Firearms Finishes

Brownells Oxpho-Blue Review

12731519895_3d394384ca_b By Bradley Johnson

I had heard good things about Brownells, but this was my first experience with one of their products.

I recently purchased a Lee Enfield rifle. It came with a 5 round hunting magazine. 5 round magazines were never produced for this rifle. In order to make this rifle legal for deer hunting, Bubba took a hack saw, and a blow torch to a standard 10 round mag.

As you can see in the photo, brass was used to solder the bottom of the mag to the chopped upper portion. The mag was in terrible shape when I received it. I spent a lot of time stripping the spray paint, and smoothing out a lot of the rough sanding/scrape marks. I knew that the blue would not take to the brass, but I wanted to restore the magazine as well as possible.

I chose the creme formula because it allows for more control. The liquid variant does a great job as well, but I felt that the viscosity of the creme would be beneficial. I found it easy to use, and the results were terrific! I know that nothing can come close to a traditional hot blue, but Brownells Oxpho-Blue is definitely the next best thing.

The key to success is preparation. It is important to remove any previous finish, and polish the surface. Degreasing the metal is not required, but I would recommend it (I used Acetone). Heating the metal is also not required. However, I would highly recommend it. I've worked with metal for years, and I can tell you from experience that warm metal will accept a treatment far better than cold.

My process: 1. Polish 2. Degrease 3. Heat 4. Apply Oxpho-Blue 5. Remove Oxpho-Blue with a used clean T-shirt 6. Polish with 0000 Steel Wool 7. Repeat steps 3-6 until desired finish is achieved 8. Flush with hot water to stop the action of the acid 9. Apply oil or CLP to all blued surfaces and let cure over night 10. wipe down the following day

For only $10, I was able to refinish this magazine (with plenty of creme left for future projects). It would also be nice to use for small touch-ups on the high wear areas of hot blued parts. It is by no means a replacement for traditional hot blue. However, I am really satisfied with this product.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The toughest cold blue. Application is reasonably simple.

Target Market: All shooting enthusiasts, and collectors.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  •  Creme formula offers more control
  •  Brownells oxpho-blue offers a high level of protection without the cost of traditional hot blue

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Bluing is a color, in itself, so is only available in one color.

What others are saying?: “I started trying to remove the Oxpho-Blue from the barrel with 000 cleaned steel wool. The more I tried to remove the blue it started getting an even polished lustrous blue finish over the whole gun. I wanted it darker so I put a very small amount of blue on 000 cleaned steel wool and would rub it with some pressure on the gun until it dried. After letting it set for a few minutes I would burnish the dried blue and it got better and better. Repeated this 6 times. It only took about 2 hours to do this.

My friend cannot believe how good the blue job looks, far exceeded his and my expectations.” - Cabelas Customer Review

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase Brownells Oxpho-Blue from Brownells  and Cabela's.

Our Rating:

+ Low cost + Ease of use

- Not as durable as hot blue

Score: 8.585