Let me start by saying I DO NOT KNOW Uberti’s manufacturing process. I tend to trust guns coming out of the Gardone Valley, as those people have, literally, been making guns for centuries.
There is a “patina” process that can be used to make guns appear case hardened. Given steel qualities 130 years ago, case hardening was something that needed to be done. With the steel that is available today, it’s really more of an aesthetics thing. So, it’s not a huge issue. The patina process isn’t paint, it’s actually chemically staining the metal. So, it isn’t going to wear off.
The short answer: Is it case hardened? Probably not.
Is it paint? Definitely not.
Either way, it’s pretty. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that all that really matters?