Gun Coatings


October 6, 2013, 02:58 PM
I often read about the various current gun coatings like Cerakote, Duracoat, and so on.

What is the difference between them and the older powdercoating used for items such as car parts, etc. I would think that if powdercoating can stand to the stresses of vehicle and other applications it would also be excellent for gun use.

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October 6, 2013, 10:18 PM
Powder coating is a powder that coats the metal when applied electrostaticically with a special spray gun.
The parts are baked in an oven and the powder melts, flows and fuses into a solid surface coating.
This is only of minimal use in firearms due to build up on parts that can affect fit, and due to the higher heat required to cure it.
The big problem is that powder coating works best as a thick coat, and is more difficult to do and less durable in the thin coats that guns usually need.

The gun coatings are usually a lacquer or epoxy based material.
They can be applied in thinner coats and still be durable, and are either an air curing or lower heat curing product.

Powder coating requires special equipment to apply and cure.
The gun coatings can be applied with an airbrush and cured in air or in a kitchen oven.

October 7, 2013, 12:23 AM
My interest in powdercoating was for an old Ithaca 49 that I redid to be given to my grandson...eventually. The frame was originally just factory-painted black. I stripped and repainted it. The paint scratches easily and I am wondering about a more durable finish. All I need to be done is just the frame. I can strip it down in about 20 minutes. I have a local source for the coating, which would be in the $30 range. These latest market entries seem pricey.

October 7, 2013, 07:01 AM
Powder coating is expensive and is just not a good product for guns.
There are a couple of products which I think are nothing more than epoxy paints. These are Duracoat and Alumahide.
Cerakote is not a paint. It is a polymer which contains a ceramic filler. It must be baked on. Cerakote does have an air cure product out, which does work well.
In my experience Cerakote is a bit tougher than the epoxy products, but many times the cost.

October 7, 2013, 07:31 AM
I agree with the above. I had my stainless 1911 Rail Gun Cerakoted Magpul OD Green. It's very tough - well it does stand up to abuse. The only place it shows wear is the rails. After a few thousand rounds the Cerakote inside the rails is back to plain stainless. Not a huge deal.

October 11, 2013, 04:49 AM
The best finishes I've found in order are listed below. They are tough. Always parkerize the fire arm before applying these finishes as they will eventually wear off and if you don't have something under them protecting the metal then rust will set in. This is where the parkerization comes in.

1. Cerakote-Awesome scratch and wear resistance. Probably the best coating out there. It does add thickness to the gun so it should really only be applied to the outside of the gun and not the inside where tolerances really matter.

2. Kg gunkote-This is used by the Navy Seals on their fire arms. It's a thin coating so you can use it on internals with somewhat closer tolerances without the worry of it causing problems. It has good wear and decent scratch resistance.

3. Bear Coat (Teflon ptfe coating from Rocky Mountain Arms)-This is used by the FBI, military, and at one time was used by Les Baer as the finish on his fire arms. It offers good corrosion resistance, decent scratch resistance, and decent wear resistance. It's also thin like gun kote so you can coat internals with it.

4. Duracoat. This is the least durable of the bunch. It offers only decent scratch, and decent wear resistance. It offers good corrosion resistance. Goes on thick so internals should not be coated. Not a bake on finish and takes 2-4 Weeks to fully cure. If you so much as breathe on it wrong in that time frame before it's fully cured it falls apart.

All these offer excellent corrosion resistance. The parkerization adds to the corrosion resistance as well and also acts like a primer allowing the paint to adhere better and last longer.

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