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Which parkerizing solution works best?

913 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  F-Troop
I plan on using a hard lube like Permaslik or 27a as the final finish on my receivers. I've been looking at different companies solutions and everybody claims to have the best. What do people here use as a base?
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You may want to try the homebrew recipe. I have used it for a couple of AK?s, a Garand, lots of mags and a couple of 1919 right side plates. The recipe is pretty cheap and the solution lasts a long time. Good luck.

Dick Culver?s recipe is available at this link:

All of the measurements are approximate but Parkerizing is a forgiving process. The main thing is CLEANLINESS.

I use a cheap plastic kid?s, cough syrup measuring cup (1oz ? 2 oz) with marks. It works for both the 85% Phosphoric acid and the oxide. I use ? like ? two ounces of each per gallon.

Cheap Chemical Sources
There are two variations using either Zinc Oxide or Manganese Dioxide.

Getting chemicals is a bit of a problem since chemical supply houses often want to sell 55 gals of liquid or lots of pounds of solids. This caused some guys to file US 1 cent pieces to get zinc.

Anyway you can get the following chemicals at these sources.
GO TO A POTTER?S SUPPLY HOUSE. We have at least one in Baltimore. Their prices were:
MnO2 about $5.50 per pound

and ZnO about $5 per pound.

Potters use the stuff for glazes. There are cheaper suppliers but potter supply houses will sell you a small quantity.

Muriatic acid (hydrochloric) is available from Home Depot in the paint section. A quart costs something like $3. This stuff is used for a pre-Parkerizing stripping.

Now the tough part, Phosphoric acid. I paid $40 for a gallon of Phosphoric acid shipped from CA to MD. Most of the price is shipping. I would have loved to buy a smaller quantity.

I found a really valuable link to the brewer's connection. Somebody posted ?Phosphoric Acid, 85% - 4oz - $2.99 + Shipping

The source is......... The Brewers Coop- Beer brewers supply!Ohio ?

$2.99 for 4 oz locally is so much better than $40 ? even for a gallon. !) Phosphoric acid is used to dissolve "beer stone" that clogs kettles and such in breweries. Check your brewer?s supply houses in town.

There is a Home Depot (or maybe Lowe?s) paint department product called Etch-it or Etch-off which is mostly Phosphoric acid and will work.

The best part is that using pure chemicals offers the best control over finishes. My manganese park is dark gray and my zinc park is lighter gray. The color variation is nicely controlled.

Steel wool You can get this anywhere. A trick is to degrease the wad you use to condition the phosphoric acid, zinc oxide (or manganese dioxide) solution. If you don?t, there will be an oily film on the surface of the solution.

Tanks I use several sizes of stainless steel pet dishes from Petco. They are cheap and fit parts well. For barreled actions, I use a piece of sheet steel pounded into a rough trough. The bottom is flat and it is longer than wide so I don?t use too much solution. The inside is Parked now.

I haven?t tried the PVC pipe sealed at both ends, with the top section removed to make a horizontal tank.

I have to give a great piece of thanks to hotbarrel who supplied me with a wonderful SS tank that is long enough to do a barreled action. This board is great for lots of help but hotbarrel deserves a medal.

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I did not realize that there was one. I?ll try to make it and let you know my progress. What are the dates? We might hit the Atlantic Brewing co which is nearby and has great food.

Good luck on the Garand. I have a small collection and teethed on one many years ago. It was so much more pleasant than the '03 my father used.


Kemo sabe --- or at least I have no clue. It worked when I wrote the piece.

If you can?t access a chemical company locally that will sell you phosphoric acid in a gallon quantity, you may want to try Home Depot. As a matter of fact, since I am interested, I?ll stop by on the way home today. I?ll try to nail down the Etch-It or Etch-Off or Etch-On or whatever the phosphoric acid product is.


Thanks...I plan on going. I?ll touch base again as we approach the date.


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