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Old January 20, 2014, 09:28 PM   #1
Wtlj
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Best gun coating?

I recently acquired a Kimber Ultra Carry II .45. The gun is awesome however the finish is terrible. The slide has spots where bluing is missing and the aluminum frame has wear from slide movement and magazine insertion as well as a few scratches. The gun is definitely well used but for the price I got it I'm willing to put a few bucks back into it for a nice finish. I was all set in sending the slide back to a guy in the trading post classifieds to do a hot blueing job. I started to think, the slide will look brand new which will make the frame look even worse, doesn't make much sense!
So since I can't blue the kimber aluminum frame I started thinking about coating the slide and frame. After only a few hours of research I have a darn headache! Cerakote, diamondkote, kg gunkote, robar, dura coat. So what should I do? I want a matte black finish and nothing fancy. I want to do the entire pistol. I also don't want to spend a ton, would like to stay under $140 with shipping both ways. Any recommendations of refinishers on this forum?
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Old January 20, 2014, 10:53 PM   #2
ClydeFrog
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Here's who'd Id look into....

For a black, non glare type treatment, Id look into Black-T, www.Black-t.com .
Walter Birdsong was a industry leader in the areas of firearm coatings & treatments. His firm did many custom jobs for HRT members(FBI) & spec ops units.

Other good choices include Robar(black oxide), www.Robarguns.com , Swanson Armory(DuraCoat), APWcogan.com CeraKote.
Some like Bearcoat too.

Check for prices, warranties & shop time. Custom work may take weeks or months depending on the demand.
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Old January 21, 2014, 07:01 AM   #3
Wtlj
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Thanks ill check them out
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Old January 21, 2014, 08:27 AM   #4
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If you like the duo-tone look you can have the lower hard chromed and slide blued.

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Old January 21, 2014, 08:31 AM   #5
Coach Z
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I had a beretta redone by robar and the finish is amazing. I'd have a look at their site as well
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Old January 21, 2014, 01:36 PM   #6
ClydeFrog
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Black-T....

I looked at the Black T website.
They state a order price of $165.00 for doing an entire pistol plus 2 magazines.
That's close to the $140.00 mark, .

CF
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Old January 21, 2014, 02:13 PM   #7
Bill DeShivs
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Your aluminum frame will require underplating with electroless nickel before hard chroming. Most platers charge a little extra for this. I would hard chrome the entire gun.
Or- I have a new finish that I'm promoting. It holds up about as well as all the other paints. I coat the gun with mud, & bake until it's dry. I call it "Trench Coat."
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Old January 21, 2014, 03:51 PM   #8
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I really like NP3 or NP3+
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Old January 21, 2014, 06:30 PM   #9
ClydeFrog
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S/H, Bearcoat....

I'd add that $140.00 might be a bit hard if you include S/H & insurance.
I think Bearcoat may include return S/H in the order(price) but you'd need to check. They also offer a lifetime warranty service.


Clyde
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Old January 21, 2014, 07:36 PM   #10
Pops1085
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You've gotta try Duracoat by Lauers Custom Weaponry! Very good company that stands behind their products. I love the stuff and it really is tough!
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Old January 21, 2014, 08:05 PM   #11
Wtlj
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I found a reputable local paint shop that will cerakote the gun for $100. It's a paint shop, not a gun shop. Gun has to be 100% disassembled. Only worry I have is removing the sights from the slide. Would you guys have the mags coated also? Thinking of having 2 or 3 mags done also.
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Old January 22, 2014, 11:58 AM   #12
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I don't like any of the paint on coatings. IMO, hard chrome is the way to go, Mahovsky's Metalife will hard chrome your gun for $188 including return shipping. I had them do an old revolver for me not long ago, it came out great.
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Old January 22, 2014, 12:12 PM   #13
ClydeFrog
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MRarms.com ....

I'd check www.MRarms.com . They offer a line of after market treatments in different colors. The price to coat a entire pistol(all parts) is $155.00. This includes a alloy frame.

FWIW; another gun forum post stated Cabelas treated a few weapons from several major vendors to R&D which brand to suggest to customers who ask. The project ran over a year in places like Alaska & safari trips in Africa.
Reportedly, Bearcoat beat all other services in terms of rust prevention, wear & other factors.
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Old January 22, 2014, 12:25 PM   #14
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I am sorry, a gun is for shooting not showing. Use it an love it.
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Old January 22, 2014, 04:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
I don't like any of the paint on coatings.
I'm with you, paint's alright on tractors, trucks and horse trailers, but I don't want it on my guns.
I agree hard chroming is a more durable finish and a lot nicer looking, it will out last any of the paints.

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Old January 22, 2014, 05:27 PM   #16
Bill DeShivs
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I can understand the paint coatings. They are easy to apply and offer more protection than bluing.
But these places that charge as much as a regular gun plating company to squirt a little paint on a gun are insane.
50-75 bucks, maybe- but why pay as much or more than a permanent coating for some paint?
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Old January 22, 2014, 11:17 PM   #17
Wtlj
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I have to have this gun coated guys, its in bad shape! It was badly neglected by its previous owner.
The service includes 2 mags in the price. I'm debating wether to have just 1 done so I have matching mag or get 2 done.

I'm dropping the Kimber off tomorrow after work and in super excited. Ill post pics when its all done.
Let me know thoughts on mag coating.
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Old January 23, 2014, 01:35 AM   #18
ClydeFrog
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Mags....

Some services like APWCogan.com advised me not to get carry magazines treated with Cerakote.
I'd suggest paying the extra $10 or $25.00 to get 03 pistol magazines covered with NP3+, Black-T, Bearcoat, etc.
You carry the spare magazines more than anything. The might be exposed to the elements/wear than your pistol.

Clyde
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Old January 23, 2014, 09:16 AM   #19
Wtlj
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Ok, so maybe I should just do 1 and keep my carry mags original. Why would you not want to coat carry mags? Should I even get 1 done? I just figured if they offer it with the service most people must like it!
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:44 AM   #20
Bill DeShivs
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Because it builds up tolerances, and because it wears off. It's paint. If you want something that lasts spend a tiny bit more and have the gun plated.
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:42 AM   #21
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I'll agree witht he others the paint on coatings aren't great. I haven't had any, but I have seen a few and they don't seem to last well at all. Seems to be more about painting a color and maybe protecting non-wearing survaces than protecting what is important.

I personally prefer nitriding over hard chrome(Glock). Some people don't like the texture or how it wears, but it is one hell of a durable finish. The main problem is there aren't as many places that offer the service in the US. I was told the EPA does not like it. MOst people are familiar with TiN(titanium nitride) coatings on tool steel. That would be the gold colored drill bits and such. 3X harder than hard chrome apparently. I don't think black nitride is as tough as TiN, but it is tough.
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Old January 25, 2014, 03:16 PM   #22
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ain't over till it's over

I've had a few custom finishes.

Hard chrome is very hard, and has added lubricity. It can rust.
My highest rd-ct gun (over 100K) was hardchromed by Accurate Plating & Weaponry.
I can most highly recommend Mr. Cogan's services, for pistolsmithing AND finishing. He is a true gentleman.

NP3 is electroless nickel with a Teflon mix.
It is not as hard as hardchrome, but it is still way harder than your gun.
NP3 will not rust, and offers significant additional lubricity.
My gun so finished has passed 70K.
It is my favorite finish of them ALL>
Robar Guns does both superior finishing and spectacular gunsmithing. Most highly recommend.


I also tested on of my custom 1911s with an (experimental at the time) electroless nickel with boron substrate.
Again, very hard with increased lubricity. Shinier than I prefer, although I have little actual concern over appearance.

Black-T is a superb finish if one wants black, and some rust resistance, and added lubricity. It is extremely soft, and will not hold up to hard wear.


Paints do not belong on any gun. Some of the modern ceramics are less costly alternative finishes.
I'd pay more
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Old January 25, 2014, 03:27 PM   #23
ClydeFrog
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Gun treatments....

I, too have purchased after market coatings & treatments.
Id highly suggest any gun owner who wants a custom coating or service to go to a well known shop or gunsmith that offers a lifetime warranty/plan.
The extra time & $$$ you spend will be worth it.

Some might take it to heart but many US shooters & gun owners want to save a few $$$.
They'll buy a $900.00 1911 series then get a few surplus GI mags for $5.00 each.
Or buy a $600.00 handgun then stick it in a $10.00 nylon gun show holster.

Clyde
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Old January 25, 2014, 06:40 PM   #24
Wtlj
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Shop owner and painter both talked me into doing the mags! Said they've done 100's! If the cerakote can hold up on barrels, slides and other moving parts the mags should be no exception! I dropped 2 off and will probably drop a 3rd off next week before he coats my kimber! The shop was awesome! They charge $100 tax included for any size gun. He showed me a book full of cerakoted weapons and had tons of firearm parts in the shop for coating! A little wait (3 weeks) but he said it'll be worth it. I went with Armor black in a 13-2 hardner mix ratio as I didn't want it flat black. Wanted a little bit of satin finish!
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Old January 25, 2014, 07:50 PM   #25
Bill DeShivs
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Education costs money.
Ask them to show you pictures of guns 3 years after they painted them.
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