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Your Gun, Your Style: Pick a Finish


By Gabby

Making your gun match you style isn't as complicated as you might think, the only difficulty is choosing the right finish for the look you want. There is an amazing number of finishing options out there but not every finish can be used on every part. Some feel women's guns shouldn't reflect their owner's style, but I really disagree!

Chemically speaking, this process is akin to rust. The difference is, the blue version of rust doesn't naturally happen. Once blued, metal will not develop the typical version of rust, though these guns should still be kept well lubed.

Cerakote and Duracoat
(These are actually brand names. There are many other brands available as well.)
Think of these as paints, especially made for guns, though technically they might be called ceramic coatings. They also make stencils so that you can really customize your paint job. I love all the colors available, but when used, especially on polymers, I have seen these wear poorly. My buddy, Natalie Foster, of Girls Guide to Guns, has a line of Duracoat colors that include some sparkle, and best of all, you can DIY this stuff!!!

This is what the military specifies for their rifles. It's considered a coating and it comes in black or gray.

This is done to aluminum through the use of dyes and electricity in a bath of liquid. Anodizing is a very durable finish because it reacts with the outer layer of the metal to harden it. The finished appearance is often a shiny candy-coated look.

Gun Finishes
Chrome and Hard Chrome
This means different things for different gun parts. For example, If the part is aluminum, it may simply be polished to a mirror finish. However, if the part is a steel AR barrel, it may be "chrome lined" which is a change, on the molecular, level which hardens the top layer of metal for better wear resistance.

Nickel Boron, NiB, Cera-Plate (the proprietary version)
Applied like electroplating, this material is resistant to rust as well as salt (in case you live in costal areas, or on a boat). It has the bonus of feeling very slick to the touch so that minimal lube is needed on these parts, and fouling will collect less here too. I've seen these parts come out looking silvery or dark gray. Most commonly used on internal AR parts like the Bolt Carrier Group, this finish is ideal for places where metal moves against metal.

NP3 (Nickel/Teflon)
Similar to the above process but with slightly different chemicals.

Water transfer
This process is a lot like wrapping a car with a graphic or tinting a window. A film is printed with a pattern on it. The film is floated on the surface of the water and then the part is dipped. As it passes through the surface, the image attaches to the surface of the part.

Laser Engraving doesn't really engrave the metal it just removes a layer or two of the finish, so if a part is blued this process won't work very well. Parkerized parts take to laver engraving very nicely. Check out the video bellow, of us laser engraving my magazine catch.

Hand Engraving is an age old art. Think of it like a tattoo for your gun; Choosing a skilled engraver is very important since the design is cut deep into the metal, can't be removed or filled and is an expensive piece of art work.

©2013 ArmedCandy,LLC


Tracy Lynn Hughes said...

ArmedCandy - You left out "other" like Brilliant Backstraps!

Ben said...

Marcus is awesome!

James DeVore said...

Forgot case hardening and flame coloring and jewelling and simply polishing the weapon and clearcoating it.

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