spring, and has been heat treated to a much higher hardness. With the part being harder, and probably put into the same bluing bath as other small parts, the time/temperature was set for the regular steel parts resulting in the reddish hue.

The reddish hue does not effect the protection, but just makes it appear different, and this is the reason the pistol/part was not rejected

As we all know, bluing is a real science and it takes certain controls to make sure it is correct. This only effected the appearance of the pistol and not it's usefullness. This coloration is more frequesnt on the P.38 than the Luger since the large scale manufacture ended in 1942.

This is my reasoning for the reddish hue. I personaly think it looks good.

Marvin
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Unread 07-05-2002, 12:44 PM   #7
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Marvin,
I have just gained a tremendous amount of respect for you because of your accuracy and insight into the metallurgical factors of the bluing process.
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Unread 07-05-2002, 01:43 PM   #8
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Wes,

In some of my past work, I have dealt with commercial bluing, heat treating, and especially machining operations. I have seen the reddish hue on parts which were SUPPOSED to be very black. The plating company would have to rework these pieces for us by adjusting the time/temperature of the bluing solution to get the correct color.

Since the only problem with the pistol was the color, the funtion was not effected and the pistol was accepted.

Normally, the commercial pistols (Lugers & P.38s0 of the Third Reich period had a decent bluing job (there were exceptions), but that did deteriorate as the war progressed. The Lugers held their finish better than the P.38s as the war progressed, and I guess they were not real concerned about the finish, just get pistols to the soldiers. One of the worst cases of the reddish hue, is on a commercial Mod. P.38 commercial pistol of late 1944. The entire slide had a red hue to it. I bought this pistol from a dealer who thought it had been reblued, I knew it was correct, and bought it for half of what it was worth. Every once in a while, I get a deal.

Marvin
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Unread 07-08-2002, 01:53 AM   #9
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John D.,

Thanks for the reply. I was curious. Now I know.


Marvin,

Very insightful. You guys here continue to amaze me with your knowledge!

Jimbo
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Unread 07-08-2002, 01:56 AM   #10
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John D.

What is the story of the 1944 KRIEGHOFFS? Was quality improved or were they especially horrid during 1944? Just curious.
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Unread 07-08-2002, 04:23 PM   #11
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Lots of thoeries, very few facts on the red/blue question.

I don't buy the theory that the metal hardness has any effect. The metal hardness comes from the crystal configuration of the metal - density of dislocations, size of crystals, has the part been work-hardened (lots of dislocations, small crystals) or annealed (fewer dislocations, larger crystals), how much of it is ferrite/austenite/pearlite/martinsite, has the carbon begun to precipitate out as graphite, etc etc etc. The finish is just a surface oxide - that is, purely chemical - effect, and the underlying crystalline structure shouldn't figure into it, as all of the crystalline formations (except the graphite precipitates, if present) are chemically identical.

I also don't buy the theory that the parts looked reddish when they came out of the bath. But here there's some indirect evidence. I have a Ruger Mk 2 with a bolt which is slowly turning red. It was definitely the normal Ruger blue when I bought it years ago, but the reddish cast is now unmistakeable. However, the change is so slow that I doubt any of us will live long enoough to see exactly how reddish it finally ends up.

Of course this doesn't prove that all reddening is a function of elapsed time, as there could be more than one mechanism for this color change. That is, Lugers and Rugers may have different reasons for going red.
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