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The Melonite actually penetrates the steel in addition to adding the black coating.

Here are some properties of the Melonite process:

Improved Wear Resistance

Improved Running Properties

Increased Fatigue and Rolling Fatigue Strengths

Heat Resistance

Black Color

Lower coefficient of Friction

Decreased surface roughness

As the black coating wears off, the steel retains the Melonite properties because it penetrates the surface of the steel.

I think nicks and wearing of the finish give a gun natural character. It's good to see a tool used as a tool.
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