Color Case Hardening
What is it ?
Why ?
How ?
Who i am ?

Color case Hardening ?

Color case hardening is a heat treatment process for the purposes of hardening
steel parts surface to obtain a better resistance. Used by a lot of firearms
makers until the 20’s, this process produces also a very nice and unique shading
coloration with variations of blue, green, yellow, tan... which give a great
character of beauty. There are two ways to obtain color case hardened parts :
the bone and charcoal method which is the oldest workmanship, and the use of
cyanide salts which is a modern process used by manufacturing industry.

Alain Combes uses only the original method, the “Bone and Charcoal”, which is the
process used in “golden age” by firearms makers like Winchester, Marlin, and most
of europeans shotgun makers during the end of 19th Century until the 20’s.

The cyanide method gives a different look with more blue in the finish and less contrasts. Also, it’s not an environmentaly friendly method because of the using
high level of toxic chemicals.


Alain Combes wants to give a new life to this old process in order to provide
to all Canadian firearms collectors and nice firearms lovers the opportunity
to obtain the best quality color case hardening service in their country.
In fact, nowhere else this service was providing all around in
Canada until... today, here, in Alain Combes’s gun room.

Before, the collectors had to send their precious firearms overseas or in the USA
to get this finish done and since a few years it is more difficult to send firearms
or parts outside Canada specially to the USA.

Today, Canadians could have a high quality color case hardening
service in their own country !


The Bone and Charcoal color case hardening treatment is a very
complicated process. Extensive knowledge of firearms history and different
mechanisms is needed to make authentic restoration in the respect of the
old method used during the original making process of antiques firearms.

Alain Combes has more than 23 years of gunsmith’s experience. His expertise
is a guarantee that very high quality work will be done on your firearm.

For restoration or customization of modern firearms, be sure that
Alain Combes will use all is knowledge and ability to make you satisfied.

Who i am

Alain Combes is a graduate Gunsmith of the Gunsmithing school
from LIÈGE (Belgium). He has 23 years of practice and settled
in Quebec (Canada) for over 18 years.

Alain Combes is well known in Canada for the high quality of his work.
In addition to its specialization in the restoration of antique firearms,
he produces Custom CCH shotguns, successfully raised the famous
DF 2000 muzzle brake and performs various repairs
in general gunsmithing.