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  #1  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 06:58 AM
pbtakacs pbtakacs is offline
peter takacs
WA7PBT
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Maple Valley, WA
Posts: 127
HK91 Refinish Vendors?

I was looking to see if anyone has had a HK91 or similar refinished. I've never seen a "stock" HK battle carbine to know what the proper finish should look like, I just know mine could use a fresh start.

Judging by spurious internet pictures my HK should be matte, very even in appearance and with a slight gloss. Mine is very glossy and there are several defects due to wear.

I'm unsure if there were changes of finish appearance throughout the years, and if it will help I can post some pictures when I get home along with date codes. For some reason I want to say it is a 1973 stamp.

Here are some of the examples I have noted from a simple google search.


http://www.rdts.com/COATINGSSELECTIONGUIDE.html

http://www.salboarms.com/HK.html
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  #2  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 12:01 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
K6YJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,150
I haven't seen them all, but easily my favorite refinish job of the ones I've seen was done by Lauer Weaponry. TSC Machine also uses Lauer exclusively on its rebuilds.

I like the Lauer job the best because Lauer actually tries to match the HK finish. Lauer sandblasts the steel parts, parkerizes them, and then paints them. Other shops just sandblast and paint. More importantly, Lauer doesn't paint all the parts. This is big. Lauer leaves components like the flash suppressor, bolt carrier, trigger frame, etc. parkerized and doesn't paint them. Most of the shops paint everything. I've even seen bolt carriers and bolt heads painted black. It looks terrible. Even a painted flash suppressor looks terrible I think.

One bad about Lauer's refinish job is that the parking that Lauer uses is a lighter gray in color than the original HK parking. If Lauer could color-match the parking, Lauer's refinish job would be awesome.

Here's an HK53 that TSC did and Lauer refinished:


You can see the bolt carrier is a lighter color than what is on factory HK53s. The lighting in that pic is such that the carrier looks very light. It doesn't look that light in person. However, the parking is definitely lighter in tone than the HK factory finish.

If your weapon is dated 1973, then the glossy black finish is probably correct. HK weapons from this era have a glossier finish than the weapons from the Chantilly and Sterling eras. My HK43 is dated 1974, and it had a glossy-ish finish on it. HK later went to a dark, bluish gray finish and then went to a matte black. The last weapons imported before the 1989 Bush Ban were matte black. The Lauer finish matches the matte black of the last roller-delayed HKs.

Unless your weapon is completely beat to shit, you might consider keeping the original finish. It can look a little weird to have such an older weapon with a perfectly new finish on it. I had my HK43 refinished, but it was getting rebarreled and pretty had to be refinished or else it would have looked terrible with the barrel and the front sight base mis-matching the rest of the weapon.

I even polished up the Duracoat finish when I got it back from TSC Machine. I wanted the gloss because I think it looks more period on a 1974 weapon. I spent several hours with a microfiber cloth and Wenol polish to try to shine up the black paint.
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  #3  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 05:40 PM
pbtakacs pbtakacs is offline
peter takacs
WA7PBT
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Maple Valley, WA
Posts: 127
Thank you for the detail John, it was exactly what I was looking for. Lauer Weaponry and TSC are some good suggestions that I will be pursuing.

I was however completely off base with the date. It is a IB stamp, which I believe is 1981. To your knowledge does this year start the transition towards a more matte finish? Given the horrible texture and (what seems to me to be high gloss) it appears to have been refinished by a rookie.

I tried my best to accurately depict the finish I am referring to with these horrible photos. There is serious inconsistency in smoothness of mostly the trigger housing. The rest of the areas seem to suffer this as well, but not nearly to the same degree.

Would a proper refinish, that is period correct for a IB, affect its future value?

Sadly after years of ownership I have not taken the time to refresh what I can. I was going to visit http://www.robertrtg.com/g3.html and go nuts on HK Factory parts. What I really need to do is have it reviewed and refreshed by someone who really knows what it needs.


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Uo8x3s_Ls24/S2...0/DSC05339.JPG






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  #4  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:38 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
K6YJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbtakacs
It is a IB stamp, which I believe is 1981. To your knowledge does this year start the transition towards a more matte finish?

The IB is 1981. The HK date code system for weapons is pretty simple:

ABCDEFGHIK
0123456789


The "J" is missing because "J" is a proof mark in Germany, so stamping "HJ" for 1979, for example, might lead to confusion. So the K is used instead to represent 9.

Just to make things confusing, HK uses the J on items that are not proof-tested, like magazines or furniture or slings or whatever. If you see an HK magazine with "JA" stamped on it, then it was made in 1990.

I don't know when HK started using the matte black finish, but it was after the bluish dark gray. If I recall, the IB-dated HK91s I've seen were matte black.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbtakacs
Given the horrible texture and (what seems to me to be high gloss) it appears to have been refinished by a rookie.

It's difficult to say with certainty, but from what little I can tell from the pics, your HK91 was refinished and possibly rebarreled at some point in its life prior to your ownership.

Take a look at this pic:


The color of the magazine catch is way off there. I don't think this part is original to the weapon. That, or the entire weapon was worn down like that and the mag catch just wasn't refinished with the other parts of the weapon.

The mag well is scratched up from inserting magazines. This is normal. However, I don't see any parking under the scratched paint. It's difficult to say for sure, but it looks to me as though there's just bare steel and paint over that. HK magazine wells don't look like this from wear and tear. Though the parkerizing on HK weapons will eventually wear through in the mag well, it's a more gradual look than what's on your weapon.

This pic really caught my eye:


I can't tell for sure, but it looks to me as though your flash suppressor is painted as well. Let me know if I'm wrong on that. But it looks painted to me.

The triple frame is also not an HK91 triple frame. It's a G3 triple frame. The HK91 triple frames have the grenade-launching rings milled away.

So, from what little I can tell from those pics, your HK91 isn't in original condition. I think the weapon was refinished and the triple frame replaced. I'm guessing the weapon was rebarreled as well, but that's really hard to say. Usually the triple frame and barrel are replaced together because the triple frame is pinned to the barrel. However, the previous owner of your HK91 might have kept the original barrel and just wanted the "look" of the G3 triple frame.

You might want to check into the legalities of having the G3 triple frame on an HK91. You never know. There might be some weirdo ATF ruling that declares the rings to some be kind of destructive device or something. It's probably legal, but I don't know for sure. But for certain the weapon was not imported in that condition, so I would check. TSC deals in NFA weapons would probably know the answer offhand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbtakacs
Would a proper refinish, that is period correct for a IB, affect its future value?

I don't think so. Of course, a bone stock HK91 without importation marks with an upside-down proof mark that was never fired and is still in the shitty styrofoam padding and factory cardboard box with the red instruction booklet and green G3 sling inside the box with a 0.125" MOA test target hand-signed by Edmund Heckler is going to command the highest prices.

But very few HK91s are in this condition. Most have been shot. And many have been repaired/restored/butchered/modified/etc. to one degree or another.

Your weapon isn't in original condition and the refinishing was poorly executed, so I would say that a good refinishing job would actually enhance its value rather than hurt it.

Another thing to ask yourself is how important market value is to you. You may not even care about market value so long as your weapon shoots reliably and accurately. Or, you may care more about market value than how the weapon shoots. There's no one way to measure "value" and it's going to be different for different people. But if you're the type who just wants a gun that goes bang every time, then I wouldn't even refinish it.

For me, the roller-delayed HKs are semi-collector weapons. I shoot all of my HKs and enjoy them, but I like to have them in as original a condition as I can get. I'm not into "customizing" them. But that's me and my HK guns. Your HK91 isn't mine. It's yours.

I'm getting the feeling that looks/condition/originality are at least somewhat important to you, or you probably wouldn't even ask. If this feeling is correct, you might want to contact TSC and see what happens after that.
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  #5  
Old February 3rd, 2010, 07:05 AM
pbtakacs pbtakacs is offline
peter takacs
WA7PBT
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Maple Valley, WA
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
However, I don't see any parking under the scratched paint. It's difficult to say for sure, but it looks to me as though there's just bare steel and paint over that.

You are correct, there does not appear to be any parking present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
I can't tell for sure, but it looks to me as though your flash suppressor is painted as well. Let me know if I'm wrong on that. But it looks painted to me.

Yes, it is painted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
The triple frame is also not an HK91 triple frame. It's a G3 triple frame. The HK91 triple frames have the grenade-launching rings milled away.

I was not familar with that, thank you for pointing it out. Those are they type of particulars that concern me so I will check that out immediately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
So, from what little I can tell from those pics, your HK91 isn't in original condition. I think the weapon was refinished and the triple frame replaced. I'm guessing the weapon was rebarreled as well, but that's really hard to say.

It always appeared as though the barrel was in extremely good condition. It would make since that it may have been rebarreled and perhaps combined with an incorrect triple frame at some point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
Another thing to ask yourself is how important market value is to you. You may not even care about market value so long as your weapon shoots reliably and accurately.

I want a example that is correct as possible, but more importantly is in excellent mechanical shape. I also want a comprehensive parts kit and the knowledge to care for it skillfully.

Thank you for taking the time to lay all this out for me John, I learned quite a bit.
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  #6  
Old February 3rd, 2010, 08:53 AM
blue blue is offline
Bill Gill, aka chump hater
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 1,181
Check out Robar

http://www.robarguns.com/

My father sent me his very holster-worn P7M8 to take up to Robar for an NP3 finish. The results were very impressive.
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  #7  
Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:21 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
K6YJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbtakacs
I want a example that is correct as possible, but more importantly is in excellent mechanical shape.

If you want as factory as possible, then I would definitely recommend TSC. There are many HK shops out there and many of them do good work, but I think TSC Machine does the most "factory" rebuilds and conversions.

Again, the main disadvantage of TSC is that the parkerizing is a little light in color. I snapped a few pics of my HK43 (which was TSC'd) to try to show you the color of the parking.

Here's the flash suppressor:


If you are familiar with HK flash suppressors, this one will look a hair light to you. The factory HK ones are slightly darker.

This is a good angle for showing the differences in color:


The bipod there is a factory HK part. You can see that the bipod is darker than the flash suppressor, bolt carrier, claw mount, and rear sight. My claw mount is also a factory HK part, but for some reason the claw mounts were always lighter in color than the other parking on HK parts. The claw mount is a good reference point. The Lauer parking on my parts is a fairly close match with the factory parking on the claw mount.

The differences in parkerizing shade are slight enough that most people can't tell my rifle is refinished.
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  #8  
Old February 3rd, 2010, 04:11 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
K6YJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,150
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  #9  
Old February 3rd, 2010, 05:12 PM
pbtakacs pbtakacs is offline
peter takacs
WA7PBT
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Maple Valley, WA
Posts: 127
Now the lighting of the previous pics (claw mount, flash suppressor) must be playing with my eyes due to lighting. They appear to me to be significantly lighter.

Now these bring out some lightness of the factory bipod, but are still slightly darker than the reparked parts appear. Given how you describe them I'm sure that is how they appear in person.

Regardless a new "lighter" finish will look better than my "darker" hack job.
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