Modding firearms and completing at-home upgrades can be extremely rewarding. Replacing a factory part with a superior upgrade involves gun owners more closely in the shooting sports they enjoy and lets them express their creativity.
Adding a muzzle brake helps reduce recoil; replacing a stock with a collapsible, modular version improves handling and accuracy; upgrading a BCG can improve cycling time. You get the picture.
Barrels can be upgraded, too, and they should be replaced after the lands of rifling wear down to the point that accuracy is adversely affected. But what about before that?
For example, there are a wide range of Glock nitride pistol barrels (compatible with Glock pistols, that is, not necessarily Glock genuine parts) that can be used to upgrade a variety of Glock pistols – but are they worth it?
Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Nitride Barrel?
Nitriding is often described as a process that deposits a coating on a steel surface, but this is not entirely accurate. Nitriding, when applied properly and uniformly, cannot be removed except by removing the thin layer of steel that it covers.
It would be more accurate to describe nitriding as a process that diffuses nitrogen through a thin surface layer of the steel barrel.
There are different processes for applying nitride finishes, but all of them basically boil down to immersing the barrel in a nitrogen and sodium solution and heating the barrel up to somewhere around 750℉ to 1050℉.
This process causes the nitrogen in the mixture to diffuse evenly through a thin layer of the surface of the steel barrel, effectively encasing it. Typically, the steel of a gun’s barrel is about 30-32 Rockwell hardness. A nitride coating is anywhere from 60-65 Rockwell, much harder than even very hard knife steels containing a high concentration of carbides.
This creates a thin layer of nitrogen-infused steel around the exterior of the barrel that is extremely hard – and offers a few other unique benefits as well.
Are There Benefits to Nitride Barrels?
The main benefit of nitride-coated barrels is corrosion resistance. Nitride coatings are extremely resistant to many different types of corrosion and are easy to clean. Oftentimes they can simply be wiped down.
A nitride coating is also extremely hard, which helps diminish wear. This is one of the prime concerns in barrels because each shot fired wears away some of the rifling in the bore. Chrome-lined barrels, by contrast, are corrosion resistant and fairly hard, but more difficult and expensive to produce and also only protect the bore, and not the exterior of the barrel.
A nitride coating also exhibits better permanent dry lubricity than many other types of treatments, requiring the use of less liquid lubricant.
To compare it to a chrome-lined barrel, nitride coating is more affordable, has better wear resistance, has better dry lubricity, and offers a more consistent coating that covers the inside and outside of the barrel.
Where Can I Get a Glock Nitride Pistol Barrel?
If you’re thinking about upgrading your Glock with a Glock nitride pistol barrel, you can find some high-quality and affordable options at MCS Gearup (MCSGearup.com).
Their Glock compatible parts meet or exceed OEM specifications and they offer barrels compatible with a wide range of popular Glock pistols.
Take a look through their barrels for Glock pistols and get in touch with them directly at [email protected] or at 239-848-6757 if you have any questions.