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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had acquired this ex-IDF frame as shown with absolutely terrible cerakote. It was shiny and orange-peel textured, applied thickly. Generally displayed the absolute worst characteristics of the cerakote process.

I had built it from other acquired period-correct parts into a complete unmodified P228 which made for a nice contrast to my other P228s that are in various states of modification/upgrade... but that damn cerakote was so awful, it bothered me every time I used the pistol.

So the plan to restore it took shape. I didn't want to just strip it and re-cerakote it, as I am generally of the mindset that proper metal-specific processes that are common in the firearms industry are better than a generic spray coating. In my casual research (a/k/a google), I found there to be a lack of information regarding details on the alloy SIG frames and finishing method. As I had determined with Project Nickel Evolution, these frames are not a basic 6061 aluminum, but rather the stronger 7075 (or in that family) aluminum alloy. What that means in terms of refinishing is that most anodizing facilities have a difficult time with it, and my last effort with one anodizer resulted in a green-tinged light gold/creme color. That was interesting but not what was intended.

The original SIG process used for the alloy frames was a Type III Hardcoat anodizing. Lucky for me, another facility that I commonly use for other work is quite familiar with 7075 anodizing and was confident that the desired result of original factory black could be achieved.

Getting the cerakote off was interesting, what it lost in appearance it more than made up for in chemical resistance. It laughed at all the strippers I tried short of those that would dissolved aluminum. Fine glass media blasting has served me well in the past and made short work of the problem. I had a nearly new-looking frame with no discernible reduction in the details of serial number stampings or rollmarks.

After a week of waiting, I eagerly tore open the package with the freshly anodized frame on Friday. Other obligations kept me busy until Saturday evening when I had the chance to assemble the pistol using a combination of other fresh parts or new replacements, all period correct for this P228. That included proper tool steel hammer, trigger, and sear as well as the early style takedown lever and non-looped trigger bar spring.

Haven't shot it yet but essentially it now feels like a brand new P228 fresh from the SIG farm.

My only regret is the slide; what I had considered to be "VG" condition now looks shabby next to the "NEW" condition frame. Looks like I'll be sending that out for ferritic nitrocarburizing soon.
 

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Awesome job on the pistol and great job with the pictures.

I do agree that your beautiful frame has made the slide look rough in comparison. I'd likely get it refinished as well. It's going to be a great looking 228 when it's finished up!

EDIT-after a second look the slide isn't really bad at all but the two do look somewhat unevenly worn. The frame might "catch up" to the slide after a little use?
 

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Always great to see your projects documented and laid out in pictures. Quite the impressive before and after - WOW.

Look forward to seeing what you end up doing with the slide (which really isn't that bad, as noted)!

Thanks for sharing, Rob.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
EDIT-after a second look the slide isn't really bad at all but the two do look somewhat unevenly worn. The frame might "catch up" to the slide after a little use?
It's not going to catch up - I don't abuse these pistols. My very first SIG does not have even a single mark more than when I got it years ago.

Of course, there's not much that can ever catch up to my Junkyard Dog. :D
 

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