What is this plastic-like coating I keep seeing on gun parts?


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atomd
December 30, 2011, 06:34 PM
Lately I keep seeing this black coating on gun parts. I'm not talking about something someone sprayed onto it in their garage. These parts are coming from the factories like this. I've seen stripped AR lowers coated with it, buffer tubes, shotgun accessories, all sorts of stuff. It has a plastic-like texture to it and it looks and feels just like plastic. In the cold, parts coated with it don't feel as cold to the touch. I think I've only seen it on aluminum items but I'm not 100% sure about that.

I've also seen it on bow parts in 2010 and later bows. If you pick up a piece of aluminum coated with it, you'd think it was plastic and not aluminum.

Anyone know exactly what this stuff is? Does it wear well? Any problems with it? I've seen it on cheap and on moderately priced items so I'm not sure if it's purely a cost thing.

Anyone have any ideas?

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DoubleTapDrew
December 30, 2011, 06:36 PM
Duracoat?

atomd
December 30, 2011, 06:48 PM
It looks similar to duracoat but has a different sort of texture. Maybe it's duracoat with a texturing material in it but I find it odd that many different companies would use the exact same combination. Maybe it's some industrial version of duracoat that doesn't look exactly the same as the stuff they sell to the general public. I tried to take a pic of it....but it only looks black and you can't tell what the texture looks like.

firesky101
December 30, 2011, 09:31 PM
I have seen some teflon coatings but it does not feel plastic to me

atomd
December 30, 2011, 09:50 PM
I have a lot of teflon coated items (mostly magazines) and it doesn't look like those. It looks like it would be somewhat rough because of the textured look of it but when handled, it's pretty slick.

writerinmo
December 30, 2011, 11:51 PM
Not seeing exactly what you're talking about, its difficult to say. I powdercoat pretty much everything I can anymore with one of a varied type of coating depending on what the part is going to be doing.

CmpsdNoMore
December 30, 2011, 11:58 PM
I've noticed some 10/22s at a local store have some sort of coating on them that's black and a little gritty. I like the feel of it, but it doesn't seem as classy as a nicely blued metal.

Ranger30-06
December 31, 2011, 06:51 AM
I've noticed some 10/22s at a local store have some sort of coating on them that's black and a little gritty. I like the feel of it, but it doesn't seem as classy as a nicely blued metal.
Sounds like parkerizing there... Parkerizing and teflon have similar qualities, but Parkerizing is a little rougher and teflon is more on the slick side.

rcmodel
December 31, 2011, 01:00 PM
Powder-Coat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powder_coating

Sounds like parkerizing there... Ruger 10/22 receivers are aluminum.
And you can't parkerize aluminum.

rc

jakk280rem
December 31, 2011, 01:28 PM
It probably is powdercoat. there are dozens of different types. it doesn't belong anywhere near a firearm. with very few exceptions, powder is a brittle decorative finish only and has little lubricity or corrosion prevention properties. they do make a very tough ptfe enhanced powder but it's difficult to work with. as with all powder, it performances directly linked to adhesion. in order to prep a fire arm for the ptfe powder you would have to bake it in a burn off oven. probably destroying any dimensional tolerances you had.

i had one of those hammer tone grey powdercoated 870's remington came out with a few years ago. about the third shot i noticed the powder on the receiver had started t bubble up and lift off the receiver at the ejection port. i just ignored it till i noticed my trigger was getting gritty. little flakes of powder were all over my trigger group. the coating on the barrel is standing up much better but has cracked and blistered up where ever I've whacked it on something.

Zach S
December 31, 2011, 05:24 PM
Powdercoat isn't different from any other finish in terms of quality. The quality can vary as much as comparing a car built in a barn to one built by Chip Foose.

A good powdercoat job will hold up very well, bad powdercoat, not so much. Like paint, some of it is pretty flexible, and some of it is brittle. The biggest reason I shy away from it is that it cant easily be touched up.

Its great for valve covers and such, but valve covers generally don't see any use or abuse. It also works well for stuff that's a pain to paint, such as a motorcycle frame, and things paint wont stick to, like polished aluminum.

While its not my ideal firearm finish, it wouldn't be a deal-breaker either.

DoubleTapDrew
December 31, 2011, 07:36 PM
I powdercoat my ATV frames and it does feel kind of like a plastic coating so that may be it. It's proabably cheaper than some of the other finish options if done in bulk and in-house.

writerinmo
December 31, 2011, 08:46 PM
You also have the Cerakote and Durakote type finishes as well as various ceramic coatings. Making a blanket statement regarding powder coating isn't accurate, as there is pretty much some type that is usable for the purpose. Proper preparation of the part, application of the powder, and curing time and temp can all make or break a quality finish. I've powder coated a few firearm parts for people, no one's come back with any sort of complaint on anything as of yet.

JellyJar
December 31, 2011, 10:09 PM
Please give us a specific firearm so we can be sure of what you are seeing.

kozak6
January 1, 2012, 06:51 AM
I'm pretty sure it's powder-coating since it is basically plastic.

They coat the part in plastic powder, and then melt it on.

It can be a cost thing. Powder coating can be textured, which makes it easy to hide tool marks or a poor surface finish.

Just like any other finish, it can be done well or poorly, and consequently wear well or poorly. You don't see it on moving parts as often, though, since it tends to be a very thick finish.

Evil Monkey
January 1, 2012, 07:17 AM
Please give us a specific firearm so we can be sure of what you are seeing.

I'm pretty sure he's talking about glocks and their composition B coating.:evil:

atomd
January 1, 2012, 10:15 AM
For example....the strangest looking one I've seen is ATI stripped lowers (I bought one to give as a gift just after the 08 election and that's all I could find that wasn't $300). They have a finish sort of like that on them. I also recently bought a magpul stock with a buffer tube (no markings other than made in usa on it) from someone and the buffer tube has a similar coating on it but it feels even more like plastic. I bought a bowtech assassin compound bow last year and the limb pockets are covered in the exact same finish as the buffer tube. I've also seen shellholders and smaller items coated in it too.

JohnBT
January 1, 2012, 04:12 PM
Some CZ-75Bs are powder coated after they're parkerized. My '96 Military model is and it's held up well.

FAQ - Q: "What is the finish called "Black polymer"

A: Black polymer is electrostaticly applied powder coating that is then oven cured to a hard shell. The coating is applied over a Parkerized or Phosphate finish which is very corrosion resistant in itself, the parts are then racked and given a negative charge and sprayed at the guns components. This charged attraction literally draws the coating to the parts, this gives the parts a uniform finish and reduces overspray. The parts are cured in a oven and this produces a tough Mil. spec. finish.

writerinmo
January 1, 2012, 08:03 PM
Here's a few of my tools done in poly powder coat.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y120/handymanks/Mosin%20Nagant%20front%20sight%20adjusting%20tools/photo8-1-1.jpg
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y120/handymanks/Mosin%20Nagant%20front%20sight%20adjusting%20tools/Untitled-TrueColor-03.jpg
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y120/handymanks/Mosin%20Nagant%20front%20sight%20adjusting%20tools/photo3.jpg
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y120/handymanks/Mosin%20Nagant%20front%20sight%20adjusting%20tools/photo19.jpg

jmr40
January 2, 2012, 11:07 AM
You cannot blue aluminum parts on guns. Rugers, and every other gun using aluminum parts are anodized. It is a colored coating similar to a very durable paint. It will scratch off more easily and show the white aluminum underneath easier than blueing. But this is not new. It has been in common use for at least 50-60 years on firearms.

atblis
January 2, 2012, 11:14 AM
There's also something called poly coating. It is a very high tech finish. Probably a vapor deposition process of some sort. The way I've more or less heard it described is that the coating grows on the surface.

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