Surplus rifles from South African, Rhodesian, and Zimbabwe often display remnants of this finish. Those who wish a representative sample of a rifle that saw service in these bush wars, may wish to duplicate this finish style.
I can do it for you. Fee is the same as for METACOL III Satin Black. If you wish to do it yourself, here are some tips.
Many of the original parts will show significant rust. Rust is bad. Many of the parts are damaged. Damaged parts need to be repaired, often involving sand-blasting, soldering and/or welding.
The first thing I do is to photograph the original parts to keep a general idea of the original finish, then I sandblast everything to bear metal. Then I make any necessary repairs, build the rifle, and Parkerize (South African) of black over park (IMBEL contract) the rifle. Then I reassemble and begin the painting and distressing process. This insures that the finish is inconsistent and the wear patterns duplicate actual handing fatigue.
My goal this time was not for a custom color mix, but to find a standardized color that was a good match. Others have done color-matching with Dupont automotive colors. I have commercial accounts at both Sherwin Williams and Dunn Edwards, and I was happy with what I found at Dunn Edwards.
I have a pair of South African handguards where the paint dripped inside the handguards and was protected from wear, so I had a “virgin” color to start with. It’s a little lighter than the oil and dirt-stained finish on the outside, but I think it’s a truer match for what the color looked like new. When I distress it, it should balance out.
Dunn Edwards Syn-Lustro Rust preventative Alkyd Semi-gloss Enamel (oil-based not available in flat, eggshell or satin).
For those wishing to add rust, the bare metal parts can be wiped with bleach which will cause a patina to form. It must be thoroughly rinsed when the desired effect has been obtained.
These test plates demonstrate the progression. I started with a Parkerized carbon steel plate, and scuffed it with steel wool I then wiped it with bleach and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then I rinsed it, snapped a photo, and then repeated the process. The final one has been rinsed and oiled.