The lock work is already color-case hardened. It comes to you that way in the kit. Oh, it's not the best example I've ever seen of color-case hardening, but then, we're talking about a $300 kit too. Not much I can do about it; it is what it is. (See other pics of it in Post #3 of this thread). Thanks. I did a light coat with Feibings Dark Brown Leather Dye first, then let it dry overnight, then sanded it back down with 220 grit, leaving the dark color in the deeper, more open pores. Then I put 2 coats of Black Cherry on it. When dry, I #000 Steel wooled it, and applied a final coat of Red Sedona. Used MinWax Satin polyurethane for the top coat. I'll let that dry overnight and look at it in the morning. I might (probably will), put on a second coat of the Satin Poly, after hitting it lightly with #0000 Steel Wool again. Then if I'm satisfied with it, I'll assemble the rifle and take it out to the country to fire a shot to make sure all is well. Then after the laborious chore of cleaning the barrel, it's going above my living room fireplace. I need to make some kind of back-board to mount it on first...I have some vintage looking black cast iron hooks that will look good cradling the rifle.